Road to D1


#1

Hello. I play on a travel team named the Rawlings Tigers who are located in Saint Louis, Missouri. This team plays the top competition in the city which allows me to play good competition and see myself relative to everyone else. I don’t think I am one of the worst on the team but I definitely am not the best.

Last year, when I was a freshman, I played JV baseball for my school which is better than the average because we have a freshman team. My goal is to make varsity this spring and play a fair amount of time.

My long term goal is to make a D1 team, I would love to play for Mizzou or Missouri State. I know there is no set mph level to achieve but I know it is almost a necessity to get to at least 86 mph and even higher would be icing on the cake. I am left handed so that helps as well.

My plan for this year is to get to at least 80 mph (I hover around the 73-76 range which I know is pretty slow for my age, I have gotten this far because I am left handed and my ball supposedly moves a lot). I have a pretty good curveball but I don’t have a changeup which is horrible. Along with the 80 mph goal, I also need to develop a changeup.

Body Stats:

Height: 5’9 (supposed to be 6’1)
Weight: 143

I will update you guys tomorrow on anything I forgot to include. Thanks.

SK


#2

November 10:

Rotator Cuff:

Medial Internal Rotation 20xLeft 20xRight
Medial External Rotation 20xLeft 20xRight
Ventral Internal Rotation 20xLeft 20xRight
Ventral External Rotation 20xLeft 20xRight
Lateral Internal Rotation 20xLeft 20xRight
Lateral External Rotation 20xLeft 20xRight

Everything but the last exercise because I can’t figure out how to do it

Lower Body:

Band Squat -

10x50, 10x60, 10x70

This is all I am going to do tonight because I started a lot later than I wanted to and I have school tomorrow morning.

SK


#3

Today we started practicing for basketball season. I take baseball much more seriously than I do basketball but it is a great opportunity for a load of conditioning. We did a ton of work today and I can barely feel my legs so I am only going to focus on everything above the legs tonight.

My brother let me download P90x on my computer so now I have all of the workouts. Tonight I did the ab workout which is basically 15 minutes of pain.

And I also did my rotator cuff exercises that I did yesterday also.

SK


#4

Yes, you need a changeup. Every pitcher worth his salt (and pepper) has to have one. As for developing one, you have a whole closetful of changeups to choose from. The secret for any one of them is the more relaxed grip and holding the ball more loosely; you still have to throw it with the same arm motion and the same arm speed as you do your fastball. My wise and wonderful pitching coach, an active major league pitcher, told me that just about any pitch can be turned into a nice change, and he demonstrated a few for me and showed me how to throw them. May I suggest the “Bugs
Bunny” changeup?—a very nice palmball which is easy to throw and puts no strain on the arm, and this would be a good one to start with. 8)


#5

Thanks Zita for the comment. I will definitely try to play around with some possible changeup grips in my next couple of bullpens. As you will see farther down, I experimented with the circle change but it didn’t seem to work too well. This video is mostly to show you guys how I look mechanically. I will have later ones to show you my specific pitches.

I know that when my stride hits the ground, I always have the heel hit first which I know is bad but I don’t know how to fix it. If you guys have any drills or recommendations for the problem that would be greatly appreciated. Also the pitching coach tells me that I often rush to the plate too early and don’t establish a solid balance point.

I have always been able to throw strikes but my speed hasn’t been exceptional so if anything that I am doing prohibits me from getting some extra mph on the ball, could you guys point it out to me.

This is the video from tonight’s bullpen. My fastball looks really slow from this angle which kind of concerns me but at the time I didn’t think it was that bad.

If you have any questions about my mechanics I would be happy to answer them.


#6

Tonight I worked out again.

Rotator Cuff workout
Band Squats: 90x10, 100x10, 110x10
Band Bicep Curls: 50x15, 50x15, 50x15
Pushups: 20, 20, 10
P90X Ab Workout

I found a video of it that someone put online if you guys are curious as to what it is.
https://myspace.com/masonkrochta/video/ab-ripper-x/50789881

I am also going to start doing 50 pushups when I wake up starting tomorrow.

I also had a strength workout with my club team on Saturday morning. I threw around 25 pitches which were all fastballs. Our pitching coach also told me to fix my balance position so I am not falling early as I have been doing. I will have a video of my new motion this Friday.


