Road to Recovery and Beyond

I’ve been reading some of these journals for a little while now and thought that maybe writing one myself will help to keep me motivated and get myself to where I want to be. My name is Mat, I’m a sophomore (redshirt freshman) left handed pitcher at Barry University, a division II school in Miami, Florida. I am 6’3" and 200 lbs. We have a very strong team here so it will take a ton of work for me to just get playing time this year or next year, but I am willing to do whatever it takes. I had surgery last year to fix a SLAP tear and have been trying to recover from that ever since. I have done all the rehab but this past fall had more shoulder trouble. Three weeks ago I received a cortisone shot, and started throwing again yesterday. I kept it light, arm felt pretty good, very sore now but I heard that that’s normal.

Today was my first day lifting in a few months, I’ve been slacking off a bit in that part of my game. Right now, I am doing Eric Cressey’s Regular Guy Strength Program, until my pitching coach gets something written up for us. He is very good with this stuff, probably the best coach I have ever had.

I feel like this is english class, I have no idea what I should be writing. What I want to do is get my shoulder back to 100% before the end of this season and hopefully get some innings in. I’m also hoping to gain weight through my diet and the workout I am doing, maybe get up to 210-215 by next fall. I also want to get a 3.5 GPA this semester. But my primary goal for right now is getting shoulder back to full strength, and once that happens I will come up with new goals more specific to my pitching.

Like I said earlier, today was my first time working out in awhile, so some of the weights that I did were lower than what they probably could be and I expect to improve very quickly to start off. For today’s workout I did:
Trap Bar Deadlift 5x3 - 140, 140, 160, 170, 180 lbs (without the bar…not sure how much that weighs)
BB Reverse Lunge 3x8@ - 95 lbs
Pallof Press Iso Hold 3x3@/10s hold - 50 lbs
Glute-Ham Raise 3x8 - 10 lb plate

Everything felt good, should be able to increase the weight on those next time out. Looking forward to tomorrow’s workout. Coach showed me a new drill yesterday to do to help with my arm action and I really like it, my arm feels a lot better. I’ve been having a lot of trouble getting my throwing motion back to wear it was before my injury, and I think that is what will be the most difficult task in these next few months.

Hopefully some of you read this and any feedback would really be appreciated. Thank you

Just a question but have you asked your doc or your PC if you get your throwing motion back to what it was before the injury what the chances are of reinjury?

In some cases a persons mechanics is the reason why the injury occurred.

Best of luck to you and I’ll be following your posts.

In your other post you said you got cut from Barry and will probably transfer.

And your still working out with the team and the Coaches are still taking time to work with you… Doesn’t add up what happened?

Sorry, I forgot about mentioning that. I was cut from the team but then the coaches found out that if a player is getting money from an athletic scholarship then they must be on the team. So on Monday night I found out I was back on the team. But if I am not able to get back to pitching before the end of this season then I will get cut and lose my athletic scholarship.

I was pitching for so long with my arm already injured, without realizing it, that my arm action just kept getting worse and worse and worse. I’m trying to get it back to where it was before the injury with a few tweaks that will protect the arm a bit more. I saw a video of me pitching during the fall before my surgery, and it was awful. Coaches told me that a middle school coach would not recruit me and my fastball was 69-71 mph. The fall before that (before injury) I was throwing 85-88 mph. I guess what I want to do is get back to throwing like I used to, with a few minor tweaks show the coaches that I am good enough to pitch at this level, and then I can really put a lot more work into my mechanics and making sure that my arm action is safe.

Both of my coaches also said that, before I came here, my mechanics were very good. Everything looked smooth. If I find a video of me from a few years ago I can put it up. But we think the injury was mainly due to overuse. Throwing pretty much every day from February until November, and throwing a lot on those days. I never had a sore arm so I felt like I could just keep throwing

Hi Bananas,

can you post before and after videos if you have them 71 vs 88 mph?

So did you get a full scholarship? Check the rules. I wasnt aware that they could simply “cut” you and then take it away your scholarship.

I would post a video of me from summer of 2009, before my senior year, if I could figure out how to do it. I do not have a video from after the injury. My coaches did though, I’ll see if I can get them to send that to me. I watched it before though and it wasn’t pretty.I don’t have a full scholarship, only about 15%. I don’t know exactly how the rules work with taking away scholarships, I’m basically just going with what I’m told.

Get some advice on that. Just because they say they can, does not mean they can. Make sure they dont stick a piece of paper in front of you, and have you sign something that is not in your best interests. Given that it is for 15% it seems unusual that they would not honor it. Schools that pull this can get bad reps really quick that scare off potential recruits. Was there a performance clause?

Thanks for clarifying bananas

Rolan, Scholarships are only good for one year remember that. During the fall/winter most programs go through a process that “thins the heard” if you will and players choose to transfer or Coaches tell them straight up their not going to play if they stay. It sucks but it is part of the business of College Baseball.

Got my second workout in today, felt good and now I am wicked sore. Upper body day and I can tell I have a ton of work to do here, I was only able to 4 pull ups.

DB Bench Press 5x8 - 50 lbs
Pull ups 5 sets to failure - 4
1-arm DB Push Press 3x8@ - 20 lbs
Seated Cable Row 3x8 - 80 lbs
BB Rollouts 3x8
Side-Lying External Rotation 3x10@ - 10 lbs

Spent a lot of time at practice working on my arm action, coach kept me late so he could work one-on-one with me for awhile. I’ve been trying to bring my arm in a complete circle when I should be much shorter. My coach calls the way I’ve been trying to throw “pie throwing.” I feel so much stronger doing this drill, but it’s started with my arm already up in a throwing position. When I actually try and start with the ball in the glove and do the whole motion it feels…i don’t know…awkward I guess. But I’ll get used to it, one step at a time.

