Monday, June 12, 2023
Sunday, October 23, 2022
Do you want to know the right things to focus on in your off-season pitching program? Do you want to know when you should be up on the mound pitching? When should you be working on command and pitch design? I will show you the solution I used to get Proper Pitching Mechanics. I'll outline how I did it in detail, including what I did in the off-season to ensure I was prepared for the season.
If you're a baseball fan who's been struggling to find the right pitching off-season program, this episode is for you. You'll learn how to assess a pitcher's functional movements and get proper pitching mechanics.
The narrator describes a problem they were facing: off-season throwing programs and how to keep their kid's arm safe and happy. They go on to say that there are many misunderstood ideas about what an offseason pitching program should look like and that people are stuck in outdated mindsets. The narrator then introduces their solution: a specific program they designed with Kevin and Ben's help. The program includes throwing once a week, working on command and pitch design, and focusing on things like Band work and tile drills.
Here are the steps you need to follow also to get Proper Pitching Mechanics:
Assessment for a pitching program should include a physical evaluation to check for any limitations in range of motion or flexibility. This will help to identify any areas that may need to be addressed in the training program. A functional movement screen can also help assess movement patterns and identify any potential issues. Once any limitations have been identified, a pitching coach can create a program to help improve those areas.
A physical assessment is not the only assessment that should be conducted for a pitching program. A coach should also assess the pitcher's mechanics. This can be done by filming the pitcher throwing and then analyzing the footage. This will help to identify any flaws in the mechanics that may be causing the pitcher to be less effective. Once any deficiencies have been identified, the coach can then work on correcting them. It is also essential to assess the pitcher's strength and conditioning. This can be done by conducting tests such as the vertical jump and the bench press. This will help identify areas where the pitcher may be weak and need to focus on in their training. Once the areas of weakness have been identified, the coach can create a program to help the pitcher improve.
The second step of the process is to focus on movement. This means working on drills and exercises that help improve your range of motion and flexibility. This is important for pitchers because it helps them stay healthy and prevents injuries. It is also important for developing proper mechanics and increasing velocity.
Working on your movement can also help you develop better control of your pitches. This is important for pitchers who want to be able to consistently throw strikes and get batters out. By improving your range of motion and flexibility, you will be able to better control your pitches and throw them with more accuracy. It is also important to focus on your balance when working on your pitching mechanics. This is something that can be improved with proper exercises and drills. By improving your balance, you will be able to throw pitches with more power and accuracy.
The third step in the process is to assess the pitcher's movement patterns and identify any areas of concern. This can be done through a variety of different methods, including video analysis, physical assessment, and/or strength and conditioning testing. Once any areas of concern are identified, a plan can be put in place to correct them. This may involve a variety of different techniques, including corrective exercises, manual therapy, and/or strength and conditioning training.
It is important to note that not all movement patterns are considered equal. Some may be more important to the pitcher's performance than others. For example, a pitcher with a poor arm action may be more likely to experience elbow or shoulder problems down the road. As such, it is important to prioritize the areas of concern and address them in order of importance. Finally, it is important to remember that the goal is not to completely eliminate all movement flaws. Instead, the goal is to reduce the risk of injury and improve the pitcher's overall performance. This can be done by correcting the most problematic areas and then working to improve the overall efficiency of the pitcher's delivery.
The right things to focus on in your off season pitching program are command and pitch design. You should also work on things like Band work and tile drills. Proper pitching mechanics are important for developing proper mechanics and increasing velocity.
I'd love to hear how you apply The Offseason Pitching Program to get Proper Pitching Mechanics. Leave me a comment on how it went for you or drop any questions you want me to answer!
Monday, September 5, 2022
PITCH SMART is a good starting point when protecting young pitchers from injury. However, this measure is not enough on its own. Coaches need additional evaluative tools to determine whether a pitcher can safely pitch. This blog post will discuss other steps coaches should use to keep their pitchers safe.
As we discussed in a previous blog post, the number of pitches thrown in a game is not an accurate measure of a pitcher's fatigue or risk of injury. The pitch count only tells us how many times a pitcher has thrown the ball, not how hard they were throwing it, how long they rested between pitches, or what kind of stress they were under while pitching.
