Summation of All Fears

By Coach Ron Wolforth – 

 

Based on Tom Clancy’s 1991 novel of the same name…. The Sum of All Fears is a 2002 American spy thriller film directed by Phil Alden Robinson. The film is about a plot by an Austrian Neo-Nazi to trigger a nuclear war between the United States and Russia so that he can establish a fascist super state in Europe.

 

It was an OK movie, but the title really is in my opinion an appropriate moniker for the place where baseball currently finds itself.

 

We were shut down for 2 months or more. Some athletes were lucky enough to be able to condition, train and throw but a vast majority had their ability to develop their skills either severely restricted or even in some cases, completely shut down.

 

Then… we were finally given the go ahead. And what did we do? How did we respond? Start a process of 12 weeks of training prior to playing in our first game? That’s insane right? Ok then, at least 8 weeks? 6 Weeks? 4 weeks?

 

Nope.

 

We were WAY more worried about masks and social distancing than we were about soft tissue preparation.

 

A vast majority of pitchers nationwide were pitching in competition within 2 weeks of getting the all clear.

 

To me, someone who has trained pitchers professionally for 25+ years, this situation represents the sum of all fears for me personally. It is very, very worrisome to us here at the Ranch. I believe we will see an unprecedented surge of arm issues from this summer.

 

Careers will be slowed, interrupted, derailed and in some cases ruined…and the worst part is that with just basic common sense we could have avoided a large percentage of that carnage.

 

The basic tenets of human physiology tell us that it takes 6-12 weeks for our soft tissue to respond and adapt to the stresses we place on it.

 

Historically, the most frequent months for UCL and labrum tears in professional pitchers has clearly been the months of March and April. This obviously indicates that it’s the ramp up that is so immediately critical to arm health and durability and not workload or whether or not you throw a curveball or even what your mechanical efficiency looks like. It is the steepness of the ramp up which will matter most early on in the process.

 

Case in point: If I was going to run a 5K, (not even a 10K or a marathon), to avoid injury or at the very least minimize a quite painful period of time after the race, I would need to start preparing to run that race12 weeks prior to it.

 

And yet what do we have here today in baseball in North America?

 

Hundreds of thousands of young men completely shut down for 4-8 weeks and then playing in competition within a week of being given the all clear.

 

In truth…That IS insanity. Yet most of the baseball universe just do not carefully consider the implications. 

 

Unfortunately, I believe as a collective universe we will reap the consequences of such bad choices.

 

So, if this is you…a pitching athlete just getting the all clear…my advice is to be very, very aware of your arm preparation. If you are asked to pitch in competition, limit your competition workloads if at all possible. Slowly build your ramp up from 1-2 innings to 2-4 to 3-5 etc. Take your pregame arm care and postgame recovery seriously. Really take a deep purposeful look into your 7-day cycle (week).

 

Now I realize many of you do not have control over the days or the amount you pitch.

 

Simply understand these facts and be aware of the dangers because arm injuries increase exponentially when you fail to adhere to them.

 

Fact #1. Our soft tissue is always in a constant state of flux. Soft tissue adapts to the specific stress it is placed under. Too much stress overwhelms the tissue and pain and injury are often the result. Under no stress, atrophy results. Too little stress, the soft tissue fails to respond, grow or adapt.

 

Fact #2. One should avoid pitching back to back days. The ONLY exception would be a healthy and durable pitcher who threw ~24 pitches or LESS the night before. Then he should not exceed 24 the next night. Keeping our soft tissue healthy and durable does require adequate recovery. A great rule of thumb is 1 hour of rest for every pitch thrown before you should throw again.  <24 pitches = 1 day of rest; 25-48 pitches = 2 days of rest; 49-72 pitches = 3 days of rest; 73-96 pitches = 4 days of rest.  

 

Fact #3. Human beings are cyclical by our very nature.  Baseball pitchers especially so. If our intensity and/or volume is too high, we have a problem. If our intensity and/or volume is too low, there will not be a change or an adaptation.

 

The games you pitch become your heavy days. Your week (7-day cycle) should include 2 heavy days, 2 light days and 3 medium days. You should have at minimum 48 hours between heavy days. This 7-day cycle helps each athlete continue to push and grow yet recover and adapt to the stresses.

 

Until Next Time,

 

Stay Curious & Keep Fighting the Good Fight.

 

Coach Wolforth 

 

 – – – – – – – – – – – –

 

Important TBR Notes & Updates

 

  • We know that everyone is excited about getting back to baseball and playing.  With that said, ramp up is going to be critically important after the long break.  In addition, the NCAA has extended the dead period to July 31 so college coaches are not allowed to watch or have any contact with players.  Keeping both of these things in mind, getting to the Texas Baseball Ranch® in June & July can be extremely valuable to players’ preparation and ultimately performance.  Read more below or check out our current & upcoming events at www.texasbaseballranch.com/events.

 

  • We have 4 remaining EPBCs on the schedule for this summer with the next one taking place July 3-5.   Due to current COVID-19 state mandates, we are only accepting 24 athletes per camp instead of our normal 45 and they are filling up fast. For more information on these popular events, please visit www.TexasBaseballRanch.com/events. We are also loosening up our cancellation/change policy so that people can be comfortable in making plans now in the face of current & future uncertainty. ** We also have an option for you to extend your bootcamp weekend and stay for an additional week(s) and participate in our “Extended Stay Summer Developmental Program”.

 

  • Session 1 of our “Extended Stay Summer Development Program” has been a huge success.  Session 2 begins June 29th and is close to selling out.  Knowing that there is still uncertainty for some people related to COVID-19 as well as baseball schedules, we have modified our cancelation policy to help reduce any apprehension with signing up.  We are allowing participants to cancel all the way up to 1 week prior to your scheduled arrival with NO cancelation fee.  In addition, there is no charge to move your start date.

 

  • Response to our “Ranch Remote” training option has been exciting.  It’s a program for people that would still like to get access to, and ongoing instruction from, the TBR staff but prefer to avoid travel due to the virus. Click here to get more information on this NEW, hyper-personalized training option.  The number of participants in this program is limited to 36 so if you’re interested, don’t delay.

Please call (936)588-6762 or email us: info@texasbaseballranch.com
for more details or to sign up for any of these options.

.

Previous post:

Next post:

Google