My quest for a strong senior season

Well after reading all these logs for the past couple of months i’ve been inspired to start one that i can hopefully update almost everyday kinda like lbarber’s. Hopefully it’ll be a way to keep me motivated, recount my days, and go back in a year and see how i’ve progressed! :lol: well anyway i guess i’ll tell you all about myself to get started…p.s. i think this might be a long first post so here’s the waiver so i can’t get sued :stuck_out_tongue:

anyway my name is joel i just turned 17 i am 5’10.5" 163 lbs. i live in small springfield, new jersey and will be a senior in september at our local high school Jonathan Dayton High School. There’s about 600 kids and we are classified as Group 1 out of 4 for athletics. I guess i’ll tell you about our baseball program. Ummm we were never really good until my freshman year. I was on jv but our varsity team was the best we had ever been. We made the county final and sectional final (3 wins away from a state championship). We lost both of those games but it was a fun ride for everybody and inspired me to help us get back to that position my next 3 years with the program.

Anyway, freshman year on jv we were really good we went 14-5 i believe. I pitched some pretty big games for us and won a couple lost some but overall i made a name for myself in our program and was a great learning experience to start high school baseball. I worked on some things and made varsity as a sophomore as the “closer” and third starter. (I closed a couple important games out) That year was probably the biggest learning experience of my life in baseball where i learned how to actually pitch and experience the best and worst moment so far in baseball. It was also probably the most heart breaking year i’ve had as we lost our two win or go home games on walk offs. I never had an overpowering fastball and didn’t really need it as i really only pitched 2 or 3 innings against the good teams we played and could use my off-speed for the decent teams that i started against. My best moments came against the eventual county champions in a regular season game as i came in as we were down by 3 i believe in the 6th and got one of their good hitters to ground out to end the inning. I then came back for the 7th and actually struck out 4 kids in an inning which was incredible to do against such a great team. I then came up to plate down by 2 i believe and singled for my first varsity hit ever :lol: although we lost the game it was a great feeling to do so well. We eventually faced them in the county quarterfinals and lost on a walk-off home run after leading the whole game and committing two errors in the last inning. My worst moment came in our first round state game where i was brought in in the 8th inning of a tied game. I went 1-2-3 in the eighth and we took the lead in the top of the 9th. The inning is basically a blur but to make it short i basically hit a kid with a curveball to bring in the game winning run and i was devestated. I felt so bad for all the seniors i let down by blowing their final game ever. Anyway, that motivated me for next season, although it was basically a disaster. We went 5-16 and were just awful. I was pretty bad pitching although i had 12 strikeouts one game against one of our rivals (they are decent though :? ) anyway after last season i am totally motivated to bring our baseball program back to the way we were my freshman year.

Well this is getting very long so i guess i’ll just state my goals for now until next season. (In no particular order)

  1. Definitely gain velocity via mechanic work, various methods to improve arm strength (i believe arm strength is one of the keys because i feel mine is okay at best) and tuff cuff
  2. Work on my attitude (I am a very emotional guy and can get upset when errors are made and/or i am getting hit very hard. I believe working on my attitude is a key to my success this year)
  3. Control (I really need to hit spots and keep the ball low. I have a tendency to leave the ball over the plate and with my velocity i can get hit very hard)
  4. Balance my life (It’s gonna be a crazy year for me. I’m entering my senior year meaning i need to find out where to go to college and fill out applications. I will also need to find time to work out all my baseball activites, work for some money and of course not lose my grades as i am taking 3 AP courses this year. I will also need to find room for my friends as they mean a lot for me.)

Well guys this is probably the longest post in history so i’ll let you guys go. It’ll be interesting to see how it all goes this year and fun to see if i achieved my goals. Any comments, concerns, questions, opinions, observations, tips, etc. are greatly welcomes as they will spice up the log :stuck_out_tongue: :smiley:

well i’m off for now hehe update later on how my workout today went

great read so far keep updating!

