Two pitchers both throwing 90 mph… are they both just as fast? Well, it depends. Just because a pitcher is hitting 90 on the gun does not mean that the batter sees 90, which is what matters most in the game. One of the main factors that affects how fast your pitch looks to the batter is your extension at release, more commonly referred to as release extension. How important is it? and what’s stopping you from maximizing the amount of extension you can get? Let’s dissect it…
Over the last decade, many new pitching stats have been created, including FIP, SIERA, CSW%, and xFIP, all with the single purpose of getting a better understanding of a pitcher’s ability beyond the ERA. Recently, a new pitching stat was created by Eno Sarris which he calls Stuff+.
When you train as many pitchers as we do, often times common themes begin to emerge. One such theme is the types of baseball pitching mechanics issues that we observe most often in pitchers. Well, here they are, along with some things we do (barring any glaring mobility issues observed in the assessment) from a corrective standpoint both in the tunnel and in the weight room to address them. Continue reading “What are the Most Common Pitching Mechanics Issues?”
To better maximize our training time in the gym, we need to focus on only what the athlete needs without taking away the attributes that they are already good at.
Testing max strength helps us determine what the focus of training will be throughout the upcoming training period. This enables us to prioritize the athletes “lowest hanging fruit” when it comes to Strength (> 80% 1RM) vs Power (between 30-80% 1RM). We utilize VBT to help better pinpoint specific strength zones. Continue reading “How Strong is Strong Enough?”
The underlying factor in all things powerful and explosive when it comes to performance is “STRENGTH”. It’s the foundation that athleticism is built on and there can be no better example of this than hitting a baseball and I don’t mean just making contact, I mean hitting the ball with power and… HARD! So, how to increase hitting power in baseball? Let’s read on…
“Too often, sport psychologists are asked to ‘fix’ struggling athletes with mental problems as they approach major competitions or rebound from poor performances. Although MST (mental skills training) programs may prove beneficial in the short run to develop skills and deal with specific problems, such approaches fail to address athletes’ long-term development goals” (Holliday et al., 2008, p. 205).
Developing elite hitters from a young age is about developing not only intent, but sound hitting mechanics from early on. Let me start by saying this. Due to the fact that young athletes are not proficient enough in body awareness and movement at this age, it’s important to begin with a basic / reduced set of disconnects before expanding it to more complicated movement patterns later on. Below are the disconnects / topics you should make sure you get right from a young age. Let’s get into it…
Helping young pitchers develop into the best versions of themselves requires an understanding of their physiological development and capabilities at any given age. Asking a 13-year old pitcher to post-up may be a complete waste of time, if he doesn’t have enough lead leg strength to create a good block. With our more developed and older athletes, we may review as many as 50-60 potential disconnects. But when it comes to the younger guys, you have to be aware of what they may or may not be capable of performing. Consequently, we generally begin with a reduced set before expanding what we look for in their youth pitching mechanics. We have listed them here on a priority basis.
Most often, pitchers and position players associate their pitching velocity or exit velo with their mechanics. As our understanding of the body and technology has improved over the years, it is now more apparent than ever that your velocity ceiling, whether it’s pitching or hitting, is limited by your physical ability more than anything else. Whether you’re a position player or a pitcher and your velo is stuck… let’s find out why.