Mark Brooks Interview with Brent Pourciau on 3X Pitching

Interview Mark Brooks Brent PourciauThanks to Mark Brooks at the ArtofBaseball.net for putting together the interview of me Brent Pourciau on 3X Pitching. All you hitters check out his site he has some great stuff for you.

I give away some secrets to the 3X Pitching Velocity Program along with my stance on the emotional long toss debate. You will also learn a little bit about my story and how I tore my rotator cuff and made it back to baseball. If you like the interview please share it with your friends. Thanks for watching!

Check out the original posting of the interview here:
Brent Pourciau Shares 2 Arm Strength Secrets & How to Really Long Toss

Mark Brooks Brent Pourciau Interview Transcript

Mark Brooks:
Welcome my friends. Welcome to another episode of AoB experts. I am your host Mark Brooks and today we have a really interesting episode. Our guest today is Brent Pourciau. He is the creator of TopVelocity.net all the way from New Orleans. Just to let you guys know, 99.9% of the content that is at the Art of Baseball.net consists of hitting. We talk about the physical and the mental side of hitting but here is two reason why I love having pitching experts on this show. There is actually two reasons. One it doesn’t matter who you are, we want to learn how to throw harder. We want to understand best practices, the best training tips to learn how to increase our velocity. Number two, we all want to know what is causing arm pain, what is causing common arm injuries, what can we do to help avoid those injuries so it doesn’t rob us of playing time. So that is exactly what we are going to talk about today with Brent Pourciau. `He has got some great tips that are extremely actionable that you guys can apply tomorrow. You guys pay attention so stay tuned and enjoy the show.

Alright guys, welcome to another episode of AoB experts, I am your host Mark Brooks and man we have an awesome show today. We have, all the way from the land of beignets New Orleans, Brent Pourciau. How are you doing man?

Brent Pourciau:
I am doing great Mark. Thanks for having me man!

Mark:
Yes, so you were saying that the weather is getting pretty bad. How is it man?

Brent:
Yeah, it looks like a tornado is coming. Who knows, we just had one, I think two weeks ago. We had a tornado just pop up on the south shore. I am on the north shore which is across the lake pontchartrain from New Orleans. We call the south shore, which is the New Orleans side. Yeah they got a little tornado last week which was pretty nasty. Our weather here is very dramatic.

Mark:
Alright, so you know you are the founder of topvelocity.net. Creator of the 3X Pitching program. What I really think is just interesting is a lot of the knowledge that has come from topvelocity.net. The resources there and a lot of the information that is inside 3X pitching program comes from your story and how you basically had an injury and you had essentially had to battle back from that and you learned a lot of basic principles about avoiding arm injury and increasing pitching velocity. So that ids really interesting story. Can you kind of share with us specifically what you experience was?

Brent:
Yeah, that is a great point Mark. I think we all eventually in our careers, specifically being pitchers we are going to run into some injury or some we start having pain because we are pushing our limits. When we are out their throwing and we are trying to compete specially when we get into a good high school and a college we are competing at a tough level. We are sacrificing our bodies everyday, I guess just like any sport, we are specifically sacrificing our arms. I was just like a lot of guys and I noticed my arm was breaking down. I started freaking out. I didn’t know what to do so all I did was just try to hide it. Pain killers, icy hot, anything I could just to try to keep battling everyday. I wasn’t going to let that slow me down well that is just not really the smartest strategies is what I learned because that eventually tore my rotator cuff. The lesson was I knew if I was going get back. I tore my rotator cuff freshman in college, I knew if I was going to get back to playing college, and this was going to defy the odds or basically what doctors where telling me which was you will never play again. There is no way. If I was going to do that I knew I was going to have to do it differently this time. I knew if I just did the same thing a pretty good chance the  doctors where right. I was determined to prove them wrong because you know when you are 18 years old and someone says, someone in the medical profession, you are never going to play again it devastates you man. I mean I went into deep depression but the way I came out of it was, there was this saying that came across my face really changed me. It is that old saying, “Where there is a will there is a Way.” That just told me, hey yu don’t have to listen to these doctors, this saying is telling you if you really believe in this, if you really have the will to be the greatest baseball player or at least play this game again, then the way will present itself. I just kind of took that and ran with it. I then ran into some key, some really well know strength and conditioning coaches that showed me the hold strength aspects of it that I was completely uneducated around. I credit Tom House, he was really changing the industry at the time, he was really innovative. He was definitely pushing out of the conventional wisdom of pitching and I satrted learning his concepts of hip to shoulder separation and I just took off with it. That is what 3X Pitching is. Basically me trying to figure out hip to shoulder separation and how you can enhance it and how you can effectively use it to not only increase velocity but it is very much an injury prevent component. It is something that is going to protect your arm.

