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I’ve seen over the last couple of years, kids doing reverse chaining with weighted balls to strengthen the backside muscles. It seems like they would help strengthen or increase range of motion of the arm. It does neither of those.

You can’t train decelerators reverse chaining, or with resistance training.

The reason for this is throwing is concentric, or shorting of the muscle. Concentric is accelerating your arm. The back of the shoulder, or decelerators is eccentric. Which means the lengthening of the muscle.

It is impossible replicate the speed of muscle strength, the amount the muscle is stretched, or time delay involved in throwing or striking. I know it may sound confusing, but this is how our body works.

Why is Reverse Chaining is Counter Intuitive

Our muscles shorten then lengthen when throwing; so reverse chaining is counter intuitive. It’s also very hard to find your exact arm angle when reverse chaining. The most effective way of training and balancing both decelerators and accelerators is doing the towel drill with a ball 20% heavier and 20% lighter. This will build parity in the pitcher’s arm while also working on his timing, kinematic sequencing, and mechanics. This has been documented and researched by biomechanics. This will also be skill specific. You can do it on the mound or on flat ground.

Another great strengthening exercise is the Wonderweight.  You can see all the info on my web site. It’s a great tool for almost any age and is safer then tubing. Studies have shown that it gets up to 20% more strengthening than tubing. Also, you can use it at different angles and weights. So go check it out, my students all love it and even some of the parents use them with frozen shoulders.

Our summer camp is going great — If you are interested in attending please email me at Redheadsox@aol.com  or call 281.773.6769.

Thanks and feel free to ask any questions and leave comments on my blog.

Reverse Chaining Pitching Tips

Kevin Beirne, Pitching Coach
NPA Certified

©Kevin Beirne 07/2012

p.s. Please share our article on Reverse Chaining.

 

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Bryant Gumbel, Tom House, RDRBI & New Velocity Training

Hope everyone got a chance to see the HBO “Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel” last Tuesday. The segment is on a Seattle Mariners pitcher who suffered an unbelievable elbow injury that required nine screws. This story is one your kids should see. It just goes to show if you have a dream, to go after it!!

See a small YouTube clip from HBO of this segment:

Velocity Training — Minimizing Injuries

The show goes on to talk about the velocity training  designed by Tom House and RDRBI institute. The same exact ones that we’ve been using the last year.

The segment goes on to explain that all 800 kids from around the country improved velocity. But here’s the kicker, not one single injury. That’s right, not one single injury!!!

We’ve Been Teaching Velocity Training That Works!

So I hope everyone will watch and understand that what we’ve been teaching works and has the research to back it up. The protocols have changed so you need to understand how to do it the right way.

We’ve had students improve anywhere from 5-11 MPH with no injuries. This is the real deal! So don’t let anyone sell you on something that isn’t true about weighted balls.

This is where it gets interesting, weighted balls have been around a long time, but what we’ve done has already revolutionized velocity training and reduces the chance of injury.

Hear it here first and don’t be fooled by the so-called gurus on the Internet. They take our research and rename it. The weighted ball training that is in right now is 10 years behind. This is a major factor in why there are so many injuries due to misinformation and marketing.

If you want to be the best, train with someone that uses research and has facts to back it up. Opinions are Opinions, facts are facts! Good luck with the season and see you guys soon.

To find out more about the velocity protocols please contact us to set up a session.

Inform, Instruct & Inspire,

Velocity Training - Minimize Injury

Kevin Beirne, Pitching Coach
NPA Certified

©Kevin Beirne 01/2012

p.s.  Read about the Velocity Training we offer.

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The Slide Step is the most misunderstood conventional wisdom and hardest for coaches to accept.

The most important job for a pitcher is to get the batter out. With runners on base, our job is to keep the runner close by using different looks and changing how long we hold the ball.

The major league average for catchers throwing out runners is around 20%. I’d like you to guess what the average of stolen bases is in a game? I guessed around two a game. Between 2002-2006 the average was .78 per game. That’s right, less than one a game.

I know, a lot people will say they are big leaguers. In the little league, they are going to steal the base anyway. Is it better to give up a two run homer or a stolen base? Strike 1 or ball 1?

Most importantly, the slide step messes up the pitchers timing.

Out of the wind up, what are kids told to do? Big leg kick, stay tall, stay back, and then when someone gets on base — They are told to be short and quick to the plate. This will also mess up their sequencing and this will lead to an injury. So, you can see why it’s hard for kids to find the strike zone with two different deliveries. If you get to foot strike in one second or less, you will be getting more energy and momentum going towards home plate.

Believe it or not, the ball will get to home plate faster and the delivery will become more repeatable. So find their right timing and this will enable them to be sequenced right. This will make the pitcher more efficient and effective.

So the numbers don’t lie. As long as you get to foot strike in one second or less in the stretch and wind up, this will help keep their timing more repeatable.

