Everybody wants to throw harder. Everybody wants to throw more strikes. Everybody wants to play big time Division 1 baseball. The difference is who is willing to put in the work.
As a college athlete the first thing that we learned was simply how to do the work. The fall velos would be down, guys would struggle simply because we were working harder than they ever had before. But once their body adapted, numbers skyrocketed. There is no shortcut and there shouldn’t be! If it was easy everybody would do it. Every high school kid could just do some work in the weight room, hit a little bit, and they’d be Division 1 caliber players. Guys could play a little catch, throw some bullpens, and they would be 90 mph plus with a swing-and-miss breaking ball.
In order to be a high-level player in baseball, what you need to do is simple but it isn’t easy. You need to workout and increase your overall level of strength. You need to also train in a way that makes you able to use that strength quickly. You need to improve your mobility in a way that builds strength through a full range of motion so that you can reduce the risk of injury while performing better. You need to throw efficiently and without pain so that you are able to throw often. If you’re a hitter you need to move efficiently and train in a way that challenges your ability to make solid contact.
It is simple, but the work is not easy. It won’t be just doing one drill perfectly or just focusing on one thing, one day in the cage or in a bullpen. The guys at the highest level work on their craft every day. They know they just need to get better, it’s not that they aren’t good enough but they can’t just stay where they are or they will be passed. And a sophomore in high school is in the same boat, even the best in the state needs to work to be better. The body adapts to stresses that are place on it. If you just train to maintain there will be regression.
Train to get stronger, you don’t need to be a 500-pound squatter to be a good baseball player, but you need to be able to execute basic movements with some resistance. Jump often and not the same way every time, jump sideways, jump off and on to one leg. Train for rotational power, some type of medball throw or rotational core work that happens quickly.
Skill work needs to be done often and with great intent. It should challenge you, there is a time and a place for low pressure work, but it needs to be done at near 100% effort from varying levels of constraint. Overload and underload training is good for most of the population but needs to be progressed slowly and particularly on the throwing side safety parameters need to be established first.
A place like Bardo’s can be dangerous. People think they can just show up and get better just by walking through the door. No matter what program you do or who you work with if you just show up, go through the motions, and only try at the things you are good at, you won’t get the results you think you deserve. But if you show up ready to learn, trust what you feel, and work on what you aren’t good at on your own, the sky's the limit. It’s simple but it’s not easy.
For some examples of what hard work looks like check out Healthy Heat on Instagram and Facebook. Get after it!