The Year Round Throwing Program

Rogue Baseball’s Year-Round Throwing Program is designed to educate and guide players through what they need to be doing all year long to keep their body healthy and prepared while increasing velocity, command, and their overall pitching arsenal.  Based on info from the athlete’s initial assessment, mechanics, deficiencies, schedule and goals, we are able to create an individual program for each athlete. 

As athletes begin our throwing program, the first step is the initial assessment to create a baseline profile. This includes a throwing questionnaire outlining each player’s throwing history, video from different angles (front, side, back, slo-mo) and the setup of profiles made on the platforms of the different technologies we will utilize. Pitchers will throw a full bullpen and get Rapsodo metrics for each pitch (velocity, spin rate, spin efficiency, vertical and horizontal break) as well as mechanical videos and a velocity baseline, and position players will get mechanical videos and a velocity baseline. We then create a video archive for the player so they can see their progress in the future, and we as coaches can refer back to different points in their development. Throwing coaches will take notes throughout the assessment and grade the athlete on five different categories of the throwing delivery (load, downward move, front leg block, arm action, overall sequence). Notes and videos will be shared immediately with the player, and we will then develop a plan to on-ramp each athlete differently depending on how much time they have taken off and when they need to be ready to throw.

a look at pitch characteristics using Driveline Edge

Another important piece of technology we utilize is the Motus Throw sleeve, which is included in the athlete’s assessment cost and provides us with important information for more accurate workload management. Each player gets their own personal Motus sleeve (compression sleeve with sensor inside) that will record arm stress, arm slot angle, arm speed, and shoulder external rotation on every throw. This will allow athletes to stay more consistent with their arm action during the delivery and drills, and it helps coaches more accurately program throwing intensities and schedules. The sleeve helps decrease the guess work in our programming, while providing players with concrete evidence about the specifics of their throwing motion. 

Motus Daily Throwing Report

Another important piece of the throwing program is the Driveline TRAQ software, which allows us to easily program each athlete on a daily basis. This allows us to oversee all players schedules, drills, notes, progression and daily routine. Each athlete has a specific throwing trainer programming for them, however all trainers will work with every athlete.  TRAQ allows trainers to easily communicate with each other on athlete’s needs and the cues they use when working with different athletes, and ultimately allows us to keep everyone on the same page. We are also continuously adding demonstration videos that will be linked with each drill in TRAQ, so training outside of the gym is simplified when the athlete can’t make it Into the facility. This will allow players from all over Colorado and beyond to be a part of our program.   

Driveline TRAQ Month Schedule

Our ultimate goal is to create the best environment possible for development in our throwers. In order to keep arms healthy it is crucial that our athletes are in a strength and conditioning program to facilitate increased velocity and long term arm health. We encourage everyone to lift with Push Performance because we can easily check in on progress in the weight room, and vise versa. Strength is the foundation of being a high level athlete or thrower, and our close working relationship with Push has major benefits for our athletes . 

We work to make the throwing schedule as free flowing as possible, as we have more space with our new facility. Athletes will sign up for lifting and throwing slots that work for them. Throwing and strength trainers will be on the floor during designated hours explaining drills, taking video, utilizing technology (when necessary) and guiding their progression.

We want to create an autonomous environment where the athletes start to take ownership of their training and develop routines that they will be able to take with them into spring and summer seasons. We will create warm up and cool down routines for each athlete with the help of Push Performance, and everyone will start to understand what they personally need to feel at their best after using the program

In order to properly guide each athlete, we program differently based on the season we are in.  During the Summer, we will make sure to keep high intent throwing in games and bullpens. We want these throws to be the hardest, which means the stress will be the highest during competition. We will mainly manage the workload of each athlete around what their high intent days need to be (games, bullpens, scrimmages, showcases). Athletes play multiple games per week, so mechanical work will come in the form of plyocare drills and warming up before practice/games. Mound work will be limited to bullpens. We mainly focus on learning to compete in the games, the mental side of the game, in-season workload management and on-field work (PFPs and pick offs) during the summer. Playing in Rogue Baseball’s program during the summer allows players to continue the training they have been doing all offseason and allow coaches to see/video live in game reps which is vital to development. 

During the Fall we will decrease the volume of high intent reps but not completely. We typically will still manage like the summer but with more focus on pitch design and changing mechanics while playing. The fall is a good time to experiment and FAIL on the mound. We want guys to throw pitches they are not comfortable with during bullpens and IN GAMES so they get comfortable by winter and it becomes second nature by spring. Depending on the amount of pitches they are throwing during fall ball tournaments/games will determine how hard/often they can train during the week. We still want guys to perform at their peak during games. But tweaks are more prevalent here compared to Spring and Summer. We will use Rapsodo to create a better pitch arsenal for a player. Rapsodo, Driveline Edge, and slow motion video will help teach players what their pitches are actually doing or what they need to do to the pitch in order to make it more useful and get hitters out.  We keep very detailed track of player’s performances in fall games, in order to accurately train them in the facility. 

Rapsodo Fastball Metrics

Winter is where we make the big changes to mechanics with constraint drills, plyo ball work, weighted ball throwing and lots of video analysis.This is where we also focus on increasing velocity. The majority of the winter consists of velocity phases. (3 weeks of velocity development with 1 deload week) We will do more or less velocity work depending on the athletes goals/needs. Then transition from max intent flat ground throws (pulldowns, run-and-guns) to blending it onto the mound to get ready for spring. Position players will move into position specific throwing. We keep attendance in the weight room and throwing program during all seasons but especially during the winter to hold athletes accountable. If you want to throw harder you need to show up consistently and lift consistently. 

Spring is go time! We want our players to be throwing hard and confidently throwing their pitches for strikes come tryout time, and to demonstrate to their coaches how much better they have gotten since last spring. We want their arms to be the strongest going into spring and continue to get stronger throughout the season. As obvious as it may sound, peaking during the season is extremely important, and our training has to be built around this timetable. Players should be able to throw as hard as possible for the longest stint of time during the spring, and players should be able to make strength and velocity gains in-season. Making sure to maintain this arm strength all season long is crucial to success, and creating a foundation in the training environment is how we help facilitate this in our athletes. While in gym-throwing is very minimal during the spring, we are able to monitor player’s throwing workload in their high school programs through the Motus app.  This allows us to consult players on how much they should be throwing, so that they can share this objective information with their high school coaches.

Every throwing athlete is different and needs a program catered to them specifically. One size does not fit all in baseball so we need to train athletes with that in mind. We want to continue learning and progressing the program just like we expect our athletes to progress. We hope to teach and guide players all year long. If they play for us it makes it very beneficial for the athlete and easy for the coaches to understand the player wholistically, but we welcome all players that want to work hard consistently to develop into the best ball players they can be.

Dillon Moritz
Pitching Coordinator

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