#7

I worked out yet again tonight. I didn’t have access to any weights so I found this website that has hundreds of bodyweight only exercises. And these were very hard.

Crazy Lunges: 10x20
http://ashotofadrenaline.net/crazy-lunge/

Spider Pushups:3x10
http://ashotofadrenaline.net/spider-pushup/

One Legged Bird Squat: 5 left, 5 right, 5 left, 5 right, 5 left, 5 right
http://ashotofadrenaline.net/one-legged-bird-squat/

Scissors: 30 sec, 30 sec, 30 sec
http://ashotofadrenaline.net/scissors-exercise/

Planks: 1 min, 1 min, 1 min
Situps: 50, 50

These bodyweight exercises were a lot more fun than normal weights and they seemed to be much harder. I think I am going to stick with these and start to develop an actual workout.

On another note, I got a new protein powder. This stuff actually tastes good which is a surprise because nearly all of them taste like death. And this one says it has more stuff than just protein so I think this is better than my previous one. I got the chocolate form.


#8

I worked out again tonight.

I did three rounds of these.

Each round consisted of:
20 Normal Pushups
20 Wide Pushups
20 Diamond Pushups
50 Forearm curls with each hand (I used the heaviest dumbbell at my house which was 15 pounds)
50 Situps

I would go through them all and then do it again and again once more.

I only worked out upper body and abs because my legs were really sore from basketball practice and I had worked them a lot the last couple of days.


#9

Everyone says to establish short-term attainable goals, so these are mine:

By January 1st:

Get to at least 77 mph on my fastball
Develop a feeling for my changeup
Weigh at least 150 pounds
Perfect my motion

Ways I am going to achieve these goals:

Band work, band work, band work
Continue strengthening my rotator cuff
Continue developing my abs, hopefully a 6 pack 8)
Throwing at least 2 bullpens a week and work on my delivery
Get stronger through weights, bands, and bodyweight exercises
Continue this journal

I have a few questions that I would like some input on. I live in Saint Louis and it is already getting too cold to go outside which makes it hard for long toss. Do you guys know of any alternatives or other exercises that are similar to long toss? And some people say weighted balls are good and some say they are bad, should I start using them?

Also if you could give me your opinion on the video that I posted, that would be awesome. I know that I was falling early and I think I have come close to solving that issue, but I am not aware of any other issues so if you guys notice any that I can fix please tell me.

I don’t know if these goals are possible but I am going to do my best to achieve them.

Thanks guys,
SK


#10

Look up Fred Corral’s sock drill on here or on You Tube, or even PM jdfromfla on here he’s prolly got a direct link to it.

Talk to Baseballthinktank.com on here as well he’s done stuff without LT with his guys

Get Driveline Baseball’s FREE weighted Baseball program it’s really good and recommended by a few different people on this site. KyleB on here is the founder of that program.

Hope this helps


#11

Sorry for not posting in a couple of days.

Thanks Wales for the links. I have downloaded the weighted ball workout and now I am in the process of looking for some weighted balls. I know they have them on their site but they are 60 dollars which I think is pretty high. I have found many other sets but none of them include a 2 ounce ball so I might need to get theirs but I am still looking. As for the sock drill, I think I found the link that you were talking about.


It seems like an awesome drill that will solve many of my problems that I have regarding to getting long toss and bullpens in. I am going to try it tonight and then post my thoughts. I also am looking through baseballthinktank.com’s comments and most of them are very helpful.

In other news I threw a bullpen with my friend on Friday. I only have video of my fastballs and curves because I am starting to work on pronating my wrist and let me tell you, the results are not pretty so far. But it is something to get better at and I am going to continue to work on it.

Yesterday I worked out at the local gym with the same friend. We did 5 sets of 6 deadlifts (I didn’t record…), and we did a lot of medball throws (overhead, side with abs), we did a lot of leg presses, and we did a bunch of pitcher specific exercises with light dumbbells. I am sorry I can’t give you the exact workout because I forgot my notebook and wasn’t smart enough to write in my phone.


#12

When I have more time I’ll take a look at your clip.


#13

I have a few comments to make.

