I read a quote from Eric Cressey the other day, “The most important preparation for a successful OFF-SEASON is an effective IN SEASON training plan. You’ll never make optimal long-term progress if you struggle once a year to get back to the same initial starting point.”
He is inferring that the best way to make continual gains in strength during the off-season is to not regress during the season from the gains made in the previous off-season.
At the Texas Baseball Ranch, we believe the same is true when it comes to throwing, but in a little different sense… taking time off during the off-season.
If we take a significant amount of time off from throwing completely in the off-season, like it often is suggested, then it is going to be extremely hard to continually make gains from one year to the next.
For example, if a pitcher takes 6 weeks completely off from throwing, it’s going to take him at least 6 more weeks (if not longer) just to get back to where he was before. This is now 12+ weeks (3+ months) until the player is ready to try to improve upon his velocity, command, secondary stuff, etc.
Because of that, he has drastically reduced or even eliminated the amount of time he has to get better before the next season starts.
Rest is not the same as recovery. Rest causes atrophy.
We are not saying a pitcher should pitch year-round, throw bullpens, or do a Velocity Enhancement Program for the entire off-season, but we do believe that a pitcher should continue to throw year-round while cycling in an active recovery period of throwing for a few weeks after the season.
This is a period where he continues to throw, just not in a max-effort or high-volume manner that could cause trauma. Instead, in a manner that is working on connection and restoring proper throwing movements.
An example would be playing catch or throwing in the Durathro™ Sock using drills that limit your degrees of freedom, like Marshall 1 and Walking Torques, for a few weeks.
This way, the ramp up back to where he was beforehand should only take a few weeks.
Now he has added 6 extra weeks or more to make improvements before he has to go into preseason mode and start getting ready for the next season.
So, if you are struggling to make optimal long-term progress in your throwing, then making sure you maximize your off-season training is critical. And the best way to do that is to continue to throw.
If you did stop throwing completely, don’t panic! Just start back up ASAP and allow your ramp up to be at least as long as your time off was. We see a lot of injuries happen because the ramp up time in the off-season is too short to be ready for the season.
Until Next Time… Keep Getting After It!
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There are some very specific ways for you to get involved with us at the Texas Baseball Ranch over the next couple months. We’d love to have you join us for one of them…
For Pitchers: We have 3 Elite Pitchers Bootcamp dates (Thanksgiving Break, Christmas Break & Martin Luther King Holiday. For more information go to: https://www.
For Catchers: (Yes, you read that right!) We’re excited to announce our first Elite Catchers Boot Camp for catchers ages 14 & up. The camp is full but you can be added to a wait list should someone cancel. More information on this event and the amazing group of instructors can be found at: https://www.
For Coaches: Order the DVDs for our upcoming (December) Ultimate Pitching Coaches Bootcamp. The event itself has sold out but you can still purchase the DVDs at the regular rate until Oct. 31st (Save $100). This event is known as the Gold Standard in the industry and this year’s lineup of speakers is incredible! Check it out at www.coachesbootcamp.com