This baseball season has become one of the weirdest seasons ever in terms of weather. Personally, I’ve never experienced as much rain, wind, and cold for this long a period of time; it’s going past 2 months now. I’ve spoken with multiple high school coaches as well as our former head coach at WRHS, who has been coaching for close to 30 years now, and they all say they’ve never experienced this volume and length of rain.
One of the disadvantages to playing in this type of weather is the infrequency of throwing since surfaces are wet and muddy. Hitters might be able to hit in a cage, but hitting with rain coming down is futile. It’s also been a hindrance for pitchers of all ages.
Pitchers are creatures of habit. They like to know the day they will throw and how much they will throw in terms of pitches or innings limit. Training for pitchers also depends on pitching mounds not being too muddy, not pitching when rain is falling, and dealing with the cold and miserable conditions that have been part of SoCal since January.
If this is what it’s like on the East Coast or in the Midwest, then I have a newfound respect for those dealing with these conditions while continuing to play baseball.
Fortunately, there are indoor facilities to accommodate hitters and fielders, and Throwzone Academy is here to get all of your throwing needs met. Plus, with the season creeping up to its finality during this weird baseball season, it’s important to know what your son needs to do going forward to improve his pitching prowess.
For the senior class of ball players, decisions need to be made on whether they move on to the next playing level. For the players who will move on to 2-year or 4-year colleges, the end of the regular season is a time to improve their strength both in their bodies and arms.
For juniors, sophomores, and freshmen—plus incoming freshmen—it’s also an important time to improve their arm health and strength through our summer program and in the gym. The summertime is not the time to rest after a long season. It’s a time to improve in areas you can’t work on during the season.
For several of these pitchers, coaches have either completely worn down their arms or haven’t let their pitcher pitch much at all. In either case, it means that taking care of your arm during the summer will put you further along than others when practice starts again at the beginning of the school year. The ability to throw harder and get healthy happens in the offseason.
I get asked a lot about summer baseball, specifically about going to showcases and such so players get seen by college coaches. My advice is that if you don’t have the skills to throw in the mid-80s or have an amazing secondary pitch, then going to a showcase is a big waste of time—and money.
Coaches may see you, but they’ll put the radar gun away once the 70s and low 80s are flashing. Another scenario: if a coach is watching a player and they don’t have a radar gun in their grip, then they’re not interested in that player as a prospect. If there’s no one there to watch your game, you’re not going to gain the interest of colleges. They want to see 90 miles per hour and above; that’s the new norm for D1 colleges—88 mph is for D2, D3, and NAIA. This is a fact I’ve learned after 25+ years of talking to coaches.
In fact, I reached out to a D1 coach this week about what he wants to see specifically for left-handed pitchers, and his response was, “Clean arm action, changeup, and repeatability. Also, 91+ miles per hour for a right-hander and 88 mph for a lefty.” Now, this is a top 20-ranked D1 program. For almost all high school prospects, these are the areas to be worked on.
The good news is that we at Throwzone Academy can help assist you in your journey.
Our Summer Velocity Enhancement and Arm Health Camp program will enter its 17th year beginning in June and continue its goal of improving overall body strength and arm velocity through our continued arm care, health, and recovery modalities. Also, the program focuses on improving throwing mechanics with a multitude of drills and repetitions.
No one runs this type of summer training program the way Throwzone does. Others may claim they do, but I guarantee they don’t. Don’t be fooled by other people who claim to create velocity. Throwzone Academy is the leader in velocity and arm health training programs, as evidenced by our average of 100+ players attending per week.
You should see an email about the camp coming this first week of April. Space will be limited, so signing up early will be a vital step toward taking full advantage of this important summer training for your son!
Along with taking care of the body, the mental side of the game is just as important, if not more. If your body is a car, your mindset is like the computer telling the car what to do. However, building up your mental strength gets put off time and again. Imagine if you only hit or threw a baseball once a week. You’d be very challenged to improve your overall game skill set, yet our player’s ability to work on their mental strength is an area we take for granted.
Summer training is an absolute must for gaining the necessary strength and arm care needed to improve your game. Summer games aren’t worth anything unless you train your body and arm and use a weekend game for a couple of innings to see where you can improve. The training is most important, and games are a very distant second. Don’t let coaches tell you otherwise. I’ve seen players get hurt because they pitch 5–6 innings a game without working and training in between to improve their bodies. It is a NECESSITY for improving your skills.
Hesitating to train will set a player back several months. Allow us at Throwzone Academy to help improve your arm strength, health, and recovery!
I look forward to seeing everyone in June!
Until next time…