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stevedavison

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Throwing training management

 

We’ve had a lot of questions about what we do when we train adolescent throwers for increased velocity and in particular what we did with the athlete in our upcoming case study.  While we did not test batting velocity we know from experience this workout regime will enhance bat acceleration and hence velocity.

 

The following is a general description of our training process with specifics about the case study with our 13~14 year old athlete. (Through out this reported training period our athlete stood 63 inches tall and weighed 103 to 105 pounds… in early May he suffered from Osgood-Slatter hence a growth spurt followed)

 

We start with the stabilization program as the only developmental exercise program.   We omitted the serratus leg raise exercise where the pulley is at the ankle position from the very first session on.  The program was executed on a Monday, Wednesday, and Friday regime in the late afternoon. The weight on the sled is always 7.5 pounds.  The program begins with each exercise performed for 30 seconds periods with STAR as the prerequisite.   Allow no more than 5 seconds between each exercise.  Intensity of exercise is not important during this period of training.

 

The reps per second (RPS) are not really important at this point in the training as form of motion is the most important criteria.  However expect about 1.5 RPS for most exercises with someone weighing over 100 pounds.  The tonic technique is incorporated in all exercises and well as when testing.

 

In my coaching technique I incorporate visual and verbal cues to redirect the athlete back to proper form.  I stand or sit well within his range of motion so he can pick up cues with his periphery vision.   I don’t want him to lose his targeting.   If he loses his targeting I’ll say “target”.  When he fails to keep the balls of his feet nailed to the ground I point my index finger repeatedly at the ground like I’m driving a nail with it. I slouch my back and bring it to good posture when his posture and head position slack.  If his hand moves off his head or his elbow moves forward I’ll mimic the correct position.

 

Testing: The first day the subject was introduced to the Impulse, and its technology, we tested our athlete using our FMS and the IET in a sports specific throwing action where peak force would be generated at the ball release position prior to teaching the Stabilization Program, with STAR.  The motion was from the back of the cock with the hips opened entirely and through hip rotation up to the release position of the ball.   The hand appliance was our high performance strap.  We then tested this same test every 2 weeks.   The test was performed with no weight on the sled to maximize acceleration forces. The test consisted of 30 seconds of repetitions.   Within 4 days of each FMS test our athlete was tested for throwing velocity by radar gun, throwing at a catcher pad target from approximately 66 feet away with the gun just behind and off the right side the athlete pointing at the target. To view power charts, data, and start to end test positions go to:

http://www.impulsepower.com/its/Throwing-performance-review.pdf

 

The rules of performing the stabilization program were as follows:  Stance must be preformed with foot weight distribution of 80-20 front to back on each foot. Stance is the first priority in STAR and it is very important to observe and develop the athlete’s skill in maintaining this.  With the exception of the scapular lift, press and core rotation exercises all exercises performed with the foot stance position heel to toe and in line as if walking a tight rope (Example, when using the left arm the right foot will lead the left and vice versa).  The athlete must be careful to keep the heel of the rear foot on the ground with a 20 percent load while maintaining the 80 percent load of the leading foot.

 

When the athlete can perform the entire program flawlessly the regime is changed to 30 repetitions per exercise. This is a judgment call on the part of the coach (Depending on the athlete this may take 3 sessions and as many as 12…maybe longer…when it happens it will happen quickly…one day he won’t have it and the next he will).  Generally the two areas of failure will be scapular mobility (protraction and retraction) and knee mobility (balance during hip adduction and abduction).  Good stance, posture, targeting, activation and release while performing the exercises in the correct type of motion for each exercise is the rule.  Cheating on this motion development will deprive the athlete of the benefit of the art.  Don’t be in a hurry and you’ll get there faster.   With our case study our athlete mastered the program in 9 sessions and we moved on.

 

With the 30 rep program again perform the entire program with form as the most important aspect of exercise for the first 30 rep session. With this foundation behind you the next session is where the real work begins.  Have the athlete add power to each rep during these sessions (this will increase his reps per second).   Expect his form to fall apart.  There is a lot going on in his head just now so I always remember what Yogi Berra said… “Think! How the **** are you gonna think and hit at the same time?”  At this point we are training the motion to be natural, automatic, and correct in form for each exercise. Use your coaching cues during each exercise but don’t stop for corrections of motion just finish the exercise.   If he gets it ok if not move on to the next exercise.  If he continues to lose form, back off of the power to the point he can maintain form.  RPS will vary with each exercise (ie. Shoulder adduction at 90 will be about 1 RPS) but expect about 2.5 RPS over all. Continue each session pushing the power envelope right up to the edge without losing form.  As each session passes, new power skills will develop. When testing expect the RPS to be about 2 ~2.3 RPS. 

 

When testing for the first 4 tests I always remind the athlete about good form.   The front foot toe should point at the target (stance)… with the hip leading the shoulder… which leads the elbow… with the head held high…and elbow level or just above the shoulder… and eyes locked on the target.  This assures the power will come from the core and the arm will just follow.

