Hi,

Appreciate your advice. I have a junior HS son who is a RHP and also infielder. In this winter off season he has been training with a trainer with weights to get stronger and doing conditioning and has recently started pitching lessons with a local trainer. We live in Illinois. He is throwing mid70s up to 80 in practice. To get recruited to play at academic D3 and possibly Ivy schools (he is in all honors classes and just got a 35 on the ACT) he needs to increase his pitching velocity. I've heard good things about the TBR but then upon further online research heard that they focus more on conditioning and that a 3 day weekend won't really increase his velocity. Is it worth attending? Is he better off doing the Driveline analysis for 3-5 days where you go on site and then continue at home? The difficulty there is that we can't stay there on site for 5 days, could do 3, though. He has HS tryouts first week of March, and expects to do showcases in June/July. Thank you in advance for your advice.

Original Post

Hi Mom2,

Welcome to the site.  Others will chime in with better specifics regarding the two options.  I just want to point out a few things to help you utilize this resource to the fullest. 

Continued direct questions are encouraged.  You can also search threads here by topic, certainly including Texas Baseball Ranch and Driveline.  They are both reputable and there are many related threads you can browse.

Most D3's recruiting timeline is heavy on summer between junior and senior year and often a bit later.  So, for that level (as well as most JC and NAIA) your plan is a good one.  It also matches his current measurables, based solely on the throwing velo you mention.

Assuming your son's local pitching instructor is experienced, reputable and current, you will also want to bounce the options off him as to avoid any conflicting philosophies or mechanic teaches - and maybe he has some specific insight into either or both.

If your son is on the typical maturation curve, a lot of progress can happen over the next 6-12 months, much of it just from the natural growth process, which you cannot rush.

As Cabbagedad states interfacing with his pitching coach is key on next steps. It would be great if the pitching coach and the weight trainer could also be aligned as they need to be.  So many variables in this, including has he matured yet physically; where is he in his pitching program i.e. has he just started? Does the pitching coach address flexibility and core strength or is he just focused on the mound?  I would let this play out a bit and go through the junior season at high school and see if the training and natural growth improve on the velocity. Take stock after junior season and see what he might need to augment. BTW 35 on ACT  wow! 

Good luck keep us posted.

2014Dad, So you’re saying he shouldn’t do the TBR weekend right now? He has grown a lot (is 6” 1) and I’m not sure if he is still growing height wise. He has been working with a trainer on flexibility and core. I don’t know why I mentioned his ACT, probably irrelevant to all this. Thank you!

Both of those programs are reputable but they do require travel so you have to weigh that cost factor.  Many of my son's minor league teammates work with Tread Athletics, they have remote  online training programs  and use video for evaluations so I would suggest checking them out as well.  Just things to consider and whatever you choose I'd involve the trainer and pitching coach so they are aware of what he is doing. 

I think when a lot of people think they need a "velocity program" what they really need is a strength, speed and athleticism program.  There is no weekend fix for velocity.  Find a comprehensive program that is individualized to add power, stability and mobility then work it like it's a job.  That has to come first, before weighted balls or other arm focused methods.  

I am not saying baseball ranch and Driveline are not those things, just pointing out the mindset you should have going into it.  If you go there for 3 days, make sure you leave with programming that you can bring home and work on safely on your own and that there is a mechanism to update that programming regularly as he progresses.

mom2baseballplayer posted:

2014Dad, So you’re saying he shouldn’t do the TBR weekend right now? He has grown a lot (is 6” 1) and I’m not sure if he is still growing height wise. He has been working with a trainer on flexibility and core. I don’t know why I mentioned his ACT, probably irrelevant to all this. Thank you!

I don't think the 35 on ACT was irrelevant at all. That's fantastic.  I would be so proud I'd probably get a T-shirt made with that on it.  It also tells the experts here that he is pretty legit academically for the type of schools you mentioned.  Best of luck to him.  What a fun time and challenge. 

I put my son through the Driveline program remotely using their materials online and messaging them, and other pro's I knew on Instagram, that were using the program.  This was some years ago when they were first starting to get noticed.  I did purchase the weighted balls from them.  My son definitely saw improved throwing velocity from the program which we did for about 9 -10 weeks.  He added about 3-4 mph in that time period which I would attribute directly to the Driveline method.  We never stepped foot in their facility.

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