The Winter session provided more testimony for how we help clients create championship versions of themselves.
They work hard. No gimmicks. Just a great process that keeps getting better.
Congratulations to our clients that dug in, trusted, listened, and applied.
If you missed the blog on our high schooler that picked up 12 mph and got rid of arm pain, check it out here:
There are many other great examples of young athletes learning to deliberately create the imagined version of themselves. Here are just two.
Below is a before-and-after photo of one of the great change-artists of DSP. He is only 13 and worked like a champion this Winter.
The photos were taken at the same moment following ball release:
The photo illustrates two deliberately changed movement patterns:
- Pronation of the Arm
- Lead Leg Shin Angle.
Both of these patterns can be very challenging to insert into the body’s repertoire. Making it happen required a serious work ethic and a body that had been sufficiently prepared.
Our 13 year old had both of those thanks to his upbringing and the DSP strength and mobility program in which this client enthusiastically participated.
Health and Performance – Pronation
At DSP we teach efficiency of Pronation as a means of providing a protective barrier for the shoulder and elbow.
The Before photo shows a linear deceleration pattern, a sign that long term arm health was at risk.
The After photo is text book efficient pronation resulting in enhanced arm-health!
I won’t go into deep detail on the physiology related to the pattern here. Just know that there is a bicep tendon that runs from the elbow to the shoulder. If it is not “turned off” after the ball is released, the raging tendon can tug on the soft tissue of the shoulder and elbow and rip them apart over time.
Discernible pronation patterns turn off the tendon.
At DSP, we train pronation like crazy in order to bolster arm health!
Health and Performance – Force Production and Absorption in Lead Leg
The lead leg is an indicator of a few things involved in health inducing pattens for throwing:
- Core Strength
- Force Absorption Capability
- Ankle Mobility
When all factors are in place, the result is a higher quality of movement and a lead leg that looks like the After photo.
That position is a reflection of a good things happening in the lower half of the body. At footprint the hip is quickly fixed in place.
That allows for maximal rotational velocity of the hip, a required element of healthy throwing.
By the way, weighted baseballs will not help players achieve that health promoting hip action. How could they?
Don’t be fooled. For more on our position on weighted baseballs, check out Weighted Baseballs May Hurt Arm Development
When we saw a vertical shin angle as in the Before top photo, we knew there were physical constraints to be addressed.
We addressed them via our protocol centered around the best tool for baseball players of any age, the kettlebell.
Here is an example of the exercises we use to help clients find the proper muscles to put force in the ground and absorb it:
Another 13 year old Client – Before And After
Conner trains at DSP in both the Kettlebell Strength class and the Advanced Throwing Program.
He picked up four miles per hour over the course of the Winter Program.
More importantly, he is now using movement patterns that are more efficient.
That means he is using less energy and less wear-and-tear on the body to achieve the goal of delivery of maximum force into the ball.
Long term health is what we target.
He did all this by following the DSP Protocol for getting stronger, more mobile, and more stable.
Yep. He loves working with the kettlebells!
He is another no-nonsense worker in the studio. He just puts his head down and gets to work.
Thank you for being a strong leader by example, Conner.
His core and posterior chain are nothing like they were when he came to us. He was quad-dominant, hips locked up, ankles locked up.
We know this because we assessed him using the Functional Movement Screen. As they say, “If you’re not assessing, you’re guessing.”
Read more about why we use the FMS here: Using the FMS at DSP
The AFTER photo is on top:
After weeks of training to improve core, hips and posterior chain AND working on efficient movement patterns. Conner’s posture at ball release is a reflection of greater efficiency.
The three arrows indicate a noticeable points of positive change:
- Hips now fully rotate to target.
- There is a desirable later rotation of torso to deliver the arm.
- Trailing leg posture is a reflection of the gain of efficiency in delivery.
Spring 2017 and Beyond
The DSP staff used the Winter to bring top-level experts to the studio like Dr. Craig Liebenson, advisor to the LA Dodgers, Arizona Diamondbacks, and other professional teams. Dr. Liebenson is coming back this year for the final installment of the Prague School to Athletic Development.
The staff looks forward to implementing the knowledge we picked up. We are always looking for the best information to bring to our clients.
This Spring will also be unveiling some new leading-edge techniques for developing the proper mindset, emotional strength, and confidence. More on that soon.
We’ve got a great group of young athletes in the studio this Spring and look forward to delivering the best program for developing long-term health and success.
If you know an athlete that wants to become the best or a baseball player that has a history of arm pain, do them a favor and please send ‘em on over to DSP!
All the Best!
Director of Baseball