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A New Pitching Technique?
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Brent Pourciau USAW Certified
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December 19, 2010 – 12:27 pm
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Amazing work load! This is why you are an Olympian. This is what most people do not realize about success, it takes a lot of hard work, smart work and determination to reach your goals.

 

Can you describe the mechanics of the med throws so we can get an idea of what your workouts are like? I know you said no specifics but I am very curious.

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roald62

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December 20, 2010 – 4:53 pm
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When I first started doing high volume med balls I used to use a 3kg/6lbs  ball.

I layed on the ground with another med between my shoulder blades.  I would then throw against a wall of wire fence catching the ball over head as it bounced back and going right into the next throw – so the ball kept moving.

In addition to increasing the number of throws I did form the 100s to the 1000s and then 10,000s in the mid 1980s I started using an adjustable bench to sit on.  I would change the angle of the bench gradually from upright to flat – so a 90 degree range.  I would say the effort of each throw was 50% to 75%. 

The original purpose of the extreme volume was to develop my shoulders.  I wanted them to be super fit, flexible and strong and be conditioned for much harder and more stressful javelin throwing.

For the past 10 years I now throw a 1 kg med ball and do an average of 600 to 800 throws per session, three time a week.  Now the goal is to keep my range of motion and keep the fast twitch fibres active.  Most of the throws I do now are moving in all three planes and engaging multiple muscles and joints and working them in sequence to pull effeciently and effectively.  The effort for these throws ranges from 75% to 100%. 

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Brent Pourciau USAW Certified
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December 20, 2010 – 5:10 pm
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Roald,

 

That is great to here because my program in the Ace Pitcher Handbook has the velocity drills which is a combination of 2lb med throws with target throws with the baseball. The purpose of the med throws is the focus on building core torque and range of motion. The purpose of the target throws is to take the muscle memory from the med drills into the baseball throws. Every throw is in a full stride and every throw must start from the ground up. If the pitcher can learn to maximize torque while increasing speed then velocity increases. This approach which sounds very similar to yours is as much developing good mechanics as it is strength. This is why my program has been so success.

Can you tell us more about your weight training program? Do you perform the Olympic Lifts to build power throw triple extension? Also how have you been able to keep your speed and strength as you have aged?

Thank you for all this info so far it has been great!

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roald62

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December 21, 2010 – 9:42 pm
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The only weight exercise I can still do now that involves triple extension is jump squats.

Pulling from the floor or catching weight over head has had to be removed from my training – unfortunately. 

The first is too much strain on my lower back.  The second is too much strain and risk of injury on my shoulders, lower back and knees.

As a teenager I was a competitive Olympic lifter and really learned how to effectively and safely pull and catch a heavy moving weight.

I have found in recent years that the jump squats directly effects my throwing – positively.  I work in a very short range and despite usinig very heavy wieght I have had no adverse effect, at least to date.

Keeping my speed and stength as I age has been a challenge.  I have had to really listen to my body and change, modify and create new exercises to adapt to my agiing body and ever growing number or restrictions and limitations I face.  The most important thing is that I can still throw.   

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Brent Pourciau USAW Certified
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December 22, 2010 – 2:26 pm
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I have notice this as well that as I get older my body doesn't respond well to heavy lifting. Heavy lifting when you are in your 20's is critical if done correcttly for remodeling fast twitch muscle fiber but once you have pushed your bodies muscle development potential into your 30's and 40's it is more about speed and agility from there on out.

I am glad to hear that the jump squats have such an effect on your throws. I feel the same. I am big on plyos and I beleive that the faster and more explosive you can become with triple extension the harder you can potentially throw, if you have the correct mechanics to transfer that energy into the ball.

What is your work load today in your training as opposed to when you were younger? What percentage of your time is spent on weight training and what percentage of your time is spent in the field each day?

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roald62

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December 22, 2010 – 4:45 pm
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At my peak I was training 3 to 4 per day for up to 10 to 12 hours of actual training.  It was over the top for sure but I was so focused and determined.  I wanted to push my body to its real full potential and find my bodies true physical and mental limits.

The intensity of 75% of the workouts was in the 80% to 100% range.  The  other 25% of the workouts were probably in the 60 to 80% range. 

In my younger days the break down of my training between weights and on the field was about 50 / 50.

Today it is about 25% weights, 25% on the field and 50% cardio and aerobic ( stationary bike, swimming )  / low impact / non impact 

The intensity today levels today vary from going through the motion with about 50% effort to 100%.  The days I push now are when I feel good the days I feel tired, sore fatigued due to training ( recovery) or just because of my age I back off.  It is all about listening to my body and accepting all the age related issues.  It is a challenge.

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Brent Pourciau USAW Certified
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December 24, 2010 – 1:02 pm
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That is an amazing work load! I can see why your body wants low impact training today.

How old were you when you were throwing your farthest and what were you doing that you felt gave you that sucess?

Last question I promise!

Is mechanics as important to you as training?

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roald62

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December 24, 2010 – 7:03 pm
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Brent,

no worries on asking questions.  Ask away.

I was throwing my farthest in 1985 – 91.40m / 299ft 10″.  I had several meets late in the season that were in the 95m to 98m range but where ruled flat – the point has to land first to count – and therefore did not count!  It was a really silly rule.  The following year, on April 1st, 1986 the design of the javelin changed so that it would not fly as far.  They moved the center of gravity forward 4cm.  The result was that the javelin dumps / turns over and always sticks in the ground.   I was the first person to throw the new rule javelin over 80m with a World Record Throw of 81.74m / 268ft 2″ in 1986.  The following year I threw I threw my life time best with the new rule javelin of 83.84m / 275ft 1″.

 

There are 4 key things that I do my best years:

#1 Have a really high strength to weight ratio

#2 Am really flexible

#3 Have really good smooth mechanics in my throwing motion so that I am able to transfer as much of my power into the implement effeciently and effectively. 

#4 The last key thing I do my best years is to minimize to number and severity of injuries.  This has now become the hardest thing to manage in my training.  I feel like I am constantly doing damge control.  

🙁     

So to answer yourlast question yes mechanics are absolutley key.  

So I have a question for you with regard a comment you made on the video comparison of me and Jim.  You said you would not recommend “crouching”back for a pitcher.  Why is that?  Too much torso movement?  Unable to keep eyes on a target?

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