Inform, Instruct & Inspire,

Pitching Mechanics -- Slide Step

Kevin Beirne, Pitching Coach
NPA Certified

©Kevin Beirne 01/2012

**We are in the Houston, TX area educating and training pitchers so they can reach their greatest potential while  minimizing injury. Learn more about pitching mechanics, velocity and what about the slide step.

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0 Categories : Pitching Mechanics

Flippen Profile Gives Edge for Pitchers Emotional & Mental Game

Over the last decade the mental and emotional part in sports has come to light. It’s helped athletes get an extra edge in their training and in life. It’s helped them realize that there has to be a balance between sports and real life. I like to think of it, the old adage, the Yin and Yang, the balance of life.

With the technology and research done on the brain today, this has shown to improve performance on and off the field. Believe me it works, I’ve done it!! If you think you can’t, you can’t! If you think you can, you can! This sounds so simple and to the point, but in our society today you can see why people be come so negative. Remember in an earlier newsletter, Baseball is a game of failure, taught by negative people, in a misinformation environment.

So. the mental / emotional aspect of the game is a huge advantage. In baseball, you’re going to fail more than your going to succeed. So learning to deal with failure is a must, not only in baseball, but also in life. However, when we have coaches and parents being so negative all the time, how do we expect our kids to be positive and in the moment? I hear this all them time, “just throw strikes”, I’ve never met a kid or a player who was trying to throw balls. So you can see how kids at a young age learn to think the wrong way.

Golf and baseball are both rotational sports and the mental aspect are almost identical. So why has golf evolved and baseball hasn’t? That’s the million-dollar question. How come we never see a golf coach or caddy yelling at their player? Because it doesn’t work! There’s a time and place for that. But during competition is worst possible thing you could do. The job as a pitcher is to hit a predetermined target with a specific pitch. The job of a golfer is to hit a certain club, find their target and let it fly.

Flippen Profile is used by Major League Pitchers, giving them an Emotional & Mental edge

Well, I’m here to let you know about the comprehensive mental/ emotional test that shows your strengths and weakness in 20 minutes. Sounds crazy, but it is completely accurate.

Flippen Profile from Flippen Group Sports

It’s called the Flippen Profile, based on a complex psychometric instrument that is able to pinpoint behavioral characteristics and predict future behavior and performance. This Flippen report is for kids in high school starting around ninth grade and for all grown ups.

It’s used by many major league clubs, NFL teams, Universities, and fortune 500 companies. The profile takes 15-20 minutes online and you will get the report back in a couple of days with results. When you get the report back we will have a plan mapped out on how to improve your skills.

The Flippen Profile has been clinically tested and there is no test that has matched it. The profile procedure contains a selected list of 300 words and the applicant checks the ones that apply to him or her. Those words have been carefully selected using psychological knowledge and statically methods such as factor analysis and Q-sort correlations.

I’ve done this test myself and couldn’t believe how accurate it was. I also had my families input, and they agreed it was right on. Over my career I’ve worked with some famous Peak performance coaches they didn’t even get this detailed.

If I had known about the Flippen Profile report earlier in my career, this would have saved me a lot of money and time. Instead of spending thousands of dollars and hours of your valuable time, this profile report does all that in 15 minutes online.

Please take the time to read about the Flippen Profile on my website. All the information you would like to know about the Flippen Profile is there. Feel free to contact us if you have any questions.

I look forward to helping your son in creating a plan to improve his performance, and most importantly, their lives. Balance is the key!

Inform, Instruct & Inspire

Kevin Beirne, Pitching Coach
NPA Certified

©Kevin Beirne 9/2011

**You receive a personal session with me if you step up to the plate, make the decision to improve your pitcher’s emotional and mental game by taking the Flippen Profile details here.

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0 Categories : Pitching Tips

Staying Back or Lift & Thrust?

In hitting drills, Staying Back might be the biggest conventional wisdom we hear today. I know through my career I’ve been told this at every level. Come to find out that the best of the best are not staying back, but are actually moving their center of gravity towards home plate. This is what we call the Lift and Thrust phase.

The greatest pitchers of all time Sandy Kofax, Bob Gibson, Walter Johnson, and Lefty Grove all initiate their first movement towards home plate.

The best pitchers in the last ten years Randy Johnson, Roy Oswalt, Greg Maddux, Pedro Martinez, and Johan Santana all initiate forward movement towards home plate. So it’s safe to say that your first movement should be going to home plate. It gets them further and closer to home plate. They are also using momentum to their advantage (not staying back).

1ST Randy Johnson Staying Back

The old saying “stay back” really doesn’t explain what is really happening in a pitchers delivery. Research from the 3-D motion analysis shows you are keeping your head and spine behind your rear end. It’s getting your lower half going towards home plate.

