Pitching Lab Protocol

Pitching Lab LogoThe Pitching Lab is a unique and state-of-the-art off-season training program over a 4-month time period offered in our “closed loop” setting and it covers just about every aspect of a pitcher’s off-season training.  It is comprised of three distinct phases over 4-months.  Each phase prepares the pitcher for the next one, while keeping in mind where the pitcher is from a development standpoint at any given point during the off-season.  Sessions are scheduled to meet 2x per week (excluding the December holidays) and can run from 1.5 – 2 hours in length.  The following is a summary of each phase, including the Day 1:

Day 1 – At RPP, on the very first day, we perform a static and dynamic assessment on every pitcher. The review, which includes a physical/movement assessment and a video review and analysis, helps provide us with important insights into each pitcher’s strengths and weaknesses.

Assessment – The pitcher-specific assessment (click here for more info) covers a variety of topics including mobility/stability, strength/power, speed/agility and explosiveness.   It helps us prepare a strength and mobility training roadmap for each and every pitcher.  The results of the assessment are not only incorporated into the programming, every pitcher receives a set of mobility correctives that they can perform on their own 3-4 days per week (click here for more details).

Video Review and Analysis – Every pitcher gets video-ed during the first session.  Our 4-camera 120 fps slo-motion system allows us to breakdown each pitcher’s mechanics, both from a bio-mechanical and delivery standpoint.  We will also collect and analyze key metrics from each pitcher’s mechanics using 3-dimensional motion data to calculate workloads on the pitcher’s ulnar collateral ligament (UCL, Tommy John Ligament).  The results of the video and UCL test, combined with the earlier assessment, provide an initial roadmap for 4-months of training.

Pitching-Lab-and-BallAbsolute Strength Phase – This Phase begins in early November when most players are just finishing a long-season and it’s about building lean muscle mass.  During this 6 week phase, we focus gaining functional strength and improved mobility, focusing on the non-dominant side.

“PHASE I INCORPORATES A 6 WEEK THROWING SHUTDOWN PERIOD”

  Please see chart below for a brief approximate summary of this phase:

Phase I

Ramp-up Phase – The second phase of the program begins in mid-December and continues where the Absolute Strength Phase left off.  With the shutdown period completely behind us, strength training keeps in mind that pitchers will begin throwing 2x per week.  Speed-Strength is the emphasis so strength training volume is reduced and movements become more specific to pitchers.

In this phase, pitchers begin each session with a complete warm-up and activation sequence.  They will be throwing bullpens and/or taking part in corrective drills 2x per week.  From a pitching standpoint, the Ramp-up Phase is about getting the arm used to throwing the ball effortlessly and slowly beginning to transfer the strength gains during Absolute Strength Phase into additional power and velocity.  This phase is approximately one month long (January).  Please see chart below for an approximate summary of the Ramp-up phase: 

Phase II

Explosive Phase  – The final phase of the protocol begins in early February and it’s about getting pitchers ready for the upcoming season.  As you can tell from the chart below once again it’s an extremely active phase.  Strength and mobility training continues to emphasize speed-strength which will carry over into a more explosive arm action and more rapid delivery.

Pitchers will be throwing two bullpens per week, focusing on a variety of topics from mechanics, to situational pitching, to video analysis and review, to strike zone management and velocity review.  Taking into consideration that pitchers will be ramping up their bullpens in this phase, scap stabilizations are increased and med ball work is done primarily on the non–dominant side.  This Phase is also approximately one month long (February).  Please see chart below for an approximate summary of the Explosive Phase:

Phase III

The Pitching Lab Protocol is a complete off-season training program for pitchers.

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