Pitching in a competitive environment raises the intensity and stress on the arm! Duh!
The only way to prepare the arm to pitch is to build a strong throwing base. Duh!
The results on the mound are a direct reflection of the process off the mound. Duh!
It sounds simple, right? Then why does most of the information found on the net make it so difficult?
That’s going to change today, keep reading.
Let’s start with a basic principle:
The body and arm will adapt to higher intensity levels (competitive situations and throwing from the mound) if it’s trained and introduced properly.
But that’s where most go wrong, pitchers never force the changes to occur because of mis-information and the old “wives tails”.
I believe more injuries occur from pitchers being under-prepared versus over-used. Most over-use injuries can be prevented with a little dose of common sense.
We can’t expect the pitcher to go out on game day and perform at a high level and throw X amount of pitches when throughout the week he has not prepared himself to do so.
In our throwing program, the goal is to make the day you pitch, the easiest day of the throwing cycle.
When that begins to occur, pitchers will reduce their risk of injury, shorten the recovery time and increase performance. I find that most pitchers on the youth and high school level do not throw enough.
“You want the arm to have been there before. The last thing you want to happen is to “Shock” the arm on game day.”
Pitchers must place controlled stress on their arms and body on a daily basis. Controlled stress is the concept that the individual has total control over his environment and can use a variety of tools and methods to stress the shoulder, elbow and arm. It’s the idea of the arm having “been there” before.
Examples of controlled stress:
- Weighted balls
- Medicine balls
- Surgical Tubing
- Throwing Program
The key is understanding the difference between throwing and pitching. Paul Nyman said and I quote,
“You have to throw to pitch but you don’t have to pitch to throw.” Paul Nyman
As coaches and parents, we have to let kids know that soreness is expected and being sore does not equate to being injured. There is a difference.
Well, “How do you know the difference between sore versus hurt?”
You have to throw the ball!
With any activity or sport, muscle soreness and stiffness is part of the territory. Baseball is no different. I tell my guys all the time that we will invite soreness, we encourage soreness. That probably sounds crazy to most people reading this, but I want my guys to:
- Understand what it means to be sore and be able to recognize their capacity and awareness for soreness.
- Understand that being sore is not being hurt.
- Realize the best way to relieve soreness is to aggressively attack the areas that are sore.
- Know where their typical soreness occurs.
- Understand the importance of Controlled Stress
In the early stages of the football and basketball season, soreness happens. Does your kid go to practice the next day? Yes, he shows up and fights through the first few minutes until the soreness slowly begins to dissipate. The reason the soreness goes away is because:
- By implementing an active warm-up and stretching routine, the muscles that were cramped or shorten (which causes soreness) are lengthened through the activities.
- Blood flow is directed towards the area and it begins to relieve itself.
By throwing on a routine basis, players will begin to understand the difference and become more intimate with their arms and routine. They will know right away whether they should continue or shut down the activities for the day. If they never encounter soreness or they shy away from being sore they will be unfamiliar and a little scared.
Therefore, they never increase endurance, strength or become aware of how their body works and responds. It’s a bad situation and one of the reasons that so many injuries occur and why many pitchers never reach their throwing potential.
Here’s what I want you to do…
1. Jump over to Google + and let’s take this conversation further, I want to hear what you think.
2. Check out the Top 15 Best of the Best Video Lessons and pick which one, applies to you!