Baseball Pitching Velocity Training

Listen to the entire 3X Pitching Podcast Episode 3. You can subscribe to the podcast on iTunes by selecting the button on the far right.

3X Pitching – Podcast Episode 3 Transcript

This transcript is a rough draft. It is recommended that you listen to the podcast above.

3 Is the Magic Number

Hey, Brent Pourciau,!
This is the 3X Pitching Podcast Episode 3!So I'm going to make this a good one. Three's my lucky number! I had the number three all my career, even when I was young I had three , I don't even know why. It's always been my favorite number. I've wore 30, 33, sometimes I had to wear twelve, you know two plus one equals three. That's kind of the way I justified wearing  it. It was just wild. It's always been my favorite number. So I know, this being the third podcast, I really wanted to cover a topic that's my favorite topic, that I feel is the most significant topic to what we're doing here with TopVelocity and 3X Pitching. It really is the foundation of 3X Pitching. When I learned this, it's what changed my whole game. What took me to a high velocity pitcher. It still shocks me today you don't hear a lot about it when it comes to the high velocity pitcher. It really is the foundation and why this is going to be a good show. So let's get into it!
The problem here and the reason this topic is controversial and not coached well in the game of baseball with pitchers is because the conventional wisdom still paints this picture of the high velocity pitcher not being a athlete and being like a specialty. Like, these born freaks are just made to do it kind of thing. Of course we see these common characteristics in all these high velocity pitchers. You know they're tall, lanky, the majority are. They're lean. So we think that this is a freakish body type because we don't see it in other sports. But if you look at the science and mechanics of that body type, of course it makes the better pitcher. But it doesn't make them less of an athlete. That's why you can have great athletes that don't have those characteristics be great pitchers. Tim Lincecum..all the  little guys! I like even... Gio Gonzalez. We see them all the time. So the point is, there's a definite argument, and the positive and winning side of the argument say that pitchers are great athletes.
There's studies that show that the shoulder speeds of a high velocity pitcher are the fastest body movements in sports. I don't know if you heard that study before, but it's true. The fastest body speed in all of sports is the shoulder speeds of the high velocity pitcher releasing the pitch. Think about it, if in that skill, if that movement is considered the fastest movement in sports, there's a pretty good argument that the high velocity pitcher could or is the greatest athlete or takes the greatest athlete in sports. I'll leave that up for you. Kind of a no-brainer for me.

The High Velocity Pitcher is the Best Athlete in the World

I really accept that the high velocity pitcher is an elite athlete. That being said, I really believe that you can develop yourself to be more athletic, that's when you have a greater chance of being a high velocity pitcher. And that's what we focus on in the 3X Pitching Velocity Program. Also in understanding that of an athlete or how to become a great athlete, you really have to learn ground reaction forces. You have to learn how to interact with the ground. Because that's what it is at the end of the day, that's what makes you a better athlete, the better athlete has the ability  to generate more forces through the ground, which pushes more forces back toward them for them to work with, throw a ball, kick a ball, for them to jump, for them to run. So that is the make-up or basics of the foundation of a good athlete. That's going to work with any skill, specifically the high velocity pitcher. So if we can just accept that and move out of the debate: Are we athletes or are we freaks? Does athleticism have anything to do with generating high velocities? If you can just get over that and take all this evidence that proves that there's no difference when it comes down to throwing a javelin or football or sprint or running. The forces we generate through our body are no different than a high velocity pitcher does to throw a ball 95 or 100 mph. Once we get over that, we can start to really learn this stuff. Once you accept that, you can open yourself up to a new game, a new approach to this game. That alone is going to be revolutionary. That alone is going to change your game because the majority of your peers who you compete against don't believe that. They are lost in the rhetoric of conventional wisdom, that's not how pitchers play the game. So that alone will you give you an edge. So if you're willing to continue down the road with me and open up yourself to me, learn this information. Then, it's going to be exciting because anything is possible at this point.

