May 2023 Pitching E-Newsletter: A Lesson in Continuity and Regret

I would be remiss to not share with you something that happened to me last night and the regrets of some for not attending our 40th high school reunion at Providence High School in Burbank, California. The small, private Catholic high school is next to Providence St. Joseph’s Hospital and across the street from Walt Disney Studios and the ABC lot at the 101 Freeway and Buena Vista Street.

Back in September of last year, there was a Facebook thread among our classmates (84 total students in our graduating class). Several classmates were talking about our 40-year reunion. All full of big plans about how it would look and how everyone would be there. 

Silly me, I made an “impulse buy” around 11:30 pm, stating that I would take the lead and be the chairman to get this thing going. It sounded like a great idea until the next morning when my wife saw the post and said, “What the hell are you thinking?” Little did I realize that she was right. 

A number of our classmates were on board, saying they would help reach out to people and how it would be great — for about two days. Then, it all died down, and I was left to decide whether or not to take it on. Fortunately, or unfortunately, I decided to take it on because everyone said they would help. Wrong. 

October, November, and December rolled around — and nothing. I was so close to ditching it all, but I was given the name of the reunion coordinator at our high school (who knew we had one?), and Sheridan was instrumental in getting our location, our setup, and so many more things.  

In January, I made a Facebook callout to anyone who wouldn’t mind assisting me on this project, or it would be shelved. And, not to my surprise, one of my closest classmates and friends said he would help. Then another classmate jumped in. And after seven long months of anxiety, regret, and then pure happiness, we held our reunion last evening at our high school. It was the best decision I made to bring a number of our classmates together — some we hadn’t seen since graduation in June 1983. It was spectacular!!

Many of us have amazing plans to improve ourselves on the baseball diamond and the pitching mound and drive off into the college sunset with a scholarship in hand. However, many go different routes instead of the sure and steady, and we are left wondering, “Why didn’t I do what I needed to do?” 

The 4–5 classmates who all were on board in the beginning? Not one of them showed up, and a few of them were so upset this morning (the day after), having seen pictures and videos on Facebook, and they had to admit that they wished they’d been there. They definitely regret not going. 

I understand life gets in the way, but seeing the posts this morning reminded me of many stories I get from players who are not playing baseball anymore and the regret they feel for not working harder or smarter. They see either a teammate or friend pitching in a big-time college game, and it becomes a soul-crushing moment where they wish they had continued working on their craft. But it was so important at the time to play video games instead. They now regret not pushing themselves to greater heights in baseball.

Throwzone Academy provides many opportunities for players to improve their skill set in arm strength, arm health, and for many, higher readings on the radar gun, which ALL colleges watch regardless of what others say. While it is definitely about the radar gun reading, it takes hard work to get the results that you and your future school want to see from you.  

Our weekly classes help assist your baseball work during the week:

Our summer training for both of our older players:

And our summer training for youth players:

All these opportunities provide vital training during a critical time. And yes, the summer training period is more important than going to showcases over and over. If you can build your skill set and stay healthy, you are much farther along toward your goal of playing at the next level than 97% of players. 

Plus, the cost of summer training and classes is a FRACTION of what showcases and tournaments in Arizona or Georgia charge — without any guarantee of a return on your investment when you include travel, hotel, food, and showcase costs.

I have a very good example in two of my pitchers. Both trained with us the past two summers going into their sophomore and junior seasons. One has been with us since he was seven years old. Neither of these players went off to play showcase after showcase but trained instead with Throwzone or another incredible pair of coaches whose training aligns with ours. Both of them, this season, secured D1 college baseball scholarships WITHOUT having to spend thousands and thousands of dollars, which most people figure you need to do to get seen. They both were rewarded for their work during the summertime.

Training and development are the name of the game, and Throwzone Academy is a destination for all players to improve and get better at throwing and pitching a baseball. From our past two summer training camps, I believe at least 15 players moved on to college baseball and more afterward.

I urge you to check out what we do during the summer. Email me, or call or text and see what we can do to improve your path to greatness. Don’t be like my classmates who didn’t show up and regret not being part of a truly tremendous evening.  

