I’ve written before about being smart about setting up your off-season training (See Off-Season Training for Pitchers Part I and Part II). Here in Part III I’m going to give you 4 tips for getting the most out of your off-season conditioning…
So it’s getting to be that time of year… leaves are turning up here in Connecticut and there’s a crisp bite in the air… prime time for leaf-pile jumping for my little ones at home.
But it’s also a reminder that winter is coming, and with it, the start of off-season rebuilding mode for pitchers. I used to love this time of year when I was pitching… Once I’d had some time to decompress and recharge after a long, grueling season, it was time to take stock.
Regroup… Determine what I needed to do to get better for next season.[h4]Set some goals… And then formulate a gameplan for getting there.[/h4]
And for a lot of guys, you might be thinking this would be a good time to give your arm a rest and take a break from pitching…
And you’d be right!
In most cases, unless you’re coming from a situation where you took the summer or early fall off from pitching, the last thing you need going into November and December is more mound work or competitive pitching.
That doesn’t mean you take the next 3 months off or just focus on “getting bigger and stronger” without giving your mechanics or pitching skills a second thought.
And here’s the good news. There are plenty of things you can do to build a more powerful pitching delivery without ever picking up a baseball.
To be clear, I’m not saying you need to stay away from throwing at all this time of year. But in most cases, it makes sense to get a break from mound work…[h5]Take the opportunity to rebuild the foundation, and then gradually build back up.[/h5]
So with that in mind, here are 4 ways you can get better and build a more powerful pitching delivery before you even pick up a baseball:[h3]Four Ways You Can Get Better Without Touching a Baseball[/h3] [h5]1. Improve your mobility[/h5]
Working to develop a big league pitching delivery is pointless if you’re not able to MOVE through that delivery POWERFULLY!
And if you need a little kick in pants to get motivated, know this: poor mobility has a HUGE impact on your delivery, hurts velocity and increases your risk of injury. Next.[h5]2. Dynamic Balance & Stability Work[/h5]
Here are two big things lacking in the vast majority of amateur pitchers: Stability & Body Awareness.
Dynamic balance drills teach you the feel for stabilizing, maintaining good connection with the ground while moving…
Think about the act of pitching for a second. It’s a complex chain of movements with a lot of moving parts… And you spend most of it of the time in your pitching delivery on one foot!
Don’t just stand there holding your knee up, thinking that’s enough. Get dynamic! Balance while MOVING![h5]3. Performance Band/Resistance Exercises[/h5]
Not only are these great from an arm-care and durability perspective, but if done well your band work can be an opportunity to develop efficient movement patterns… with your legs!
Yup, most people tend to think about band work as typical injury prevention or rehab work for your shoulder and rotator cuff. And sure, that’s important… but if that’s all you use them for, you’re missing out.
In the Ballistic Pitching Blueprint, you’ll find 4 Performance Band exercises that not only work your arms, but also train the lower half and teach good forward tilt with the pelvis and trunk.
You can think of these as your secret weapon for addressing a weak or collapsing front knee![h5]4. Med Ball Work (Slams & Throws)[/h5]
Moving a heavier object does two things. First, it forces you to slow things down… One big mistake guys make when working on their delivery is they just go full speed all the time. This makes it tough to really FEEL THE ADJUSTMENTS and the body just wants to revert back to what it’s used to doing… Tough to make changes that way. Either that, or they spend all their time getting to POSITIONS…
Med ball work is about MOVING well.
Second, it teaches you how to use your hips and core to connect your upper and lower half. When you get things synced up right, that ball will start feeling a lot lighter for you.
Lastly, you don’t have to ditch throwing completely in the November, December months. Especially if you know you’ve got areas in your delivery that need attention. But be smart about it. Have a plan.
That’s why, in addition to the things listed above, drill work can be great this time of year (as long as you’re not wasting your time with counterproductive drills).
Lay the groundwork… Build efficient movement patterns, then gradually ramp it up into December and January.
Lastly, for more on building a rock solid delivery this off-season, you’ll find everything you need inside the Ballistic Pitching Blueprint… It includes:
- A Free Motion Analysis to help you get started
- A full dynamic mobility warm-up you can do anywhere in 5 minutes
- The Dynamic Balance Drills for better stability and body awareness
- The Performance Band Exercises (part arm-care, part neuromuscular reprogramming system!)
- The Med Ball Throws (for learning to throw with your entire body)
And that’s before you even get to the throwing drills!
Click here to get started.
Okay, that’s all for now… The off-season clock is ticking… Get after it!
Got questions? Leave a comment below or shoot me an email!