I’ve had the pleasure of working with several very talented Kansas high school pitchers the past 2 weeks–we spent the hour-long sessions focused on improving body movement to improve efficiency in each girl’s pitch, as well as reduce risk for injury. After each movement assessment, we determined imbalances and areas each girl needs to work on and improve. I attended a DNS Baseball course with Dr. Brett Winchester, of Winchester Spine & Sport a few months ago (well-known doc in MLB) and he said THE BEST place for pitchers to work on pitching imbalances and errors is in the weight room. And I couldn’t agree more.
Here’s feedback and exercises I gave Aubree to work on. She has exercises, stretches, and joint stability movements she was assigned to work on before we meet again in a month. My first goal was to help her see, feel and understand where she was struggling at the start of the session and then see, feel, and understand what it feels like to do it right, by the end of the session–basically, I wanted her to know which muscle groups to fire at the right times. And the cool part is when she started getting some of these things right by the end of the session, her dads glove was really popping with each pitch.
For Aubree, we focused on timing. She likes to extend through her low back first, leaving only her foot and knee to extend power off the rubber to pitch. We want that timing opposite. Ankle, then knee, then hip/torso–ALL while keeping pelvis firm and stiffly connected to her abdomen. We addressed pelvis control first: My first verbal cue was “pretend I nailed a board from your tailbone to your shoulder blades straight up and down along the spine” and do not let your board break as you pitch.
Take-Home Stretch–> Modified Couch Stretch
1) One of her take-home drills is creating and maintaining core/pelvis stiffness in her low back as she moves through a single-leg stance.
2) Her 2nd exercise will be tripod lunges with support.
3) From here, once she can show proficiency and control here, we will apply it to more violent movements such as hip extension med ball throws, which I like using as a precursor to power cleans or jumping hex bar squats.