Before you shut it down for the year and take this off season off I want you to ask yourself these two questions:
“What do I want to achieve next season?”
“Do I have what it takes to achieve that right now?”
I talk to a lot of players every year around this time who fail to ask themselves these questions. They want to play varsity baseball, commit to a D1 school, or get drafted but don’t quite have what it takes to achieve that yet. And still, when I ask them what their plans are for the off season their response is that they’re going to shut it down for a couple months. Only in baseball does this seem to make sense to people. If your goal was to do 100 pushups in a row would it help to take a couple months off from doing pushups? Then how do you expect to get better at throwing by not throwing?
Here is the level of velocity that is going to be required if your goal is to play Division 1 Baseball:
- Freshman in high school – 80+ mph
- Sophomore in high school – 85+ mph
- Junior in high school – 88+ mph
Here is the level of command that is going to be required if your goal is to play Division 1 Baseball:
- Minimum 60%
- Preferably 66%
- Elite 75%
Do you have what it takes to achieve your goals? If not then you should spend this off season pushing to get better.
The biggest argument for taking the off season off is to rest up so you can come back healthy ready to throw next season. But the biggest contributor to getting injured is lack of preparation. If you’re not physically prepared to throw a baseball and/or have poor mechanics, that is when you’re going to get hurt. This is the time of year to build your strength and fine tune your mechanics. The idea that pitchers can simply pick up a baseball after four months of non-throwing and regain their skill within a few weeks is just insane. Like anything else, if you aren’t actively developing extremely fine motor control (which is what throwing is), you’re losing kinesthetic sense and ability. Period.
Choose to take full advantage of your off season. Don’t slow down, don’t take steps backwards. Come join us in Healthy Heat and learn to maximize your velocity while minimizing injury so you’re ready to dominate when next season rolls around.