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Additional Notes Regarding Our Throwing Schedule

Soreness vs Pain

If at any point in the Throwing Schedule – especially in the beginning – you feel any type of “soreness”, give your arm a chance to work through this. Soreness may simply be part of the process, and something that you may easily be able to throw through. However, ALWAYS err on the side of conservatism and back off or shut your throwing down for the day if you aren’t able to decipher the difference between soreness and pain. A simple rule of thumb is soreness is something that will tend to decrease with each passing throw, and is something that you can “throw through” – pain is something that increases with each passing throw and is a sign to stop throwing immediately. Always Listen To Your Arm.

Transitions from one increment to the next

Please note that the “amount” of throws you make at each increment in our Throwing Schedule is designed to be used to transition or “get to” the next increment. For example, if the Schedule says to make “15 throws at 60 feet”, and then, the next increment is “15 throws at 75 feet”, be sure and “use” the 15 throws to get to the 75 foot mark. In other words, if you backed up 1 foot a throw from 60 feet, you would get to 75 feet “in” 15 throws. The reason we are making a huge deal of this is because often times in many of the standardized throwing programs, the instructions will have you make, e.g., 15 throws at 60 feet, and then 15 throws at 75 feet without this type of transition, which can be a bit of shock to the arm, compared to using the 15 throws as a gradual bridge to the next increment.

Keeping the effort light on your Pull-Downs (until you reach your maximum distance in the Throwing Schedule)

Once you get to your furthest distance on a given day, it is essential that you maintain loose arm action, relaxation, freedom, and some arc on the way back in toward your throwing partner as well – especially in Phase 1 of the process (out to 120 feet). The tendency may be to start using “more” intent, or even start “Pulling-Down” when your arm is still very early in the process of the Stretching Out Phase. Therefore, in Phase 1, think in terms of “Massage Throwing” on your way back in to your throwing partner, and Phase 2, “Light or Modified Pull-Downs” on your way back in to your throwing partner. True high intent throwing or Pull-Downs doesn’t come into play until you are at or near your maximum distance at the end of your Extension Phase (Phase 3), which may not occur in your Throwing Schedule for an additional 8-10 weeks beyond 120 feet. Therefore, please refrain from any type of high intent throwing or Pull-Downs until you get out to your maximum distance.

Here is a simple formula to ensure that you avoid throwing with too much intent, too soon, on the way back in to your throwing partner. Let’s say that 250 feet was your maximum throwing distance pre-surgery, and thus, is a good indication of where you can project your maximum distance to be once you get fully extended. In this scenario, if you go out to 125 feet on a given day, you can pretty much assume that you can use 50% effort or intent on the way back in to your throwing partner (125 feet being 50% of 250 feet), knowing that your arm is about 50% “stretched out” to its ultimate capacity. And if you are later on in your Throwing Schedule, and you get out to, per se, 200 feet in this same scenario, you can use 80% effort or intent on the way back in because 200 feet is 80% of 250 feet.

The idea here is that the “degrees of freedom” that your arm has been “opened up” to on a given day matches your “percentage of intent” on the way back in to your throwing partner. Not only does this formula help you avoid throwing with too much intent, too soon, but it also helps promote a great deal of relaxation in your arm knowing that you shouldn’t be throwing with full intent until your arm is fully stretched out to its maximum distance. The ability and awareness to refrain from throwing with too much intent, too soon is another essentialprinciple of the entire Build-Up process. And this formula works any time you go out to throw – whether you are rehabbing or not.

The bottom line is that whatever distance you go out to on a given day, it is VITAL that you refrain from throwing with more intent than your arm is prepared to handle. Once you do start getting out to distances well beyond 120 feet, you will instinctively know when to start gradually adding more intent on your way back into your throwing partner. But the key word here is gradually! Keep in mind that it is always better to err on the side of throwing with less, rather than more intent until you start getting much deeper into the Extension Phase of the Throwing Schedule.

Day after Rest Day

If you are coming off a “rest” day, or “off” day, you may consider going a little less distance on the following scheduled day to throw than the Throwing Schedule suggests – especially once the work-load increases. For example, we have built in a day off on Sunday, so on Monday, you may consider going a bit lighter regarding distance on the day after the day off. The main idea is that we want to be sure that you don’t shock your arm by putting too many demands on it the day after a day off. This starts to become much less of a concern once you start adding days to the throwing schedule.

Pre-Surgery Max Distance Throwing Compared to Post-Surgery Max Distance Throwing

Because your elbow is coming back from surgery, you may not necessarily want to go out to your maximum distance in the Extension Phase of our Throwing Schedule (Phase 3) prior to the High Intent Pull-Down Phase. In other words, if your maximum distance pre-surgery was 300 feet, you may decide that 250-275 feet is sufficient to get your arm fully or comfortably stretched out. This is completely understandable because you are coming back from a surgery, and you may feel like you want to stay in more of a comfort zone. However, from years of experience, you will probably notice that your arm will want to get out to its maximum distance the next time you cycle your arm back into shape (i.e., the next Off-Season).

Integration of Off-Speed Pitches

Feel free to start working lightly on off-speed pitches on flat ground or the mound at the end of your throwing session starting around Week 16. Our philosophy is to ensure that the arm has been well conditioned prior to working on off-speed pitches, so whenever you feel like your arm is “getting close” to its max distance, you may consider to start lightly spinning the ball. Again, we highly recommend that anything you do, begin lightly, and then you can begin to gradually add more spin as you add more distance and intent to your throwing routine. As always, Listen To Your Arm, and let it help dictate when you are ready to start spinning the ball lightly.

How to Navigate this Throwing Schedule for the Youth Athlete

If you are a youth athlete, and aren’t physically able to throw beyond 120 feet, than we’d recommend that you go through our schedule “as is” out to 120 feet (Phase 1), and then add an additional 3 weeks or so at the 120 foot threshold to build more volume, athleticism and proprioception prior to beginning both the ramp up phase of your Pull-Downs, and eventually, the ramp up phase on the Mound. Again, our focus is on conservatism, and insuring that when you do get on a mound, you are in peak shape. As always, listen to your arm, and consult with both your Physical Therapist and Baseball Coach.

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