July 21, 2017 |
As pitchers we've been told we need to use our lower half better, be on time with our arm, get out in front more, etc, etc, etc. But often times we are unsure about how we go about making those adjustments.
Our goal at LPT is to not only help guys increase velocity, but to also develop efficient deliveries so that we can hopefully increase the longevity of their careers.
One of the ways we do this at LPT is through our blend days. This is a day in which the athlete will complete his prescribed drills on the mound into a net that is a few feet in front of the mound. Each athletes drills are prescribed based on the inefficiencies that are identified during their initial video analysis. These inefficiencies are constantly reevaluated and drills changed (or not changed) accordingly.
LPT athletes are typically prescribed a set of 5-7 drills that I feel target the inefficienies in their delivery. During the blend day, the athlete will complete 4-5 throws of that particular drill from the mound. Immediately following their last throw, the athlete will then complete 3-4 throws from the stretch (sometimes wind-up depending on the drill) into the net. We move the net up and eliminate the strikezone during the blend day because the main focus during this time is for the athlete to feel the adjusments they are trying to make during the drill work and to get them to transfer over to their delivery.
Below is a video of an LPT athlete who had some of the following issues...
1. Lack of momentum early in the delivery toward home plate
2. Minimal hip & glute load
3. Arm late at stride foot contact
4. Early launch of the baseball
Our goal was to create more momentum early in the delivery while leading with the hips toward the target and loading into the glute as he moves down the mound. In turn this would allow him more time to get on time at stride foot contact and release the ball later with a more forward trunk tilt.
See the video below for the changes made in just a few short days.
A couple tips or pointers when completing a blend day...
1. Eliminate the strike zone, especially in the initial training sessions. You want the athletes complete focus on his movement patterns, not getting upset about not throwing strikes. As the athlete progresses, you may add the strike zone back in during his throws from the stretch or wind-up.
2. Don't talk too much. Show the athlete the videos you are taking and let them feel the difference between efficient and inefficient.
3. The 4-5 throws above is just a suggestion. Feel free to add more or complete multiple sets of the same drill.
4. Add in a 7oz ball. For the session in the video, our pattern looked like this...
7oz-3 to 4 throws
5oz- 3 to 4 throws
Delivery w/ 5oz (wind-up or stretch)- 4 to 5 throws
5. Do not rush between reps. This is a great time to process what you felt, talk through some ideas, then make an adjustment.
6. If a drill is not comfortable or you cannot feel the adjusment that you are trying to make, scrap the drill and find one that helps you feel the movement better.
7. Start slow then progress to near game like speeds. Once you can consistently move efficiently through the delivery, then we will focus on throwing with max intent.
I appreciate you taking the time to read this post and please let me know if you have any questions or if there is anyway LPT can help you or your team!