Last week one of our clients in the DSP Advanced Pitching Program set a new personal record by throwing 80 mph. He came to DSP five weeks earlier at 68 mph.
12 MPH in five weeks.
The best part is that he has more in the tank, much more.
I will tell you how he did it.
Felix (not his real name) came to us as a high school junior looking to have a great season and get to the college level. Felix had good baseball tools but his throwing velocity was not college material.
To his credit, he was aware that if he followed the same course he had been on for years…travel-ball, fall workouts, etc., he would get the same results he had gotten for years and his dream would remain just a dream.
Felix plays in the field and wants one of those electric arms that make baserunners cringe and gets scouts excited.
Luckily he came to DSP this Winter and went through our time-tested process for helping throwers develop strong healthy arms. (See blog DSP Recipe for Success)
For those new to DSP, here is a quick primer on the process:
Assess – We use the Functional Movement Screen to detect physical constraints like weakness, instability, and immobility. (see blog FMS for High School Athletes)
We use slow motion video analysis to educate clients on where inefficiencies of movement patterns exist.
Plan – With the information from the assessment, we present each client with a plan to address constraints via getting stronger, more stable, and more mobile. Just as important, we teach them to move with greater efficiency.
Execute the Plan – Clients come to the studio to work through their plan with the guidance of the certified DSP staff. They also learn how to execute the plan at home.
Re-Assess – Clients receive frequent immediate feedback using tools in the studio and by seeing videos-upon-request when they are throwing in the studio. This provides for natural learning. The plan changes as clients’ needs change.
It was time for Felix to get to work.
Like most clients that walk in the DSP studio for the first time, Felix had physical constraints in the form of weakness, instability, and immobility.
He also exhibited inefficient movement patterns when throwing. We were able to identify those with slow motion video and show it to Felix to increase awareness.
Nothing can change until awareness is high.
Here is an example of one such movement pattern that was holding Felix back:
The position of the throwing arm at load-bearing foot-plant was inefficient.
Notice that the angle formed by the forearm and the humerus (the bone between the elbow and shoulder) was greater than 90 degrees.
A study in The American Journal of Sports Medicine, October 2009 reported,
“…If prior to the moment when the front foot hits the ground, the angle between the humerus and forearm exceeds 90 degrees, there will be significantly increased levels of torque on the ulnar collateral ligament”
When health is compromised, the body is reluctant to perform at maximum levels. Velocity was inhibited by this pattern.
Dream Big…Listen, Trust, and Apply!
Here is where the achievers like Felix separate them selves from the pack.
Having great information, plans, and videos is only valuable if the client makes use of those resources with such zeal that most people would label it as “over the top.”
Using time, especially time at home, to chase a dream can often result in being labeled as crazy, weird, gullible, and worse.
The hungry champions-in-the-making plow through the barriers of their critics.
One of my teachers, Matt Furey, once relayed a pearl of wisdom from his trusted teacher, legendary wrestling coach Dan Gable. He said, the best students have a formula for success:
They LISTEN to their teachers.
They TRUST the teachers and their solutions.
They take those solutions and APPLY them with great passion and consistency.
Do you feel the power of that simple formula?
Like all powerful truisms, it is easy to comprehend intellectually. Perhaps not so easy to execute day in and day out. Golden Rule anyone?
I know Felix is all-in though. This message from his father says it all:
“He told me about his spike in velocity and is working hard to increase it even more. He is a firm believer in the DSP product and put it to use on his rest days by working in his room in front of a mirror to analyze his mechanics.”
This kid listened, bought in, and got to work!
Keep it up, my friend! You will never regret working hard!
Wear any derogatory comments as a badge of honor.
After hours of countless reps, the angle is now less than 90 degrees, a more efficient and less stress-inducing position.
With added strength, stability, and efficiency came added velocity.
Twelve mph was added in five weeks.
Felix has great fire in him and therefore great potential to grow.
We believe that he, like all our clients, has the ability to throw 90 mph.
Some will scoff at that statement as being unrealistic. We believe it though because we’ve seen people with ordinary DNA reach these heights.
A player can achieve what his or her mind can conceive….given sufficient desire.
He will continue to pound away at the inefficiencies in his movement patterns too.
The formula works when the client works.
I’m inspired by clients that go “over the top.”
Thank you, Felix, for being a leader by example.
If you know of any baseball player that wants to be special and be part of something special, please direct them to Dynamic Sport Performance.
We love presenting solutions.
Director of Baseball DSP