Mark:
Which is awesome because basically your claim is that you can take a pitcher from 5-10mph in about 16 weeks or less. That is a really bold claim but whenever you go to topvelocity.net you are bombarded with case study after case study of these kids who are seeing these sorts of increases in velocity. So what would you think is kind of the key principle that some of these kids are learning?

Brent:
Well, the reason I can make this claim is because the majority of young kids that come to me, I am saying the majority, not every single one. The majority of the ones that come to me haven’t done a basic or even a good strength and conditioning program that is specific to their needs as a pitcher or becoming a high velocity pitcher. Just them learning that and implement that alone in a 16 week program is just dynamic. It is amazing the results you see but the thing is this isn’t an easy road. I am telling them, yeah 5-10 in 16 weeks but you are going to be killing yourself. Literally, I am not making it sound like it is an easy 5-10 this is the hardest 5-10 you will ever earn in your life but just the strength and conditioning aspects, I am a USA Weightlifting Certified Sports Performance Coach, so I know, I did it in my career, I really credit a lot of me coming back and throwing low to mid 90’s after arm surgery was to the strength and conditioning aspects that I was learning and developing. At the same time I know specifically from all of my research what we have to do mechanically to make sure that what we are developing in our strength and conditioning program is being converted on the mound and into the ball. It just works man! Like I said this isn’t rocket science. I tell my guys this isn’t rocket science, it is just basic stuff that you need to learn and if you can implement it effectively through a program that is proven to work, it can happen. It is just up to you if you are willing to commit at this level.

Mark:
Yeah, that is the same kind of misconception that we see with hitters as well. They kind of take for granted that hitting is kind of pretty simple or at least the principles that can provide you with the success that you need. They are pretty simple concepts. I feel like I am not doing anything revolutionary but I am providing kind of a simpler approach to increasing the results that they want. Which is really amazing.

My second questions, this is something that I really have been, I really wasn’t sure. I am kind of on the fence with. There are two schools of thought when it comes to long toss programs and how often do you throw everyday essentially. So I want to know what your take is on long tossing and also what your take is on throwing. How often should you be throwing on a weekly basis?

Brent:
Isn’t this a fun debate. We all love this!

Mark:
It is like a religion. It is never ending.

Brent:
I just think I love getting into it because it sparks so much emotion man. I am kind of a high intensity guy so I kind of enjoy it but the problem is a lot of guys coming into the long toss debate they just think it is black or white. We are not talking long toss or not. I mean what is long toss? I mean is it 80 feet? Is it 120 feet, 300 feet, what is long toss? So I really try to make it my stance on it specific to max distances. I say anything past 150 180 feet it really starts to go into a whole other realm of throwing that I don’t think is really conducive to pitching.

I know the argument, well if I can throw the ball 300 feet I am throwing the ball 90 mph. Well that is kind of, you know, fussy math a little bit but that is fine. If that is what gets you fired up and makes you think you are going to throw 90mph one day then that is fine. I don’t think that is a really, educated intelligent way to go at it. From what I have learned and developed through measure a pitcher through many different variables when it comes to atheism and motor coordination or the  mechanics of it. I can evaluate the pitcher and show him where he is failing within his athleticism or within his mechanics to say this is why you are not 90. I don’t have to go and say well, yeah you are 270 feet well you got another 30 feet and then you are going to be 90. I just don’t take that approach. I know I have really gone at guys like Alan Jaeger about it who I really think is a nice guy, he is very professional, and we have come to terms on it. You know we can agree to disagree but I just don’t believe in anything past 180 feet is going to be the most effective way in developing velocity. If you look at the studies, the only one we have right now is the one ASMI did and that one really shows, here comes the rain, I don’t know if you can hear it. That one really shows that once you go past 180 feet what happens is the forces on the body double but the velocity doesn’t. The velocity doesn’t even change. You are doubling the forces you are putting on your body to throwing the ball 300 feet but your velocity is more than likely can be the same as it was when you were throwing 180 feet and you had maybe half the amount of forces on your body. I just don’t see the benefits to it. There are many other ways we can train for velocity and arm health and that is through a strength and conditioning approach and that is through a mechanically drill based approach and that is just the approach I decided to take because I think it is more effective.

Mark:
Yeah, I would have never thought that is a million years. I kind of come from the school of thought that you just throw as hard as you can as far as you can and you are done. I had a slightly torn labrum as well and it wasn’t fun. It took me a long time to get back from it and I would attribute just not having the right knowledge to that sort of injury.

