Jaeger/Sullivan Return to Throwing Manual & Schedule
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Glossary of Terms


Allowing your body to move naturally and freely. Not “trying” to throw according to any type of “mechanical form”. Pure Instincts.

Throwing Mechanics

As important as it is to have “proper” throwing mechanics, we’d prefer you focus on being athletic and natural. When you allow your “innate” movement patterns to take over, this is what best support your arm/body, and acclimates you to your most efficient and effective “mechanics”. If you have specific needs regarding “mechanical checkpoints”, by all means use them. Just keep the idea of being athletic at the forefront of your mind.

Low Intent Arc Throwing (Massage Throws)

Perhaps as important as any principle behind our throwing philosophy is Low Intent, Arc Throwing – especiallyfrom the onset of your throwing session each day. From your first throw until even your last throw each day, we want your mind-set to be focused on being loose, relaxed, free and effortless. The best way to do this is to throw with a great deal of relaxation in your arm, and with ARC. Arc provides relaxation, looseness, and freedom in the arm, body and mind. It also helps you load into your back side, optimally engage your back leg, hip, and glute, sets the tone to promote an optimal pelvic tilt, and optimize ground forces. A visual that may help you to comprehend this better is to imagine that you are a Quarterback throwing a short, gentle screen pass over the line to your running back with feel and touch.

Long Toss

Long Toss is broken down into two major phases: Stretching Out and Pulling Down. The main objective of Long Toss is to stretch out your arm, progressively, to its furthest distance by gradually throwing the ball uphillas you move away from your throwing partner (Stretching Out Phase), and then eventually downhill as you move back in toward your throwing partner (Pulling-Down Phase). This practice not only promotes optimal Range of Motion in the arm, but helps develop incredible feel, or proprioception, by making these micro-adjustments (variability) with your release point. Hence, feel and accuracy is another incredibly beneficial by-product of Long Toss. Long Toss also activates your maximum amount of athleticism. By progressively throwing the ball uphill, and then progressively downhill, you are allowing your most innate movement patterns to organize freely, and thus, your “mechanics” can synch naturally. This is one of the greatest ironies of Long Toss – your best mechanics “come out” of Long Toss as a by-product of “not” trying to be mechanical. Thus, variability actually promotes repeatable outcomes, rather than “trying” to repeat mechanically. This is a very liberating way to experience throwing.

Other major benefits of Long Toss: Conditioning, Endurance, Strength, Resiliency, Improved Recovery, Mental Freedom

Stretching Out Phase of Long Toss

The first phase of Long Toss is the Stretching Out Phase. The predominant goal is simply to stretch your arm out by throwing the ball progressively higher as you move away from your throwing partner. This is how the arm can stretch out in the most optimal way – slowly and gradually. By having full range of motion, your arm is not only best prepared for the more aggressive phase of Long Toss (the Pull-Down Phase), but it is also best protected. In other words, “optimal freedom prior to optimal explosiveness”.

Pulling-Down Phase of Long Toss

Pulling-Down is the second Phase of Long Toss. A true Pull-Down is to maintain the same intent of your maximum distance throw, and compress it into shorter distances as you get closer to your throwing partner. Thus, if your maximum distance is 250 feet, the idea is that you maintain the exact same effort or intent on the way back into your throwing partner. But Pull-Downs can in theory also be “modified” because there are going to be days in which you don’t get out to your maximum distance. For example, if your maximum distance is 300 feet, but you only went out to 150 feet, you can “Pull-Down” with 50% effort (since 150 feet is 50% of your typical maximum distance). Also, on days that you do get out to your furthest distance, we highly encourage you to refrain from Pulling-Down with full intent until you start getting into the 2nd half of your Pull-Downs (i.e. 150 feet if you were out to 300 feet). You can still “Pull-Down” from 300 to 150 feet in this example – just reduce your effort to 80% or so. This helps to reduce your workload as well on flat-ground – especially on days you are going to be throwing off the mound.

Progressive Pull Downs

Be sure that once you begin the “Pull Down” phase of your throwing program, which in your Throwing Schedule, begins once you have reached your peak distance, be sure to also incorporate your “higher intent” Pull Downs progressively. For example, on your first Pull Down day, use only 80% effort (even though the arm is fully stretched out), and then add 5% on your next Pull-Down Day so that it takes you 3-4 more throwing sessions to get to your full intent, Pull Down effort (you theoretically don’t need to ever get to “100%” effort of your Pull-Downs until 120 feet and in). It is only at THIS point in the Throwing Schedule that you are ready to throw off the mound with full intent. Please keep in mind that for safety reasons, be sure and stay at least 70 feet away from your throwing partner. You may not be able to appreciate how much life, carry, and velocity you have on the ball once you get to the end of this Throwing Schedule. We highly recommend that if you want to get closer to pitching distance for your Pull-Downs, to please do so with a catcher that is fully geared up, including face mask.