Instead of relying exclusively on the pitch count, coaches should also consider factors such as the pitcher's velocity, the number of strikeouts, and the number of walks. These additional measures can give coaches a complete picture of a pitcher's in-game health and help them make more informed decisions about when to take a pitcher out of the game.
In addition to using these evaluative tools, coaches should ensure that their pitchers are adequately rested and hydrated before taking the mound. Pitchers who are tired or dehydrated are more likely to experience arm injuries, so it is vital to ensure that they are well-rested and hydrated before allowing them to pitch.
By using a combination of PITCH SMART and other evaluative tools, coaches can help protect their pitchers from injury and keep them on the mound for extended periods.
In addition to pitch count, we need to test a few vital things if we truly want to start preventing injury.
We have to measure:
1. The quality of movement at the shoulder, neck, scapula, elbow, pelvis, and lower extremities
2. Strength of the core, shoulder girdle, and rotator cuff
3. Arm path and general pitching mechanics
Let's talk about these one at a time: Quality of Movement
I like to keep things very simple. Over the last 20 years of my clinical practice, I have developed a movement test called G.A.M.E. or Graded Active Movement Exam. GAME measures the initial neurological sequence of movement. The theory is that if the movement is wrong, the whole movement is bad or dysfunctional. If you throw a pitch on the wrong basic movement of the body, just one pitch could cause injury.
I have two specific tests that measure the quality and sequence of shoulder and shoulder girdle movement. The initial sequence of move of the shoulder is scapular depression. The vertebral border of the scapula must be depressed to allow the scapula to turn upwards like the wheel on a ship. This relationship of movement is called the Scapular Thoracic Rhythm. Depending on what reference you read, that ratio is anywhere from 3 to 2 or 1 to 1.
The two tests in GAME that I use specifically for the U.E. U.E., The Free Throw Test and the Shoulder Coordination Test, measure shoulder AROM and the Scapular Humeral Rhythm simultaneously. If the basics of your movement are dysfunctional, every movement is dysfunctional. If a pitcher fails these movements, there is no possible way he could be throwing correctly.
CORE AND ARM STRENGTH
Pitching is primarily and eccentric muscle activity. The body and the arm are working to "slow down". This can be an entire blog on this subject alone, but trust me the arm is slowing down so that it does not come out of its socket and hit the guy in the front row. Every pitch is thrown, correctly or incorrectly, can chip away at the body's overall arm and core strength. You would not go on a trip with the gas tank on 1/8. Measuring strength is a necessary test that must be done between innings. Even after a few innings, I have seen strength dimmish 50% to 75%. On the contrary, despite the pitch count, I have seen strength stay relatively the same. This is why arm strength is important to the entire pitcher's health and well-being.
ARM PATH AND MECHANICS
This is a controversial topic, with many people weighing in on what is right and what is wrong. I will offer my two cents. You must only accelerate your arm with gravity. If you accelerate the arm against gravity, you are going to lose in the end. Whatever your position is, baseball needs a pitching avatar. This avatar would have measurable benchmarks at each step of the way in the pitching delivery. We all know that as one fatigue, it is harder to maintain form in anything physical, especially pitching. Each coach would need to create pitching mechanic markers. I will tell you that what I call ALPHABET SOUP, the M, T, and W arm paths are destructive to arms. They are "teaches," meaning someone taught the pitcher to throw like that. No child in the world picks up a ball for the first time and gets into these ridiculous arm path positions, which causes the arm to be late or behind the speed of the trunk, leaving the arm with way too much applied force. Please stop teaching such nonsense and injurious mechanics.
Although pitch count can be a valuable metric to assess pitcher health, it is no longer the only factor that should be considered. Strength, range of motion, and pitching mechanics also need to be evaluated to ensure pitchers can stay healthy and continue pitching at their highest level. If you have any questions about how our services can help your athletes, please do not hesitate to contact us @ 978-651-1812. Email us @email@example.com or for more information, check out www.gametest.live or www.perfectmotionsportstherapy.com.
We would love to hear from you!
