The Next Frontier

By Jonathan Massey-

 

In 2010, Coach Wolforth revolutionized the world of pitcher development when he coined the phrase, “Start with the Pain”. He knew that if a player was going to reach his potential, the first step to that process was to reduce/minimize/eliminate any kind of pain a player was feeling while throwing. The results speak for themselves as the Texas Baseball Ranch® is the premier pitching training facility in the world.

 

So, what’s next? There’s a portion of the baseball community that believes the future lies in the use of analytics and sabermetrics. It seems like every week on social media I see something about pitch design, and while I don’t have an issue with the premise of pitch design, I believe it is something that we are rushing towards when there is lower hanging fruit when it comes to pitcher development.

 

Then what do we at the Texas Baseball Ranch® believe is the future of pitcher development? We believe that it is the ability to enhance a player’s capability to recover and return to full strength quicker.

 

Why do we believe this is the next frontier?

 

  1. We’ve all had that game where we pitched and absolutely dominated our opponent and thought to ourselves, “If we could pitch like this more often, we’d be an all-star”, yet we struggle to repeat these types of performances. Why? Often it is because we cannot recover in the time between our outings. I’m not saying that you are going to be 100% every single time you take the mound, but the closer to 100% you can be, the more consistent your performances will be.

 

  1. We’ve all walked into a test that we knew we were going to ace before we even sat down, and we’ve all walked into a test hoping or praying that it was going to be easier than we were anticipating. What was the difference? Preparation. So often I see pitchers take the mound and hope that they are going to have a good outing. Hope is a great thing to have… but hope is not a plan. We can all agree that the better you can prepare for each outing, the higher the likelihood you’ll have a good one. How do you prepare better? You recover faster. The faster you can bounce back from your previous outing, the faster you can begin to prepare for your next one.

 

  1. One of the greatest equalizers in the training/development world is that we are all given 24 hours in a day to work with. This is where we believe enhancing recovery will make the biggest difference for a player. No matter what your goal is— whether it is to make your high school team, play college baseball, get drafted, etc.— we all have the proverbial clock ticking down to make our dream come true. The more deliberate practice a player can get in on a given day and still be able to get back to full strength the next day, the closer he will get to accomplishing his dream. Every day a player has to take off or scale back because his arm isn’t back to 100%, is a day he’ll never get back.

 

As Simon Sinek says, “The key is consistency, not intensity.” No matter what your current constraint is— velocity, command, or developing a secondary pitch, the only way to develop those things is to throw. And throw on a regular basis. The only way to accomplish being consistent is to first have little to no arm pain, and then be able to recover on schedule.

 

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As you begin to make summer plans, we hope the Texas Baseball Ranch® is part of them.  There are 6 camp dates on the calendar between June and September and our “Extended Stay Summer Development Program” information will be coming in the next few weeks. It’s not too early to make your plans to join us as these events will sell out.  Those dates and more information are available at www.TexasBaseballRanch.com/events.

 

We are looking for 4 or 5 interns to work at the Texas Baseball Ranch® this summer.  If you or someone you know would be interested in one of these positions, please email info@texasbaseballranch.com or call (936) 588-6762 and we will follow-up with additional information.

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