Pitchers Assessment

Sagittal PlanePitching is a highly specialized and violent movement that requires power to be transferred quickly (approx. 7,000 degrees/sec) from the lower body, through the core to the upper body and arm.  Pitching takes place in all three planes of motion (saggital, frontal and transverse).  To safely and effectively achieve this and reduce the chance of injury, an athlete’s body needs to move in sync. Unfortunately, not every pitcher’s mechanics, mobility and movement patterns work in perfect harmony. Consequently, many young players get really good at moving incorrectly. A thorough assessment is the first step in correcting these bad habits, helping improve performance and velocity and adding years to a pitcher’s career.

At RPP, every pitcher begins with what we call the Pitchers Assessment. It is an extremely thorough review of a pitcher’s movement strategy, mobility, core and scapular stability, as well as upper and lower body strength and force production. The assessment helps us customize training programs by building an athlete’s profile from the ground up. Depending on the training age and physical maturity of the athlete we assess and record many different types of information covering a variety of topics.  Our assessment delineates between the younger and more physically mature pitchers by testing for strength, speed, power and agility with the older athletes.  The following is an expanded summary of the attributes that we review during a Pitchers Assessment, considering the specific needs and requirements of an overhead athlete:

AnthropometricsAnthropometrics

This information helps us better understand the “type” of athlete we are dealing with from a mechanics standpoint and includes height, weight, limb length, stride length among other measurements and attributes.

Mobility / Stability Assessment

Addressing and correcting faulty movement strategies through the entire kinetic chain helps put the athlete in better position during the delivery.  Some key focal points are:

  • upward-rotation-(2)Standing posture (resting)
  • Complete Shoulder and scapular assessment (including testing for impingement)
  • Shoulder total motion (ER/IR)
  • UCL (Tommy John Ligament) stress testing (optional)
  • T-Spine rotation/extension
  • Lumbo-Pelvic integrity
  • Hip mobility/stability
  • Ankle mobility (dorsiflexion)
  • Functional movement screen (FMS)

This next three parts of the assessment help us determine what kind of “horsepower” the athlete does or doesn’t have, and how they produce it.  Some of the testing includes:

Strength and Power Testing

  • Strength Speed Continuum - Top 1Upper and Lower Body Strength Testing
  • Getting a Benchmark as to a player’s strengths and weaknesses

 

 

Power/ Force Production Testing

  • Lateral Power – Amount of force the athlete produces coming down the mound
  • Vertical / Triple jump – Elastic energy/Reaction time

Athletic Images-2

UCL Stress Testing (optional)

  •  Pitching Lab Pitcure Top - 1Motus Sleeve Stress Testing
  • UCL Stress (torque, NM)
  • Forearm Speed at Release (RPM)
  • Shoulder Rotation (ER)

 

 

Video Review and Analysis (optional)

RPP’s video camera system is a state-of-the-art technology that captures a pitcher’s delivery from four different angles simultaneously.  It is an invaluable tool and a big part of how we evaluate pitchers from both a movement and mechanics standpoint.  Please feel free to click here for more info.  Here is a brief summary of the Review and Analysis:

  • Movement and mechanics (in total we evaluate for 11 distinct and potential constraints)
    • Upper body disconnects
    • Arm action (early/late launch)
    • Lower body disconnects (pelvic engagement, lead leg action)
    • Athleticism (intent)
    • Alignment and postural disconnects
    • Deceleration (movement after ball release, crucial for injury prevention)
  • 4 high speed cameras
  • 4 views: Top side, left side, right side and front side
  • Simultaneous recording from all 4 angles
  • 120 frames per second slow motion playback

A thorough assessment gives us a great benchmark from an overall physical standpoint and provides a baseline that can tell us many things about an athlete’s injury history, training experience and “strategy”. In other words how they get from point A to point B. By observing an athlete’s strategy during an assessment we devise an individualized program to better address the athlete’s weak links in the kinetic chain. In addition, by assessing shoulder ER and IR we can take the necessary corrective steps to help increase “Total Motion”. Deficits in total motion from side to side have shown to be a huge predictor of injury further down the line.

In all, the information gathered from the assessment acts as a “road map” to help correct the imbalances, allowing the athlete to be more successful on the mound. No athlete can achieve their max potential without first recognizing what needs to be addressed. At the conclusion of the assessment we provide each athlete with a summary of what is “Acceptable” and what is “A Caution” or in other words an “OPPORTUNITY” for improvement. Our Pitchers Assessment is the first step towards a successful training program.

A big part of what we do here at RPP is setting up our pitchers for success. The reality is that every pitcher is different in every way.

Click Here to Receive More Info on the “PITCHING LAB”