Weighted ball training was heavily researched in the 1990s and early 2000s by Coop DeRenne, a professor at the University of Hawaii at Manoa.
Here’s a list of his research publications.
However, even before the research, legends in throwing training such as Mike Marshall and Tom House integrated weighted ball training in their programs to increase arm strength and sequential coordination.
Out of all people in the baseball industry, no one has contributed to more advancement regarding throwing training than Tom House. Every training concept we see today that current industry leaders have popularized has spawned from Tom’s work.
Tom is a former MLB pitcher and MLB pitching coach who later became the pitching coach at USC, which graduated some of the best pitchers in MLB’s draft class during his time. He is a credentialed Ph.D. in Sports Psychology and has developed a comprehensive development plan through the National Pitching Association.
Our resident Director of Pitching Performance, Jordan Oseguera, was an athlete for Tom and later became a coaching apprentice, collecting 3D data and a host of physiologic tests on elite-level athletes. Although not published, Tom House is arguably the only person in the field of biomechanics to have a database of 3D motion capture on Cy Young Winners, essentially the best pitchers ever to play the game.
If you missed it, listen to this great conversation with the greats from the National Pitching Association, Tom House, and Dean Doxakis. This podcast talks about the history of coaching, key performance indicators, training theory, and a vision to intertwine our ArmCare.com platform with his Mustard App.
You can learn more about the Mustard App here, but the gist is that it’s a single-camera motion capture application that assesses a pitcher’s delivery and compares it to existing artificial intelligence from Tom’s 3D motion capture data and coaching principles.
Layering the technologies of ArmCare & Mustard is a perfect pair of tools for the modern-day pitcher.
One Important Weighted Ball Concept
One key training concept we discuss is weighted ball holds. In this article, you can dive into the key discoveries made while Jordan was at the helm in professional baseball with the Los Angeles Angels.
Weighted ball holds were a vision that came to life through Tom’s work with tennis players. He had diversified his offering to other overhand sports and saw the deceleration strength benefits of not letting go of the racquet.
Through this breakthrough, strength gains have occurred faster in throwing athletes. Jordan breaks down what he found remediating deficiencies in implementing the weighted ball hold training strategy.
With ArmCare.com, we now have a technology to feasibly evaluate athletes’ strength profiles as they go through weighted ball programs and be more precise in identifying what ball weights lead to the most significant strength returns and performance.
Some athletes need light balls for arm speed, others heavy balls for arm strength, yet the spectrum between extremes in ball weight needs to be further evaluated. Trust the ArmCare App to deliver this data and ensure your athletes are conditioned well for the demands of velocity enhancement.
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