Home Baseball Content

CSP Elite Baseball Development Podcast: Biomechanics in Baseball with Dr. Glenn Fleisig

We're excited to welcome biomechanist and researcher Dr. Glenn Fleisig of the American Sports Medicine Institute to this week's podcast. Glenn speaks to how baseball biomechanics research has evolved over the years, highlights key research, and talks about where the field is headed in the years ahead.

A special thanks to this show's sponsor, Athletic Greens. Head to http://www.athleticgreens.com/cressey and you'll receive a free 20-pack of Athletic Greens travel packets with your first order.

Show Outline

  • How Glenn become one of the first to integrate biomechanics into the game of baseball
  • How his work as a biomechanist has brought him to be an influencer in the world of athletic performance
  • How biomechanics has evolved since Glenn first began his work in the field in the early 1980s
  • How technology has improved over Glenn’s career as a biomechanist and what up-and-coming advancements – like markerless motion capture – are transforming the field
  • How does the advancement of technology impact the barrier of entry into the world of biomechanics ,and what this means for quality research and forward progress in the industry
  • What research of his Glenn recommends listeners to read up on
  • How players, parents, and coaches alike can best mitigate the risk of injury in throwers
  • Why 100 innings pitched in a calendar year is the golden standard for limiting a pitcher’s risk for injury
  • What research states about the impact of long toss and weighted balls on players’ arms, specifically the shoulder and elbow
  • Where Glenn’s research has been misinterpreted in recent years and what clarity he hopes to bring to those searching for answers in scientific research
  • How the access to biomechanical technology (such as wearable devices) impacts the growth of sports performance science
  • What biomechanical systems and devices are best for collecting meaningful data on throwing athletes
  • How in-game biomechanics tools are transforming the baseball landscape and how these systems can be used most effectively to develop better baseball players
  • What the next frontier for biomechanics in baseball is
  • Where the industry is falling short of serving athletes and why standardization is required to provide clarity and bring efficiency to the work of biomechanists in sport
  • You can follow Dr. Fleisig's new endeavor, The American Baseball Biomechanics Society, on Twitter at @Biomec_Baseball and on Instagram at @Biomec_Baseball, or visit www.BaseballBiomechanics.org.

Sponsor Reminder

This episode is brought to you by Athletic Greens. It’s an all-in-one superfood supplement with 75 whole-food sourced ingredients designed to support your body’s nutrition needs across 5 critical areas of health: 1) energy, 2) immunity, 3) gut health, 4) hormonal support, and 5) healthy aging. Head to www.AthleticGreens.com/cressey and claim my special offer today - 20 FREE travel packs (valued at $79) - with your first purchase. I use this product daily myself and highly recommend it to our athletes as well. I'd encourage you to give it a shot, too - especially with this great offer.

Podcast Feedback

If you like what you hear, we'd be thrilled if you'd consider subscribing to the podcast and leaving us an iTunes review. You can do so HERE.

And, we welcome your suggestions for future guests and questions. Just email elitebaseballpodcast@gmail.com.

Thank you for your continued support!

Sign-up Today for our FREE Baseball Newsletter and Receive Instant Access to a 47-minute Presentation from Eric Cressey on Individualizing the Management of Overhead Athletes!

Name
Email
Read more

CSP Elite Baseball Development Podcast: July 2020 Q&A with Eric Cressey

For this week's podcast, in lieu of a guest, I'm going to do a Q&A on a collection of baseball training questions that were submitted by listeners.

A special thanks to this show's sponsor, Athletic Greens. Head to http://www.athleticgreens.com/cressey and you'll receive a free 20-pack of Athletic Greens travel packets with your first order.

Questions Covered

  • What are the best kinds of recovery drills for after pitching?
  • With the lost 2020 season, how should NCAA pitchers adjust their throwing and training preparation for 2021?
  • Do you have any advice for a strength and conditioning coach who is looking to work specifically with baseball players?
  • Should the strength and conditioning program for high school baseball focus on sport-specific exercises or compound exercises?

Sponsor Reminder

This episode is brought to you by Athletic Greens. It’s an all-in-one superfood supplement with 75 whole-food sourced ingredients designed to support your body’s nutrition needs across 5 critical areas of health: 1) energy, 2) immunity, 3) gut health, 4) hormonal support, and 5) healthy aging. Head to www.AthleticGreens.com/cressey and claim my special offer today - 20 FREE travel packs (valued at $79) - with your first purchase. I use this product daily myself and highly recommend it to our athletes as well. I'd encourage you to give it a shot, too - especially with this great offer.

