“What do you do with your baseball players?” That innocent question was posed to me recently.
At DSP, we help athletes become the dominant and healthy baseball players they dream about, especially pitchers.
Here is how we do it:
1. Gold-standard Assessment of the Body – We use the Functional Movement Screen, the same tool used by trainers of highly paid athletes. It gives us a quick understanding of where constraints such as
weakness and immobility lurk within each client.
2. Deep Assessment of Movement Patterns when Throwing – We get slow motion video and compare clients’ movements to a checklist of biomechanically efficient movement patterns.
3. Removal of Physical Constraints – Physical constraints get cleaned up when clients go through the DSP protocol designed to develop explosive athletes! Our favorite tool for injecting athleticism is the kettlebell, a secret weapon that few baseball people understand deeply.
See our client learning to use his hips and core to deliver force: 62lb. Explosive Kettlebell Swing
4. Insertion of Efficiency when Throwing – We give our clients a customized plan that focuses only on the movements they need to work on to become more efficient. We don’t waste time with one-size-fits-all
5. Rinse and Repeat! – Clients and trainers at DSP remain vigilant looking for constraints and inefficiencies that may develop over the course of a season.
Here is what can happen with a good assessment, solid plan, and a client willing to invest time
Client learned to generate early, powerful momentum by moving the center of the mass of his body forward while the lead leg was being lifted.
This results in the rear leg being angled, not vertical during leg-lift. YES!
This movement pattern is foreign to many young pitchers, even in high school and college. This is despite the findings of the National Pitching Association that the healthiest, most productive pitchers move like this.
Look at Steve Carlton, Hall of Fame inductee and MLB pitcher for 23 years, compared to a random youth league pitcher. Both are at Maximum Leg-lift position.
One doesn’t need to dive into the bio-mechanists’ data to buy into the efficacy of the pattern exhibited by Carlton and our 12 year old client.
One can simply look at the photos and see which pitcher looks more athletic and has used energy more efficiently.
The balancer has used his early-energy to get vertical. Carlton and our client used their early-energy to lift the leg AND move forward towards the target.
Imagine throwing an anchor with a rope tied to it. Once the energy has been delivered into the anchor, the path has been set. Not just for the anchor, but also for the rope following it.
The rope must follow the anchor and it does so with no additional energy imparted to it.
The analogy may not be perfect, but we liken the movement of the center of the pitcher’s body (belly button to hips) to the anchor. Get the center of the body moving towards the target and everything else will follow.
While one can pitch after getting to a balance point, it requires additional incremental effort and muscle-recruitment to make it happen though.
The vast majority of young pitchers can’t do that well and end up in sequential postures that are inefficient and can lead to injury. We will delve into that in future blogs.
Carlton pitched for 23 years at the MLB level. That means he had to be healthy of long periods of time.
While there are other factors such as training and recovery, movement patterns are critical in the long term health and performance of pitchers.
Come Train with Us!
If you would like to have one of those arms that people notice, become an explosive athlete, and learn what the elite pitchers are doing these days, please give us a call.
We’d love to help you become part of an amazing group of clients that we truly appreciate, admire, and enjoy.
Feel free to call Darius on his personal cell phone at 703-209-8696 or email at Dariusg65@gmail.com.
All the Best!
Darius Gilbert, Owner
Scott Fox, Director of Baseball