Thanks tomg! Well earlier i worked out using tuff cuff. I did the second exercise for phase 1, week 7. lifting went well, the gym was virtually empty so no real problems there… I think i can feel myself getting a little stronger. The reps are becoming a tad easier to complete which is nice. Running and med ball work went well. Although it really sucks to run in 95 degree heat, it feels so good afterwards as you really feel like you got a workout. As far as throwing goes, i think i’m gonna take a couple more weeks off and then start it up again. I ended my summer season about 2 or 3 weeks ago and decided to take some time off for my arm and then get back into it and really push to get the arm strength i so desperately want/need. I am off tomorrow as i will be working (which sometimes is a workout in itself) and then do day 3 on sunday which should always be a nice way to wrap up the week. I am actually getting my wisdom teeth removed next monday and from my friends i hear you feel like crap afterwards so i’m probably gonna take next week off depending on how bad i feel.

good luck with the teeth thing lol

Well i just completed the third day of phase 1, week 7. Went good overall. I usually do the tubing on day 3 because i can just do everything at home which makes it much easier for me. Like i said it went well, tubing always challenges me for some reason, in a good way though of course. You can always get that good burn going. Umm ran down to the local field and did my sprint work. I was a little more tired than usually. Not exactly sure why, but it felt good to have to battle that anyway.

Well on a side note away from baseball i got my schedule for my senior year in the mail today. It goes something like this:

Period 1-2: AP Physics
Period 3: Diversity Studies
Period 4: AP Calc BC
Period 5: AP English
Period 6: Lunch
Period 7: Gym
Period 8: Band

Overall it looks like a great schedule. I get all of my real classes over in the morning and get all the good classes i like after lunch so it should be fun. I know i have a lot of my friends in my classes so i’m pretty excited for this year. If only I didn’t have to start college searching and getting nagged by my mom every 5 seconds of my life. Oh well. I’m gonna head off to work now. I’m gonna be taking this week off because like i said I am having my wisdom teeth removed. Anyway i’m out. P.S. GO YANKEES

Well i’m fully recovered from my wisdom teeth removal and ready to start back up. I threw on saturday for probably the first time in about 3 or 4 weeks. It went alright. Spent some time at about 40 feet, some at 60, some at 90, and some at 120 and then pitched 15-20 to my dad. It went alright. My toe drag is getting much better, which is hopefully due to momentum. However, i am not staying closed at all with my shoulders, which is a problem i had during the season. That is becoming one of the big goals this off season. I am hoping to get a video next time i go out to analyze it and let you all see.

I did week 8 phase 1 of tuff cuff today. Went well overall. It was actually a little harder than usual to complete the last 2 reps on some excercises and the running was a little challenging. I attribute this to just taking the whole week off of total physical activity and for the running, it’s always hard on a leg day. That having been said i really do need to stop eating fast food, which i believe could be a big contributor to the running part. But it was good to really push myself to finish strong and all of that jazz. well i’ll be doing my next workout tuesday then thursday and then i’m off to boston and the poconos for a week with my family. That should be fun, but unfortunatly another week where i can’t do any workout/baseball things. :x :x but after that i’m home for good, school starts so after vacation i plan on putting petal to the metal and just keep going with tuff cuff and throwing without any breaks for a while. Well i’m out guys.

Joel

Not all fastfood has to be so bad for you. Most places have grilled chicken breasts in some item, so look for that. Some might even have a whole wheat bun (ditch the white bread, though). Then just sub the fries for a little green side salad with a non-dairy dressing. It took me a long time to figure out that low fat honey mustard dressing was absolutely delicious. Another benefit is that salad will fill you up more than the fries because of the fiber, so you wont eat crappy meals later in the day.

And most fast food joints have their menu along with the nutritional info on their website so you can check that out and pick out something that isn’t too bad.

Workout went really well today. Bicep curls were the toughest today and cheated a little to get the 12 reps. :x but other than that it went pretty well and my arms were beat after which is always a great feeling.

kc: thanks for that info. Unfortunatly i usually don’t have that mind over matter to get a salad instead of, lets say, chicken fingers :roll: but i’ll defintely try out the salads next time going back.

Well thats it for now. I might go and throw with my friend or to the backstop tomorrow but we’ll see how my arm feels. I might just wait until after vacation. We’ll see though.

