What Makes Our Throwing Programs Better?
So many kids ask us for “throwing programs”. What they want is a set number of throws to make, at distance, for a set number of days. These generic programs fail the athlete, because they are mindless, devoid of thought, robotic throws. Pitching is about so much more than simply throwing, it is about understanding how you body moves in space and constantly problem solving. The Baseball IQ Throwing Program rewrites the narrative and provides a total unique product that links regimented throwing with critical thinking questions to drive the athlete down the path of self-reliance. Armed with the right mental cues you will see your thrower become a pitcher who thinks like the pros do. Not throwing enough strikes? Not throwing hard enough? Good. Join our team and learn how to dominate.
What makes our Throwing Program different?
Awareness Based Questions
The Throwing Program was designed to help you develop the awareness needed to enhance your daily throwing by laying out a step-by-step process for each distance. It is important to understand that this program is not a list of do’s and don’ts, but one of questioning and reflection, so that you can teach yourself to feel the changes you need to make.
“Thinking is driven not by answers but by questions.” -Linda Elder
1. Awareness Based Coaching
Awareness Based Coaching meets each athlete where they are in their own journey. There are external positions that we will discuss and offer suggestions for, but our questions are specifically designed to reach and influence the internal or intrinsic side of the athlete.
Each distance offers a certain discipline for one to focus on, whether this is a focus more at shorter distances with a location consciousness. Or it could be longer throws that are pushing our limits of discipline and effort control. We will lay out what the proper focus should be at each distance by asking self-regulating questions.
2. Effort Control
Another way that our Throwing Program stands out above the rest is in how we help each athlete know when they should or can ‘up’ their effort level. This serves a couple of purposes; it allows the athlete to know that the reigns will be taken off, this in turn will help monitor energy usage early on while allowing the athlete to focus on the positional task vs effort control.
The effort level will correspond with the amount of throws, distance and proper rest according to the schedule. We will ensure that each thrower is properly warmed up before effort level is increased.
3. Visualization Techniques
Change how you throw in your head first.
We will also offer techniques throughout the Throwing Program that are used by professionals on a daily basis. One of these techniques is being able to visualize yourself throwing, there are a myriad of ways in how to do so. Below are some sample questions that will help each athlete see himself more clearly and implement a necessary change faster than just throwing alone.
What do you see when you watch yourself throw?
What do you watch when you see yourself throw?
How about your body and how it moves?
What point of view do you see yourself throwing?
Feel What is Happening
Just become aware of what your body is doing while you are throwing. You can become disciplined in what you want to feel at each distance during a throw and create a set of habits that will become your foundation. This is a process of helping take judgment out of your daily throwing. We want to be able to help you feel what your body is doing in order to make adjustments.
How it was Created
There is a need among pitchers recovering from surgery to build back the proper way. If left to their own mind and devices, the pitcher will use the same set of coded instructions to once again build back his throwing habits that will inevitably land him back on the injured list. Doctor’s throwing protocols do not have mechanical or throwing instruction, it is up to the athlete or the organization that the athlete is involved with to provide a coach or instruction.
This program has been used with 12 year olds that are new to pitching and by veteran MLB pitchers that know how to simplify their work and get the most out of it. Questions are tailored for age and experience, they are engineered to help build a foundation from the very first throw to the last.
Accordion Throwing vs Volume at a Distance
Accordion throwing is referred to making one throw and then taking a step back to make your next throw. Typically an athlete will do this process until they back up to a distance they can no longer complete and then work their way in for the day. This does offer us any repeatability or time to gauge distances for consistency.
What we use instead is ‘Volume at a Distance’, which simply refers to building a set number of throws at a specific designated distance before moving back to the next designated distance. This help gives the athlete feel for each distance while managing their effort level, tracking progression and gauging growth is much easier.
During the season, a 75+ throw day is at the high end of the spectrum, with 55-60 throws being the average. This should not be taken as a strict drop-dead cutoff number, but you should be within the same realm of +-5 throws day in and day out. Find your own number, this will be personal to you and should be consistent. This will allow you to make adjustments and throw with the mindset of ‘Volume at a distance vs distance for volume.’
Knowing how many throws you make and at each distance is the beginning of creating a routine. This can help you track progress or modifications for different results. We will break down how to build out the number of throws you make in a day at each distance. There is a proper way to build-up and taper-down to maximize the amount of work you want on a given day.
The graph and information below will help lay out the baseline number of throws that a Starting Pitcher and a Relief Pitcher will make throughout the course of a professional season. The information is based on a minimal In-Season throwing day with one day completely off from throwing a week. The game days, take into account a short pre-game warmup and assume a 5 inning/80 Pitch limit over the course of the season as a median. The Starter is based off a 5 Day rotation with one bullpen session in between live competitive outings. Reliever numbers are based on 2-3 appearances in a week with an average of 2-3 innings pitched per week.
Which type of throwing has more weight on your habits in the long run?
Think Like a Professional
You will always throw more on a flat surface than on a mound. The habits you have in your daily throwing program will determine the efficiency of your mechanics and consistency on the mound. We work with non-competitive throws on a daily basis, they are the bricks that you lay and build your foundation with. We will dig deeper into throws and pitches completed on the mound later in a separate article, but for now let’s stick to only athletic throws on a flat surface. Take them seriously with the right program for you, the athlete. They matter!
You will never throw enough on the mound to override the habits you have created off the mound.