Studies and Research of How Pitchers Use these Ground Reaction Forces

Now, we need to understand and learn how these ground reaction forces work for a pitcher. It would help to see some studies. Let's look at some studies and research of how pitchers use these ground force reactions. Or how important these ground reactions force are to their movements. So if go to one of my latest articles called, "Studies Prove Ground Reaction Forces Highly Correlate To Pitching Velocity," it's going to cover this entire topic. And we're first going to look at the first study in that article called, "Characteristic Ground-Reaction Forces in Baseball Pitching." In that study they took some college and high school baseball players. These aren't even professional baseball players. They took college and high school baseball players and found that when they went at a higher speed, more max-effort, their ground force reactions peaked. How they recorded ground reaction forces was by putting a force plate under the drive leg. It could actually measure the lateral push and vertical push off the ground. They did the same thing on the front leg. It could measure the lateral push, the linear push, at that point because the foot's open. Then it could measure the vertical push off the ground. And it found that when those forces went up, wrist velocity speeds increased. Wrist velocity's are no different than pitch velocities. They're linked. So basically the study found that these guys generate more force through those two limbs, the drive leg and front leg, throw harder! So there you go! There's the first study that basically tells conventional wisdom, "You're wrong!" and that "You're misleading!"
That point in my career where I tore my rotator cuff...The doctor told me I'll never play again. And I went to Kurt Hester, who's in the Strength and Conditioning Hall of Fame and a great coach, and I sat in front of him. You know he trained LSU through the 90's where they won 5 national championships, they were called Guerrilla Ball, and he gave me his approach. "Well if you can't pitch, why don't you become the biggest, strongest, fastest kid on your team?"And I said "Well, that gives me a lot of hope." You're right. Maybe helped me find my position.I didn't even think that this would make me a high velocity pitcher again. I just thought maybe I'll get a chance to swing a bat or run a base. So I took that approach. Well what happened when I became the biggest, strongest and fastest guy on the team? I actually became the hardest thrower on the team! And I was shocked! I had believed conventional wisdom, I had believed what all my coaches had told me for years and what coaches still pump out today: to keep these kids in ignorance or to scare them to death so they don't go up and don't do something they don't have experience with, which is weight training or resistance training. I found that there was a correlation. That they were wrong! That force, generating power and strength and speed in your body, actually links to velocity. I was actually throwing harder because I was getting bigger and stronger! So it wasn't what I thought it was. Which was if I got bigger and stronger I would get tighter, slower, and it wasn't going to work. They were wrong! So just like this article and case study here proving the links to force production to wrist velocities. I had discovered in my own experience of using a training program that enhanced my ability to produce force through the ground. So this gives us the information we need. That we are not wasting our time. There is proof here. Legitimate scientific proof in studying the motions of college and high school pitchers.
Now if we go down to the next study called, "Timing of the Lower Limb Drive and Throwing Limb Movement in Baseball Pitching," it gives us information about when and how these forces are being generated. But before that there's a study that's linked to this. If you need more evidence that the study about ground reactions forces isn't enough to convince you that building more leg drive, leg force, and leg power increases pitching velocity. There's another one! It's called, "Lower extremity Muscle Activation During Baseball Pitching." You can look that up online. There it shows that in the phases of the leg drive and front foot that these professional pitcher's muscle contractions exceeded up to levels of 172-175% of its maximum voluntary isometric contractions. So it says here in the study indicates a high demand of low extremity strength and endurance. Specifically coaches shouldn't incorporate unilateral or bio lateral or low extremity exercises for strength improve or maintenance. And to facilitate dynamic stabilization of the low extremity during the pitching motion. Another study that links, now the leg strength to higher velocities. And they're also advising you to train to  enhance your leg strength to improve your performance. So there we have two studies that really compliment each other. You have the first one saying that more force through the ground generated higher velocities and this one's saying the strength of the leg generated higher velocities. So we know now that it's not just a fall off the mound, it's not just a drop off the mound. There's actually a firing of the legs that is causing the force. So you're not going to get away with just lifting and falling to front foot strike. And that takes us into the timing on these movements.
Here is the study, "Timing of the Lower Limb Drive and Throwing Limb Movement in Baseball Pitching," which is in the original article I was talking about. It says" However, the slower group produced their peak resultant force earlier in the action, thus reducing the ability to drive over a stabilized front leg." So it found that when these pitchers generated those ground reaction forces too early, it caused them to go too vertical or kind of leap off the rubber. So they went into front foot strike with less force and therefore didn't have enough force to get themselves over their front leg. Which was common among high velocity pitchers. So we have to generate those forces just before the front foot lands. If we go back to the original case studies, it says that as well. It says "The push-off resultant was relatively constant at about 1.0 BW until just before foot contact. " So it found that through the drive leg, it released enough force that went to the level of their own body weight or there ability to move their own body weight and they peaked it just before the front foot lands. So you have to have the strength to move your body weight and peak it just before the foot foot lands. Now that takes a lot of athleticism. Because if you can visualize that, you have what we call, in 3X Pitching mechanics, a linear force vector, which is allowing you to create that force just before you land into front foot strike. That force is one times your body weight. Now if we get in that position. Which we do in the 30 days to 5 mph video series you can subscribe to for free. When you get in that position, you'll see that your drive leg is abducted, it's moving out to the side of you, all your weight sits on your knee and ankle. So it's a very hard position to generate force. So you can see how you have to be incredibly strong and explosive to peak your ground reaction forces at or above your own body weight just before your front foot lands. You're not going to be able to do this if you don't have the power and strength of an elite athlete. That's why in the 3X Pitching, the Fusion System is such a critical part of the program. It's the bulk of the program. Of course all the 3X Pitching Velocity Drills are super important and they are also a good part of the program. But you can't get away with becoming a high velocity pitcher without a program that's going to give you the ability to generate these peak ground reaction forces at or above your own body weight just before your front foot lands with a linear force vector. So it's a must!