So i didn’t throw today. I was pretty sore from my first upperbody workout in like 2 weeks so it would have been counter productive to throw. However i did get some unexpected workouts in. Me and friends played soccer for about an hour and a half and let me tell you that took it out of me. Lot of sprinting and that was good. And then my friend wanted to run a mile later so i went with him. I know running miles aren’t too good for pitching, but since i ran “sprints” while playing soccer i thought why not? i had nothing else to do and it’s always easier to run with a partner anyway. It was good though i pushed myself the last lap and that felt good. All in all it was a good, unexpected work out day and i had a lot of fun. Tomorrow i’m gonna hopefully try to fit in day 3 of week 8, phase 1. I have to get a haircut and work but i can probably fit it in. We’ll see how it goes though…

Wow, well i haven’t posted in over a month but i’ve just been crazed with the amount of homework i’m getting combined with working out and working. Not gonna be a long post either. I’ve been doing the workouts in tuff cuff and i’m actually seeing them get easier which is always fun to see. The running has been awesome and i think will defintely pay dividends. Let me see…i haven’t been throwing at all except for like once in the past 2 or 3 months, but i really want to start on that. My best friends brother who was on my team last year is gonna join me which makes me happy taht i don’t have to throw to a fence :smiley: . For that, i’m going to build up slow and work my way into long toss and hopefully a bullpen a week possibly. My dad has been trying to find a pitching coach for me to also throw to like once a week. He found a guy at the local batting cages that i’m probably going to test out next week. They have an indoor mound with like a little throwing cage/lane thing i guess you can call it which will definitely pay off for me during the cold, winter here in jersey. Basically i’m doing pretty well, trying to start eating healthier. kc you’ll proud as i’ve had salad twice at a place called baja fresh and it was awesome. I’m defintely gonna keep that up. Hopefully i become better with this and i’ll see you guys later.

joel

Good stuff.

Oh yeah and Baja Fresh is freaking delicious :lol:

I defintely feel you there kc. I actually just went there a couple hours ago. I got the mango chipotle salad…really, really good definitely recommend it and very filling.

Well I just got done with a workout. Just some upper body stuff and running. Went fine…I’m hoping to start with the pitching coach really soon and i’m really excited. I just can’t wait to get on a mound again and work on my mechanics. I’m really trying to focus on more momentum towards the plate, turning my pitching arm side’s foot over early, and landing in a good fielding position after the delivery. I know that last one is a semi-controversial but i really feel like it’s a big thing for me because: 1. Obviously it’s easier to snag a comebacker or any other ball that i could possibly get to and 2. I feel like if my mechanics work like i want to, I should be ending up in a good fielding position. We’ll see though…

Just got up from an after workout nap after trying to read pride and prejudice :smiley: old english books these days… :roll: but anyway unfortunatly i wasn’t able to work my 3rd day in normally so i had to do it 2 days late :roll: oh well it’s better than nothing. But it went well today, nothing really special. On the pitching note, I’m scheduled with this pitching guy on thursday. This is my first time really pitching since hte middle of the summer so we’ll see how this goes…defintely gonna be rusty. After thursday, i’m gonna see how my arm feels adn hopefully get into a throwing program with my friend i mentioned. He actually came up to me today to ask about throwing so im’ definitely excited about that. On a side dietary note, I went to quizno’s twice in the past 2 weeks and i really recommend it…what’s your taking on quizno’s kc? It seems like it can’t be that bad…it’s just subs. But anyway i’m also gonna work out tomorrow and update you guys on the thursday session so talk to you guys then.

Quizno’s ain’t bad if you know what to order, I suppose. As long as you avoid the white bread, mayo, and cheese then it’s all pretty good. If you get double meat with lots of veggies then it can be a good option.

