Fall 2016 From the Bleachers

f16-ftbThe Time is Now, http://wp.me/p2qsGw-k5

“Great read in @insidepitchmag about the @jaegersports year round throwing manual!! #FeedIt”

Cory Harpin

Brian O’Connor, http://wp.me/p2qsGw-kO

“Great read for any athlete or coach. This man gets it. It’s no wonder UVA is so successful.”

Perry Florio

Training Our Young Arms, http://wp.me/p2qsGw-ld

“Not to mention is it nice to pitch when your hitters mash. Cranford always seems to have great hitters!”

Todd Engmann

Steve Owens interview, http://wp.me/p2qsGw-kI

“It’s always interesting to learn how mid-majors and small schools run their programs.”

Nicholas Perkins

: Helping Children of Fallen Special Operations Heroes through Baseball. From June through mid-October, STRIKE FORCE has set out to elevate awareness of the service and sacrifice of America’s special operations community and raise funds for participation by children of fallen operators in programs offered by the nonprofit Gold Star Teen Adventures (GSTA), a member of Operation Hawkeye. For more information, visit http://www.gstadventures.org and http://www.ophawkeye.com, and follow Operation Hawkeye on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. http://wp.me/p2qsGw-lU

The Time Is Now…

year round throwing manualThe time is now to jump into Alan Jaeger’s latest passion- the Year Round Throwing Manual.

After more than two decades working alongside countless amateur and professional baseball players, Jaeger put pen to paper and developed a detailed throwing plan that is applicable for pitchers of all shapes, sizes and ages.

“The inspiration for writing this was twofold,” said Jaeger. “First, we wanted to put all of our research and experience in one place, where a player, coach or parent could have as many questions answered as possible. Secondly, in response to the dramatic increase in arm injuries, we felt it was important to put information out there that could make a huge impact in the reduction of arm injuries and provide guidelines to help optimize the health, endurance, strength and recovery of the arm.”

The manual outlines a year-round plan for arm training, maintenance, rest and protection by detailing Jaeger’s time-tested protocols for arm training, keys to training the arm, how to ‘listen’ to the arm, and the role of long toss. Pre- and post-throwing arm care is also discussed. The Manual also discusses when the best time of year is to start a player’s ‘throwing cycle,’ along with how to approach the throwing cycle. Continue reading

The deconditioning of the arm

Dan Haren (AP image)

Dan Haren (AP image)

There are a myriad of programs, tools, methods, theories and opinions that attempt to address the rising number of arm injuries in baseball. Countless dollars and research hours have been spent by the medical community and countless time, energy and discussion has been made by the baseball community to quell this epidemic.

Alan Jaeger

Alan Jaeger

For Alan Jaeger, the solution is relatively simple- any high school, college or professional organization that puts heavy limits and restrictions on arms that are, comparatively, being so well trained and conditioned in this day and age are simply deconditioning arms. The current culture (in college baseball especially) places an emphasis on throwing more, rather than less, so pitchers are well protected in general. But when a well conditioned player comes up against a throwing program that places major limits on them (distance, time, workload), arms become very vulnerable to deconditioning.

This is prevalent at all levels but ironically at the “highest” level of baseball (the major leagues), a number of organizations are actually the most conservative. Whether it’s due to the amount of money players are paid, the change in philosophy from a pitcher being on their own or suddenly becoming part of an organization-wide structure or policy, pitchers going into professional baseball can be restricted the most. Through research and experience, about a third of MLB organizations mandate a throwing program that places restrictions on time allotted for throwing (i.e. 10-12 minutes) and distance (i.e. 120-150 feet) — in some cases, it can be very extreme (about a third are considered very liberal and individualized, and the other third are somewhere in the middle).
Continue reading

The great dis-connect: the improving impact of the mental game in baseball

In sports, people are always looking for a way to get an edge on the competition. Over the past few years, we have seen a meteoric rise in the once-neglected fields of nutrition, weight training, video review, and more. Players, parents, and coaches have collectively spent millions of dollars investing in dietitians, cutting-edge conditioning programs, top-of-the-line HD cameras and anything else in hopes of helping players get the most out of their God-given talent.

With all the changes in the current amateur baseball climate (roster limits, scholarship constraints, bat restrictions, a new RPI formula, and the pitch clock, to name a few), many amateur teams and professional organizations are just looking for some consistency with their game. Over the past few years, there is another field that has arguably gained as much ground as any, utilizing a much more advanced tool- that space between your ears.

Yes, the power of the mind and its importance has seen a dramatic rise of late… even for baseball players. Continue reading

Dueling Aces: Tom House & Alan Jaeger

While ‘defense wins championships’ is a common cliché that has reverberated throughout the sports world, it’s a virtual non-argument that it’s hard to do much in baseball without a deep and talented pitching staff.

With the emergence of a multitude of unique yet seemingly momentary training programs, two names remain firmly carved into the Mount Rushmore of pitching gurus: Tom House and Alan Jaeger.

House has spent the greater part of his life in the game as a major league player, a pitching coach, a researcher and a motivator. Jaeger has experience as a coach, a personal trainer, and a consultant.

House has Masters degrees in marketing and performance psychology. Jaeger has teaching-training backgrounds in Yoga, Zen and Taoism.

House is the founder and CEO of the National Pitching Association, which provides pitchers, parents and coaches with 3-D motion analysis, functional strength screens, mental/emotional profiles and nutritional assessments. Jaeger has penned his own mental training book, “Getting Focused, Staying Focused,” and produced a DVD, “Thrive On Throwing.”

House spent time as a volunteer assistant at Southern Cal. Jaeger has worked closely with the folks at Vanderbilt, Cal-State Fullerton, Oregon, UCLA, and the Texas Rangers.

Deep and talented pitching staffs? Look no further than these two. House has tutored Nolan Ryan, Randy Johnson, Mark Prior, Robb Nen, and Kevin Brown in the past, along with countless others that are currently pitching professionally. Jaeger has worked with the likes of Clayton Kershaw, Dan Haren, Cole Hamels, Andrew Bailey, Trevor Bauer and more.

House is known as the “Father of Modern Pitching Mechanics,” while Jaeger aims to “merge the mechanics of the Western athlete with the insight of the Far Eastern mind.

Inside Pitch had the wonderful opportunity to catch up with House and Jaeger to get some of their thoughts on pitching.

Inside Pitch: Briefly describe your throwing program and the methods behind it. Continue reading