Don’t be like most players who live with regret regarding baseball. Get the information to make a smart decision. Training here at Throwzone Academy will be the best decision you could ever make.

I look forward to seeing both old and new players and having the time of our lives here, just like my classmates and I had at our reunion!

Until next time,


2023 Youth Summer Training Camp Annoucement!

Throwzone Academy is pleased to announce our 7th annual Youth Summer Training Camp!  

With summer vacation starting in 5–6 weeks and players needing to get out of the house and practice during June, our camp is the perfect solution to keep your young pitcher busy after school gets out. Plus, dropping your player off at Throwzone for a few hours each week may even give you parents time to do whatever you need to do!

Our youth camp will be run in a similar manner to our high school and college camps.

This 6-week training is consistent with our summer conditioning and throwing program. It will feature both throwing and pitching conditioning and involve all of our summer lifting, agility, and explosiveness workouts, as well as our throwing measurement using radar readings for immediate feedback on strength and throwing velocity. The camp will also involve pre-workout mental and mindset training, which includes videos, worksheets, and breathing techniques.

The class schedule will consist of the following activities each day:

  • Mindset video and relaxation drills to start our day right
  • Dynamic stretch and agility conditioning
  • Explosive activity conditioning will focus on training the core and lower half of the body
  • Med-ball core strengthening
  • Arm care
  • Deceleration and pronation stations
  • Weighted ball protocols
  • Mound work with mechanical assessments each day
  • Post-workout arm conditioning

The camp will be held on the following dates:

June 14 through July 21, 2023

Wednesday and Fridays

The camp will run from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm at Throwzone Academy.

This program is for players age 9 to 12!

Camp is only available to 12 students total. Registration is on a first-come, first-served basis. As of now, we already have 4 players signed up. As soon as 12 players are registered, camp registration will be closed. No exceptions this year!

The camp cost is as follows:

$719 for all 12 sessions (6 weeks)

$539 for 8 sessions (4 weeks)

$335 for 4 sessions (2 weeks)

The camp cost also includes a video analysis.  

Contact Jim to reserve your son’s spot. Send a text to 661-644-2147 or email at /

A deposit of $100 reserves your spot. Venmo is preferable (search for @throwzone under the name James Wagner) or Zelle (661-644-2147), but credit card, check, or cash are also accepted. The remainder of the payment will be due by the first day of class on Wednesday, June 14th.  

Our camp will sell out quickly, so the sooner you reach out, the better your chance of reserving a spot!

Summer training is the perfect complement to summer baseball. Plus, youth players will experience the type of training our high-level high school and college players receive. You can rest assured they will love the competitive atmosphere as well as the training that will lay the foundation for building up their arm strength for years to come.   

Our camps are tailored to the requirements players are expected to meet once they report back to their respective schools or universities. Throwzone Academy camps have been a staple of summer training, and now we’re tailoring our camp to fit the needs of the youth player. 

Being able to maintain a healthy and strong arm is what makes a player stand out in a region where there are baseball games all year long. That’s one of the top reasons to get a head start on or simply maintain your competitive edge during the baseball season. 

Sign up today to register for this successful training camp at Southern California’s top baseball pitching-only training facility.  

We look forward to seeing your son this summer!

Quote for the Week

“I have learned over the years that when one’s mind is made up, this diminishes fear.”

– Rosa Parks

Quote for the Week

“The battles that count aren’t the ones for gold medals. The struggles within yourself–the invisible battles inside all of us–that’s where it’s at.”

– Jesse Owens

2023 Summer Velocity Enhancement and Arm Health Camp Announcement

Throwzone Academy is pleased to announce our 17th annual Summer Baseball Training program! 

Our summer camp is a well-established strength, conditioning, and throwing training protocol. It incorporates baseball strength training as well as arm care and velocity enhancement. 

The goal of the summer program is to further aid and improve the explosive nature of throwing through our unique core and leg strength conditioning systems not found anywhere else in Southern California.

For the past several years, there has been a BIG jump in the so-called opportunities for youth and high school players who go to all-star tournaments and play in showcases in Arizona, Florida, or any other warm-weather state in the country. College players go off to play in summer leagues. High school players go to Arizona and other locations to play in “prestigious” tournaments.

