Baseball has become a faster and more athletic game recently, in large part due to advances in training. Ron Wolforth set up the Texas Baseball Ranch 16 years ago and has been pumping out elite pitchers ever since. The key isn’t in their program, but in the process that helps assess and find the performance pathway for each athlete. On this week’s GAINcast he joins us to discuss his approach to player assessment, training, and specific methodologies.
Notes and quotes
Coach Ron Wolforth is the founder of the Texas Baseball Ranch. Since 2003, 79 of Coach Wolforth’s clients have been drafted, including the 2011 Golden Spikes Award winner and #3 overall draft pick, Trevor Bauer. Coach Wolforth consults for 3 MLB organizations and dozens of NCAA programs. On this episode he talks to us about how the Baseball Ranch came to be and what its process is like to evaluate and train players.
- 4:30 – Getting to know Wolforth and his background.
- 10:00 – Learning from other sports: “You have to look at the sport from a perspective that isn’t tainted with the cultural legacies and groupthink. “
- 12:30 – The origins of Texas Baseball Ranch and its philosophy: “Do enough assessment to find out what the primary constraint or limitation that is interfering with the athlete’s next step up right now. “
- 15:00 – Physical assessment for incoming athletes.
- 15:00 – Evaluations and finding a starting point: “Do they move that way because of physical limitations, or is the way he moves causing the physical limitations? ” “Everyone comes to throw harder, but velocity is multi-factorial and just one small piece of the performance puzzle. “
- 19:15 – Finding the primary constraint. “If there is one thing everyone does at the ranch, it is be assessed. “
- 21:30 – Movement ability in the MLB.
- 22:30 – Fitting someone into a model vs. individualization.
- 27:00 – Using heavy and light balls.
- 34:30 – Long toss. “Long toss can be a godsend for very choreographed pitchers because they can go out and express freedom in their throwing and test limits. “
- 38:00 – exit meetings with players and more long toss.
- 45:00 – Frans Bosch.
- 51:30 – UCL injuries and causes. “The most common month of Tommy John injuries are March and April. We have six factors that contribute to injury, and workload is at the bottom. If you are properly prepared, workload is not an issue. Ramp up is more important. Their bodies are not ready in March. “
To hear more about these topics you can listen to the full episode above. If you like what you hear on the GAINcast, don’t forget to give us a review and subscribe on iTunes.
The following links were referenced in the podcast or provide some additional reading material on the topic:
- The GAINcast is brought to you by GAIN and HMMR Media. Join HMMR Plus so that you get full access to our video, article, and podcast archive here on HMMR Media.
- You can learn more about the baseball ranch on their website or Twitter (@TXBaseballRanch).
- We’ve covered pitching previously on GAINcast 35 with Paul Davis, who is currently coaching with the Mariners, as well as on HMMR Podcast Episode 69 with Kyle Boddy of Driveline Baseball.
- We also discussed the work of Frans Bosch. You can find an overview of the many resources we have on his methods here.