Podcast Feedback

If you like what you hear, we'd be thrilled if you'd consider subscribing to the podcast and leaving us an iTunes review. You can do so HERE.

And, we welcome your suggestions for future guests and questions. Just email elitebaseballpodcast@gmail.com.

Thank you for your continued support!

Sign-up Today for our FREE Baseball Newsletter and Receive Instant Access to a 47-minute Presentation from Eric Cressey on Individualizing the Management of Overhead Athletes!

Name
Email
Read more

CSP Elite Baseball Development Podcast: Josh Lindblom

We're excited to welcome Milwaukee Brewers pitcher Josh Lindblom to this week's podcast. Josh speaks about his path to the big leagues, his time pitching in Korea, and how his expansive pitch mix came about.

A special thanks to this show's sponsor, Athletic Greens. Head to http://www.athleticgreens.com/cressey and you'll receive a free 20-pack of Athletic Greens travel packets with your first order.

Show Outline

  • How Josh developed as a youth athlete from Indiana into a third round draft pick out of high school
  • What Josh’s rationale was for attending the University of Tennessee rather than entering professional baseball out of high school
  • Why Josh chose to leave Tennessee after his freshman season to attend the University of Purdue
  • How Josh managed switching between starting and relieving throughout his career
  • Why Josh struggled to remain a mainstay in the show through the 2011-2014 seasons
  • How battling comparisons and searching for his identity as a pitcher kept Josh from becoming the best version of himself on the mound
  • Why bouncing around in the big leagues wasn’t the stability Josh wanted for his career and why he chose to take an opportunity to play ball overseas in the KBO in 2015
  • How Josh managed the increased pressure of being an American, ex-MLB player on a KBO roster and the huge usage spike that went along with that
  • What the Korean Baseball experience was like for Josh and how the baseball culture, allotment of talent, and accessibility to resources in the KBO differ from that of the ranks of American pro ball
  • How the game of baseball is played differently in Korea compared to the game played in the U.S. and what nuances Josh had to adapt to to thrive in this new style of play
  • How Josh’s pitching approach transformed through his experience in Korea, including the development of new pitches and learning to better attack left handed hitters
  • What Josh’s thought process is for throwing his splitter consistently and how he has worked to shape the pitch to specifically complement his fastball
  • How Josh’s pitch arsenal has evolved through the progression of his career
  • How Josh manages his throwing and training regime on a 5-day rotation
  • Why Josh chooses not to throw the day following a start and why pitchers shouldn’t lose sleep over taking an off day from throwing
  • How better understanding his daily workload and learning to better manage stress has transformed his preparation strategies
  • What experience Josh has working with the coaches at IFAST and how they’ve helped him connect the dots between the purpose of his training and performing at the highest level
  • You can follow Josh on Twitter at @JoshLindblom52 and on Instagram at @jlboomer25.

Sponsor Reminder

This episode is brought to you by Athletic Greens. It’s an all-in-one superfood supplement with 75 whole-food sourced ingredients designed to support your body’s nutrition needs across 5 critical areas of health: 1) energy, 2) immunity, 3) gut health, 4) hormonal support, and 5) healthy aging. Head to www.AthleticGreens.com/cressey and claim my special offer today - 20 FREE travel packs (valued at $79) - with your first purchase. I use this product daily myself and highly recommend it to our athletes as well. I'd encourage you to give it a shot, too - especially with this great offer.

Podcast Feedback

If you like what you hear, we'd be thrilled if you'd consider subscribing to the podcast and leaving us an iTunes review. You can do so HERE.

And, we welcome your suggestions for future guests and questions. Just email elitebaseballpodcast@gmail.com.

Thank you for your continued support!

Sign-up Today for our FREE Baseball Newsletter and Receive Instant Access to a 47-minute Presentation from Eric Cressey on Individualizing the Management of Overhead Athletes!

Name
Email
Read more

CSP Elite Baseball Development Podcast: Developing College Pitchers with Dusty Blake

We’re excited to welcome Duke University pitching coach Dusty Blake to this week’s podcast for a multi-faceted discussion that covers college recruiting, building a winning culture, optimizing pitch selection, using technology, and reflecting on the unprecedented times in the current baseball world.

