I have been getting numerous calls the last week or two about pitchers’ velocities dropping as much as 10 mph (one athlete was down from 90 mph to 79-80mph). This is almost always accompanied by a drop in weight, anywhere from 6-10 lbs. These drops in performance can be generally directly associated with strength deficits and can be avoided by maintaining strength in the weight room, while playing summer and fall ball.
It’s now nearing the end of summer and the frantic calls are looking for the “magic pill” workout to get a pitcher’s velo back up before returning to college or visiting fall showcases.
Here’s my reply… “too little, too late”.
Poor sleeping and eating habits, erratic travel and waiting in airports alone can wreak havoc on a young athlete’s body, combine this with a loss of strength and… Need I say more!
When quality weight room work trails off, so does power on the mound. When power output reaches below 80% of capacity then compensations begin to take place up the chain in order to maintain overall performance. Getting in the weight room on your days off will maintain strength levels and help reduce drops in power output.
Here are two excellent examples of pitchers doing it right, Alex Mack (w/STAC Baseball) and Dom Cancellieri (w/Bergen Catholic). Both these athletes have been training with us since last year and both their velos are up 4-6 mph this year. But more importantly they have been hitting the weight room consistently and maintaining a 3 day/week strength training schedule while playing summer ball.
I think their summer stats speak for themselves. These guys have not only maintained their weight but have shown an increase in velocity since May. In speaking with Dom recently, he also made a great point. He noticed that his velocity remained consistent during the game while his opponents started to drop off after the third or fourth inning.
If nothing else, training 2-3 days/week during the summer months can:
a) Help maintain strength/mobility
(Split Stance Band Rotation)
b) Enable you to work on breathing to help get back some much needed IR
So, if you’re throwing 6-10 innings/week, get in 3 good hard full body lifts/week. At 3 innings or less you can even hit the weight room immediately after the game. This will go a long way in helping increase appetite and strength, keep weight on and manage that “controlled fall” I have referred to before.
See ya’ in the gym…
By Nunzio Signore (BA, CSCS, CPT, NASM, FMS)