Baseball and Softball Throwing Development
Updated Monday March 18, 2019 by Next Level Athletic Development LLC.
Baseball and softball throwing development:
We perform a physical and hitting evaluation prior to beginning any throwing development with an athlete. The physical evaluation may consist of isolated joint range of motion measurements, lower body and upper body power tests, and overall movement quality under load with basic strength training movements. The throwing evaluation may consist of the following depending on current throwing preparedness of the athlete and whether they are a pitcher or position player:
- A bullpen using Rapsodo pitching technology and Motus throw technology that allows us to measure velocity, spin axis, spin rate, spin efficiency, vertical break, horizontal break and tunneling of pitches. As well as horizontal and vertical release angle.
- Motus throw data using the Motus arm sleeve to determine arm speed, dynamic shoulder rotation in degrees, arm slot in degrees and elbow stress of each pitch in newton meters.
- Video of the overall throwing pattern
- Video specifically of the hand/arm at ball release of each pitch
Following the evaluation, we discuss the results with the athlete and detail both a short and long-term individualized development plan with them. Based on specific goals/needs, an athlete’s training plan may include all or some of the following:
- Training tools such as Driveline weighted baseballs and plyocare balls or for softball, Chad Longworth’s softballs: Lantz Wheeler’s Core Velocity belt: Medicine balls for patterning
- On ramping for either throwing volume development or improving movement patterns during the throw
- Specific command development phase using the core velo belt, various weighted ball throws to challenge proprioception, dedicated mound work with specific spot challenges and slow motion video
- Specific pitch design phase using Rapsodo Pitching, Motus Throw and slow-motion video of ball release
- Velocity development phase using Pocket Radar, Motus Throw, long toss, weighted baseballs/plyo balls and higher intent movement patterns both on the mound and off the mound with medicine balls
- Blending/mound phase combing command work and velocity development
We take an integrated approach to throwing development by designing the athlete’s physical development program to address any physical issues that may be limiting an optimal throwing performance. Likewise, we continually work together to plan when an athlete will have a high intensity day with throwing development and thus lower intensity day training and vice versa.