By Nunzio Signore (BA, CPT, NASM, PES, FMS)
Here at RPP, we have some great athletes who stand out as fantastic role models for aspiring young players with their efforts both on the field and in the gym. Today I’d like to talk about one of them, North Rockland’s Dan Wirchansky.
Danny just finished his high school season. He threw for 49 innings with 68 K’s and gave up only 16 Hits with 3 Earned Runs. His ERA was an impressive 0.55.
Aside from having great genetics and athleticism, Danny is a great example of a young athlete with an excellent work ethic. Since early last fall, he has logged-in a total of approximately 60-70 hours of training at RPP. More importantly, his hard work has carried over to increases in, not only velocity but, pitching performance. As he has put on more muscle and gotten stronger, his velocity has gone from 80 mph to 83-85 mph. And according to his dad, this gain is independent of any kind of pitching instruction or throwing program. Danny doesn’t take part in either.
During the off-season, Danny was incredible at following the RPP protocol. He trained at least three times per week to put on muscle and get stronger. Once the season began he continued training consistently 1-2 x’s per week to maintain his strength and keep his arm healthy. He knows that pitching velocity can drop by as much as 6-8 mph from March to August due to a gradual loss of strength over a long season. And he knows that the best way to maintain and/or improve his velocity is to continue training in-season. Often times he even visits with us after an outing to get stretched and re-up on his mobility work, which is paramount for pitchers. Danny sets a great example of a young pitcher taking care of his arm to be the best at his craft.
As far as his strength training goes, we work on a lot of lower body strength, single-leg stability, scapular control and rotational core power. Take it away Dan:
(Med Ball Shovel Pass)
We also work on the ability to control their body in the lay back, overhead and follow through positions. When you see guys that get hurt it’s usually because they are deficient in one of these areas.
(Side Lying Ext. Rotation @ 30 Degrees Abduction)
We also do a lot of flexibility/mobility and soft tissue work with our guys. This goes a long way in keeping, not only Dan’s arm, but all of our pitchers relatively pain free all season.
(Quadruped T-spine Mobility)
Dan is a walking testimonial that strength and conditioning really can change a pitcher’s performance significantly and also help keep his arm “up to snuff” throughout the season. He has shown and will continue to show us that hard work really does pay off. Over the last two years, everyone here at RPP has watched him blossom into, not only a great athlete, but a fine young man as well.
Congratulations, Dan. I know I can speak for everyone at RPP when I say that we couldn’t be more proud of you and your season. You deserve it. Thanks for having us along for the ride!