A special thanks to this show's sponsor, Athletic Greens. Head to http://www.athleticgreens.com/cressey and you'll receive a free 20-pack of Athletic Greens travel packets with your first order.

Show Outline

  • What inspired Dusty to start his career in coaching and how his passion for player development originated on his own quest for greatness
  • What specific coaching experience Dusty acquired prior to stepping into his current role as Duke’s pitching coach
  • How being a head coach at a smaller university prior to Duke uniquely prepared him for the challenges of being an ACC skills coach
  • How college baseball has evolved since Dusty first began his coaching career in 2004
  • Why fastball usage is trending down in professional baseball and how pitchers can learn to develop their own unique advantage by pitching off their best stuff
  • What the non-negotiables are for being a successful college pitcher
  • Why Dusty emphasizes winning counts for being an effective pitcher and how working ahead statistically impacts hitters’ performance
  • How head coach Chris Pollard and his staff have transformed Duke baseball since his hiring in 2013 and what intangibles have the coaching staff emphasized to revolutionize the culture of the program
  • What specific attributes the coaches of Duke are looking for when recruiting athletes to build their program and how players can stand out through the sheer volume of outreach collegiate coaches are receiving on a daily basis
  • What big mistakes players and parents are making in the college recruiting process
  • How the use of video and social media as a tool for exposure is more relevant than ever and how amateur athletes can maximize the usefulness of video when showcasing their skills to recruiters and scouts
  • How the influx of data in baseball has impacted coaching and developing players at the collegiate level and what the truly valuable resources bring to player performance
  • What specific analytical metrics Dusty initially evaluates when evaluating a pitcher
  • Why Dusty focuses on defining what a good pitch looks like analytically and how establishing this understanding with players allows them to be their best coach
  • How understanding what a quality pitch looks like for an individual is the foundational knowledge necessary for mastering the craft of pitching and creating consistency in a player’s skill set
  • Why no specific data point or analytical category reigns supreme for developing elite pitchers and how being hyper aware of certain attributes can hinder our ability to holistically evaluate a player’s ability
  • What specific challenges college coaches are facing heading into the 2020-2021 season
  • How Dusty relies on honesty and stresses the importance of routine and reliance to perform consistent at the highest level possible and specifically avoid slumping
  • Why player’s need to free themselves of the outcome and the idea of throwing with perfect command in order to dominate hitters
  • You can follow Dusty on Twitter at @Pitching360.

Sponsor Reminder

This episode is brought to you by Athletic Greens. It’s an all-in-one superfood supplement with 75 whole-food sourced ingredients designed to support your body’s nutrition needs across 5 critical areas of health: 1) energy, 2) immunity, 3) gut health, 4) hormonal support, and 5) healthy aging. Head to www.AthleticGreens.com/cressey and claim my special offer today - 20 FREE travel packs (valued at $79) - with your first purchase. I use this product daily myself and highly recommend it to our athletes as well. I'd encourage you to give it a shot, too - especially with this great offer.

Podcast Feedback

If you like what you hear, we'd be thrilled if you'd consider subscribing to the podcast and leaving us an iTunes review. You can do so HERE.

And, we welcome your suggestions for future guests and questions. Just email elitebaseballpodcast@gmail.com.

Thank you for your continued support!

Sign-up Today for our FREE Baseball Newsletter and Receive Instant Access to a 47-minute Presentation from Eric Cressey on Individualizing the Management of Overhead Athletes!

Name
Email
Read more

CSP Elite Baseball Development Podcast: Antoan Richardson

We're excited to welcome San Francisco Giants First Base Coach and retired MLB outfielder Antoan Richardson to this week's podcast. Antoan speaks about his path from the Bahamas to Vanderbilt to the Big Leagues - and also shares some insights on how we can best prepare baserunners and outfielders.

A special thanks to this show's sponsor, Athletic Greens. Head to http://www.athleticgreens.com/cressey and you'll receive a free 20-pack of Athletic Greens travel packets with your first order.