Tuesday, August 16, 2022
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February 28, 2022
Joint Pain in the Cold: Three Theories Behind Winter Joint Pain
Is Cold Weather Affecting your Sensitivity to Pain? Is the Cold Weather Causing Muscle Spasms? Is the Cold Weather Causing the Tissues Inside the Joints to Expand?It’s that time of the year when the temperature begins to drop. If you’re an active person you know that this is also the time nagging aches and pains resurface. You’ll feel these unpleasant and sometimes unbearable sensations around your joints.
If you’re familiar with cold-weather joint pain, you’re not alone!
According to the (CDC), about 23% of Americans have arthritis. This means around 58 million people stock up on knee wraps and Tylenol for the winter.
We can always blame the weather, but what is it about the cold that causes joint pain to flare up?
According to WebMD, cold weather creates the dreaded pain and stiffness around your joints by:
Cold Weather and Pain Sensitivity
The nervous system — particularly the nerve endings — is essential to the perception of sensations. The nerve endings are responsible for taking sensations like temperature and pain felt on the skin and transporting them through the body as electrical signals. These electrical signals make their way to the brain where they are either processed as pain or pleasure.
As the temperature drops, the cold stimulates the nerve endings. Because the sensation is of the air and not pressure, a different signal goes to the brain. In a 2020 study, cold — particularly extreme cold — has been shown to elicit a sensation that is identical to pain.
By default, the cold is not the cause of actual pain. However, the study above suggests that you’ll perceive cold temperatures as pain when the cold becomes “too cold.”
Cold Weather Joint Pain as a Result of Muscle Spasms
Other than increasing your pain sensitivity, the cold also affects your muscles. Muscle spasms occur more frequently during the colder times of the year.
One of the ways your body tries to maintain its temperature is by muscle contraction. In other words, when the temperature drops, your muscles will be activated – this is why you shiver!
For some people, shivering hardly leads to pain. However, for anyone suffering from arthritis, spinal cord injury, and other neuromotor issues, prolonged shivering causes spasms.
When the muscles spasm or “freeze up,” the pain can be unbearable, often resembling a cramp. During muscle spasms, the joints that spastic muscles surround can be painful and stiff.
Stiffness is common on the nearby muscles of small joints like the fingers and toes. Muscle spasms in the quadriceps from the cold also lead to stiffness and pain in weight-bearing joints. Examples of weight-bearing joints are the knees, ankles, and hips.
Tissue Expansion and Joint Pain in the Cold
Lastly, another theory that accounts for the pain you feel in your joints during the winter involves tissue expansion. According to the University of Chicago Medical Center, cold temperatures have a way of affecting air pressure. This is important because of how tissues inside your joints respond to changes in pressure.
Decreases in air pressure can cause the tissues inside the joints to expand. The expansion is also partly due to the increase in fluid.
Both reactions are meant to keep the joints mobile during cold weather. The problem is that the expansion of tissues can lead to pain for arthritis patients.
As the joints expand, they press on the pain receptors close to the skin. The pressure on the pain receptors causes pain in the area where the joint is. Most of the time, the pain radiates or spreads to nearby areas, making simple tasks like walking or gripping problematic.
Can Anything Be Done about Winter Joint Pain?
Yes! Here are some simple tips to manage your flare-ups:
If there is no need to exert yourself, why bother? Sometimes resting the affected limb or joint is enough to cause relief.
Warmth and Compression
During the cold months, it’s important to stay warm. Not only should you be dressing in warm layers, but sometimes compressive clothing can be helpful as well. Compression will be helpful on the weight-bearing joints (areas like ankles and knees)
When Allowed, Consider Over-the-counter Pain Medications
There are many medications you can take to alleviate joint pain. Most of the time, these medications are NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications). These medications were formulated to stop pain by decreasing inflammation.
Speak to a physician before you purchase pain medications.
Manage Winter Joint Pain with Physical Therapy
The cold weather can cause your joints to hurt unbearably. If the tips above do little to help, there is another solution.
Physical therapy can help alleviate pain, whatever the cause. With therapy, your joints can regain their health and natural range of motion.
Contact us now and give winter joint pain to the cold shoulder.
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