3X Pitching is the Only Program to Promote Ground Reaction Forces

There's no program out there guys who's teaching this. I would love for someone to argue that but there isn't. There is no program out there that is teaching to peak your ground reaction forces just before your front foot lands with a linear fore vector. None of them show you how to get to that position. And none of them teaches you to train your body to build that kind of power in that position. That's what the 3X Pitching Velocity Program does. If you don't believe me, go watch the 30 days to 5 mph, watch those videos. I'm actually showing you what it takes and I'm laying  it all out. I'm showing you right there. Anyone else online who had that information would never give it to you for free. And I'm giving it to you for free! I want you to know this is critical, what you have to know.
There's nothing out there that can make it obsolete. This is the only way in becoming a high velocity pitcher. Furthermore, now we understand the importance of our athleticism. Our ability to create force, ground reaction forces and now know when to generate those forces, before front foot strike. Here's another case study called "Characteristic Ground-reaction Force In Beginner Baseball Pitching." Now we can see the beginner pitchers and why we have so many arm problems. Why we don't throw hard when we're young? Because we're even worse at being able to generate ground reaction forces and generating them at the right times at the right movements. So it shows us two things. This convinces us even more on what we have to do. We have to learn this. And it's the reason why we don't throw hard until we grow older and get the leg strength by going through puberty and tough training days going through high school sports. Also, it shows why we have more pitching injuries. There's two reasons we have to do this. We have to learn this for performance enhancement, we have to learn this for injury prevention. So here's the study. It found that the pitcher keeps his center of gravity over his back leg to allow generation of maximum momentum once forward motion is initiated. If the pitcher’s body and momentum fall forward prematurely, the kinetic chain will be disrupted and greater shoulder force will be required to propel the ball at top velocity. So it' s showing if you don't do this correctly and we shift our weight too early, and we have and don't generate peak ground reaction forces into front foot, then we put more force on the shoulder. Putting more force on the shoulder means we generate our velocity mostly with our arm. And we know that that does not correlate to high velocities. That also puts more stress on the arm. That also links to more injuries and arm problems. That's why younger pitcher's have more arm injuries than older pitchers or professional pitchers.
Understand that even more we found here, I found in a study called, "The Kinetic Chain in Overhand Pitching". Kibler and Chandler calculated that a 20% decrease in kinetic energy delivered from the hip and trunk to the arm requires a 34% increase in the rotational velocity of the shoulder to impart the same amount of force to the hand. So if you don't do this, someone new to this show and you don't do any of this, and you're the one who just shifts your weight and falls into front foot. If you want to put the same amount of force of a high velocity pitcher, who we know generates ground reaction forces just before front foot strike at or above his own body weight. You have to, not just compensate the same amount with your arms and shoulder, you have to OVER compensate. So it's saying that a 20% decrease in your hip and trunk energy comes through that interaction into front foot strike through the ground reaction forces. A 20% decrease makes you make up for it not with a 20% increase in should arm rotation speeds but with a 34% increase! So once again we can see why the conventional wisdom of lift up and down and out, stride slow, land soft, control your movements, that kind of mentality not only prevents you from being a high velocity pitcher but it ruins arms! I talked more about this in a article I put together of how the conventional wisdom is ruining the pitcher. It's a good article where I go into even more of the last study and last two studies. And how these pitching coaches, it's called, Research Proves Why Conventional Wisdom Is Ruining Pitchers Today.
It really shows how these old  school approaches, like slow stride, short stride, land soft, is really endemic to arm injuries of these youth pitchers. But that will be something we'll cover in another episode. So we're going to leave it there today. So hopefully you learned a new approach. You learned how if you haven't been going down this road, how you're really wasting your time, how you're putting yourself into the lot of pitchers who aren't successful, who struggled to get time on the mound,  struggled to move up levels of the game. Until you take this approach and run with it, you're to ultimately set yourself up for arm injuries and potentially never reach your top velocity. You may never know how good you could have been. Each will live with the regret of not knowing how good you could have been. This approach, this 3X Pitching approach, which uses all this valuable and critical information, is ultimately going to change your game. Change your life and at least at the end of your career, you''ll know you put everything you had into it. And that there's nothing left. You'll see, just like in my case, you're going to see how much further you're going to get, and live your dream. I'll never forget the feeling of playing in San Diego and playing in that ideal climate and playing for a professional organization. Signing autographs and meeting people in every town we moved into and playing with my idols. And I'll never forget that feeling in life and experience. If I didn't have that experience in my career, I really would of just hated the regret that would follow me. I don't know what it would have been like. I really think we all need to taste it or experience it because we've done since a young age, such as long period of time, you owe it to yourself to not push away this information. Really take this seriously. And get the best out of you. Live the dream! It's going to propel you into what you do next in your life. And it's going to give you the confidence of whatever you want to do out of baseball. Even if you become a MLB player one day, it'll continue to help you. So that's going to be it for the show. Wish you guys the best out there. Keep working harder and increasing pitching velocity. If you have any questions or need any help, my numbers on the site, reach out to me. I'll be glad to help you out.