Although we do offer occasional beginner camps, our business focus is upon working with elite overhand throwing athletes 12U and above. Love of the game and strong personal character (read here “grit”) are paramount. Our clients come from supportive families and listen with great attention to detail. They typically are strong students with a curious nature who love researching the vast amount of information available in today’s electronic environment. They believe they can fail and turn failures into positive learning experiences. They are determined in wanting to improve over time, rather than in just this moment, and want to be able to track that progress. They believe in personal responsibility for their planning, growth and development.
- Want to perform better or want to reach the next level of competition
- Are looking to gain an edge over their competition by training smarter
- Want to improve one or more aspects of their game (velocity, control, etc.)
- Have had recent, intermittent, or lingering pain
- Have hit a development wall
- Were injured and are unsure if the underlying root cause of the injury has been addressed
- Have gone through therapy and are still experiencing pain, tightness, or tenderness after throwing
- An evaluative process that includes our home-grown strength and mobility assessment (S.C.O.R.E.) and various pitching related assessments (video, velocity, control, secondary pitches, recovery)
- A player centric approach specific to overhead throwing athletes and the unique demands placed upon them
- Personalization of training cycles for off-season, pre-season ramp-up, and in season
- An elite cross-functional staff in one locale (coaching, performance therapy, physical therapy, physical training, data analytics)
- A staff that takes advantage of the latest learning in performance training across all the silos of information in our sport
We must recognize that throwing hard does come with risk. That said we also believe that players can improve performance by focusing in parallel upon eliminating pain, understanding physical constraints, enabling better mind set, focusing upon better warm ups, movement patterns, arm care, and recovery. Yes, you can improve your performance and greatly reduce your chances of injury.
Pain is the #1 factor that can negatively impact a player. In order to train and to perform well we need to prioritize pain accordingly and eliminate it. This is done by finding better movement patterns via which you can throw with no pain. We analyze your current movement pattern, mobility, strength, soft tissue and any other physical constraints, then eliminate or minimize mechanical inefficiencies. It is only after eliminating the pain and having your body ingrain those new movement patterns that we can focus upon performance enhancement. This is not to say that you can go out and throw 100 pitches at in-game stress levels without feeling some discomfort afterward. If that were the case, we could pitch complete games every day. The truth is we need to conduct proper arm care and warm up, understand our body’s recovery cycle, and enable our body to recover better / faster.
There are a number of tools available to baseball and softball players to track their statistics. For example, Gamechanger and high school or college websites will provide season totals for wins, losses, ERA, strike percentage, and so forth. From these sources players may be able to see improvement over time. But how many of us benchmark our current status, go through a training cycle, and measure the results? In our opinion if you are not measuring training cycles you have no way of knowing whether you are improving over time. We assess our players and create a base set of data prior to any lessons. We aren’t just looking at velocity, control, strike percentage, etc. Our assessments conducted before a training cycle include the S.C.O.R.E., which is our home-grown strength and mobility assessment, to learn if there are any physical constraints holding you back. And our data points on your performance go way beyond the standard repertoire of traditional baseball statistics.
- Pitch speed
- Vertical and horizontal pitch launch angles
- Spin rate
- Pitch spin axis
- Pitch spin tilt
- Release height
- Release side
- Pitch strike zone height
- Pitch strike zone offset
- Approach speed
- Vertical and horizontal approach angles
- Pitch time
- Vertical / horizontal break and movement
All pitch related tracked data is available to our players and their family via the FlightScope app.
An example I heard discussed not too long ago considered a high school player who thought he had an outstanding slider with 2-inches of vertical movement and six-inches of horizontal movement on the break. It might be outstanding if hitters don’t see this kind of pitch very often. Or it might not. What if every other top high school pitcher in his conference throws a pitch with similar characteristics? Would that pitch help that pitcher stand out? It would not. What if he changes his arm slot every time he throws the slider, making it easier for hitters to key on that pitch? Similarly, what amount of velocity is necessary at a given level of baseball to be considered “elite”? This is an age specific question. How much control is needed? This is not an age specific question. The way you navigate and find answers to these questions is by working with a professional coach to assess, which is something we do extremely well.
Many people believe that soreness in an arm after throwing is due to the build up of lactic acid. This is an incorrect view. Lactic acid is formed when your body isn’t getting enough oxygen to muscles for those muscles to meet the work demand being placed upon them. In these cases, the body uses an anaerobic process to generate oxygen chemically. The by-product of that anerobic process is lactic acid. When lactic acid builds up, muscles feel sore. But the truth is that throwing a baseball is a very short, violent activity. It does not engage an anerobic process. So if your arm or shoulder are sore after throwing you are in fact causing some level of damage to tissue.