Professional Therapy Solutions Pitching Program
MCL: Can you give us a brief overview of the Power Pitching program? What can a participant expect to learn?
Bill Thomas, PT, started the PTS Pitcher Program. He has been a PT for over 25 years and has treated thousands of shoulder and elbow injuries. Physical therapists are experts at analyzing human motion so the marriage of a PT to the evaluation of the pitching motion/mechanics is a perfect fit.
The PTS Power pitching program is a medically based pitcher development program that involves a musculoskeletal evaluation and a 20-point mechanical assessment of the pitching motion. Once the player is evaluated, we identify any physical constraints limiting their pitching motion. The pitcher has to have the physical ability with flexibility, mobility, and range of motion in all his joints before any pitching coach can expect him to perform proper mechanics.
We then look at mechanical contributors limiting efficient pitching motion to the plate. AT PTS Power pitching, we employ specific individualized routines to address every possible limitation to the pitching motion. We build athleticism in the pitcher through scapular strengthening, rotator cuff strengthening, decelerator strengthening, explosion drills, and extensive stretching. We then identify the mechanical issues for each pitcher and apply motor planning drills to improve a more efficient pain-free pitching motion
To date, we have evaluated and trained over 100 pitchers with an average improvement in velocity of 3-5 mph over a 2-month period of training. We have had 12 pitchers that entered the program with significant pain in elbow and shoulder and within 2-3 weeks they were pain free. We encourage pitchers to be evaluated whether they have arm pain or not to see how they can improve the efficiency of the motion and increase velocity safely. Studies show that the number one reason baseball pitchers leave the game is because of arm pain, and so we have created an easily scheduled evaluation process that helps to address this and keep pitchers in the game.
Is the PTS Power Pitching program something geared to the gifted athlete or would the average player benefit also?
This program is absolutely for all pitchers. The approach is the same with the evaluation being the foundation of the program. We will identify current problems with their motion or potential problems that might occur and how to prevent it.
At what age and skill level do you accept players into the program?
We accept ages 11 and up, and occasionally younger if they are mature enough.
What is the process in assessing the reason for arm pain? If reasons can be attributed to different causes, do you customize the training regimen for each athlete?
The assessment is described above. The cause of pitchers displaying poor mechanics or arm pain is rarely only one thing. The activities we prescribe are individualized based on the evaluation. It is not a cookie cutter approach—which is what makes what we do unique. Every pitcher’s mobility, stability flexibility, and range of motion are different so we have to customize the program for each participant. Some of the pitchers have common problems but we make sure we have addressed the problems on an individualized basis
Are you and your staff open to doing on-site training with a team?
Yes, we are open to on-site training for any team. I have some high school coaches that already use and recommend us and send us a few players each pre-season.
We are planning on opening a new PTS Power Pitching facility in July-August of this year in Madison. Our space is going to be ideal for pitchers receiving treatment, evaluations, and group training.
Future plans are to have 3-4 pitcher camps throughout the year with a focused effort on education about pitching, how to evaluate arm pain, proper eating for the competitive athlete, mindset training, mobility, and high-intensity workouts. We will also have plans to have pitcher showcases and invite high-level college coaches to look at our pitchers that have utilized our services.