 

Some interesting test results

 

Tested 11/19/2008 rotation forces of 23.4 pounds and throwing velocity of 61mph

Tested 1/26/2009 rotation forces of 53.4 pounds and throwing velocity of 71mph

Tested 3/23/2009 rotation forces of 79.7 pounds and throwing velocity of 74mph

Tested 4/23/2009 rotation forces of 102.5 pounds and throwing velocity of 79mph

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

mikemchale

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Steve,
What type of throwing program was running concurrently with the impulse training (long toss, bullpens, pitching in games, etc)?  Does improvement in the desired athletic skill require the concurrent practice of the the skill while on the STAR program, if so, how much would you recommend in the case of throwing?
stevedavison

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our athletes playing positions were mostly left field and some pitching.  to my knowledge there were no concurrent formal programs concurrent with our training.  I did give him some balance drills to do at home...balance on a 2X3 block of wood narrow side up on his leading throwing foot and touch the board with his throwing hand by swishing it back and forth across the board.  about 12 sessions into the program i taught his dad how to coach and practice pitch with the hip as the leading trigger of the throw...prior to that he did not have the balance and control to accomplish this. he and his dad did spend time two to three times a week playing catch and long throw.  I think i would reverse your desired skill question.   If you are practicing a skill and concurrently do the STAR program you will achieve better performance than if you just practices the skill alone.   STAR is a good general maintenance performance drill and for any sport activity including throwing should be done 2 to 3 times per week...i think 3 is the optimal.    

mikemchale

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Steve,
Have you continued to work with this athlete, and if you have, has more progress been achieved? 

Mike
stevedavison

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yes i continue to work with this athlete and he keeps me smiling with results.  he's low 80's off the bump and high 80's from a field throw.  his batting is comming along very well as his sprinting.  going into the 10th grade he is on our regions scouting list.  I'm encouraging him  to not shoot for varsity ball this year so he'll get more playing time and less bench time.  coweta county has an agressive but backward (training) baseball culture.  the less local coach interference we have the better he'll be.

mikemchale

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What is his current size? Have you continued to use just the STAR progam 3x a week with the 7.5 lbs., or have you incorporated any other protocols?  As his delivery becomes more efficient the gap should narrow from the long toss to the mound to about 2-3 mph.

stevedavison

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presently he's 5'8 at 145lbs.  10 weeks ago we started a hypertrophy training program 5 days a week.  he was 5'7.5 at 132lbs.  his muscle definition is coming along quite well and his performance on the field is impressing coaches and scouts.   that said his throwing and batting technique looked like they were changing in the wrong direction.  3 weeks ago we tested for throwing and batting power in the lab. his batting and throwing power was off by over 30%.  you could not see this on the field because of the body weight changes and his adoption of the techniques everybody else does in play.  so...three weeks ago we changed the training to M W F muscle development and T Th starv.5.   his balance is coming back as well as his leading with the hip(he was really losing hip and core control). the star v5 is done with 7.5lbs...i'm demanding aggressive action with the v5 program while maintaining STAR.  this helps in the muscle development and anaerobic endurance...it takes him about 12 mins to complete the program.  

mikemchale

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Hypertrophy training (high reps on Impulse)?  Explain this please.  Do what to attribute the power loss, cns fatigue ?  Leading with the hip and creating lower and upper body seperation is the key to "whip" in my opinion.  In throwing and hitting.  I have one twin that does it naturally, and one that needs work.  In throwing it's imperative for velocity and arm health.  I actually use the bat attachment in your recommended contact position and with a bat lag position with hips leading hands.  Lets try to think of a similar exercise for throwing.

stevedavison

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sorry it took so long on this i missed your reply post and got really busy.  Hypertrophy training- Protocol Tonic Technique three sets of 30 seconds with 1 minute rest between sets typically 7.5 pounds on the sled then a 2 min rest then with 5 pounds on sled a 30 sec set  Phasic and a 2 min rest then with bare sled 30 sec set Tonic.   In all exercise maintain STAR and go as hard as possible.  typically a 5 - 8 minute workout per exercise...like right arm curl the whole protocol and then the left arm for a 10 to 16 min workout. 

I attributed his power loss to a loss of technique from improper stance and balance.  ie in throwing or batting it starts ot the ground...right hand pitcher- left foot/ knee pulls the left hip forward while it rotates the right hip around which pulls the right shoulder around which whips the arm.  if the right shoulder leads the hip the kenitic chain goes from a tight band to a wet noodle.

on a similar thing for throwing go to this link on this thread http://www.impulsepower.com/its/Throwing-performance-review.pdf page 4 and to what i call super sets....15 seconds with good form as hard as you can go ...3 minute rest three sets.  then  five minute rest and turn around and face the post and do the same thing with external rotation.   in each case the hip must lead the action.  Oh, no weight on the sled. STAR first and foremost


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