Above average coordination is a sign of fast twitch muscle strength. Fast twitch motor neurons recruit more muscle fibers. This means more control of the body and also more explosive power. The biggest problem for a pitching coach, when working with a pitcher who does not have good hip rotation or who does not load and build a full body stride, is that this is the result of poor core and leg strength and no mechanical drill will fix this problem.
Drills only help pitchers who are having a hard time changing flawed muscle memory. It doesn’t help pitchers who have good muscle memory but poor muscle strength. This is why we have weight rooms. This is why any coach who tells you that weight lifting will NOT help you as a pitcher is clueless and is wasting your time and maybe even your money. A good strength and conditioning program that incorporates Olympic lifts, plyometric training and an intense speed training program is essential to developing good pitching mechanics. Good athletes make good pitchers.
The Perfect Pitching Specimen
The two of the greatest pitchers of our time is Nolan Ryan and Roger Clemens. Their success came from their genetic make up and also their work ethics. Both of these pitchers had intense training programs. Roger Clemens was even using illegal drugs to enhance his work ethic and increase his performance. Both of these pitchers grew bigger, stronger, faster in their careers and they both threw harder the older they got. This is because their work ethics improved their overall strength, which helped keep their flawless mechanics consistent and efficient. If they had slacked on their off-season training programs then you would have noticed a decline in their careers. This wasn’t the case and it is known today that they both where extremely hard workers.
Nolan Ryan and Roger Clemens careers are proof that proper weight training and plyometric training will lead to a successful career. So why do coaches ignore this fact? Because they usually do not have first hand experience. If you want to be a high performance machine then you must train your body to become one.
Why should pitchers use a good strength and conditioning program?
- To enhance pitching mechanical efficiency, which will lead to more consistency and increased longevity.
- Help the body heal faster.
- Remodel fast twitch muscle fibers which have a higher capacity for explosive energy.