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Velocity Enhancement

  1. A New Twist on a Great Idea by Randy Sullivan

    Company Logo     Dominic was hurt. He was just finishing his first college baseball season and he could barely lift his arm. The 5'11" lefty was topping out at 76 mph, and although he's a pretty tough guy, he said that every time he threw a ball it felt like he was being stabbed in the back of his shoulder. He had been to several doctors and had had multiple X-rays, a CT scan and an MRI, but no one could find any reason for his pain. Continue reading →
  2. Can Everyone Train and Reach 90 m.p.h.?

    Those of you who are familiar with the Texas Baseball Ranch know the success it has had helping athletes make incredible gains in velocity—of course, Oates Specialties equipment aids these athletes in reaching their goals. Coach Ron Wolforth has adopted a mantra whereby he believes that every single athlete that walks through the Texas Baseball Ranch’s doors (actually, it’s a gate) can reach the 90 mile-per-hour threshold. This is quite the opposite from the old world baseball people that believe you either have it or you don’t—essentially, you either have been blessed with the genetics to throw harder than the rest of society or you haven't. I (obviously) think that the latter thought process is simply a coping mechanism as a way for people to try and make up for their shortcomings—whether it’s a coach that can’t help his players increase their velocities or a player who isn’t willing to work hard enough or isn’t willing to learn enough in order to improve his velocity. Continue reading →
  3. Improved Weighted Ball Holds with the TAP Baseball Training Sock

    This post is dedicated to a new product in the Oates Specialties lineup: the TAP Baseball Training Sock. Before I discuss how the Training Sock can be used and its benefits, it is probably best to describe its genesis. The Training Sock was developed under the guidance of Ron Wolforth and Randy Sullivan, as part of a modified, and improved, ball hold program. 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. 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 →
  6. What's Your Goal?

    One of the most common interactions I have with coaches and players goes something like this: “Brian, I just got home from the Texas Baseball Ranch (or bought Coach Wolforth’s DVDs) and I am at a loss as to what workouts/drills I should implement and, accordingly, what equipment to buy. Coach Wolforth uses almost all of your equipment at the Ranch (or on the DVD), but we only have a limited amount of time to implement some of the workouts/drills and I don’t know what items are best to purchase. What do you think are the most critical pieces of equipment I should get to help myself/my players? What would you buy if you were just starting out? What was most helpful to you when you were playing?” Continue reading →
  7. How to Achieve a Late Launch

    In my last blog I discussed what a late launch is and why it is critical to an efficient delivery. Understanding what is meant by a late release and what it looks like is extremely valuable, but if you don’t know how to train yourself or your pitchers to have it then the knowledge is not very useful. Therefore, this blog will describe a few of the drills that Coach Ron Wolforth uses to teach his athletes at the Texas Baseball Ranch how to achieve a late launch. Continue reading →
  8. The Importance of a Late Launch

    I haven’t posted a blog in a couple of months due to an extremely hectic schedule. First, I was busy preparing for and taking law school finals in December. When finals ended my father and I were busy shooting some videos of new products that we recently added to the Oates Specialties product line (I will be featuring those products on future blogs). I then attended Coach Ron Wolforth’s Elite Pitcher’s Bootcamp down at the Texas Baseball Ranch in Montgomery, Texas in order to catch up on the newest drills, philosophies, and thought processes occurring at the Ranch. We then ended this busy time by attending the American Baseball Coaches Association Convention in Chicago, Illinois and the Texas High School Coaches Association Convention in Waco, Texas. My dad and I enjoyed seeing many of you at these conventions. Although my hiatus was longer than I intended, I came away with a number of great blog topics that I will be posting over the next few weeks/months. Continue reading →
  9. Connection Ball

    In my post last week I discussed the arm positions that all pitchers should travel through during their delivery if they want to maximize the efficiency of their movement patterns and minimize the stress put on their arm. For the purposes of a quick recap, the 3 key positions that a pitcher should work to make sure he is in are: 1) At foot strike the elbow should be slightly below the shoulder. 2) At foot strike the forearm should be at or inside of 90 degrees with the arm. 3) As the pitcher rotates toward the plate and begins to square his chest up with the catcher his glove side should firm up to provide something stable to rotate into. Continue reading →
  10. Correct Arm Positions when Throwing

    There are several phrases that most of us who have been around the game of baseball have heard over the years: “Get your elbow up.” “Reach back to get more velocity.” “Pull/tuck your glove side to help speed up and get your arm through the zone.” I know I have heard some variety of these common sayings too many times...

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