Shopping Cart - 0 item

You have no items in your shopping cart.

Wake-up Warm-up

  • Ideal World vs. Real World Arm Care By: Gunnar Thompson, NASM-CPT, PES, CPPS

    I want to provide some feedback and tips that I have learned from my time as a pitcher.  To provide a little more information about myself, I was an undersized individual with the heart and will to do whatever it took to succeed. I cannot tell you how many times I was told that I was not big enough to accomplish my dreams. But through sheer determination, I became the ace of my high school pitching staff, topped out at 92mph off the mound, and received a college scholarship from a nationally ranked junior college. I would not have had any of this success without proper arm care. I never would have thrown as hard or been able to answer the bell and take the mound each time my coach called on me without it. Proper arm care allowed me to achieve success in my baseball career.  Most people would probably agree that arm care is critical for success, but let me ask you one question. Do you have obstacles preventing you from your ideal arm care routine?

    If you answered no to this question then, like Coach Ron Wolforth often says, “you did not understand the question.”  We all face obstacles in the game of baseball, but there seems to be a lot more when it comes to things like arm care. I am convinced this is because arm care is not glorious or fancy.  After a game, everybody wants to shower and eat, and family and friends want to talk to you, just to name a few of the post-game distractions. Another obstacle is that you often need special (expensive) equipment in order to implement proper warm-up and cool down protocols. I see on Instagram the craze with cryotherapy, deep tissue massage, electrical stimulation devices, and so on. I believe each one of these devices and techniques could have a place in health and recovery. But are these expensive, time-consuming recovery techniques applicable in the REAL WORLD or only in the IDEAL WORLD? I for one believe they realistically could only be used in the IDEAL setting. Perhaps some professional facilities or a fully equipped training room would have these options at your disposal. Realistically, the majority of people do not have the space, money, or expertise to use such equipment day in and day out.

    So now what?  A typical baseball player faces many obstacles such as a lack of time and equipment, so how does one overcome these? I would like to share the way I overcame these obstacles, and how I wish I would have overcome others in the past. I believe first and foremost it is critical to realize arm care is a MUST not just something you hope or strive to do.  The next thing to combat is time. I remember times where we would be late arriving to games because of school, schedules, traffic, and other unavoidable things. So to overcome this, I would carry my glove and a weighted ball to class on game days. I felt like just holding and moving the weighted ball around would help me be loose for the game. I remember carrying my wrist weights to class, and I would perform exercises to loosen up. I would make sure that I had everything in my bag that I needed. I recommend never relying on someone else to bring something when it is this important. I would always find a quick 10 minute window to perform resistance tubing exercises. Finally, I would never pick-up a baseball without throwing weighted balls first, even if it was only a couple of throws, because it was critical for me and the health of my arm.  When I look back, I wish the Baseball Training Sock would have been around for me to use because I could have performed weighted ball throws on the bus or in class.

    All of the above occurred before the game, but after the game there are even more distractions. As I stated earlier, your teammates are ready to go eat or celebrate (if victorious) or people want to see you, which can pressure you to rush or even skip a proper cool down routine. I would do the same things I just mentioned above on the bus ride home. If we were home that day, I would perform my IDEAL cool down. I was and am a big proponent on doing what you did to warm-up to cool down as well. I do believe I would have greatly benefitted from the compression floss to enhance my recovery since I could perform it anywhere, and reap the rewards.

    Now what about equipment? I whole-heartedly believe that some equipment is needed to have a great arm care routine. The equipment that I utilized on a daily basis was resistance tubing, weighted balls, wrist weights, and exercise bands. You would never find me without this equipment. If I was still playing, I would also include the baseball training sock and the compression floss as well. If you look at the cost of these items, they are relatively inexpensive, and certainly far less expensive than some of the items I mentioned previously. One of the reasons I know how blessed I am to work for Oates Specialties LLC is because I personally used the products. They helped me in more ways than I can describe, and it did not cost my parents a fortune. That does not mean to say they did not spend a lot elsewhere, but I remember my mom and dad would let me pick one item at a time. Slowly I began to accumulate everything (including first class instruction) I needed to succeed. Fortunately, you do not need expensive tools to have a good arm care protocol. I believe you only need a few pieces of equipment and the knowledge of how to incorporate them.