Hey guys. Quick update on the pitching lesson. First of all, I like the guy. He was actually the head coach of a very good baseball team in the area a little while ago. He’s hard in a very good way and quickly diagnosed a big problem for me in the first 4 throws i made. Basically, I was swinging my arm sideways behind my back instead of breaking my hands straight down and up in a circle. (it was more like an oval) There was actually a thread a little while ago about this. But anyway it definitely led to my arm angle be much lower than I want/need and is an old habit that i broke a couple years ago, but obviously has come back. So we basically worked on that most of the time and i could defintely see the difference in my control when i did it the right way. Also, he worked on the position of my hands while going through the wind-up/stretch. I used to just move my hands all over the place and we worked on just keeping them in one place, which I also feel is a great pick-up. We just worked on flat ground, which I know some of the people on this forum are not fond of, but since it was only working on arm swing, I don’t see a problem in it. Anyway, i’m going back this thursday and i’m really excited to keep working on it. Working out is still going good and just gotta keep going.

Well I had my second pitching lesson yesterday. (I guess two days ago since it’s officially saturday but whatever!) But anyway, it went really well. At first I was still having some trouble keeping my arm from getting wrapped around my back, but as time went on i got a lot more focused and kept that to a minimum. On some of my pitches, i could really hear the pop of the mitt which is an amazing sound :smiley: and i really didn’t even feel like i was trying to throw that hard which is extremely encouraging. I just really need to keep working on my arm motion and hopefully everything will continue to fall into place as i keep working out and doing these lessons. However, one negative of the lesson was i still am just not comfortable at all with my changeup which is one of the biggest goals for me this offseason. I’m definitely gonna start throwing a little this week and definitely want to throw a lot of changeup grips to get down the grip and motion.

Threw with my friend just in a park by my house. It was good, integrated some change-ups during it, but i really need to do more of that to get comfortable with the new grip and just throwing the change-up in general. Hopefully i can get out to do it again on thursday as my pitching instructor is away for the week.

Yesterday I finished phase 2 and am extremely excited to move onto phase 3. I defintely feel like i can now see the gains to take place. I have another lesson for saturday after a week off so i’m hoping that goes well. I just threw in the backyard with my dad on Sunday and am definitely getting more comfortable with my change-up grip, even though it’s only been 2 times out. I’m hoping it can translate into actual game situations. Just gotta keep working…

So a little discouraging day…

I was all pumped up to pitch today as i haven’t done it in 2 weeks and my last session was really great. However, i think i took a step back. I don’t know what it was but my mechanics just weren’t consistent at all. I was just all over the place and flying open. You guys know what i mean? Like i just felt all out of wack. My velocity seemed down and it was just a frustrating session.

I must say though the one good thing to come out of the session was my change-up was working much better than usual. Usually it just goes right into the ground at like 55 feet, but today it was just down in the strike zone, which I guess helped me cheer up a little.

Oh well…This stuff just motivates me to keep working harder.

4 months and 6 days until the first day of practice

4 months and 17 days until our first scrimmage

4 months and 29 days till our first real game

I just need to really bear down and keep working on my mechanics atleast 3 times a week to start. [/b]

I just got home from visiting the University of Maryland and University of Virginia. Both places were incredible, out of this world, and a great place to go to college. The athletic facilities were also breath-taking. Both baseball stadiums were the best I’ve ever seen (not counting majors) and I really just loved both colleges. However, after going to the Maryland football game and seeing them beat BC, Maryland is a little higher on my college list as of now.

Anyway, my throwing session went great on thursday…like one of the best ever. We have video of it (only from a front angle :twisted: ), but me and my dad are still finding the right cables to connect the camera to the computer.

Basically, this session was the complete opposite of the last that I talked about here. My mechanics just felt locked in and i was just cruising right around the strike zone with many being down. I just love the feeling coming out of a great throwing session. It really feels like you could conquer the world champions.

The guy I’ve been working with says that he likes to shut his pitchers down at about this time and start up again right after New Year’s. Since I had no fall ball, we’re gonna talk about maybe keep going but only every other week to keep my new mechanics consistent and make sure I don’t lose it over the next month and a half.

On my working out schedule, I’m taking a deloading week a week earlier from tuff cuff just because I would have no time this week to finish all components of my workouts. It’ll be good as I’ve been feeling tired and hopefully i’ll be fresh after this week.

Sorry for this huge post…No clue where it came from :smiley: