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Tag Archives: pitcher

  • “Khaos” Training Old but Becoming New Again - By: Gunnar Thompson, NASM-CPT, PES

    Take a look around at your gym, weight room, or training facility. Do you see a squat rack? Good. What about a bench, free weights, or maybe plyometric boxes? Awesome. Maybe if you’re one of the fortunate ones, you see some resistance bands, medicine balls, or kettlebells? Terrific. This means your place for training is like 100% of the population. This can be a good thing. You have strength equipment, speed equipment, and power equipment. This sounds like it covers all the aspects in being a great athlete. However, the majority of training programs lack the single critical component in creating the ELITE athlete. This is of course being prepared for every chaotic movement involved in sports.

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  • The Man Who Thinks He Can - By: Jill E. Wolforth

    I was very fortunate growing up that my parents demonstrated and constantly reminded my two sisters and me that if we were willing to work hard and work smart, we could succeed at anything we set our minds to.

    They never said it would be easy, as our life raising cattle on a ranch in Nebraska frequently demonstrated.  As I often tell my athletes, if it were easy, everyone would be able to do it and then the rewards would not be as great.

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  • If You Want to See Change - by Flint Wallace

    As I have mentioned in one or two of my past posts, I am on the email list to receive newsletters from Brad McLeod of SealgrinderPT.com. One of the recent emails I received reminds me of a saying Coach Wolforth uses frequently, “If you do what everybody else does, you will get what everybody else gets; which most of the time is not much.” But Brad put a different twist on it. He stated, “If you want to keep getting what you've been getting – keep on doing what you're doing. But if you want to see change - You have to break the pattern.NOW.”

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  • Ice: It's Not the Answer

    It’s hard to believe, but ten years ago I was a junior in college. If you would have watched me pitch in college (or when I was in the minor leagues) you would have noticed a routine after each outing. The end of that routine was always the same: I would wrap my arm, from shoulder to forearm, with bags of ice, secured by the clear plastic wrap that athletic trainers seem to have in abundance. Looking back, I have to admit something: My name is Brian Oates, and I had an ice problem.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • The Most Important Count in Baseball

    Pitchers and hitters alike are told from the time they start playing the game of the importance of the ball/strike count. Hitters are often told to work the count in order to make the pitcher labor and throw more pitches, while pitchers are often told to get ahead in the count or that they should focus on throwing a first pitch strike. Regardless of your position, all players are concerned with the count and this is rightfully so. But often, this becomes simply second-nature to baseball players. They know they want to get ahead in the count if they are a pitcher or be ready to swing away in certain hitter’s counts. But many athletes I talk to don’t actually realize WHY they are so focused on the count. Hitters know they desperately want to stay away from 0-2 and pitchers want nothing to do with 2-0 or 3-0, but they sometimes don’t stop to think about the reason why such counts are bad.

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  • Proper Fielding Position for Pitchers

    It is critical for a pitcher to be in a good fielding position once he has released his pitch. In order to get into this proper fielding position a pitcher must end his delivery with his chest square to home plate, glove in front of his body, and his feet should be shoulder width apart in a good athletic stance. This is imperative so that the pitcher will be ready for any balls hit back at him. I would actually emphasize concentrating on how a pitcher finishes as much as anything else in the delivery so that as the pitcher is coming into foot strike and release he is focused on finishing the pitch in a good fielding position. A pitcher’s delivery should never cause him to rotate or spin so that his chest and/or hips are facing 1st base for right handers or 3rd base for left handers.

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  • Command (Self Evaluation) Throwing Drill

    This blog builds on some of the same themes that I discussed in my last post regarding self evaluation. Principally, that if you can’t accurately evaluate yourself and your performance then it is nearly impossible to truly improve your weaknesses. Put another way, if you don’t know where you are now, how do you know where you need to go. One of my favorite examples of this (stolen, like many of my examples, from Coach Ron Wolforth) is a map that you find in a
    mall or shopping center. What is the first thing you search for when looking at such a map? Most likely it is the big red dot that says “You are here.” You can have all the information regarding what store is here and there but if you don’t know where that is in relation to where you are standing it isn’t a very big help.

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  • Stephen Strasburg's Inning Limit

    It seems as though we can’t get away from this story. Every time I turn on ESPN the pundits are analyzing the Washington Nationals’ decision to shut down their ace pitcher Stephen Strasburg. The Nationals GM, Mike Rizzo, has claimed since the season started that the team, in order to protect their prized arm, would not let Strasburg continue to pitch after he was in the 160-180 inning range for the season. That decision was made after Strasburg’s start against the Miami Marlins last Friday in an outing in which he only lasted 3 innings. His final stat line for the season was: 15-6 record, 3.16 ERA, 197 SO, 136 hits, and 159 1/3 innings pitched.

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