    Am I saying there is not a place for the more expensive implements? Absolutely not. You can use all different types of equipment to enhance your arm care and recovery regimen. There are clearly reasons why professional teams spend a ton of money equipping their training rooms with such equipment.  I just believe they are used in an IDEAL setting, which can be attainable sometimes, but not all the time.

    In conclusion, there are numerous obstacles or hurdles that can get in the way of accomplishing your goal. To me, these obstacles were the most acute when dealing with arm care, and I just wanted to provide information on how I personally overcame them. We each have our own specific obstacles, so figure out what it is that may be preventing you from succeeding, and find a way to combat it!

    Be Unique and #BeELITE!

  • 5 Reasons Athlete’s Underachieve - by Coach Ron Wolforth

    The 5 Most Common Reasons 95% of ALL Athletes Underachieve and Never Reach Their God Given Potential

     More Importantly…What Can You Learn From The Texas Baseball Ranch™ to Overcome Those Obstacles…and Assist You in Transforming Your Career?

    Skill development is truly NOT rocket science. Why more people don’t ‘get’ this simple concept I truly have no idea but I’m very grateful for it because in all frankness it affords me a very good living.

    Continue reading

  • 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

  • Baseball Specific Warm Up

    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.

    Continue reading

  • Hitting Weighted Balls

    Last week I wrote about our newest weighted balls, the TAP Extreme Duty, and how many coaches are using them in hitting drills in addition to their pitchers’ throwing programs. I recently had the pleasure to speak with Mike Ryan, owner of Fastball USA training center located outside of Chicago, Illinois, about using the TAP Extreme Duty weighted balls with his hitters. Coach Ryan has been using the weighted balls for the last three months and was able to give me some great feedback.

    Continue reading

  • Christmas Elite Pitcher's Boot Camp: Day 1

    Today was the first day of Ron Wolforth’s Elite Pitcher’s Boot Camp at the Texas Baseball Ranch and because I will be in attendance all three days I decided that I would post a few blogs about some of my observations while there. For those of you unfamiliar with this camp it is, in my opinion, the absolute best for a baseball athlete, whether a pitcher or position player. Although it is definitely geared toward pitchers, the theme of the 3 day camp is to help athletes maximize their athletic ability by training the body to move faster and more explosively than ever before.

    Continue reading

  • Visit to Hanover High School in VA

    Last week I had the opportunity to travel to Mechanicsville, VA, a suburb of Richmond, to visit with Coach Hunter Hoy at Hanover High School. Since Hanover High School opened 8 years ago, their baseball program has become a dominant baseball force in Virginia, culminating with an appearance in the State Championship game 2 years ago. Due to the success of his high school program, I was very interested to see the types of workouts and practices Coach Hoy implements for his players.

    Continue reading

  • The Need for an Off-Season

    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.

    Continue reading

  • Trevor Bauer "Javelin"

    For those of you who have been watching the College Baseball World Series you have most likely seen a clip of UCLA's ace pitcher Trevor Bauer and what the announcers (namely Nomar Garciaparra) are calling his Javelin. The camera's have been focusing on Bauer using the Javelin during his warm ups before the game and between innings. The "Javelin" is in fact Oates Specialties' Shoulder Tube.

    Continue reading

  • Importance of Strong Feet and Ankles

    I spoke with Ron Wolforth of Pitching Central and the Baseball Ranch yesterday and we began talking about his summer workout program. As usual with Coach Wolforth, there are a number of new innovative aspects to his 2010 summer program. However, the aspect which really captured my attention was the amount of barefoot activities the athletes out at the Ranch are being asked to do. The plyometric warm ups, including the rugby's, are all done without shoes in a sand pit. The sand pit is also utilized for running sprints and other conditioning exercises. On top of this, Coach Wolforth has his athletes perform hitting drills barefoot.

    Continue reading

Items 1 to 10 of 11 total

  1. 1
  2. 2
Oates Specialties LLC

Sign up for our newsletter to get the latest product news and exclusive special offers!