Show Outline

  • How Antoan became the 6th Bahamian to play in the big leagues and what the process is for young ballplayers in the Bahamas looking to progress their baseball career
  • What the baseball culture of the Bahamas is like, and how the game is growing on this island from the roots of softball
  • Why Antoan is heartbroken when foreign players are married to the idea of signing contracts as the only means to make their baseball dreams a reality and how he is working to educate the youth of the power baseball can have for their future
  • How Antoan became an all-state caliber baseball player in Florida after being cut from his 7th grade softball team in the Bahamas just years earlier
  • How Antoan has used his passion for baseball to be an ambassador for the Bahamas and pave the way for future generations of Bahamians to grow through the sport
  • Why Antoan chose to attend junior college out of high instead of accepting scholarships to play collegiate sports or pursuing early professional baseball pursuits
  • How Antoan earned the opportunity to play at Vanderbilt out of junior college in 2003 and what role he played in laying the foundation for Vanderbilt to develop into the powerhouse it is today
  • What differentiates Vanderbilt baseball and Tim Corbin from other universities in the country and how has the tradition of the baseball program progressed to and sustained greatness over the recent decades
  • How Antoan was able to defy traditional wisdom and reduce the number of times he was caught stealing as he progressed through the ranks of pro ball
  • What lessons Antoan has for young base stealers looking to sharpen their baserunning skills
  • What it was like scoring the game winning run on Derek Jeter’s walkoff hit in his final game as a New York Yankee
  • Why Antoan has learned to value the empathy, adaptability, and individualization needed to find success with each player with whom he works
  • What core competencies Antoan works to establish in the baserunners with whom he works
  • What skills Antoan emphasizes as important for outfielders, and why he stresses owning the first steps and remaining athletic
  • What struggles minorities face in baseball and how coaches can better serve the needs of all their athletes
  • What Project Limestone is, and how individuals can help the next generation of kids in the Bahamas
  • You can follow Antoan on Twitter at @ARichardson242 and on Instagram at @AntoanRichardson242. You can also learn more about the great work he's doing with Project Limestone at www.ProjectLimestone.org.

Sponsor Reminder

This episode is brought to you by Athletic Greens. It’s an all-in-one superfood supplement with 75 whole-food sourced ingredients designed to support your body’s nutrition needs across 5 critical areas of health: 1) energy, 2) immunity, 3) gut health, 4) hormonal support, and 5) healthy aging. Head to www.AthleticGreens.com/cressey and claim my special offer today - 20 FREE travel packs (valued at $79) - with your first purchase. I use this product daily myself and highly recommend it to our athletes as well. I'd encourage you to give it a shot, too - especially with this great offer.

Podcast Feedback

If you like what you hear, we'd be thrilled if you'd consider subscribing to the podcast and leaving us an iTunes review. You can do so HERE.

And, we welcome your suggestions for future guests and questions. Just email elitebaseballpodcast@gmail.com.

Thank you for your continued support!

Sign-up Today for our FREE Baseball Newsletter and Receive Instant Access to a 47-minute Presentation from Eric Cressey on Individualizing the Management of Overhead Athletes!

Name
Email
Read more

CSP Elite Baseball Development Podcast: Safer Sprint Training with Derek Hansen

We’re excited to welcome sprint training expert Derek Hansen to this week’s podcast for a great chat on fundamental of sprinting training, his unique approach to managing hamstrings injuries, and much more. Derek shares some general principles as well as specific applications to baseball preparation. CSP-MA Director of Performance John O'Neil takes the lead as a guest host as well.

A special thanks to this show’s sponsor, Athletic Greens. Head to http://www.athleticgreens.com/cressey and you’ll receive a free 20-pack of Athletic Greens travel packets with your first order.

