FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
The following questions are meant to shed light on topics that are commonly brought up by players regarding the USPBL Throwing Program. We will continue to update this page as more common questions occur.
Can the USPBL Throwing Program help me throw harder?
The program doesn't seem to allow me to throw hard often. Why is that?
First and foremost, you need to have an appreciation for how much stress is transmitted through your arm each time you throw, and therefore have an understanding that when it comes to improving or maintaining velocity, it really doesn't take as much throwing as people think. Stress leads to adaptation, and there is plenty of opportunity for stress within the confines of this program. Therefore, the focus shifts to health and efficiency, which is all about doing what is minimally necessary to get a training effect so you don't go overboard and beat yourself up.
It should be noted that just because you are restricted from throwing at a high intensity on certain days, the USPBL Throwing Program does advocate that a player should throw frequently and often (based on the phase/phases they are eligible for). This allows a player to continue to work on repeatability within their pattern, while conditioning the arm at an intensity that the body is prepared to handle.
Does my throwing program change based on In-Season vs. Off-Season?
Regardless of whether a thrower is in-season or off-season, a thrower will strictly adhere to the previously listed protocols to the best of their ability. As most players don’t realize the number of unaccounted throws that are made throughout the course of a week, it is easy to overtrain the arm.
- A player’s in-season should be defined as ANY time when Games occur on a regular basis. This leads to more wear-and-tear on the arm based on the volume and intensity of throws that a player is required to make. Because of this, many players will have very few Performance Days while they are in-season based on the Soreness Protocols and The 48-Hour Rule.
- A true off-season is when a player has ZERO game requirements. This is a time when a player would expect to have Performance Days scheduled more frequently compared to in-season. Once again, this is due to how the Soreness Protocols and the 48-Hour Rule are structured around games.
What if I'm both a position player and pitcher? How does that affect my Throwing Schedule?
Any thrower who is a position player, pitcher, or combination of both, could play multiple Games throughout the course of an in-season week. Therefore, it's not uncommon for a player to have very few, if any, Performance Days while in-season. This is based on the number of throws that are already being made at 100% intensity. However, this is all contingent upon each player's individual schedule, in addition to their Soreness Protocols.
- Pitchers Only: Players that are only pitchers often have the ability to dictate when they throw throughout the course of a week, regardless of season. This makes it much easier to incorporate Performance Days because high-intensity throws can be consolidated and not made on a daily basis.
- Position Players Only: Position players that are in-season may have to be more creative with scheduling their Performance Days based on the demands of frequent games. This is due to the numerous, unforeseeable throwing scenarios that a position player may encounter while in-season. However, as long as a player adheres to the Soreness Protocols and the 48-Hour Rule, Performance Days are encouraged.
I'm a relief pitcher, what if I don't know when I'm pitching in a game?
Relief pitchers typically have the toughest circumstances when it comes to setting up a Throwing Schedule. This is due to the fact that relief pitchers often have no idea if and when they will actually pitch. Therefore, decisions surrounding a Throwing Schedule sometimes have to be made with discretion. With that being said, if there are upcoming Games on the schedule and you feel there is a good chance that your number will be called, you need to appropriately account for this variable when determining your Performance Days. Because of this, DON'T conduct any Performance Days with the assumption that you will be pitching in a game.
What if my showcase/travel ball tournament schedule conflicts with the protocols listed in the previous sections?
Showcase and Travel Ball tournaments are a unique scenario because they result in multiple Games in a very short period of time. In light of this, players often throw in excess, and many times on very short rest. As this type of throwing can lead to increased stress and wear-and-tear on the arm, a player needs to be extremely conscious of this fact and "use their bullets" wisely. Therefore, it is strongly recommended that if a player makes, or plans to make, a relatively high number of throws over the course of several Games, that they consolidate to the best of their ability.
- For example, if you pitch in a Game on Saturday, not only should you NOT pitch anymore the rest of the weekend, but you should reserve any high-intensity throws remaining for Game situations if required to play in the field. Although this is not recommended, reserving remaining throws for Game situations can limit stress on the arm.
- The previous scenario applies to position players as well. For example, a catcher could make numerous high-intensity throws over the course of a weekend. Because of this fact, that player should have awareness, and potentially "dial-back," on all throws throws made outside of Game situations. This will help limit overall stress on the throwing arm.
Outside of the examples listed above, a player should create their Throwing Schedule around their final Game of the weekend.