First of all, basketball is a great off season activity to partake in for pitchers in my opinion (as long as you don’t get hurt). It’s a lot of short distance sprints, and really builds explosiveness while keeping you in shape. Let me tell you a little story that involves basketball somewhat. I broke my leg the summer after my freshman year of high school sliding into third base in a summer league game. I broke both bones in my leg, and fractured my ankle. The orthopedic surgeon said it was the worst baseball injury he’s ever seen. I had surgery and had a 12 inch stainless steel plate put in, with 12 screws, as well as pins in my ankle. He right away said I would be out 6 months. I ended up coming back in 4. I went through all the treatments, did everything right, was on crutches/in a wheelchair with a cast for a couple months, then in a walking boot. I did physical therapy on my leg and really pushed to get back. I happened to get out of my boot as soon as basketball season starts, but after being in a cast and walking boot for a few months I still had some issues to work out. I used that basketball season as an extra rehab and worked my leg back into shape. At first when I came out of the boot, it hurt to bend my foot as it hadn’t bent normally in several months so I had to work it out. At the end of that season I was running smooth and fine, with a new determination. With the exception of the plate hurting every once in a while as it settled into my leg with screws and such. Here it is about 6 1/2 years later and I’m absolutely fine and still have that plate and those screws in my leg even though I was told it could come out in two years due to the surgeon who did my leg leaving and the new one not wanting to quote, “fix something that’s not broke”. I no longer have any pain except for after a really long hard run on concrete. I was really hitting my stride with baseball that summer, and the injury grinded things to a halt for me. My legs are now stronger than ever with the exception that I still have a difference in size between my left leg and my right leg, although it’s getting better. My point of this long story, is that basketball can be very useful for a baseball player. No matter how it’s put. I also used the time I was done to read everything I could get my hands on that related to pitching and made my time productive. (Sorry for the long post, look to the general pitching forum for my whole story that I will be posting after this.)

My second comment is about the changeup. Over my years of pitching (and still now as I pitch in college), I have tried basically every changeup grip out there. I could never get it to work, and when I could get one to work for me it would only work for a few pitches and then I had no idea where it was going. I didn’t have a true change up until this year, when I decided to stick with the circle change and develop it. I found the right grip, and figured out what I was doing wrong. The whole time I was throwing it “like it was a changeup” and was trying to make it go slow. But the key is to get the changeup grip, and then throw a fastball. Same arm speed, same arm slot, nothing different. People had told me this, but it never really caught on. Once I started doing that I created the best change up I’ve ever had. I’m hitting spots with it, as well as getting tremendous movement. During the fall when I was throwing it, I never through it for a ball and no one every put a bat on it. All in all, a big key to pitching is trusting in your pitches. That was another problem of mine. Trust that once you get your grip, and start to throw that the pitch is going to act like you want it and you’re going to throw it exactly where you want it.

Again, sorry for the long post, and good luck on your goals! I’m here to help if you need anything.


#14

Long time no post… my fault obviously. But I have been working in the last two weeks. My parents were gracious enough to get me this weight set that will really help me out (


). It isn’t state of the art, but it gets the job done which is more than enough for me. Now I can work out every night without the need to go to a gym. The bar weighs nothing unlike an Olympic bar so 105 is the max weight. I have been doing a lot of curls and upper body stuff for the last week. I don’t have a rack so I can’t really squat or bench press at least for now.

With some money that I had left over from the summer, I also bought my own J-bands. I usually would have to mooch off my friend which annoyed him and it also restricted the amount of times that I could use it. Now obviously I can do it every night.

I did try the sock drill. I did it and gave myself room in the sock to release the ball like the video instructed me to do so. I pretended I was throwing long toss. The only thing is that I didn’t feel any soreness or proof that my arm was working at all. After long toss, I am usually able to feel it in my arm but it didn’t happen with this. I can’t really figure out why this is. I “threw” the ball as hard as I could 40 times and then I reigned it in slowly like an actual long toss session. But as I said before, I didn’t feel anything.