Most coaches teach you to shift your weight backwards towards second base and then restart at what they call “stop at the top”. This conventional wisdom is also flawed. Think of it this way… If you were to run down hill, would you shift your weight backwards and restart on one leg? Or would you keep your momentum going down the hill? It’s a no brainer!!

Another great example is when we walk, do we pick our feet up first, or do we get our center of gravity moving then pick our feet up? To walk or run, you have to initiate your center of gravity first, and then your feet move.

Lift and Thrust, not staying back…

So remember, get your center of gravity moving toward home plate while your lifting your leg. While your doing your leg kick, you’re thrusting your front hip towards home plate while keeping your head and spine behind your rear end. This will speed up your delivery and in turn, fewer things will go wrong.

By speeding up your delivery it will help keep your body in the proper sequence putting less stress on your arm and making your delivery more efficient. This will then make your delivery more repeatable. So use gravity and the slope of the mound to your advantage. This will enable you to be closer to home plate.

Inform, Instruct & Inspire

Kevin Beirne, Pitching Coach
NPA Certified

©Kevin Beirne 5/2011

*During your pitching lessons, we promise to inform you of what is best for pitchers… So, Lift and Thrust – not staying back!

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0 Categories : Hitting Drills

Should Pitchers Pull The Glove?

Pulling the glove is one of the most misunderstood conventional wisdoms out there. Our eyes only see at 32 frames a second, so what we really see in a pitchers delivery and what is really happening can be confusing. It sure looks like pitchers pull their glove, but in actuality, the best of the best are actually taking their chest to their glove.

Most young kids have a problem dropping their glove because of the weight of the glove is fifteen times heavier than the ball. So these kids lack the functional strength to keep it up. If you are dropping your glove it will also have an effect on your balance and posture at release point. We like to call this a soft glove.

What your glove should be doing is what we call, swivel and stabilize. At foot strike you should be in your opposite and equal with the glove pointing down. But when your shoulders start to square up to your target, your glove should swivel up and firm up. Having a firm glove helps the pitcher track his body towards his target. Which will allow the pitcher to be as close as possible at release point.

What do Pitchers & Discus Throwers have in Common?

I like to think of it this way, a discus thrower and pitcher are both rotational athletes who are trying to use every ounce of energy into their implements they are trying to throw. Discus throwers are spinning as fast as they can and then they let the discus go. If a pitcher didn’t use their glove side arm to stop the energy and redirect the energy towards home plate, pitchers would end up just like a discus thrower. Pitchers would just keep spinning and have a very difficult time to have a consistent repeatable delivery.

I have students who have taken lessons from a minor league pitching coach who instructs his kids to pull their gloves. It’s not by coincidence that this organization has been one the worst in baseball in developing pitchers. Can you believe with all the technology and research today they’re still teaching the wrong stuff??

Most importantly, when you pull your glove, this causes your hips from going/moving forward to making your front leg lock out way too early. This will also cause your release point to be further away from home plate. From the side, you will be able to see at release point, that the ball is being released right around the front foot. If you don’t pull your glove but swivel and stabilize it, you will be releasing the ball 8-12 inches in front of the front foot.

Just remember, take your chest to your glove or I like to say, “Take your spine to the glove”. So the next time your watching a game, pay attention to the glove. The players that pull, will miss high or low, the ones that swivel and stabilize will be the most efficient repeatable.

Inform, Instruct & Inspire,

Pitchers Pulling The Glove
Kevin Beirne, Pitching Coach
NPA Certified

©Kevin Beirne 6/2011

*As your pitching coach, our promise is to stay on the cutting edge of what is best for our pitchers!

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0 Categories : Pitching Mechanics

Tall and Fall – Truth or Fiction?

I’m sure everyone at some point during their coaching or playing career has heard the saying “Tall and Fall”. Through my whole career my college and professional coaches have told me this. Come to find out that this conventional wisdom is also flawed.

Better Pitching Mechanics with Motion Analysis

I remember sitting in the NPA lab in San Diego going over a presentation when Tom came across the conventional wisdom of pitching. “Tall and Fall” was at the top of the list. He then went on to explain that for every inch of inappropriate head movement, whether it be left, right, up, down, or backward, you will lose two inches at release point.

He then went on to show pictures of some MLB pitchers in an athletic set up with little or no head movement, and some that stood straight up at set up with significant head movement. He then shows a picture of both, from the side view. At release point, the pitcher in an athletic set up with no head movement was releasing the ball 8-12 inches out in front his foot. The pitcher that started standing up with head movement released the ball right around his foot. If I didn’t see it, I wouldn’t have believed it!

Tom went on to explain that if you start standing straight up, you will lose a good 6 inches at release point and stride length with be shorter. Just by being in athletic position will get your closer to home plate but will also help keep your head on line.