Intersquad games tomorrow and Saturday, first scrimmage against outside competition is next Friday. I obviously won’t be ready, I’m shooting to be back around the end of the season and, if I’m lucky, get on a summer ball team somewhere. Tomorrow is a day off from lifting, I’ll be sure to hit my core hard, get a lot of sprints in, and maybe some forearm work.

Sounds good bananas

You should talk to your Coach about getting placed on a summer team he should be able to help you out there

I would talk to him about it but I have to be 100% sure that my arm is going to be 100% by this summer. I don’t want to get put on a team and then when that time comes around have to back out, and i know my coaches wouldn’t put me on a team yet either. Other issue is I think I want to be close to home this summer. We have two teams in the NECBL up in Maine and I know the coach of both teams, but they also won’t take me unless they know that my arm is healthy enough and that I have the ability to pitch there. We’ll see what happens

Have you given any thought to talking to the coach of those NECBL teams and at the very least if your not able to play then seeing about working out with the team so that way you’re still working and improving over the summer?

I talked to one of the coaches way back in September about playing for them and he told me that they pick their team in December. So my only shot at getting on that team would be if somebody gets hurt or decides not to play. If I do not get on a team then I’ll either work with my old legion team or play twilight, which is basically summer baseball for college kids who really aren’t too serious about baseball.

Oh and as for today…we had a 3 inning intersquad game, with 6 pitchers throwing 3 outs each. Tomorrow we will be doing the same with our remaining pitchers. I threw some but kept it light, I’m trying to throw every other day. It’s tough though. I love throwing and I struggle to keep myself from doing it. Team looks really good, hopefully we can build on last year’s performance. One win away from the World Series, lost in the regional championship to West Florida, who went on to win the whole thing.

In the weight room I did a ton of stretching, my legs have been extremely tight. And then I killed my abs. Definitely need to get my core stronger. Well, I guess I need to get everything stronger…gonna be sore tomorrow.

Sounds good I would warn you that playing in that twilight league may lead you developing bad habits. I had a buddy who played for Barry back in 06/07 and 07/08 he loved it there.

Yeah that’s why just working out with the legion team would be my top choice. I don’t even think the twilight team in my town has a coach, one of the players just makes out the lineup every game.

Another scrimmage today. I did a little bit of throwing but my scaps were sore, mainly my left, so I kept everything light.

In the weight room:
Box Squat 4x6 - 205 lbs
Feet-Elevated Push-up 3x12
Standing 1-arm Cable Row 3x12@ - 40 lbs
Walking DB Lunge 3x6@ - 30 lbs
Farmer’s Walk 4x40 yds - 45 lbs

I finished that up with some more core work and a few stability ball exercises that my coach gave us. Really glad that I get a day off tomorrow, I need it already. My entire body is sore and it’ll be nice to just relax for a day. Right now it’s laundry and football, except FOX isn’t coming in right now on campus…thats annoying. Hopefully the next game is on a different station so I can see the Pats beat the Broncos again

Also…while squatting my knees were buckling in a lot. I got one exercise from my coach to improve my knee strengthen, anybody else know of exercises I can do for this? I’d really appreciate it

Sunday was a day off for me, spent it watching football and getting some homework done. No class today and so we had two practices. First one all we did was our warm up and then pitchers cleaned up the bullpen. Picking up rocks, clearing out all the grass, things like that. Eventually we’re going to be making it all turf in there. I spent about 20 minutes hoeing and picking out weeds, then raking to get it in a pile while everybody else just sat on the bench. Oh well, should make me stronger.

Second practice we did PFPs and then, while the other pitchers were standing in the outfield for BP, I was in the bullpen working on my throwing. I can definitely feel my arm getting stronger and I think I’m getting closer every day to my old arm action. We were told to run ten 60s at the end of practice. Coach went into the weight room after telling us. I was the only that actually did it.

Planned on getting a lift in after practice but realized that my body is already wicked sore from everything else that happened, and decided to take the night off. I’ll get tonight’s lift in tomorrow, plus a little extra.

Doesn’t just make you stronger, it will pay off some how, some way in the future.

I feel…amazing. While throwing against a pad during practice, something suddenly clicked for me. Once that happened, every ball that I threw was in the strike zone and I felt extremely powerful. I really didn’t want to stop throwing. It’s been a few years since I could say that. I obviously still have a lot of work to do, but I think if I keep throwing like this then I’ll be ready to go sooner than I expected. Don’t want to rush things though.

In the weight room I did yesterday’s workout since I was exhausted after double sessions and didn’t feel like I could even squat the bar. So for today’s workout:
Front Squat/Speed 6x2 - 165, 165, 185, 185, 195, 195 lbs
1-leg DB RDL 3x10@ - 15 lbs
Alternating Incline DB Bench Press 3x6@ - 35 lbs
Chest-Supported Row/Pronated Grip 4x6 - 15 lbs
Split-Stance Cable Lift 3x8@ - 40 lbs

In between sets and after this, I did plenty of core and some extra hamstring exercises. Everything felt great, until now. Wicked sore. But that’s a good thing. Finished up by stretching out my hips and hamstrings, I need to get those loosened up a bit.