When implementing the program with high schools and colleges, we like to take a structured approach to integrating Driveline programming with what the coaching staff is already doing to prepare players for games.
A rough timetable for a high-quality roll-out of programming is roughly 12-18 months.
Starting with a long time horizon in mind allows the coach to learn how to teach the movements at a high level and feel comfortable integrating them into work he already does. It also builds a foundation of quality movement and gives the athletes a chance to focus on competing during practice.
The 3 Phase roll-out outlined below is one that has been used at other schools and inside professional organizations.
Phase 1: Structured Arm Care
In this phase, the focus is on building fluency with the drills, building arm fitness and giving the team a plan for what to do every day.
The two main resources for programming at this stage are:
Once you feel comfortable that athletes are moving well and know the drills, you can move into velocity development.
Phase 2: Velocity Development
Most coaches are limited by rules about practice time or non-contact periods. Moving directly to this phase can be daunting and create anxiety that unprepared athletes will be executing max effort throws with bad form. Starting with a foundation of arm care and moving into this phase better prepares the athletes and gives the coaches better piece of mind that velocity development work can be executed at a high level.
With arms feeling good, athletes are usually fired up about starting to build ability, much more so than if this work was pitched to them cold.
The best resource for this stage is Hacking the Kinetic Chain. The velocity development work is split by type of athlete, and it will give you a sense for how to adjust programming based on weighted ball spreads.
Phase 3: Culture Building
This is the leap that some teams make and some do not.
A high-performance culture is one where athletes are accountable to their performance and their effort. Using velocity tracking sheets goes a long way towards creating a training environment where athletes cannot hide from lackluster performance.
Ultimately, though, high-performance cultures are created by the coaches running the programs. Driveline can't motivate your athletes from 3,000 miles away.
But with laid-out training templates and tracking sheets plus help from our support team, we can take some of the guesswork out of pitching plans and let you focus on your strengths as a coach.
And that's when the fun starts! A staff of big-time competitors commanding a good pitch mix for lots of strikes is a dream to coach. And a team culture of competition can be an asset not just in-conference but when recruiting as well.