Jaeger/Sullivan Return to Throwing Manual & Schedule
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How to best Optimize our Throwing Schedule: Awareness, Freedom, Open Focus & Variability


Considering that you have typically spent anywhere from 4-6 months, post-surgery, confined in a clinic, and haven’t touched a ball for an even longer period of time, there’s a chance that you may feel somewhat restricted and guarded as you begin making your first throws. For this reason, we want you to be highly awareas you begin our Throwing Schedule to focus on being as free as possible – to allow your body to relax, be athletic, and move naturally.

A huge aspect of feeling freedom in your body is feeling freedom in your mind. Because your initial few throwing sessions may feel a bit “heady” because you may have some apprehension about throwing for the first time in months, we highly recommend that you make this a “full body experience”, or what’s called, embodiment.

For this reason, you will see a lot of information below about the importance of “Massage Throwing” and “Arc Throwing”, as opposed to being “mechanically correct”. Our goal from the onset is for you to “open up” your body and mind by throwing with freedom, rather than from a restricted or guarded state. Naturally, your mentality plays a major role in your ability to optimize your most optimal return to peak shape, and having this awareness of how to best navigate this potentially foreign territory up front, is pivotal.

Open Focus vs Narrow Focus

For this reason, we highly recommend you have what’s called an “Open Focus” mind-set. Open Focus is a meditation term that is designed to promote a feeling of being “open”, “spacious”, “expansive”, and “free”. When you are in “space”, and beyond your thinking mind, you allow your most natural, athletic, and innate movement patterns to take over. On the other hand, “Narrow Focus” promotes a more confined, linear, and concentrated state. Whereas Open Focus promotes Athleticism and Variability, Narrow Focus promotes Mechanical and Linear movements. This doesn’t mean we are opposed to having some awareness about your “Mechanics” – it’s just to say that after being in a confined and restricted space for many months, the main focus for the first several weeks, especially, is to prioritize being free rather than being mechanical.

Variability, Creativity, Feel & Fun

One of the biggest keys to navigating your first few weeks of throwing is to create variability with your throwing. Part of this will happen naturally as your release point begins to change as you gradually arc the ball as you move away from your throwing partner. But there are other creative ways to promote variability as well, including shuffling your feet, creating rhythm with your body, varying your targets, and gamify your throwing. All of these movements can really help you transition from a potentially “confined” and “guarded” state of mind, to a relaxed, free and open state of mind. This can also promote more right brain activity, which includes feel, athleticism, spaciousness, and fun!


One of the most essential principles of our throwing philosophy is to have a great deal of awarenessthroughout the entire process. Therefore, it’s important to be sensitive to what your arm and body are telling you. For this reason, we highly recommend journaling your entire Return to Throwing Schedule as you work through it. This would include a number of essential categories, including, 1) how many minutes you spend throwing each day, 2) How many total throws you make each day, 3) How many high intent throws you make on a given day (this occurs much later on in the Throwing Schedule), 4) How you felt on a scale of 1-10 each day, and 5) How you felt on a scale of 1-10 the following day, regardless of whether it’s a day off, or a scheduled day of throwing (be sure to evaluate yourself prior to throwing).

This can provide invaluable feedback regarding your Recovery, and help you realize if you are doing too much, or not enough on a given day. Your awareness and ability to adapt each day based on your Recovery plays a major role in how well you navigate this entire process in the most optimal way. For this reason, know that it’s okay to back off at any time in some scenarios regarding volume, distance or how many days a week you are throwing, just as it may feel good to add some volume, distance, or an extra day of throwing throughout the schedule. This will also help you be more sensitive to trends as you transition into adding more volume, distance, intent, or an additional day to your Throwing Schedule. A big thank you to Vanderbilt’s Scott Brown for his suggestion and input regarding Journaling.

A Final Word – The Essential Role of Awareness

The bottom line is that as you go through this Throwing Manual & Schedule, the main emphasis is to be highly in tune with your instincts and trust the process knowing that only your body knows on a given day what it ultimately wants and needs. Our Throwing Schedule will give you 28 Weeks of guidelines to help you return to what we believe will be the best shape of your life. But your awareness throughout this process to adapt and adjust on the fly is absolutely essential for your ultimate optimization of our Throwing Schedule.

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