Rule #1 for pitching success this season:
[h1]Stay HEALTHY[/h1]

There’s no more helpless feeling than sitting the bench with a sore (or injured) arm. Believe me, I know this all too well. And one thing I wish I’d learned a lot sooner in my development as a young pitcher is the importance of a good arm care routine.

Too often, guys wait until it’s too late before they start taking their arm care seriously…

In fact, I was one of those guys… It took an elbow injury the summer before my freshman year at Northwestern for me to really COMMIT to a consistent arm care routine.

And if you’re a young pitcher, there’s a good chance your current arm care program falls into one of these three buckets:

  1. No Arm Care program whatsoever (and probably have never given it a second thought)
  2. You KNOW that Arm Care is important, but you don’t really know WHAT to do (or how OFTEN to do it)
  3. You already have an Arm Care program… But it’s so complicated and time-consuming that it’s nearly impossible to stay consistent with it

And I get it. I’ve been in each of these camps at one time or another…

Knowing WHAT to do, and finding the time and energy to STICK to it can be tough. Especially if you’re a kid who’s never been hurt – you’ve got enough on your plate without having to go through 45 minutes of boring, tedious exercises.

Well, what if didn’t have to be so tough?

I don’t care what level you’re at – if you’re 13 years old or 18…

[h1]Good Arm Care matters. Period.[/h1]

And here’s some GOOD news.

You can actually get in a really great Arm Care routine in a short amount of time without a lot of fancy equipment.

And today I’m going to show you how.

I’ve just put the finishing touches on a brand new, “No Excuses”, EZ Arm Care Program to help make your arm care easier and simpler than ever.

It comes complete with 3 Ready-To-Go Arm Care Routines that you can do at the field or on your own when you get home. 

[circle_list] [list_item]You’ll know exactly what to do…[/list_item] [list_item]When to do it…[/list_item] [list_item]And it won’t take all day or cost you a lot in extra equipment[/list_item] [/circle_list]

Plus you’ll get detailed video demonstrations and explanations of each exercise to walk you through it every step of the way.

Okay, so the next question – how much will it cost?

I thought long and hard about this.

$67?

It’s easily worth that. But I don’t want COST to stand in the way of you getting access to this information.

$47… Eh, still too high.

$27? This seemed right. But then I thought…

How ’bout FREE!

So that’s what I’m doing. Right now you can get access to this program for ZERO dollars.

Go Here To Claim Your  Free EZ Arm Care Program

I’m probably crazy for doing this, but that’s how strongly I feel about the importance of young pitchers taking their arm care seriously.

EZ_Arm-Care-2

 

The stuff in this program isn’t meant to be overwhelming. You won’t find 50 different exercises…

It’s designed to be no nonsense, get-in, get-out, get-it-done simple.

No excuses.

Now just a note. You WILL have to re-enter your email address to get access to the program…

It’s the only way I could weed out the uncommitted and make sure this program gets into the right hands without actually charging for it.

Get your EZ Arm Care Program now before I come to my senses.

Okay, that’s all for now.

Until next time…

Committed to Your Pitching Success,

Coach Phil

PS – Again, I’m not asking a single penny for the EZ Arm Care program… But if you want, you can help me out by spreading the word.

Just hit one of those Share buttons and send your friends to this page so they can grab their own Free Arm Care Routine before this offer goes away. 

Thanks, and blow ’em away!

 

In addition to bringing you guys fresh pitching content with my own instructional articles, videos, etc., one of the things I like to do from time to time is share some of the great pitching-related content I’ve been reading lately. And this week there’s been some good stuff… And as you gear up for the off-season – whether you’re a pitcher, coach or parent – I think these articles provide great perspective and give you some important things to get the most out of your training.

[h5]1. The Truth About CC Sabathia’s Weight[/h5] Eric Cressey is as good as they come – in this piece about one of my former teammates, he does an outstanding job breaking down the Body Mass – Pitching Velocity relationship. Very detailed, with some great insights and factors to consider when assessing your conditioning goals this off-season.

[h5]2. When Should Baseball Players Start Their Offseason Throwing Programs?[/h5] Mike is one of best in the game when it comes to understanding the unique demands of pitching and balancing the goals of performance enhancement and injury prevention. In this piece he raises some important questions, addressing a timely and extremely important topic.

[h5]3. Why Your Conditioning is Hurting Your Performance on the Mound![/h5] Josh Heenan is one of the most knowledgable strength & conditioning coaches you’ll find. Plus, he comes from a baseball background and works with a ton of pitchers – he’s my go-to guy here in CT. In this article he does an excellent addressing some key considerations for maximizing the effectiveness of your conditioning.
 
 

And finally wanted to highlight a recent one from right here in case you missed it…[h5]28 Ways Pitching Prepares You for Life[/h5]I’ve gotten a ton of great feedback on this one, and at over 200 likes and counting it’s been one of my most popular posts yet. Let me know what you think!

Looking to keep your arm Healthy this season?

Go Here to Grab Your EZ Arm Care Program (It's Free!)

I get this kind of questions a lot: “What should my son be doing between games to keep his arm healthy this season?”

Pitching is a pretty high risk/high reward pursuit. When things are going right, there’s nothing better… but as any pitcher who’s ever been injured can tell you, it doesn’t take much for that to all come to a screeching halt.

A lot of factors come into play here, but one thing you can do to give yourself the best shot at staying healthy performing your best is improving how well you recover between games.

This means addressing the entire body – not just your arm – and really every part of the process – before, during and after you pitch.

Conventional approaches like running and icing are fine (click here for more on why distance running might not be the best idea), but if that’s all you do, you’re missing out on some things that can really help you get back to full strength more quickly. So here are 3 simple tips for improving your recovery process.

