Today’s high school pitchers (please click here for college or pro level) are playing for multiple teams, participating in travel ball and showcases and sometimes pitching over 100 innings per year. Although we don’t recommend this, it’s not likely going to change anytime soon. As a result, we have developed a program specifically to help prepare these young athletes for this kind of volume by attempting to bullet-proof their shoulders and arms. The program is a complete top to bottom off-season protocol for high school level players with a focus on further developing their movement (mobility) and physicality (functional strength) to help improve their overall pitching mechanics and performance in-season.
We recommend that every pitcher begin with a complete pitcher-specific movement Assessment which helps evaluate each individual’s mobility and overall physical performance. The results are then used in programming to help every pitcher correct faulty movement patterns, improve mobility, increase overall strength and help take their game to the next level. Physical imbalances in pitchers that are not addressed are likely to continue to reinforce poor mechanics on the mound which could ultimately result in injury sooner or later during the long season. Our program addresses:
- Proper warm-up based on the athlete (is he “tight” or “loose” (laxity))
- Improving tissue quality and thoracic spine mobility (a must for good separation in the pitching delivery)
- Helping get back lost internal rotation in both the shoulder and lead leg (common results of a long season)
- Coaching proper activation and timing (neuromuscular control) to ensure good scapular movement in all planes
- Functional overall strength training (full body)
- Getting range of motion back after a long season
- Core work (in all 3 planes)
Putting these principles on top of a great strength training program is the cornerstone of our pitchers strength program.
- Top to bottom pitcher-specific movement assessment – To pinpoint strengths as well as opportunities
- SMR (foam rolling) – Improve soft tissue quality and help reduce trigger points without lengthening the muscle
- Warm up – Flexibility circuits and stabilization drills, teaching good scapular activation and timing as well as getting the athlete ready to move
- Enhanced rotator cuff strength, proprioception and rate of force of development (how quickly it fires)
- Med ball/mobility work – Helps improve rotary movement, upper and lower body separation, as well as power and timing of the core
- Improved function of the low traps and serratus, scapular stabilizers
- Improved T-spine mobility
- Strength training – Getting the athlete stronger in the weight room by focusing on lower body, core, lower quarters, upper body and shoulders
- Conditioning – Speed work to help increase explosiveness, velocity and endurance specific to pitchers
- Nutrition – Each athlete receives a nutrition plan to suit their individual needs
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