Impossible is nothing: my road to my dream

One key this offseason for me will be that I will continue to lift as a throw this offseason which should allow me to gain strength in both lifting and my arm.

This was my first week I threw this offseason after a solid 2 weeks off. Overall I’m just working mechanical right now trying to figure things out: scap load, raising arm slot and ultimately rotating around the spine using my arm.

Today I didn’t have the scap load but did ok with raising arm slot and let a few loose. At the end of fall ball I was around 82 just stepping and throwing, today I was definitely in the mid 80s doing the same. Once I get the scap loading part I should be able to hit the upper 80s.

I have a few nice breaks these next two months to give my arm a rest so I’m not that worried about it.

3-4 days this weekend for fall break, then 5-6 for thanksgiving, then another 2 weeks for christmas.

I need to work on my slidestep, I shouldn’t just step and throw it cause me to lose velocity.

I can see myself after this hard offseason of work being definitely in the upper 80s, maybe touching the low 90s.

Damn that’d be amazing, if my control gets better I could possibly be one of the top pitchers in the MIAC.

Just want to add on that I’m also working on throwing with my elbow not dropping as much. Before it would load and then as it swiveled into the high cocked position it would drop. However I had found it much more effective and have better command and stuff when I focus on keeping the elbow up instead of letting it drop.

Today I worked on this and the changes seemed to be doing pretty well. Just need to keep working on this change for a couple more weeks and I should have it down by Thanksgiving if all goes well.

After that I will probably focus on rotating around the spine after I throw the ball to follow through.

I threw with a friend and I gotta admit the ball was jumping after I made those changes.

What year did you say that you were again?

I am a Freshman at Gustavus Adolphus College

I have realized that I’m again reverting to the old habit of my body pulling my arm. I gotta work on that. My new arm action granted I do throw harder and I expect too, its just that I don’t have the timing down yet.

I heard the saying today reading over old setpro topics to throw with your body supporting your arm. That makes sense to me and is what I am going to try and achieve.

Once I get this down the next step will be to work on moving towards home plate sooner and not having such a large initial crunch.

I’m still throwing in the low to mid 80s even though my mechanics are not quite there. Should be even better once I get the timing down.

Worked on unload portion of my upper body yesterday. Mechanics felt overall better as I had better velocity, control, and less soreness afterwards. Still working slow trying to figure it all out. Not quite there but it is getting closer with each passing day. Also tinkered a bit with my separation as I’m going to have to tweak my entire delivery to work with my new arm action. Did the Lanky drill which seemed to help my timing. Let loose one (from BC 5 I believe) that was in the low to mid 80s range.

Strength is going well too. The trainer here was a former college pitcher and has a killer shoulder routine that he introduced to us today. I can see myself gaining velocity just because of the routine. But implementing tuffcuff will have it shooting through the roof.

I’m just beginning phase 3 right now and even at my most intense the workouts still end up going around an hour to do. My abs right now are on absolute fire right now.

Continuing to work mechanically. For the past few days I have been focusing on gliding down the mound instead of stalling over the rubber. It was never a huge problem for me but is just one that needed to be fixed. Again not a huge change. Will take some time but shouldn’t exactly be a major fix for me.

This is kind of me mechanically right now. Not in need of huge repair at least I don’t believe I could be throwing mid 80s without a solid base of mechanics, just needs to be improved in small ways.

My problem of gliding down the mound is coming along fine when I go from the windup since I have a higher leg lift, when I go from the slide step I struggle more. But I’m working on standing up straighter and a more knee-knee approach which should help.

Like I said previous, another couple hundred of reps and I should be there. Next on the list will be my front leg and the angle of landing position of my foot. I tend to open up my foot so its point more towards 1st base then I would like. I experimented with this a little today and found that pointing the bottom of my foot towards the plate seemed to work well. Kind of like Lanky’s BC 4/5 except with a leg lift.

The 3rd thing mechanically will be finally to work on changing my arm slot. This is the lowest priority since I could go this season having a lower slot and fix it gradually over the season. This also could prove to be the most difficult and could mess with my accuracy. Something I have noticed about trying to change arm slot is that when you simply try and throw from a different slot with your arm it isn’t very effective. Your entire body from the beginning works towards the arm slot, from your leg lift to the release it all determines what slot you will throw from. So that’s what I need to do is to work with my whole body to throw from this arm slot.

I will update in the next week video of myself throwing so I can give you an idea of what I am working towards

Gliding down the mound seems to be getting easier and easier each session. I have to admit that after a few hundred reps I may be starting to get it.

