D6L posted:roothog66 posted:D6L posted:
I think one thing we are forgetting on these studies are alot of statistics are coming from players who are not FULLY developed, especially long toss. As the players grow and develop eventually they should get stronger and throw harder. So, are we saying that it was just the long toss or weitghted balls or lifting weight, I don't ever see biological transformation reference from one season to next for the players.
To the proponents of professional clubs not using the weighted balls, yes I would like to know why as well, a sport that's been around since 1845, the mecca of all that have touched, thrown, caught or hit a baseball. With almost limitless resources to find that franchise pitcher, if weighted ball is the answer for the pitchers then why do these ball clubs search outside the boundaries and spend millions of dollars to find the next Cy Young, instead of developing within. The ball clubs are gravitating to areas that baseball is played the most, the arms are used the most and the balls are hit the most.
If the professional pitchers are at their peak therefore they do not need to throw the weighted balls, this doesn't make sense, if you have an equipment that helps you get to the top level, once you get there stop using it?
In football you don't throw, curve, slider, surve, cutter, 2seam, 4seam, change, screw, gyro or a knuckle. The arm action and the grip for a QB is slightly different then a Pitcher.
The things I like to question, I hear stress, strain and tear, but are these the good ones or the bad ones. I know that to build the muscle you need to tear it down, but is this muscle there to be built, our chest and leg muscles are definitely have space to grow, but some of muscles we are talking about are in places where massive growth can't happen or shouldn't.
I just read an article recently, Tampa Bay organization was trying to find "new" method for developing and training, so their low minor league affiliate was the test dummy. One idea was the weighted balls, for proprietary reasons the group didn't divulge what exactly was done with the weighted balls, but the success story was that this 34th round pick was going to be released, if I read the article correctly he was throwing in the 90s but lost the velocity. With the weighted ball program he got his velocity back to the 90s not increased his velocity since losing it but got it back. But the sad thing was that the very next year, he had arm problems and needed surgery. Now was this injury because of the weighted ball program, or just pitching too much. I am not sure. But one thing the parent club made it absolutely clear is that they will NOT use this method on their "TOP" prospects for now.
There are a lot of common misconceptions concerning weighted ball work in this post. First is the idea that MLB clubs don't use weighted balls. It's just not trues. A lot of them do. Even with clubs that may not formally incorporate programs, many very durable mlb'ers do use weighted balls as very important components to their personal programs. You don't have to look any farther than this World Series. If you watched Chapman warm up in the bullpen, you will see him use a weighted ball. In fact, one of the earliest proponents was Rivera.
A second misconception is that you can probably put off much of the velocity gains to natural growth. While this has some merit concerning long toss, where reports of gains come over longer periods of time, it just doesn't work for weighted ball gains. Every documented study concerning this deals with velocity gains over a very short period of time - usually no more than three months. Over such a short period of time, natural growth cannot be a factor. Additionally, this is an area where it is possible to separate out the numbers as they apply to younger players. One has to look no farther than Kyle Boddy's work in Washington to see a pattern of fully physically developed pitchers experiencing remarkable velocity gains over a relatively short period of time. Such developments couldn't possibly be the result of natural growth in subjects of this classification.
An anecdotal story of a single pitcher who needed surgery a year after using weighted balls is not very useful to the conversation. However, a long term comparison of injury rates among pitchers who use weighted ball programs and pitchers who don't would be useful. Of course, the conclusions of any such story would have to take two competing notions into account; 1) the idea that increased velocity inherently increases risk factors and 2) the idea that weighted ball work can actually increase the strength the smaller muscle groups surrounding the elbow, therefore allowing it to withstand greater stress factors. So, for example, if you saw increased velocity in our weighted ball subjects, but similar injury rates, you could certainly conclude that it has substantial positive effect. The same conclusion could be reached if you saw no increase in velocity gain rates of change, but substantially lower injury rates in weighted ball pitchers. However, if you saw only slight changes in increased velocity and substantially greater injury rates in weighted ball pitchers, you could conclude the opposite.
edit: Another misconception is that weighted balls as a general concept are a new untested training method and that the old timers didn't need them. In reality, weighted balls have been around for more than a hundred years. IN the old days, pitchers would soak balls in water to weight them down for throwing "programs."
I believe you are validating what I am saying, listing individuals who use weighted balls as their individual preference and not the Organizations embracing the weighted ball as the sole source of increasing velocity. As you noted that this idea has been around for years also supports what i am trying to impart. As for Chapman you can youtube his mechanics as to why he can throw 105mph, not because of the weighted balls, but his hip to shoulder separation is BETTER than most elite pitchers and having his size is bonus as well. My assumption is, if he does use the weighted balls during bullpen session or warmup, this would stretch the hip/shoulder separation or even strength it, without undue stress of lifting heavy weights for the upper body rotation.
I agree that there is a place for weighted balls in a workout, but should not be touted as the "Main" source to increase velocity, in my opinion. In a 3 month period of "workout" program, you are in essence strength something and in any workout program it does take 3 months to see results. I know that if you put a load on anything continuously there will be some results, but why are we overloading the arm to the extreme when most of the power comes from the leg. When we overload something continuously there will be consequences.
Like you on this board I have read weighted ball research papers, during one of these programs an individual hurt his arm, and this was conducted by professionals as well.
Wasn't the Tampa Bay article done by professionals for the professional who competes at the very top? I am not sure how we can ignore it completely.
First, can you come the article you're talking about. I'd like to read it. I also wanted to mention that the Indians implement a wb program for their minor league pitchers. To address a few other things. You bring up a good point that lower body is a major component in high velocity throwing. Your question, though, is based on a common misconception as to what the goals of a weighted ball program are.
It's not about strengthening the arm for the purpose of muscling up a pitch. The basis can best be addressed in terms of proprioception. Your arm will only move as fast as you have trained it to go and only as fast as it can handle. When we talk about muscle memory, it is not exactly what it sounds like. A combination of muscles and capsules in the joints internally "learn" and "remember" patterns of joint movement. It is why a baby has to learn to walk. It is why most people cant thriw the same with their off hand. Now to apply it to pitching.
Research on cadavers has shown that the human ucl,on its own, can only take a force about equal to that applied by an 86mph fastball. However, the musclea surrounding it allow for greater forces. As these forces are applied, the joints "allow" fastwr movement whuch is then engrained into arm action. So, heavy balls build the muscles around the ucl, allowong it to handle a faster movement, and then light balls sort of "trick" the arm into moving faster. So, it is not about simply adding muscle to the arm.
your analogy to lifting weights does not work here. Yes, it takes about three months to see strength improvement with a weight program, but that is because strength increase is how you are measurong gains. That is not how gains are measured with a WB program. We are measuring gains by mph, and thise gains come much quicker.