Elite Training Mentorship - In this month's update, I contributed an in-service on scapulohumeral rhythm as well as a few articles and exercise demonstrations. There's also some great stuff from Vaughn Bethell and Tyler English, so check it out!
5 Keys to a Productive Bullpen Session - CP athlete Chad Rodgers wrote up this great blog that should be a "must-read" for all up-and-coming pitchers. Chad shares what he learned in the professional ranks after being drafted out of high school.
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Stretches to maintain length of both the pectoralis major and pectoralis minor are really important — especially in the weight-training population, where Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays are declared national bench press holidays in all 52 weeks of the year. Simply put, everyone presses too much and pulls too little.
However, what few people (including Mike and I, circa 2004) realize is that in the process of stretching out the pecs (particularly pectoralis major) in this fashion, you run the risk of irritating the anterior shoulder capsule, particularly if the shoulder blades aren't stabilized. As the picture below shows, the attachment point of the pectoralis major is further down the humerus.
As I mentioned last week, this past weekend was Ron Wolforth's Ultimate Pitching Coaches Bootcamp just outside of Houston, TX. To say that it was an awesome experience would be an understatement. I considered myself really lucky to be presenting alongside the likes of Brent Strom (St. Louis Cardinals), Phil Donley (Philadelphia Phillies consultant who has rehabbed loads of million-dollar arms), Perry Husband (Downright Filthy Pitching), and Ron himself. These guys are not only getting important information out there for coaches, but also getting their hands dirty in the trenches to take athletes and coaches to the next level with new information.
Just as great as the presenters were the 100+ attendees. In addition to many enthusiastic high school and private sector coaches and a few physical therapists, you had pitching coaches and/or baseball strength coaches from big-time colleges like Vanderbilt, South Carolina, Auburn, Kennesaw St., Savannah College of Art and Design, Michigan, Virginia Tech, Columbia, and Trinity. These guys immediately earned a ton of respect in my book for thinking outside the box, and it makes me want to encourage a lot of my stud athletes their way post-high school because I know that they're going to get coaches who are always looking for ways to help them succeed.
The title of my presentation was "Building the Complete and Superior Pitching Athlete." In my introduction to the coaches, I tried to make it very clear that my goal wasn't to try to teach them everything there was to know about S&C for baseball players, but rather to give them the knowledge (and resources, in the form of my handouts) to become informed consumers in dealing with the folks who carry out their players' programs. I wanted them to know that you CAN give a pitcher a tremendous training effect without injuries to the throwing arm or interfering with velocity by losing pitching-specific mobility.
I think that the secret to appreciating what it takes is understanding that baseball strength and conditioning is not just about lifting and running. Sure, these are components of the overall process, but if you only address these two components, you DO run the risk of impairing a pitcher's development. Sure, you've got to pay attention to these issues, but you also have to strategically address flexibility and mobility (yes, they are different), optimize soft tissue quality, and appreciate that you can use medicine ball work to maintain pitching-specific mobility during down-periods from throwing without all the stresses that come with throwing itself.
I also tried to get folks to think about what they already are doing with respect to distance running, "core" training, upper and lower body lifting, assessments, warm-ups (check out the Monster Mobility Pack for ideas), and post-throwing flexibility work. I discussed the difference between inefficiency and pathology and how your can have a terrible-looking MRI and/or x-ray and still be pain free.
You can still get all the information from the event by purchasing the DVDs of the entire weekend. I'd highly recommend them, as they include some great pitching analysis and recommendations from Brent Strom, awesome information on glenohumeral internal rotation deficit (GIRD) by Phil Donley, intriguing thoughts on "effective velocity" from Perry Husband, and excellent ideas on "blending" by Ron Wolforth. Just head over to Pitching Central's UPCBC page and pick up a copy now.
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used by Cressey Performance Pitchers after they Throw!