I have started to work on my next project which is the hips. I tend to spin the hips open instead of them driving forward and thus supporting my arm as it rotates into release. Essentially I’m spinning instead of rotating. The difficult thing about this is that they look very similar, one of the only way to tell is by control feedback. When spinning it is very hard to throw strikes, while when you rotate you stop missing so much left and right. Your velocity improves when rotating, but you can still generate velocity when spinning (I was still in the mid 80s) the problem comes with throwing strikes. You simply have trouble. Another key point trouble throwing from a higher slot, since it is easier to generate velocity when simply spinning the hips and and throwing from a sidearm slot. When from a higher slot mistakes it is much easier to tell (Everything is up), when throwing sidearm you can throw strikes (although you are wild). I simply need to work on rotating the hips instead of spinning.

One final thing I need to fix is to remember to throw the ball. I need to remember that the body simply supports the arm, with the arm providing the power. When I let my body take over I lose velocity since my arm loses scap load and thus a muscle activation which transfers the energy to the arm.

I know this because the other day I worked on my foot placement and although it was better and I transferred energy to the plate I didn’t gain velocity and after video I realized that I was letting my arm go for a ride instead of it firing the ball.

Ok, I feel like I need to explain exactly what I meant yesterday in my post about spinning. There are different types of spinning, the two I know of are found in the unload of the scaps and the unload of the hips. Essentially they lead to the same issue overall, you can generate velocity but you can’t throw strikes.

First of all, I am a firm believer in that the best mechanics are the ones that allow you to throw hard and with control. So now lets focus on the lower body unload. I don’t have clips but I will try my best to describe it.

When I first began working with my hips, in February of this year, I mainly focused on driving the knee down and in so the hips would spin open providing power. I mainly used Jake’s drill, if you want to know what these drills take look on Lanky’s log or go to setpro and sign up for the paid pitchers access there is a gold mine of knowledge in that place, and I would work with simply spinning my hips. The problem then becomes that while I generate power it doesn’t transfer towards home plate efficiently. Try it one day, try just spinning the hips open and throwing which is essentially what I was doing. From me to get extension I had to basically use all arm, in other words the kinetic chain wasn’t very well connect.

This is why I was missing so badly, when I was throwing sidearm I plunking guys left and right because I was spinning. That is why my arm was dropping on my curve. My body tried ways to compensate such as closing my hips off.

Ultimately what I have to do is to work on the hips driving the body forward. This is actually very hard to explain, what I don’t mean is the hips simply push forward. They still rotate but they don’t spin they rotate forward. So that’s what I’m working on now.

Video later I promise.

Noticed that I’m having trouble with my arm action, the first order of business being lifting my arms lift with elbows and not with my shoulder. The result was a my elbow dropping and a bad scap loading. The second being that I have a rather lengthy stall in my arm action. This results in my arm being dragged into release instead of firing. This may be because of my lifting with the shoulders so we’ll see.

For the first time in a long time at the end of my most recent throwing session I was smiling. A big stupid grin, I must have looked insane. Throwing into a net for just under an hour, heck not even throwing like a normal person. To the casual person I must have looked nuts going through my arm action drills, then smiling as I walked out of the gym.

For the past few weeks (hell even months) I have been struggling with scap loading. I could never replicate that feeling of looseness I had with my old arm action and tonight I found it in my new more powerful arm action. The cue was keeping the forearm loose as possible, no tension. All of sudden there was no more dragging, no more passiveness of my scap load, no more spinning. I was rotating.

It’s still early, currently I’m still working on the unload in BC 1/2 (I basically take BC 1 and turn my shoulders sideways so it feels more like a real throw) and transferring that similar load into my arm action. But the looseness is definitely there. Just stepping and throwing I felt a velocity increase. The timing is still not quite there yet, but one thing at a time.

My arm is very sore right now and I will definitely be taking a break, I have decided on throwing on days 3 and 6 of my routine: or on thursdays and Sundays, seeing how my arm recovers maybe mondays as well.

But I can see a light at the end of the tunnel. 500 or more reps working with the arm action, then focusing on the kinetic chain. I know somewhat I need to do. I need to stabilize my front leg so that way I have segmentation instead of just pure rotation.

But one thing at a time. I still have 3 months until preseason, another 4 1/2 until season. If I’m not throwing 90 by spring I will be very disappointed in myself. Now lets get it done

My current mechanics right here, sorry about the crappy video quality. The first 2 drills are me just working on being quick with my arm. Then I actually try and do the leg lift. Arm action looks pretty good at the beginning, when I add it to the stretch it seems to lose it a little bit. I think its a step in the right direction. I need to finish up with my arm action and then work on the body to get it all together. My hips barely do anything in this clip, Idk if this is a problem but it seems as if my upper body goes flat rather quickly, like as if my arm is the only thing doing any work. Will look into it and that may be the case, let me know your thoughts.

