*** Below is a brief summary of the various components of our pitching programs. Please note that depending on age and time of year, different programs may incorporate different disciplines and variations from the list provided below. If you’d like further specific details on which programs focus on which protocols, please contact the front desk.
Pitching programs at RPP are a year round effort, with different programs and training options based on different times of the year. Our programming generally follows the seasonality of the sport, including summer, fall, winter and spring. All players get assessed (varies by age) and a training plan is implemented accordingly.
- Movement and Physical Assessment
- Motion Capture Analysis
- Video Analysis
- Pitch Movement Pattern Analysis
- Pitching Mechanics
- Velo / Throwing Program
- Pitch Design
- Strength and Conditioning Program
- Velocity-Based Training (VBT)
- Force-Velocity Profiling
Movement and Physical Assessment
Pitchers move in all three planes of motion so their program and assessment should reflect that. Physical limitations and imbalances, from a strength and mobility standpoint, can have profound effects on a pitcher’s ability to perform at his max potential.
Motion Capture Analysis
While not all throwing motions are the same, close analysis reveals that there is one common denominator as to why hard throwers create effortless velocity. Generating and transferring speed throughout the body requires a specific transfer of segmental peak angular velocities that allows pitchers to transfer force more efficiently.
This timing pattern is referred to as a “Kinematic Sequence”, where pitcher’s sequence will be evaluated for maximum efficiency. This high-speed sequencing can only be viewed through motion capture sensors placed on the athlete’s body prior to the initial throwing/video analysis.
Video Analysis / Pitching Mechanics and Delivery
Every pitcher is evaluated with a complete video analysis of their delivery. Our 4-camera video system captures delivery from 4 different angles simultaneously and is an invaluable tool, not to mention a big part of how we evaluate a pitcher’s timing and positional disconnects. Features include:
- 4 views: Top view, left side, right side and front side
- Simultaneous recording from all 4 angles with pitch-by-pitch playback
- 120 frames per second slow motion playback
We can then prescribe a set of pitching correctives to help address these specific disconnects:
Velo / Throwing Program
The Summer Throwing Program is specifically designed for pitchers whose main priority is to improve their velocity. It is an all encompassing 12-week program which combines strength training and pitching / throwing to help pitchers improve their velocity. It is designed to build arm strength, durability and athleticism by gradually exposing your arm to the intensity levels that you will face while creating a higher velocity ceiling.
The program is intended for physically mature and older high school athletes. It incorporates throwing correctives, precision long toss and weighted balls, along with pitchers specific warm-up and recovery protocols. It’s designed to be highly customized to the individual and progressive.
Pitch design is about using cutting edge technology by incorporating data analytics and high-speed video capture to help pitchers develop their pitching delivery and movement patterns. The advent of technology is also demonstrating that the point of release is just as relevant in being successful as a pitcher as anything else. Movement pattern analysis includes a pitch-by-pitch review, spin rate and spin axis analysis, movement pattern review and potential realignment, pitch sequencing and tunneling.
The chart below (on the left) provides a good example of a pitcher with limited differentiation. However, with trial and error and hard work, pitchers can develop improved movement patterns that can help them be more effective on the mound (chart on the right):
Strength and Conditioning Program
Our strength program for pitchers is 100% designed around the pitcher and is highly specialized and customized for each pitcher’s strengths and imbalances. It is the cornerstone of our programming and it is designed to go hand-in-hand with pitch development.
The reality is that every pitcher is different in every way and each needs a different approach to developing their strength and power. The use of velocity -based training with our more experienced athletes allows for the to interpretation of bar speeds to allow us to better pinpoint the correct load for each athlete based off of day-to-day fatigue. For more on VBT please click here. Our programming takes pitchers out of their comfort zone and trains them in all three planes of motion. The following provides a brief summary of our weekly training program:
- Upper /Lower Body strength training
- Tri-planar core development
- Velocity-Based Training (when applicable)
- Movement (eccentric, concentric power development)
- Energy System Work (specific to game-time performance and time of year)
When talking about a complete or comprehensive training or throwing program, the conversation has to begin and end with “recovery”. Fatigue is the enemy of mechanics. In other words, when an area of the body is fatigued or sore, movement is compromised throughout the entire chain, causing a negative effect on bio-mechanics and increasing the risk of injury.
Being that throwing is a repetitive movement, along with it comes the possibility of overuse injuries. By expediting the recovery process immediately following a workout or bullpen you:
- Reduce muscle fatigue or soreness
- Help maintain pitching bio-mechanics
- Enhance future performance
- Reduce the risk of injury
Active Recovery is an integral part of our programming and EMS (Electronic Muscle Stimulation) was designed for just this.
In addition, upon request (and subject to coach availability) our pitchers can also take advantage of manual therapy. The majority of pitchers need work on soft tissue quality. After throwing, the posterior cuff can get tight causing the arm to lose as much as 10 degrees of IR, even after a single outing or a 30-count bullpen. If soft tissue work is neglected this lack of mobility can become cumulative over the course of a season, greatly inhibiting the ability to decelerate or slow the arm down after ball release.
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