Show Outline

  • How Derek has become the speed-focused coach he is today and how he has become involved coaching national and professional sports teams across multiple sports
  • How Derek designs return to play programs for hamstrings strains and what success he has found transforming recovery times from 3-4 week to 7-10 days
  • How his atypical, acceleration-based program works to not only recuperate the injured hamstrings but build resiliency from future setbacks
  • What warnings Derek has for athletes overzealous to speed through a hamstrings recovery program
  • How Derek recommends to specifically integrate and progress sprinting into hamstrings strain rehab and why he prioritizes stride frequency over stride length early in the rehab process
  • Why Derek emphasizes stride frequency when training his athletes for speed and what tactics coaches should avoid and implement to encourage quality stride frequency
  • What the “10x10” is and why Derek utilizes this return-to-play program as the foundation for all his rehabilitation work
  • How coaches can best manage the volume of their athletes’ speed work
  • How baseball players can preserve their speed qualities in season
  • How the perspective of running has been tarnished in the recent history of sports performance and how Derek is working to transform the perspective on running
  • Why sprinting and lifting are not competing entities and how coaches can manipulate running dosage to elicit training effects regardless of an athlete’s current circumstance
  • What Derek’s advice is for athletes just beginning to utilize sprint work as their primary training approach
  • How mastering the initial acceleration of sprinting and training short bursts of 5-7 strides can go a long way in the development of an athlete
  • Where long distance sprinting (30+ yards) fits into the training of baseball players
  • Why 100% effort does not necessary mean 100% performance and how relaxation plays a role in moving at high speeds
  • What drills or cues coaches can use to teach being loose and relaxed as opposed to tensed and rigid when performing high-speed movements
  • How sprinting distance influences the specific demands of placed on an athlete
  • How sprinting can be programmed to address the different demands placed on baseball players by position
  • Why running technique and communicating effort of exertion are crucial for maximizing speed work in any population
  • What Derek’s coaching philosophy is and how he has learned to adopt a process-oriented approach for simplifying movement for his athletes
  • How coaches and educators can maximize the retention of their training interventions and encourage self-awareness and learning that will stick beyond a single training session
  • What common flaws Derek sees in baseball players’ running technique
  • What technical landmarks Derek is looking for when evaluating an athlete’s running mechanics
  • How posture directly influences an individual’s ability to put force into the ground
  • What role the arms play in efficient running mechanics and how focusing on the upper extremities can create positive change throughout the entire gate cycle
  • How coaching the hands can be used specifically to improve tempo and rhythm in the running motion without overcomplicating an individual’s thought process
  • Why a lack of strength is a poor excuse for avoiding speed work with young athletes and how Derek integrates speed-focused, power drills into youth population’s training
  • You can follow Derek on Twitter at @DerekMHansen and Instagram at @DerekMHansen.

Sponsor Reminder

This episode is brought to you by Athletic Greens. It’s an all-in-one superfood supplement with 75 whole-food sourced ingredients designed to support your body’s nutrition needs across 5 critical areas of health: 1) energy, 2) immunity, 3) gut health, 4) hormonal support, and 5) healthy aging. Head to www.AthleticGreens.com/cressey and claim my special offer today - 20 FREE travel packs (valued at $79) - with your first purchase. I use this product daily myself and highly recommend it to our athletes as well. I'd encourage you to give it a shot, too - especially with this great offer.

Podcast Feedback

If you like what you hear, we'd be thrilled if you'd consider subscribing to the podcast and leaving us an iTunes review. You can do so HERE.

And, we welcome your suggestions for future guests and questions. Just email elitebaseballpodcast@gmail.com.

Thank you for your continued support!

Sign-up Today for our FREE Baseball Newsletter and Receive Instant Access to a 47-minute Presentation from Eric Cressey on Individualizing the Management of Overhead Athletes!

Name
Email
Read more

CSP Elite Baseball Development Podcast: Avoiding Injuries When Baseball Restarts

We're back with Episode 61 of the Elite Baseball Development Podcast. In this solo episode, I speak about considerations relating to injuries as the baseball world opens up across multiple levels.

A special thanks to this show’s sponsor, Rawlings. We’re ecstatic to announce a new partnership between Rawlings and Cressey Sports Performance, and they’ve set up a 20% off discount code on select products for our listeners. Just head to www.Rawlings.com and enter coupon code CRESSEY20 and you’ll receive 20% off on your order. Certain items are excluded, but there’s still a ton of great baseball training gear to make you a better player and coach.


Sponsor Reminder

This episode is brought to you by Rawlings. If you want to develop faster, and train better, you need the best gear. Well, we have some good news for you. The #1 baseball brand in the world, Rawlings, has partnered with Cressey Sports Performance to make getting the best training gear for you more affordable. Simply head to www.Rawlings.com and use the code, CRESSEY20, at checkout and you’ll save 20% off your order! This offer is only valid on select items, but there’s a ton of great gear you’ll save 20% on that will help you become a better player, so shop now!

Podcast Feedback

If you like what you hear, we'd be thrilled if you'd consider subscribing to the podcast and leaving us an iTunes review. You can do so HERE.