In the end, it’s a colossal waste of time. You can find articles from friends of mine, like Kyle Boddy, Randy Sullivan, and Eric Cressey, which all read the same way: Development trumps ALL games played. Training in an environment focused on arm care, health, velocity, and recovery is the key to making long-lasting changes. 

The most important training for a baseball player to do and ready himself for the next season is to train in an environment that prides itself on the total development of the highly skilled pitcher.  

I’ve found that playing in games often just maintains a player’s current abilities. He may get a little more consistent with those abilities, but rarely does playing more games help a player improve his abilities.

The vast majority of players need to enhance some part, maybe even several parts, of their ability to play and/or be a contributor at the NEXT level. This is true whether that level is making a high school team, getting a college scholarship, getting in the rotation next season, becoming the #1 guy on the staff, or even getting drafted.

Going to college showcase camps will NOT get you on that team or into that school unless certain criteria are met on the mound:

  • Velocity
  • Arm health
  • Physical strength

Despite what many coaches may tell you, throwing a baseball at 90 miles per hour is almost a guarantee to play at a D1 school. However, 91+ miles per hour IS a guarantee!

Most coaches state how important it is to throw strikes—as if no one else knows this. However, top colleges and universities also know that throwing a baseball faster means more swings and misses from a batter, plus an ability to throw the ball down the middle of the plate and get people out.

That CANNOT happen if you throw 85 mph, let alone 80–84 mph.

Pitches in the 86–87 mph range may get a school to look at them once or twice, but only after they finish looking at all the 90+ mph pitchers. Even 88–89 mph pitches get you their consideration and possibly on the team.

However, it will not get you more playing time because everyone in college does that. They throw 88 mph and get one opportunity to prove themselves before finding out that hitters LIKE 88 mph!

BUT, pitches that are 90+ mph make hitters shake their heads and say, “No bueno.”

Arm health is the ability to recover strongly enough after a long outing. It means you end up recovering, so you can come back and pitch another day if you’re in the bullpen.

Physical strength is what it is: the strength to throw a baseball with power and precision AND repeat that delivery over and over!

Showcases, college camps, and high school and club teams do not offer you any of these traits if you’re a hopeful high school and college player, even if you’re a professional. 

At our Throwzone Academy Summer Training Program, we see pitchers with a variety of goals who are looking to:

  • Increase velocity
  • Develop better secondary pitches
  • Enhance command
  • Eliminate an arm issue
  • Achieve a combination of all the above

I fully believe the Throwzone Academy Summer Program is the place to help that progress occur. The reason we can train through so many different constraints is because we don’t use a cookie-cutter, one-size-fits-all approach.

Our past camp participants have moved on to play at the following universities:

  • UCLA
  • Arizona
  • Oregon
  • UC Irvine
  • Cal State Fullerton
  • Loyola-Marymount University
  • Cal State Northridge
  • Harvard University
  • University of San Diego
  • Stanford University
  • University of Northern Colorado
  • Campbell University
  • Cal State Bakersfield
  • University of Penn
  • Air Force Academy
  • UC Santa Barbara
  • Georgetown University
  • Westmont

There are never any guarantees in life, but you play the best hand available to you. You can rest assured we do a very good job at giving you the best cards so you can play the best hand possible.

Our summer training camp is tailored to match the way workouts and weekend clinics are run at the nationally known Texas Baseball Ranch in Houston, the Florida Baseball Ranch just outside of Tampa, and Driveline Baseball in Seattle, Washington.

Training will occur 3 times each week for 2½ hours each day. The workout will incorporate the following schedule:

  • Mental training video
  • Notebook review and daily goals
  • Multiple warm-up routines
  • Thoracic spine/glute activation
  • Agility training
  • Explosive training and speed work utilizing medicine balls, ropes, chains, box jumps, and weighted sprints
  • Band, Plyo care throws, and reverse weighted implements
  • Various deceleration work with weighted balls
  • Lower half training drills
  • Velocity enhancement with a weighted ball-throwing routine tailored to the individual needs of the player
  • Video analysis
  • Mound work
  • Explosive sprint work
  • Post-workout arm protocols and cool down
  • Recovery work, including MarcPro, cupping, and mobility wrap enhancement for rapid recovery
  • Nutritional guidelines for post-recovery success

We will have a specific and personalized throwing protocol for each player that will be part of their everyday training program. A camp notebook for velocity and strength goals will be of their daily routine.