I am pretty sure I mentioned it before but every Saturday I have workouts with my team from 9-11 in the morning. The first hour is pitching and the next is batting. Unless our arms hurt, we always throw a 30 pitch bullpen; there are catchers there so that helps too. We are in the first stage of these workouts so we are only throwing fastballs and working on our mechanics at this point. After our bullpens we always do a pitcher specific workout which is usually impossible. For example, today our workout was called CBL’s which stands for crunches, bicycles, and leg lifts. I have like 12 people in my group so he split us up into two groups, half of us went before the mounds and then the other half stood at home plate. We would then begin doing crunches and then when the coach would say the next thing, we would then have to get up and then sprint to the other location and then begin the exercise. Today we literally did these for 20 minutes straight and we would do each exercise for like 30 seconds and then switch. And trust me, you will be called out if you quit or even slow up a little. Around the 10 minutes mark, my abs felt like they literally were going to break through my skin which isn’t a great feeling. But it was a pretty cool feeling when we were done. My abs are still sore roughly 12 hours after. So this was the pitching workout we did this week and hopefully it made sense. I am going to post these every week.

Thanks cmfields21 for taking the time to write that long post. I thought that basketball would be really good for me and it is nice to know that I was correct in thinking this. Also thanks for the tips about the changeup. I have been working on mine and I will continue to give updates on how I progress. Unfortunately it seems like it will be a very long process.

Thanks


#15

You can bench, just use the dumbbells. Or you can pick up dumbbells for a couple of bucks at a used sporting goods store or online. Better to bench with dumbbells in my opinion anyway as it promotes a larger range of motion.
Remember to work the backside of the upper body too. You mentioned curls. The rule we input with my son was for every front side lift he would 1 1/2 to 2 back side. So, one set of curls meant 2 sets of tricep exercises. Upper back, lats, triceps ext. these are the “brakes” for your throwing arm and throwing motion. Most injuries (over 70%) occur after the ball is released, while the arm is decelerating.
I would advise working in some rotational exercises as well. Endless crunches are good for general core strength, but, mixing in some rotational stuff for the core is beneficial. Again, used medballs can be found pretty cheaply usually. At least your coach doesnt have you jogging poles.
Doing different planks is a good way to see how stable your core is as well.
Keep working hard.


#16

Hey guys, I am back. I am going to try to post everyday, I apologize for this inconsistent posting. Over the last few months, I have been working but not to the level I would like to and that is really disappointing. I am making a promise that I am going to work like hell to get to a D1 level college. Varsity tryouts are in a month and it is essential that I make it.

I would like to thank everyone who has commented and viewed this because without you guys, there will be no chance that I achieve my goals. So again I apologize and I am going to make a change.

SK


#17

Hey man, you’re good. I’ve gone for a lot longer than you without posting because some things come up, you get busy, and don’t always have the time to post. This discussion forum is a resource, not an obligation.

Now for some comments…

DB bench is better for you as a pitcher in my opinion, because you work more stability muscles in the shoulders and arms that wouldn’t get worked with regular bench. Your arms are working on keeping the weights balanced as well as lifting them. In my college program all we do is DB bench.

And no problem for the help, that’s what we’re here for. For your changeup, just keep working on it. It will come eventually. The best thing you can do right now is work as hard as you can. Hard work brings a lot of good things.

Keep getting after it! Keep aiming for those goals, and don’t ever let anyone tell you you can’t reach them.


#18

Hey thanks for the response and the kind words. I was told that strengthening your chest will ultimately lead to a lowering in velocity, I guess this must not be the case. I have a set of dumbbells at my house so I am gonna start to work right away.

I am going to throw a bullpen off a mound on Thursday to live hitters. Usually the program is to throw 2 innings consisting of 20 pitches each inning. It is up to us which pitch we throw so I am gonna work on throwing offspeed.

For tonight’s workout, I only did core exercises because I had lifting today for basketball. One piece of good news is that we had the opportunity to do pullups with chains to make them heavier. After doing 12 normal pullups, I was able to do 7 with the chains around my neck. I am not sure how heavy they were but I am pretty sure they were 20 pounds. I wasn’t the only one who was able to do this many but there were a lot that couldn’t. And I know that I wouldn’t not have been able to accomplish this amount a few months ago.

Thanks again for your comment.
SK


#19

The key is gaining strength while maintaining flexibility.


#20

Hey thanks for the comment. I am going to start doing 10-15 minutes of stretching everyday to increase my flexibility to hopefully get some more MPH. And also, I am going to start doing 8-10 minutes of ab work each night. After this I am going to hold a plank until I fail; I will record how long I can last each night so I can see how much stronger I am getting.

I will post later tonight about my workout.

SK