[h3]1. Improve Your Warm Up[/h3]

What you do before you throw can have a big impact on how well you recover after you throw… There’s a great expression I use all the time with my guys: “Warm up to throw, don’t throw to warm up.” Too often, I’ve seen youth baseball games where the players just show up, grab their gloves and start throwing… this is basically how they “get loose.” No good… here are some tips for improving your warm-up.

Pre-Warmup Soft Tissue work (foam roller, etc): Soft tissue work like foam rolling can be great prep work and has been shown to aid in recovery. Joe Hashey with Synergy Athletics gives a nice foam roller demo in this video:

Dynamic Warm-Up: Go through a dynamic warm-up with an emphasis on mobility and good movement patterns… this doesn’t need to take forever, but a good rule of thumb is you want to at least warm up to the point of light perspiration.

In the Ballistic Pitching Blueprint, I provide a complete Dynamic Warm-Up you can do anywhere in just 5 minutes. We follow that with a light performance bands routine to continue the warm-up and activate all the muscles in and around the throwing arm.

[h3]2. Monitor Your Pitches[/h3]

This should be fairly obvious, but one of the best ways to avoid becoming overly sore after you pitch is limiting your pitches (ASMI and Little League have put out recommended guidelines, and these are certainly a good place to start). This responsibility generally falls on the coaches (they’re the ones deciding who pitches and who doesn’t, after all).

But if you’re serious about your future in pitching, you owe it to yourself to take ownership of this process. Have someone you trust, whether a parent, friend or teammate, keep track of your pitches.

pitch-counter

When I was in the Indians organization, if you threw more than 30 pitches in an inning you were done – you weren’t going back out there next inning. So if you were a starter, and you maxed with 30+ pitches in the 1st inning, you headed to the bullpen and got the rest of your work in down there – in a controlled environment – to get to your desired pitch count.

Now there’s something to be said for letting young pitchers get out of jams, and not babying them… but there’s also being smart when it comes to understanding the risk factors that increase the chance of injury. Plus knowing we had that 30 pitches/inning limit was pretty good incentive to stay focused on attacking the strike zone and being economical with your pitches.

As I’ve discussed before, the #1 risk factor for youth pitching injuries is pitching with fatigue. One way to minimize fatigue is making sure you’re properly conditioned to pitch. But often times, fatigue stems from overuse… or as Mike Reinold points out in this recent article, flat-out abuse:

Are We Putting Our Kids at Risk for Youth Baseball Injuries?

[h3]3. Improve your Post-Pitching Routine[/h3]

What you do immediately after you throw can also have a meaningful impact on how well you recover. Here are some simple suggestions for maximizing your post-throwing routine.

Light Cardio: Nice and easy, just working on increasing bloodflow and getting some good deep breathing to increase oxygen intake. The idea here is to circulate the blood and deliver nutrients where they’re needed. In the minors, they used to put us on a stationary bike in the training room, but a light 5 minute jog works just fine, too.

Mobility Exercises: Another option I really like is just going through a full Dynamic Warmup routine after you throw. You engage your whole body, get the arms, legs and core working, and get bloodflow to the areas it’s needed most.

Post-Throwing Stretching: Key here is understanding what you’re trying to accomplish… the goal is maintaining range of motion by addressing areas that get tight after pitching. So don’t go stretching things that are already loose – for example, stretching for more external rotation after you pitch is pretty counter-productive.

Pitchers tend to lose internal rotation from pitching, so the Sleeper Stretch can be an effective way to maintain or regain any lost range of motion.


Mike Reinold demonstrating the right way to perform the Sleeper Stretch

Eric Cressey also offers a free “Post-Throwing Stretching Series” on his site – just scroll down to the bottom for the download (there’s a ton of great content there, too).

Icing: This has become a little controversial (some guys avoid it, others swear by it), but the bottom line for me is that icing can help reduce inflammation – for many, icing may not be necessary, but I personally always felt better when I iced. Perhaps I’ll dig more into the debate in a future piece, but basically, inflammation is bad for recovery… icing prevents inflammation when done appropriately.

Some tips when icing:
1. Use a large bag with a lot of ice (crushed ice is best)
2. Avoid placing ice directly on the ulnar nerve (funny bone) – you can line with a towel to prevent freezing
3. 10-15 minutes on, 20 minutes off is a good rule of thumb (repeat as desired). Leaving ice on longer than that can be counter-productive.

*Special Note: since writing this post, more and more evidence continues to point towards icing being unnecessary in many cases (or even potentially counterproductive to the recovery process). If there’s any step in this “post-pitching routine” I’d be okay skipping, it would be icing. Here’s a good post from Josh Heenan that goes into more detail: Should You Use Ice, Aleve, or Ibuprofen After You Throw?

Refuel Better! This is pretty common sense stuff, but when pitching you’re exerting a lot of energy – short bursts of power, again and again. This takes a toll on your muscles and tendons. And just like with weight training or any other high performance activity, what you put in your body immediately afterwards can have a big impact on your recovery.

Some common sense tips for refueling after you pitch:

1. Get some carbs and protein within 30-40 minutes: Have a high carbohydrates meal (restores glycogen), followed by a high protein source (aids in the rebuilding & recovery process). An energy bar and protein shake are a pretty good combo.
2. Hydrate: Drink a lot of water… water’s a pretty amazing thing, plus its FREE so there’s really no excuse for skipping this step.

And lastly…. Get plenty of sleep!

 

Looking to keep your arm Healthy this season?

Go Here to Grab Your EZ Arm Care Program (It's Free!)

EZ_Arm-Care-2