Note: Although you can still get on the mound much earlier than your first full intent day, be sure that you match the effort off the mound with the same intent of your Pull-Downs that day (ie, if you Pull Down at 80% on your first Pull Down day, you can throw with 80% intent off the mound).

Perceived Effort vs Actual Effort

Because there is quite a distinction between “perceived effort” and “actual effort”, be very mindful of erring on the side of throwing with less, rather than more effort. Studies have shown that when an athlete uses what they “perceive” as “x” amount of effort (i.e. 50%), they are actually using much more “actual” effort than they realize. Therefore, the use of a radar gun can be extremely helpful by taking the guesswork out to give you accurate feedback as to the difference between “actual effort” and “perceived effort”.

Effort level regarding Cool Down on the Mound

Once you are ready to begin cooling down on the mound at the end of your throwing session, be sure and navigate this transition like everything else we have suggested – slowly and surely. As mentioned above, because it may be difficult to understand the difference between real and perceived effort, always err on the side of throwing with “less” effort – especially when you first start getting on the mound in Phase 2. A good way to ensure this is to throw with some type of objective measurements, like radar. Either way, be sure to throw with extremely loose and relaxed arm action. The initial goal of throwing off the mound is simply to give your body a chance to get the feel of the slope so you can acclimate to your natural movement patterns on the mound. But the mound can also give you a false sense of security to throw the ball firmer. So keep in mind the earlier formula we used for “Pulling-Down” – if you are at, for example, 150 feet on a given day, and your pre-surgery throwing distance was 300 feet, use 50% effort during your cool down since 150 feet is 50% of your projected max distance of 300 feet. If you went out to 225 feet in this same scenario, then you can use 75% effort off of the mound, considering that 225 feet is 75% of 300 feet. And remember, be sure to have FULL Range of Motion PRIOR to making any FULL intent throws…whether that is on or off the mound.

Mound Ramp Up/Live Inning

The Mound Ramp up (with FULL intent) phase doesn’t begin until your arm has been fully stretched out to its maximum distance, and you are through at least 4 solid Pull-Down Sessions. Once you are ready for the Mound Ramp Up phase, you will then go into a 6 day cycle of throwing, which includes a heavier workload on Tuesday and Friday, a lighter workload on Wednesday and Saturday, and a medium workload on Monday and Thursday. You will have the option of taking Sunday off or going light. Based on this new schedule, your Mound days will be on Tuesday and Friday. As you will see, we have scheduled you for at least 6, high intent bull-pens prior to a competitive inning. At that point, we’d suggest that you add approximately 10-15 pitches a week to your “game situation” Ramp Up.

Note: The reason that we want you throwing 6 Days a week is because once you start incorporating heavier workloads off of the mound, we want your body to “move” essentially every day…even if it’s light. This is especially the case when you consider that the Throwing Schedule is designed for you to build-up so much endurance that your arm should recover much more effectively than you may be accustomed to. Therefore, be sensitive to the idea that you’ve been conditioned for this, and therefore, you may notice that your arm wants to “move” and throw more often.

Low Intent Day

Once you integrate a heavier workload, including Bull-Pens and Game situations, you will tend to see each throwing session has a specific theme. Low Intent Days will almost always follow a Bull-Pen or Game situation because the main focus is on “recovery and rebuilding”. Therefore, Low Intent days will involve almost exclusively, low effort, massage-type throwing.

Medium Intent Day

Medium Intent Days will tend to follow Low Intent Days, and be a precursor to High Intent Days. Medium Intent Days will still focus predominately on “recovery and rebuilding”, except it will tend to garner more distance throwing and even the potential of medium intent Pull-Downs.

High Intent Day

High Intent Days are designed to be your heaviest workload days, and typically include a full extension Long Toss to maximum distance, Modified to Full intent Pull-Downs, and either a Bull-Pen or Bull-Pen plus a Game appearance. High Intent Days will tend to follow Medium Intent Days.

Note: As a reminder, you can modify your Pull-Downs on High Intent Days until you get about half way back into your throwing partner (e.g. 120 feet if you maxed out at 240 feet). Then, you can resume your High Intent Pull-Downs as you make your way in from 120 feet.

Davis’ Law/Tissue Repair

According to Davis’ Law, all human tissue adapts and aligns in response to the stresses to which it is exposed, including why the introduction of stress can be a positive. Here’s a little excerpt from an article on the topic from Randy: “the microscopic trauma to tendons, ligaments, and muscles is a necessary phase to go through so the body can repair the damage by specialized cells (UMC’s) that float around in the bloodstream with no responsibility until they sense damage to another cell. At this point, they have the miraculous ability to morph themselves” (Article: https://floridabaseballarmory.com/shut-it-down-or-keep-throwing-maybe-theres-an-alternative/)

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