Jim Wagner’s ThrowZone Academy is excited to announce the next phase of our pitching evolution beginning Tuesday, September 3rd, 2013.
But before all of this, check out our new website at www.throwzone.com!!!!
In 2004, when I started Jim Wagner’s ThrowZone Academy, there was an identified need for a full time pitching lesson academy in the Santa Clarita Valley. My goal was to create the very best pitching business available and feel we have achieved that one goal in a reasonable amount of time. Over time the business grew from a few 1-on-1 lessons a day to as many as 16 lessons/day 5, 6, and often 7 days a week.
From 2003 to 2012, ThrowZone Academy was based in a batting cage facility – locations that forced us into many nights of loud pings and rattling chains. The increase in our student volume prompted our move into a new, quiet, stand-alone facility that was built out specifically for the demands of our students. It provides proper warm-up and workout areas, as well as two full-size, Major League Baseball standard pitching mounds. We have also added lighting and state of the art high-speed video analysis that will be upgraded in the next month to distinguish ourselves from anyone else on the west coast.
Even with these vast improvements over the last year, the Academy’s true worth was not yet realized. This expansion over the last few years has given us much needed feedback and from that an idea was spawned. The long-term goal being formulated was a group of students learning instead of just one student at a time.
As a result beginning on September 3, 2013, Jim Wagner’s ThrowZone Academy is moving to Group Lessons.
Groups of students have proven more and more that they are their own greatest teachers. Pitching groups continually push each other to better themselves and throw with more speed, hit the command trainer more times and their invested effort in the progress of one another powerfully demonstrates that group classes move pitching classes in the right direction.
Another benefit of this group setting is the increased duration of the classes. More time in a group session actually will allow for more 1 – 1 instruction with individual pitchers. The physical work done in the group circuit stations becomes the greatest instructor for your child’s improvement, and they learn by doing.
New features of our group classes:
- My continued instruction and insight, as well as the contributions of guest instructors and coaches.
- Complete warm-up, arm care, arm strength, medball and velocity and control / command stations.
- New video analysis with real-time feedback.
- Group circuits for more pitching and throwing work focusing on multiple areas of development
Classes will operate as in the past at 1X/week. I will be contacting clients in the next week to get days that work for them within the next couple of weeks however, if you want to book a day of the week now then you will be more than assured of getting a spot.
Classes run every Monday thru Friday. Each class is 1 hour and 20 minutes long. The class times will be Monday thru Thursday:
1. 4:00p – 5:20p
2. 6p – 7:20
Friday class will be:
1. 4:30p – 5:50
2. 6p – 7:20p
My greatest contribution as their pitching coach is to lead these students in drills whether by demonstration or explanation and to assist them in a learning environment of guided discovery. Guided discovery is where the student gets to continually test and feel a movement pattern that works best for themselves. This remarkable technique has and always will be the best teacher in any type of movement pattern.
The biggest winner in our continued evolution, however, will always be you and your child. They will be more excited to come to the facility, understand their training much more fully, and improve tremendously. Join us in our revolutionary move in the education and training of pitchers.
ThrowZone is going to be revolutionize the way pitchers and throwers are developed. This type of program has not operated anywhere else in Southern California that I know of and that we will be setting the standard on how to work with developing pitchers throughout the SCV.
Expanded Group class explanation: (Sent out a week after original email with revisions)
In the interest of all the families who have asked about the new group format and what changes will be made different than the individual lesson, I am going to explain in greater detail how the new classes are going to operate.
As you have seen from the lessons that I have given I do not normally start playing catch with a student right away. Unless it is a brand new student or a younger client, we have usually gone through an arm warm up routine including throwing a 2 pound ball both forward and backwards. We also have gone through a specific throwing routine with other colored baseballs that are utilized in a manner to get the arms working together with the lower half of the body through various throwing drills. This part of our lesson has been approximately 10 minutes long – 1/3 of the lesson time. The 2nd part of our 1-1 lesson has been more throwing drills from the students knees, his legs staggered, feet wide apart then going to throw the full distance to a pad. This part of our lesson has been approximately 10 minutes – now 20 minutes in our lesson or 2/3 of the lesson time. The 3rd part has been more or less pitching from the mound and getting our upper and lower half working together. Along with working on a specific pitch, we may pitch to a batter. This is the last 1/3 of the lesson and takes us to the end of our session. One on one lessons have been 30 minutes long. In that time, we have gotten attempted to get a number of things done.
However, it goes very fast and in many cases it almost goes too fast. This was one of the main reasons for the change to a group format where our time together would be almost 3 times as long.
The new group format will include a warm up routine, arm care protocols, multiple throwing circuit stations, mound work and proper finish work. I have found this type of format has exponential returns on the ‘pitching’ investment and will show in your child’s arm health and game time performance.
Another area of concern which I will be fixing will be limiting the number of students to a particular class. I will be booking players in one class to 8 total students. Along with another instructor, the two of us will make the efficiency of the class a much more conducive learning environment.
I know that these changes will be great once September rolls around. I know that the format change will be tremendous……it has been proven before.
I will be booking the September class work in the next couple of weeks. If you have a particular day that you would like to book now let me know as soon as possible. It has been mentioned to me about booking students online to schedule times. However, as I have always made this business as personal as possible, I feel it would be best to continue booking students via the phone, email and texting as I have always done. This way you continue to have communication with me instead of a computer. I hope to continue this process for a long time.
If there are any other thoughts, please feel free to let me know. As I mentioned in my first email my priority in all of this is your child’s best interest in pitching and baseball. That I know will be true in our facility changes.