Btw you can turn off the sound, I was in my schools gym and it was rather loud

Sorry just looked and I mean that I don’t know if its a problem that my back is going flat very rapidly instead of the arm being supported by body and not doing all the work.

Overall, I just have to keep on trying to find my motion. I’m on the right track, its just a huge amount of trial and error.

Strength wise I’m seeing progress. I have gone from 40 lbs in each hand to 50 for dumbbell press. I have gone from rowing 40s to 50s. My tricep kickback’s have gone from 12.5 to 20s. My bicep curl went from 40 lbs to 60 lbs. My deadlift, something I am very weak in, is currently at around 125 lbs. My cleans are up to about at 115. I can also now lunge with 45 lbs in each hand.

Mechanically I’m working on getting my elbow up as it starts to throw, with it I get better velocity, control, and movement. Overall things look good. I need to tweak some thing from the stretch, as I tend to open up to quickly with my glove arm.

I threw today for the first time since thanksgiving break, more work needs be done as expected. My arm action however is coming along nicely, I made a few tweaks today and that seemed to work pretty well. The first one was to always lift my arm not just load my scaps out of my glove, that was getting me in trouble as my arm would get dragged. The second thing was to let my elbow bend so my arm would be more bent as it got loaded and this felt more natural and comfortable, the final thing was to accelerate my arm through the high cocked position which made my arm drag less and it felt more explosive.

My body the main thing is rotating segmentation. My lower body tends to keep moving while in reality it needs to stop and let my upper body whip around and deliver my arm. I have approximately a month until captains start and I would like to be at least close to the finished product by then. Shouldn’t be a problem really. Just another couple days of hardcore taping and adjustments and the arm action should be good then I can go to work on the lower body.

Learning something new almost everyday. I need to focus on the bow-flex-bow portion of my throwing motion and let it happen. Too often I just load my scaps and throw immediately which is somewhat true of what happens but as the hips begin to open the upper body flexes and the scaps load until the hips are open. From there all the energy loaded into the upper body is released and the ball is delivered.

I think my mechanics are getting better each day. It’s been a hell of a couple of months just working on mechanics. 90 mph is in my sights, I’m throwing at least the low 80s on flatground just stepping and throwing. Once I add the leg kick and the mound, the upper 80s should be there and with some luck that magical 90 mph.

I’m getting excited, this year I hope I face St. Thomas. I’m looking forward to shutting down those Tommies.

Worked on hand break yesterday, the correction seemed to work well. My load and unload of the scaps was cleaner and my arm didn’t get trapped behind my body. What I was trying to accomplish was to break my hand straight back instead of going behind my body which gave me trouble and I lost control and velocity.

Another month and a half until first day of practice

The hand break is working beautifully although I have not gotten a chance to video tape as my camera is broken. I’m worried that my arm is caught behind my body but I don’t think that is the case.

I’m working on my unload specifically my chest, as the arch tends to determine the arm slot. When I was trying to throw from a higher arm slot I was pushing with my lower body, now that I have started to make the change its stopped and I’m much more rotational.

Still working on arm action: keeping it loose and easy, flexing the torso, and throwing after loading. The velocity is there, I am throwing pretty hard I just need to stop spinning and start rotating. For those wondering an easy way to tell if you are is that your foot is coming up before you release, this means your arm is slightly behind.

I still have the ability to throw hard mainly because of the momentum I achieve, but it needs to get better. As soon as I get the arm action under control I need to work on my push. I tend to push my hips into rotation instead of actually using my hips to rotate.

A drill I have heard and will be try to fix this is called the stork drill. Essentially you throw without sitting on your back leg, so your forced to use the muscles in your hips to rotate.

Does this school use the Jugs or Stalker radar gun?

I believe it is Stalker.

Still tweaking things, I just need some time. Still working on arm action, its been a tough couple of months. I have hope though, I am getting closer each and every day. I feel like I just need time to implement the change so it feels natural. Right now my shoulder is flipping my arm up instead of my elbow, so my elbow drops as my shoulder goes up. I’ve worked on it for a few days and it honestly feels much more natural and less forced then the one I have been tinkering with for 3 months.

I get back to college Jan 2 for Jterm classes. We have captains over that period. My tentative plan is to throw bullpens on tuesday and thursday, using the weekends just working with mechanics.

Ideally I would be able to transfer my arm action to the mound as soon as possible, so I could work on my offspeed, right now its a toss-up. I think I’ll be there. The only real thing I need to change was my arm action so its not like have a ton of working parts. I am also going to go with a slidestep to begin with, as the windup right now is not a necessity. The slidestep would allow me to simplify things and still make a large impact this season.

I’m so close, even without the change I’m throwing hard, I haven’t been gunned but I’d say 86-88.