We will be measuring and recording all reps and miles per hour, a staple of the class.

Keep in mind, this training is not for everyone. We would love to have every single person we’ve worked with involved in this class. As we’ve told players in the past, due to the training aspect and specificity of our program, we will be turning away students who may not be 100% committed to what we offer.

Our training sessions will not be a playground to keep players busy during the day. It isn’t that we don’t want everyone to be here, but we want only students who are serious about becoming better players and are looking to further their development for the next season. This is the perfect complement to finishing up a long summer season and transitioning to what becomes the most important part of training—the offseason or development time.

If you want to improve, then your progress will be measured, and you’ll know the path you’re on. Each player will know exactly where he stands. You can rest assured you’ll see great improvement, provided you put in the necessary work.

Our class schedule acts as the perfect complement to a high school and all-star team practice and any scheduled games they may have. Many of our students have shared how much more prepared they’ve felt before their summer games and that this training put them on the right track to begin their school practice sessions the following year.

The Throwzone Academy Summer Program is for three kinds of pitchers. Which one are you?

  1. You threw plenty of innings in the fall, winter, and spring, and now you need to focus on making gains in one or two areas. You don’t need more innings; you need specialized development to reach your goals.
  2. You lag behind your peers in one or more of these major categories: velocity, command, recovery and durability, or consistency from outing to outing. Simply throwing in more games during the summer won’t help you catch up.
  3. You’re dealing with an injury, and you need to ensure you’re taking the right steps to get back to full health and stay there.

The camp will only be open to the first 14 players who register for that particular day’s time slot. You are considered registered when you make the initial class deposit and complete and sign the training registration form.


June 5 to June 29

July 3 to July 27

Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays


First class: 10:00 am – 12:30 pm

Second class: 1:00 pm – 3:30 pm

All training will be held indoors at the Throwzone Academy pitching facility.

This particular training is for players aged 13 and older. We will announce our training for younger players in the next two weeks.

The first training session will run from June 5 to June 29. We’ll then have a second session from July 3 through July 27.   

Each day, the camp will be a 2-and-a-half-hour workout with individual attention given to building up core strength and beginning arm care in addition to movement patterns that will precede the camp.

Dates of each session: 

1st Session: June 5June 29 

2nd Session: July 3July 27


Cost for each of the weeks:

2 weeks: $ 429

3 weeks: $ 629

4 weeks: $ 799

If you plan to attend all 8 weeks, the total (with a discount) is $1,509. 

Due to the individual nature of our summer training program, we will be offering ONLY 14 spots per class. And slots are filling up with 10 spots already taken out of the 28 total spots available for the morning and afternoon sessions! This means you must register as soon as possible. Due to social distancing, registration shut down once we fill all the slots. 

The first clients to contact me will be allowed into the class. A $100 deposit is required to hold a spot with the remaining fees due on the first day of camp. Deposits can be made via Venmo (search under @throwzone, my name is listed as James Wagner) or Zelle (use cell # 661-644-2147). Camp registration forms will be emailed to you after your confirmation.

When you reach out to us requesting to hold a spot for the summer training, I will send you a registration form to be completed and signed. Once that’s filled out and the deposit is secured, you will be one of the campers whose summer training is going to have a permanent impact on your baseball career!

Once our classes are full, there will be no further students admitted. 

Don’t miss out on the only sport-specific training and throwing program available on the West Coast that focuses on the areas you need to develop to become a more durable baseball player—with better arm recovery AND increased velocity while also maintaining control and command of your pitches.

Contact Jim at 661-644-2147 (texting is preferred) or email for more information regarding the sessions you’re interested in and payment options.

If you want to become great at something and achieve your goal, you must write it down and measure the steps along the way. That is what Throwzone Academy is doing and why we are a leader in developing pitchers and throwers!

April 2023 e-Newsletter: It’s Time to Turn on the Engines

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…