*This is an excerpt from the introduction to my book [...]
Smooth is fast. Smooth is powerful. But smooth is not floppy. Smooth is actually the result of well-timed and synchronized co-contractions that remove muscle slack, eliminate shear forces (jerk), and amplify power, coordination and control, and protection (PCP).
At the ARMory we study OUTLIERS so my players can become THAT GUY! While science seeks to find common denominators among the normal, it propagates “The Cult of Average.” Average is a code word for mediocre, and that is not our goal at The Florida Baseball ARMory.
Common sense: To become an elite throwing athlete, you need to throw … a lot. BUT don't throw too much or you will get hurt. It stems from flawed assumption — that all throwing injuries are due to OVERUSE. Limit pitch counts. Control innings pitched. Take 3 months off every year. Coaches and organizations complied. Yet injury rates kept climbing. Why?
A well-executed one-legged hinge is vital to increasing impulse and improving velocity. But, not all hinges are the same. The single-leg hinge must be nuanced to link the athlete’s hardware to his software. This requires an in-depth investigation and appreciation of each athlete’s unique physical characteristics and movement preferences.
Everyone, and I mean everyone has a dog in ‘em. You wanna throw hard, you gotta find your dog. Over the past 3 summers we’ve worked with more than 450 players from all over the world in our Summer Training Program. If they stayed 4 weeks, the average guy gained over 4 mph on his fastball. For most of them, it wasn’t about adding anything. It was about using what we call SAVAGE Training to reveal the dog they already had inside them.
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.