Last Monday was a special day for me because one of my long time students, Beau Burrows, reached one of his major goals in his baseball career. Beau was selected number 22 overall in the first round of the 2015 MLB Amateur Draft by the Detroit Tigers. I have been really blessed in my 15 years of coaching to have several players and students of mine reach the same milestone of being drafted in their careers as well. But this one was a little different, because I have had the privilege of working with Beau for over 9 years. I have seen and helped him develop since he first started pitching. Most coaches or instructors don’t get that kind of chance very often, if ever. I first started to work with Beau when he was 9 years old. He was really the first player that I every gave lessons to. I had been coaching for about 6 years, but really had not trained anyone outside of the players on my teams. I had been using the Athletic Pitcher Program for a couple years with my High School team with good success. So I told Beau’s dad, Buster, that this is going to be a training session more than a traditional lesson. That I was going to approach Beau’s training with a holistic approach. We were going to work on being as athletic as possible. We were going to do a dynamic wake up/warm up. We were going to do pre-throwing and post-throwing arm care. We were going to work on movement patterns and make them explosive. We were going to do exercises that were going to make him functionally strong for throwing a baseball.
We were going to work on gaining velocity. Like I stated earlier, I had been using this approach for a couple of years with my high school team and had been seeing great results, but it was my first time to work with a player this young.
Beau came to the sessions about twice a week from that point on. Each session would last about a hour or so. That means Beau was putting in at least 100 extra hours a year working with me, and was putting in that much extra time doing the stuff on his own as well. That is at least a couple hundred extra hours a year working on his goals outside of his normal practice and game times. I’d like to add that those extra hours were with a purpose of getting better each time, not just getting reps in. We measured everything we could. When he was not in season, we did a velocity session once a week. We measured parts of the training sessions with the whole purpose of beating it each time we measured them. We did drills that worked on movements in the delivery. We trained, we did not just throw a bullpen a couple of times a week. Actually, we hardly ever threw what most would call a bullpen session. We did training sessions, not pitching sessions. He was getting his mound work done at his team practices and games.
The drills and training changed some over the years, but the goal of being as athletic as possible and to keep pushing the envelope of velocity never changed. Most people view Beau and other players who are drafted high, as being just blessed with God given talent. I believe the real reason most of those players are as good as they are, is because of all the time they spend putting in the extra work. What they do behind the scenes is what makes them special on the field.
If you are interested in learning the training techniques that players like Beau Burrows use, then attending one of our Elite Pitcher’s Boot Camps would be the perfect place to start. For more information about our camps here at the Texas Baseball Ranch, just log on to www.texasbaseballranch.com.