And, we welcome your suggestions for future guests and questions. Just email elitebaseballpodcast@gmail.com.

Thank you for your continued support!

Sign-up Today for our FREE Baseball Newsletter and Receive Instant Access to a 47-minute Presentation from Eric Cressey on Individualizing the Management of Overhead Athletes!

Name
Email
Read more

CSP Elite Baseball Development Podcast with Lou Trivino

We're excited to welcome Oakland Athletics relief pitcher Lou Trivino to this week's podcast. Lou is an awesome story of a minor league breakout player who quickly became an impact player at the MLB level.

A special thanks to this show’s sponsor, Rawlings. We’re ecstatic to announce a new partnership between Rawlings and Cressey Sports Performance, and they’ve set up a 20% off discount code on select products for our listeners. Just head to www.Rawlings.com and enter coupon code CRESSEY20 and you’ll receive 20% off on your order. Certain items are excluded, but there’s still a ton of great baseball training gear to make you a better player and coach.

Show Outline

  • How being a three-sport athlete in high school impacted Lou’s early athletic development
  • How Lou ended up at Slippery Rock University out of high school
  • What transformed Lou from a Division 2 arm into an 11th round draft pick in 2013
  • Why Lou was unimpressive initially in pro ball but soon found himself as a transitioned from a starter to a reliever
  • How getting more rotational in his sparked a jump from 89 mph to 96 mph overnight
  • How Lou’s reason for coiling is rooted in maintaining counter rotation and feeling tension, and what thought helps Lou to coil effectively in his delivery
  • How Lou managed the switch from a starter to reliever
  • Why Lou has decided to showcase five pitches out of the pen, and what type of flexibility affords him
  • Why Lou cut back on throwing his cutter early in his professional career
  • How Lou reincorporated the cutter back into his game in 2017, at a higher rate than years prior, and how this pitch has defined his game since
  • Why he utilizes his cutter to gauge how in sync his delivery is, and how throwing an effective cutter is impacted by the movements earlier in the chain
  • How Lou taught Blake Treinen to throw his cutter and how a quality cutter is less about the perfect grip, and more about the approach behind the pitch and feel for the ball out of the hand
  • Why Lou oddly throws his 2-seam faster than his 4-seam fastball and how he has learned to differentiate these pitches
  • What Lou’s routine is for getting hot in the pen
  • How Lous structure his throwing in-season to remain prepared to throw in-game any day of the week
  • What Lou’s recovery process between outings and daily training sessions is
  • How Lou attacks strength training in-season without compromising his performance on the field
  • Who Lou’s favorite player to watch is
  • You can follow Lou on Instagram at @LouTrivino.

Sponsor Reminder

This episode is brought to you by Rawlings. If you want to develop faster, and train better, you need the best gear. Well, we have some good news for you. The #1 baseball brand in the world, Rawlings, has partnered with Cressey Sports Performance to make getting the best training gear for you more affordable. Simply head to www.Rawlings.com and use the code, CRESSEY20, at checkout and you’ll save 20% off your order! This offer is only valid on select items, but there’s a ton of great gear you’ll save 20% on that will help you become a better player, so shop now!

Podcast Feedback

If you like what you hear, we'd be thrilled if you'd consider subscribing to the podcast and leaving us an iTunes review. You can do so HERE.

And, we welcome your suggestions for future guests and questions. Just email elitebaseballpodcast@gmail.com.

Thank you for your continued support!

Sign-up Today for our FREE Baseball Newsletter and Receive Instant Access to a 47-minute Presentation from Eric Cressey on Individualizing the Management of Overhead Athletes!

Name
Email
Read more

Progression Strategies for Back Hip Loading

Today's guest post comes from Cressey Sports Performance - Massachusetts associate pitching coordinator, Jordan Kraus.

Skill coaches are often faced with the challenging task of addressing mechanical problems that are actually underlying movement inefficiencies. This is especially true with respect to different aspects of the pitching delivery, and today I will be discussing the back hip load. We place a lot of emphasis on mastering this initial move in the delivery because of the many of downstream effects it has. Simply put, if the first move in the sequence is poor, the subsequent moves won’t be very good, either.