Brent:
Sorry to interrupt, if throwing the ball as far as you can was the only way to train arm strength or velocity then why don’t you see hitters playing homerun derby everyday to train for bat speed, bat power. I don’t understand, of course that is one way of doing it, if that is the way you want to do it then that is fine but I guarantee you I will show you so much more information outside of that that it will convince you that there is a better way of doing this. That really is what 3X Pitching is.

Mark:
Very interesting! I have two more questions for you and we will finish up with this interview. This is a pretty cool little segway. What roll do you think nutrition and your diet has with developing arm strength and avoid injury?

Brent:
Yeah, being a strength and conditioning coach, I am very must crazy about nutrition. I have my own nutrition recommendations. I do meal plans, supplement plans for all my guys. So I am very much into it. I remember when I was 16 years old, or actually when I had the injury 18 years old. I remember there was this health food store down the street and I would go in there everyday and read the labels on the bottles. This was back in 1995, not much on the Internet at that time. I would sit in there all day and read all the labels on the bottles because I was looking for anything to help me and that just started my education. Man when I got to pro ball and played Indy ball I was obsessed with it. I mean I wouldn’t even take a hot shower when it came to recovery, I was doing ice baths, I was alkalizing my diet. I mean I was crazy about it. Nutrition is just another place to get an edge and I think nutrition might not be important to a high school ball player or maybe a college ball player but high level college ball and pro ball it becomes very important because it is one more edge that you can have on the game. When you are at that level and everyone is as god as you, you need all the edge you can get.

Mark:
Awesome! Now who is one guy in the major leagues right now that really has things figured out. This is a question that I ask every single guest. So lets do a position player and then a pitcher. So who is one guy that you see on tv who is competing day in and day out that you just love watching on tv?

Brent:
You know, I am probably the worst when it comes to major league baseball, I put my head in research all day long. So whenever I pull my head out I usually just want to sleep or hangout with my family and I rarely want to turn the tv on and watch a game but you a lot of my guys, my followers on the sight they always want to throw different mechanics at me because they saw some pitcher throwing in a certain way. I will look at it and I will learn a lot about a new pitcher’s that way but I think the guys that I love and I have always loved. Not to say, I am 6’1 6’2 I was 235 when I played. I was a bigger guy but I just love the small guys. I don’t know what it is but I love the scrappy small guys like Pedroia. I guess that would be my infielder and you know, Lincecum, even though I think he is really struggling now because I don’t think he has really made smart choices when it comes to nutrition when it comes to strength and conditioning but I love the small guys. I don’t think there is something you can’t learn from a small guy because they are the guys who are having to do anything and everything to compete with the giants in big league ball and it is just awesome to see it. That is why when Lincecum came out it was just so awesome to see a guy that little throwing that hard at that time and dominating. I am really a big fan of all the small guys in big league ball because they are really amazing to watch.

Mark:
You have topvelocity.net, if the art of baseball community wants to reach out to you you can go to topvelocity.net. You also have a facebook fan page as well.

Brent:
Yeah, my fan page is taking off as well which is at facebook.com/topvelocity but you can connect with me many different ways. You know, topvelocity.net, I put a forum up there that has a lot of great information. All of the pitching articles, I put a lot of my good content in my pitching articles, videos, there is tons up there. There is a lot of Free stuff for people to dig through and learn from and get a good understanding of what I do so!

Mark:
Thank you so much Brent! I really appreciate it. I will make sure that we link all of that down below so people can see that info.

I have one last question for you. What is your one piece of advice for players who are wanting to increase their velocity, avoid injury and just really tap into their true potential. What is your one piece of advice?

Brent:
Can you even hear me because the rain is coming down. I heard it, I just to see if you could hear me. I think the most important thing, I am going to give you two. I think this are really key secrets so I would listen in because I feel like I am  giving away my program just in two secrets. One of them is going to be your power to weight ratio. You calculate a power to weight ratio with how much power you can push, a great way to get a good understanding is a power clean because it is a pure power movement. So how much power or weight can you throw off of the groud in an explosive movement so divide that by your body weight. If you can drive 150% off of the ground in an explosive manner then that means you are going to be an explosive power athlete. I mean that really is a key even for pitchers specifically if you want to be a high velocity pitcher. The other think would be learning how to generate more hip to shoulder separation. I am really a big believer in it and I believe triple extension is the key to enhancing hip to shoulder separation. So that is the mechanical component. If you can learn hip to shoulder separation and get a1.5 or 150% power to weight ratio, I think that is the key to throwing 90, 95 or as hard as your genetics will let you throw.

Mark:
That is a great advice! I can hear you fine but I can definitely hear the rain.

Brent:
When it comes down in Louisiana man it comes down.

Mark:
Well thank you so much Brent, I really appreciate you. Good luck with everything.

Brent:
You too Mark we will talk soon thanks!

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