A.M.A.S.S. – A Synergistic Approach to Designing a Player’s Daily Plan

By Flint Wallace-

Director of Player Development, Texas Baseball Ranch®

 

We often get asked, by coaches and players alike, how to plan or structure a workout and/or throwing program. While this plan should be individualized for each player based on their particular situation, there is a basic template you can follow to make sure you are creating a more Synergistic Approach to your players’ workouts and throwing program.

 

Use the A.M.A.S.S. principle to design each player’s hyper-personalized program.

 

A– Assess

M– Mobilize

A– Activate

S– Stabilize

S– Stress/Strengthen

 

I first came across this concept or method on the website, Prehab Exercises, where Michael Rosengart, CPT, CES, CSCS goes into great detail about it in his article, “Synergistic Training – How to Improve Mobility, Stability and Strength”. (Visit the website at https://www.prehabexercises.com/synergistic-training-how-to-improve-mobility-stability-and-strength/)

 

This site is also a great resource for a lot of exercises for mobilization, activation, and stabilization.

 

Here is how to use the A.M.A.S.S.method.

 

Assess:

Assessments are crucial for identifying the areas a player needs to focus on to maximize his development. I covered how to go about the following 6 basic assessments in the February 6 edition of the “ABCA Press Box”.

 

  1. Pain Audit
  2. Athletic or Functional Movement Screen
  3. Exercise Movement Assessment
  4. Video Analysis
  5. Recovery Audit
  6. Performance Audit

 

Here is the link to that article if you missed it or just want to read over it again:

https://www.texasbaseballranch.com/blog/why-hyper-personalization-is-worth-the-hassle/

 

Once you have identified the areas that each player needs to enhance in the ‘A’ portion of the A.M.A.S.S. acronym, then follow the M.A.S.S. portion to help structure the daily plan.

 

Mobilize:

Everyday start with Mobilization. This consists of soft tissue work like Myofascial Release (foam rolling, massage, and/or other instrument assisted techniques) specific for each player’s needs based on any and all problem areas indicated in their Pain Audit, Athletic/Functional Movements Screen, and Exercise Movement Assessment. Then do corrective, or as we like to call them, “Enhancer Exercises” based off the Athletic/Functional Movements Screen and Exercise Movement Assessment to help with range of motion issues. Also, include any areas that will be used later in the strengthen portion of the workout if not already addressed.

 

Activate & Stabilize:

These two aspects of the A.M.A.S.S. concept frequently go hand in hand. Often, while a player is activating one area of the body, another area is having to stabilize. This is done by going through a thorough dynamic warm-up. We like to have a few different options for our players to add some variety and some adaptability into the warm-up process. Make sure you include the core and thoracic spine.

 

Also, make sure to get the Neuromuscular System primed for the workout. This can be done with some type of quick moving activities like hurdles and ladders, dot drills, and lateral angle plyo boxes. We do it in sets of 5-8 seconds, with the intent to move as fast as you can through the activity. We like to do somewhere between 8-16 firing sets, meaning one exercise for 5-8 seconds is one firing set. Then we allow the players to fully recover their breath, then do the next firing set. You can switch to a different exercise every time or you can pair a couple of exercises up and switch back and forth for a couple of paired rotations. (We like to move to a different exercise each time.)

 

Now make sure you activate and stabilize the upper body, the scaps, shoulders, elbows, and wrist. Pay particular attention to any area the player might need to enhance. This can be done with tubing, bands, shoulder tube, shoulder sphere, etc. Most of you already have some type of these activities as part of your program but if not, you can find several different types of exercises to address each part online.

 

Stress or Strengthen:

This could be a workout, or it could be the actual throwing portion of a player’s throwing program. If it is a workout, then it should be based off enhancing any area found in the Exercise Movement Assessment that could use improvement to create a more efficient, dynamic, explosive athlete (a.k.a. “a better mover”).

 

If it is throwing, then it should be based first and foremost on creating a more connected, efficient, dynamic delivery. The throwing program should be highly individualized based on factors discovered in the Pain Audit, Video Analysis, Recovery Audit, and Performance Audit. It should start with connection work on any Disconnection or inefficiencies discovered in the Video Analysis to help with any pain issues and to create a more efficient movement pattern. These Disconnections or inefficiencies could have to do with Deceleration, Arm Action and/or Glove Side, Postural/Directional, Back Leg and Hip, or Lead Leg and Hip.

 

Then the rest of the program will depend on the time of year (off-season, pre-season, or in-season), and what that individual needs to address most at that particular time. Like building up a base, increasing velocity, enhancing command, and/or developing more effective secondary stuff. Prioritize and conquer!

 

So when designing a workout or throwing plan, keep the A.M.A.S.S. concept in mind as a basic outline to follow. Fill in the M.A.S.S. portion based off the ‘A’ portion for each individual. Then follow the process on a daily basis so that you know each player is working on his specific needs in a systematic, effective manner.

 

Until Next Time… Keep Getting After It!!!

 

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If you know a young man who would like help working through the A.M.A.S.S. protocol, creating a personal plan and making some critical performance gains this summer, we can help.  Our “Extended Stay Developmental Program” is designed to do just that.  Athletes stay from 2-10 weeks and under the guidance of the TBR staff design and implement their own personal training roadmap.  More information is available at http://www.texasbaseballranch.com/events/tbr-summer-program/

 

If your schedule doesn’t allow for an extended stay, we highly recommend our 3-Day Elite Pitcher’s Boot Camp. Every participant is taken through the assessment process and then from that information provided a hyper-personalized plan, which prioritizes and focuses the training protocol on each person’s specific needs.  These 3-Day camp provides an amazing opportunity for young men to get world class training in a short window along with the critically important personal processes to follow when they return home.  More information and registration for this event can be found at https://www.texasbaseballranch.com/events/epbc/

 

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