Unless you’ve been living in the baseball equivalent of a Himalayan monastery, you’ve heard pitching and hitting coaches avowing the importance of “hip-to-shoulder separation.” I’m not exactly sure when it began, but sometime in the last several years, someone coined the term, and it spread like wildfire. According to advocates of this tenet, pitchers and hitters should rotate the pelvis while the torso remains closed for as long as possible. The resultant diagonal stretch through the trunk allows the athlete to take advantage of the elastic properties of the abdominals, and chest muscles to store and then unload energy to be transferred from the lower half to the arm or bat.
The bottom line is this: Pitching is like picking up chicks. The first move is critical. You have to get the first move right, or you probably don’t have much of a chance.
To change a movement, you have to change the mover. To stabilize the back leg (thereby increasing impulse) the athlete must have enough mobility to get into a position that optimizes the length-tension relationships in all of the muscles surrounding the hip.
Commit yourself to the relentless pursuit of excellence. Find your “Why.” We’ll take care of the rest. We’ll design an individualized plan that will cover every aspect of your training: your warmup, your throwing program, your mobility/movement plan, your strengthening and coordination, your recovery, and your nutrition. We’ll cover it all, and we’ll be right there to guide you every step of the way.
Nearly every other day, we get a call from a player or a parent or coach of a player with arm pain that has bee diagnosed as tendonitis. The player feels a little pain in their shoulder or elbow after throwing. It’s nothing major -just a pinch or a dull ache. They ice it, take some Motrin, Advil, or Tylenol, grease it up with Icy Hot and try to “throw through it.” The pain persists and eventually gets worse. They take a few days off, but when they start throwing, it hurts again.
The UCL, Labrum, and rotator cuff aren’t the most highly vascularized tissues, they do receive some blood flow, and therefore under the right conditions, they are capable of remodeling themselves to resist the stresses under which they are placed.
24 mph in just over three years? For some, that may seem unrealistic, but gains like that are not uncommon here at The Florida Baseball ARMory. They happen so frequently that we’re no longer surprised. We’re always thrilled, but never surprised. And with the right individualized training plan, they can happen for anyone, including you.
The man who has recorded more hits than anyone in the history of the game is telling us that instead of getting in a player’s head and trying to change a movement from the top down, a more effective way to elicit an adaptation and subsequently influence the movement is to create a training experience that provides a player with sensory information (visual, vestibular, auditory, and/or kinesthetic) that encourages his body to choose a more effective movement pattern.
When an athlete achieves the mobility necessary to maximize his length-tension advantages and then finds the synchronous co-contractions to fully optimize the contractile and elastic properties of his muscles, he accomplishes his goal and his body naturally wants to do that again. His natural instincts take over and he is compelled to move in the same manner again and again. When it clicks, it stays.