The “Tall and Fall” theory is said to create more of a downward angle. Like I’ve said in our last article, would you rather be closer to home plate or worry about downward angle? Hitting is all about timing! The less they have of it, the better!

Research from the RDRBI 3-D motion analysis, shows there’s only one degree of downward plane of difference at release point. So the advantages of being to closer to home plate, or one degree of difference higher but 8-12 inches further away from home? It’s a no brainer!! If you don’t believe it, try it yourself.

“Tall and Fall” also shortens your stride length. By not having a nice long stride length puts added stress on the arm. The Research confirms this!! So just get in an athletic position and stay there. There’s less room for error, also your getting closer to home plate. It’s a Win, Win!!

Inform, Instruct & Inspire,

Kevin Beirne, Pitching Coach
NPA Certified
Tall and Fall or NPA Certified Coach Pitching Mechanics

 

 

 

©2011 & Beyond
Kevin Beirne Pitching & Research Center

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Welcome Baseball Enthusiasts – I’ve decided to start a blog & newsletter because I see so much misinformation on the Internet and bad instruction given to players today. But I’m here to tell you the new research out on pitching and hitting has changed dramatically since 2006 and improving each year.
 
We are finding out more and more of what baseball best pitchers do and why? The only true way of researching this is through 3-D motion analysis. With this technology finally in baseball, we really know how things happen through your delivery and why. There’s science-based information, and then there’s opinion based information. Opinion based information is exactly what it is, an opinion!! So stop drinking the Kool-Aid and get informed. Kids today are getting hurt at a record pace due to bad instruction and misinformation.

Dr Tom House MLBIn 2007 I was lucky enough to go work with Dr.Tom House for 3 days in San Diego. Myself, being a former major league pitcher for 3 MLB teams, thought I knew a lot about pitching. I’ve been fortunate enough to play with 3 Cy-Young winners and some future Hall of Famers.

One of the first things Tom said to me, “Baseball is a game of failure, taught by negative people, in a misinformation environment”. Those all three are completely true. Baseball is a game of failure, taught by coaches who forgot how hard the game really is, and the misinformation is the opinions that coaches have. It’s not their fault, they all mean well, but most are misinformed. But I’m here to say, those 3 days spent with Tom blew me away with his research on what the best pitchers do. I learned more in 3 days than in my 14 seasons as a professional!!

Growing up in Texas, Nolan Ryan was my idol, so of course I knew who Tom House was from his books and his job as the Texas Rangers pitching coach. Until you really have met or worked with him, you really can’t appreciate what Tom has done for pitching and baseball. The research that Tom, National Pitching Association, and RDRBI have done has revolutionized what pitchers, or rotational athletes really do.

Everything that I was ever taught was opinion based, so all those questions I had, no one ever had any answers that made any sense!! I made it to the Major Leagues because I was blessed with a good body and could throw upwards of 96. I’ve never known why though. If I had Tom’s information when I was in high school, who knows how much longer I could have played. Don’t get me wrong, I’m very lucky to have had the career that I did!! Not only does his research work, it has inspired me to become a pitching instructor.

I see bad instruction everyday, and most importantly, misinformation given to young kids and parents. This has only motivated me more, to get the right information to kids and parents. What these instructors and coaches are teaching is what we all were told. Tom’s research proves them wrong. Believe it or not, some MLB organizations are still teaching opinion based methods.

Most importantly Tom has the backing of A.S.M.I. (American Sports Medical Institute) and Dr. James Andrews. Using Tom’s strength and conditioning protocols, nutritional necessities, and mental and emotional elements, he has found the safest and most efficient ways to utilize your abilities.

Nolan Ryan Baseball Major League PitcherTake a look at the National Pitching Association Advisory board. Nolan Ryan, Randy Johnson, Rob Nen, Kevin Brown, Cole Hammels, Mark Prior, Orel Hershisier, and Super Bowl MVP Dree Brees. The List goes on and on. These players and doctors are the best in the world in their fields, respectively. For them to back what Tom teaches, should answer any questions involving his credibility. Tom also pitched 9 seasons in the Major Leagues.

On a last note, as an ex-professional, there’s only one guy that I trust and that’s Tom House, because of his research and most importantly, Results!!

If you want the best for your kids, start by finding someone that teaches exactly what Tom, the NPA and myself teach. No one is going to remember a trophy when your 12 years old at some select tournament. It’s your career, not theirs.

We, as coaches need to, inform, instruct, and inspire!!! Don’t buy into this, “I teach a little bit from everybody”!! What this really means, it’s opinion based!!! The Internet is filled with misinformation from so called “gurus”. Give credit, where credit is due, with Dr. Tom House.

Inform, Instruct & Inspire,
Kevin Beirne, Pitching Coach
NPA Certified

©Kevin Beirne 3/2011

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0 Categories : Major League Pitchers