Brian's Blog

  1. Implementing Effective Velocity

    My last blog discussed the basic concept of Perry Husband’s Effective Velocity. It is a truly remarkable theory that can be tremendously helpful to pitchers, but only if they know how to appropriately utilize it. As a disclaimer, in no way am I claiming to be an Effective Velocity guru, or that I understand all of its intricacies. But on the most basic level I want to share how Effective Velocity can be incorporated by a pitcher in order to help his game. There are two important concepts to effectively using the theory: pitch sequence and tunneling. These concepts in some ways overlap. Continue reading →
  2. Effective Velocity

    I have written approximately 100 blogs over the last several years and the topics of those blogs have ranged from particular workouts to conditioning equipment to philosophies. Today, I am writing about a topic that I am dismayed I haven’t addressed before: effective velocity. I was first introduced to the concept of effective velocity approximately 8-9 years ago when my Dad and I met Perry Husband, the man responsible for creating EV (as it is commonly referred to). To be candid, the catalyst for this blog was a tremendous article that Jason Turbow wrote on June 18th on SB Nation. After reading Turbow’s piece, I knew that as many baseball people as possible needed to be introduced to this concept, and the least I could do is share it with our circle. Continue reading →
  3. A Student of the Game vs. A Fan of the Game

    I was recently on the road and had an opportunity to catch up on some of Coach Ron and Jill Wolforth’s audio CDs that Inner Circle members receive once a month on a variety of topics. I highly recommend becoming an Inner Circle member for those of you wanting to stay up to date on Coach Wolforth’s philosophies and to hear him and Jill discuss some of the most cutting edge topics in the game. The topic of this blog comes from one of Coach Wolforth’s discussions on his Inner Circle audio CDs. Continue reading →
  4. Behavior of the Lead Leg

    I wrote a blog last year that described how a pitcher should use his lower half during his delivery. That blog dismissed the other approaches that many coaches take while teaching pitching mechanics such as “drop and drive,” “tall and fall,” and the “up-down and glide out.” The best way to describe the appropriate use of a pitcher’s lower half is “load while moving forward.” Elite pitchers actually stay taller/straighter with their balance leg at the beginning of the delivery, but as they move down the mound the angle of their back leg increases, meaning their lower half generates a greater load as the forward movement toward home plate occurs. Here are a few pictures of this loading. Continue reading →
  5. The "I've Got It Now" Mentality

    People often try to categorize athletes into two types. There are the talented “freaks” born with endless natural ability that never seem to have to work very hard to perform amazing feats. And then there are the rest of us. Those who didn’t throw 90+ mph as a sophomore in high school or blast 400+ foot home runs at 16 years of age. Fortunately, those people are wrong. There is another group of athletes too: those athletes who work their butts off to improve and over time become elite athletes. The people who try to categorize athletes into just the first two groups I mentioned above often take the approach that throwing 90+ mph is simply a God-given ability that can’t be taught. At some point, I’ll address just how wrong that type of thinking is and why that philosophy is really just a crutch. This post, however, primarily addresses those athletes who have worked hard to reach their athletic goals, although it also has some use to those fortunate athletes who are supremely talented from a very young age too. Continue reading →
  6. Running Poles: A Waste of Time

    Long distance running, such as running poles, has been discussed, blogged about, and been the topic of much debate in the baseball community. It seems as though most of the leading minds in baseball have reached a consensus that long distance running does nothing to help a pitcher. Yet here I am, writing a blog about this same topic. But there is a reason why I decided to do it. Long distance running, and running poles specifically, is still used by many coaches throughout the nation as a form of conditioning. Even some coaches I know very well and have frequent discussions with about training athletes for the specific demands of baseball still require their athletes to run long distance. It is really sort of unbelievable, but I suppose old habits die hard. Continue reading →
  7. Efficiency in Athletic Movement

    All athletes, regardless of their sport, ultimately seek to become a more athletic version of their current self. They want to be able to run faster, jump higher, throw it harder, and hit it further. One of the most important factors that will help athletes achieve this is to become more efficient with their movements. Efficiency is critical because in order to become a superior athlete, there can’t be any wasted movements. Every single movement that an athlete makes during any activity should be contributing directly to helping that athlete achieve the intended goal of the movement. Efficiency in an athlete’s mechanics has two great nemeses—time and tension. These two factors, if allowed to creep into an athlete’s movements, will prevent an athlete from being as mechanically sound as he could be, and will result in decreased performance levels. Let me address time and tension separately. Continue reading →
  8. The Texas Baseball Ranch's "Big 6"

    Coach Ron Wolforth at the Texas Baseball Ranch has established what he considers to be the “Big 6” for his athletes at the Ranch. The “Big 6” are the 6 elements Coach Wolforth believes are most critical for a pitcher to master in order to be exceptional. In my last blog I discussed the first critical element out of the 6—pain. Pain must be eliminated before an athlete can push himself harder on a consistent basis and make improvements, such as better velocity and command. Pain is a giant hurdle to any athlete’s ability to be successful. But once the pain is diminished, and eventually extinguished, a pitcher has other aspects of his game that need to be targeted and improved. The remaining 5 elements that athletes who train at the Texas Baseball Ranch focus on are: throwing 66% of off-speed pitches for strikes; fastball velocity at 3-5 mph faster than competitive peer group; Improving recovery time between outings; Improving the mind set; and having personal integrity. Continue reading →
  9. The Texas Baseball Ranch's Approach to Pain

    In my last blog I discussed why paying attention to pain is so critical in order for athletes to diagnose the cause of the pain. If an athlete can figure out the root of the pain then he can start working to correct the issue in order to diminish the amount of pain felt, which in turn will help to improve the athlete’s performance on the field. It is because of this that Coach Ron Wolforth has made pain the first of his “Big 6” at the Texas Baseball Ranch. The “Big 6” are the 6 elements that Coach Wolforth has labeled as most important to an athlete if he wants to succeed. I will discuss the other five components that encompass the Big 6 in upcoming blogs, but today I am just going to focus on the first—Pain. Continue reading →
  10. Pain: Your Body’s Way of Talking to You

    We have all experienced pain at some point in our lives. It can be a sharp, shooting pain that brings you to your knees, often referred to as acute pain, that is generally of short duration. Or it can be a dull, numbing pain, often called chronic pain, that is an ongoing condition and generally doesn’t make you stop what you are doing, but is an ever present discomfort. Continue reading →

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