The 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.
In addition to facing the physical challenges of advancing from youth baseball to high school and in college (and beyond, for that matter), players must also deal with the ever-changing landscape of the playing season. Depending on the level, rest periods can be hard to come by, along with finding time to devote to an extended period of training.
The manual breaks the calendar year up into four “periods”:
1: Off-season buildup overview- building the base, stacking the base, volume over distance
2: In-season maintenance (Fall/Winter)- integrating mound work
3: Rest, Restore, Recover- (early Winter, prior to the Spring season)
4: The Summer is here- transitioning from Spring into Summer
“It’s a culmination of 26 years of writing and experience,” adds Jaeger, “[we took] segments of various articles- namely the Off-Season Buildup and In-Season Maintenance- and added in key pieces to ‘bridge’ the entire year. One piece is the Summer, which has become tricky because of the emergence and volume of summer baseball. Another important piece is the gap between the end of Fall practice and the beginning of Spring practice, which is another area that seems to pose a great deal of questions. We also discuss how to integrate rest periods throughout the year.”
The Manual is not just a response to the arm injury epidemic that baseball has been facing the past few years. On the contrary, Jaeger’s philosophy is focused around getting each player to “find out what’s in your arm” and discover just how healthy, strong and durable the arm can be.
“The arm is waiting and willing to go to work for us,” Jaeger notes. “It has so much potential and upside if given the time and attention. And contrary to opinions that suggest that you ‘only have so many throws in your arm,’ we come from an entirely different school of thought whereby you ‘build’ throws in your arm by throwing more, rather than less. Just as you don’t ‘count’ how many steps you take each day for fear of ‘using them up,’ the arm responds best to activity rather than inactivity.”
The ultimate goal of the Manual is to establish a plan that makes sense and is easy to follow. An addendum at its end includes a number of additional topics, including the mental side of throwing, pitch counts, rehabilitation protocols, inclement weather training and more.
“It’s simply amazing what our bodies (arms) are capable of doing if there is a clear and direct intention toward training, along with a map that gives us the guidance to best navigate that path. This Manual was written with this in mind. Enjoy the process!”
For more information on the Year Round Throwing Manual, visit http://www.jaegersports.com/Year-Round-Throwing-Manual/