The biggest challenge stems from the fact that pitching is a unique skill, and the movement patterns associated with it become very ingrained. It is very difficult to change these patterns within the confines of the mound and baseball in hand, so stepping away from the specialized task of throwing to create context for a new movement pattern can expedite the process.

Efficiently loading the back hip can be challenging because of the different planes of motion involved and the speed associated with a pitching delivery. The three movements we look for in the back hip are flexion, adduction and internal rotation. It’s important to note that not everyone’s load will be the same, but all will have varying degrees of each of these movements.

The following movements can be used to help facilitate positions we want to replicate on the mound. For simplicity, they are broken down into four categories: unloaded, loaded, dynamic, and skill-specific. Within each of the first three categories, the movements progress from sagittal, frontal, to transverse plane movements. The goal of the sagittal plane movements is to control hip flexion while shifting weight posteriorly. Next, we are progressing by shifting our weight posteriorly while moving laterally in the frontal plane. The third movement in each category combines all three planes of motion as we learn to control flexion, adduction and internal rotation. The final category is a medicine ball series that will help bridge the gap between movements in the weight room and the throwing motion.

1. Unloaded: RDL/1-leg RDL > Lateral Lunge > Bowler Squat

2. Loaded: KB RDL/1-leg KB RDL > KB Lateral Lunge > Rotational Landmine Press/Rotational Row

3. Dynamic: Drop Squat 2:1 > Low Box Shuffle w/Stick > Lateral Lunge w/ Fake Medicine Ball Chop

4. Skill-Specific: Rear Foot Elevated Medicine Ball Shotput > Step-Back Medicine Ball Shotput > Knee-to-Knee Medicine Ball Shotput

It’s important to note that there are plenty of other movement options and the progressions for these are not linear. Additional load or increased speed of a movement can sometimes produce a more favorable outcome, so there will always be a level of coaching required for exercise selection. Selection will depend on a variety of factors, including strength, athleticism, mobility restrictions, and individual compensation strategies. Once these movements become proficient, the next step would be to blend the new loading strategy into plyo drills, catch play, and ultimately to the mound. Changing the task can drastically improve motor learning, so don’t be afraid to have pitchers step away from the mound to create better movement patterns.

About the Author

Jordan Kraus serves as a Pitching and Strength and Conditioning coach at Cressey Sports Performance-MA. You can follow him on twitter and Instagram at @_JordanKraus_, or email him at JordanRKraus@gmail.com.

Sign-up Today for our FREE Baseball Newsletter and Receive Instant Access to a 47-minute Presentation from Eric Cressey on Individualizing the Management of Overhead Athletes!

Name
Email
Read more

Exercise of the Week: Bowler Squat to J-Band Y

This week's exercise of the week is the brainchild of physical therapist Eric Schoenberg, who works out of Cressey Sports Performance - Florida. When I first saw him implementing it with a patient, I immediately thought, "How have I never thought of it?" You see, this drill actually combines two of my favorite exercises: the bowler squat and the J-Band Y. In doing so, we get an awesome arm care exercise that integrates single-leg balance and hip mobility.

The bowler squat component delivers a triplanar challenge to the glutes, as you have to eccentrically control hip flexion, adduction, and internal rotation on the way down - and it's actually overloaded in the transverse plane by the pull of the band. Here are some coaching cues and notes:

1. The upper arm should be at about a 135-degree angle to the torso so that it's in the line of pull of the lower traps. The upper extremity action should actually be driven by scapular movement into posterior tilt.

2. Most athletes should start with a J-Band Jr. before proceeding to a regular thickness J-Band.

3. As the athlete approaches the bottom of the movement on the lowering phase, he should try to get more hip motion than upper back motion. Although both are necessary, we've seen a lot of athletes who jump dump over into thoracic kyphosis (rounding) when they start to struggle. In other words, use the hips to deliver the hands.

4. The head should remain in line with the body to preserve a neutral cervical spine.

5. I generally prefer this to be done barefoot or in minimalist sneakers, like I'm wearing. It can be helpful to cue the athlete into "tripod foot" or tell them to "grab the ground like you're trying to picking a basketball with your foot."

6. We like this as a warm-up exercise or "filler" between sets of medicine ball work. We'll program it for sets of 8-10 reps on each side.

Sign-up Today for our FREE Newsletter and receive a four-part video series on how to deadlift!

Name
Email
Read more
Page 1 2 3 65