Many sports require an athlete to repeat the same motion or movement time and time again which can cause the athlete's body to become unbalanced. Whether the athlete is throwing a baseball, softball, football, shot-put, or discus, or he is swinging a bat, golf club, or tennis racket, these activities force the athlete to use the same muscles through the same range of motion numerous times. This repetitive use by the same muscle groups causes certain muscles to become much stronger than their opposing muscles and according to Mark Verstegen, founder of Athletes Performance, "About 65% of injuries come from overuse, which is repetitive use of joints that are rendered dysfunctional by muscular imbalances."
A warm up routine. Everybody has one, from California to New York, from little league to the big leagues. Before practice or games a warm up is necessary to prepare players for the competition soon to ensue. Although everybody does it and knows the importance of a good warm up routine, so many people get it wrong. Too often, it's a slow jog from one foul pole to the other followed by players "circling it up" to spend 10 minutes static stretching their cold muscles. Coaches and players all over the nation are guilty of this awful sham of a warm up. These players are no more ready for competition than if they had just rolled out of bed.
In this blog I want to discuss a few exercises and devices that can help improve the trajectory of pitches in a pitcher’s arsenal. For those of you who read my last blog or are familiar with the importance of pitch trajectory you already know that pitchers who can throw all of their pitches on the same plane as one another will more easily deceive the hitter and generally experience more success than pitchers who can not. This is because the flight path of the ball is the first thing a hitter processes and if a pitcher throws his breaking ball on a higher plane, meaning the ball pops out of the hand and has a larger arch on its way to the catcher’s mitt, then a hitter will quickly realize an off-speed pitch is on the way, giving him a better opportunity to be on time at contact.
Pitch trajectory is an extremely important but generally overlooked aspect of pitching. Most pitchers and pitching coaches spend their time focused on mechanics, velocity, or command and don’t think about the significance of how their pitches appear to hitters they face. For those of you wondering what I mean by pitch trajectory I’m talking about the path that a ball takes from the pitcher’s hand at release point to the catcher’s mitt.
As I find myself in the middle of the summer I think back to the many baseball games I played throughout past summers. Whether it was Little League All-Stars, select teams in high school, or the summers in college playing in New England, North Carolina, and Cape Cod, I spent a hefty portion of my life playing ball during the summer time. This is far from rare as the common thought in baseball is that if you are serious about the sport you will play year around. Summer ball into fall ball into the regular spring season and so on.
Oates Specialties is a family owned and operated business. Since starting the company in 2003 with baseball as its primary focus, Robert and Gloria Oates, along with their son Brian, have worked diligently to develop a line of quality athletic conditioning tools that is unparalleled. We hope you enjoy our product line, videos, and blog. Contact us if we can help you in any way!