Mental Approach for Hitting Q&A Interview with Jen Croneberger

Here is a Q&A style interview we did with Jen Croneberger which goes along with the 3 Mental Must Haves to Avoid a Hitting Slump report. I suggest you read the report before going through this interview. It will make a lot more sense to you!

Once you’re done reading the report, come back here and go through this interview. If you have any further questions you’d like Jen to answer, she has graciously agreed to do that for you as our Featured Expert this month!

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Q & A – Increasing Arm Strength and Throwing Velocity

Question: I will be 42 this summer and find myself in good shape. I train with weights year round with the focus on strength-training and lean muscle mass. I have always had a good, strong arm with good throwing velocity. This year, I have noticed a bit of drop off on my throwing velocity. I play as a middle infielder. I am struggling with this decrease in velocity since I perform a full complement of shoulder and arm exercises with free weights. Any tips on improving the velocity? Why has the velocity decreased? Would any stretching exercises help?

Answer: Unfortunately, age is definitely a factor. You cannot fight age forever. However, you probably have maintained with your training routine, over the years, a fair
amount of muscular power in your arms which allowed you to maintain that throwing velocity. However, over time, this tends to decrease. To get it back or not to let it go more, there are a few things you can do:

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Q & A – Icing a Pitcher’s Arm

Question: If a 12 yr old pitcher is going to pitch a game in the morning around 9:00a.m. and is scheduled to start again later in the afternoon, say around 4:00 p.m., is it advisable to ice her arm right after the 1st game or wait until she is done Read more

Q & A – Running Speed

Question: What is considered a good time from home to first-60ft? What conditioning exercises will help increase my speed?

Answer: To answer your first question, it all depends of your age. Based on college standards and this is only my own opinion… a decent speed should be under 3.4. Under 3.25 is considered fast. Under 3.2, it is fairly fast and if you are close to 3.0 or even under 3.0, you are in the elite running category for women’s softball players. You have to pay attention as to how to speed is measured and on which surface and when do you start the clock.

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Q & A – Adding Hitting Power

Question: I’ve been playing slowpitch softball now for 2 years. I’m 5’10”, 160lbs, and in pretty good phyical shape. We use .44-.47 cor worth softballs. i play in 250-280-260 fields. I use a 28 oz bat. I have all kinds of warning track power, but i cant seem to be able to get that extra 10-20 feet. I’m thinking about the demarini chute? there are guys my size jacking out 40-50 HR a season. Do you have any advice on bat model, weight that could help? Even some basic training ideas would be greatly appreciated! THANKS!

Answer: Power is a result of strength and speed. In other words, it is how much force you put into the ball in the shortest amount of time. It is the action of “exploding” into the ball. There is one thing that is common to all ball players and even golfers, people who seek the long shot all the time seem to struggle more than the others at achieving it. Why is that if they have potentially more chance because of their talent and size?
There are many factors. Some of them are psychological but for my answer here, I will focus on the “physiological” aspect of it. Wanting to hit the ball too hard creates muscle tension prior to the swing and it is a well-known physiological principles that muscle tension slows the muscle down. So instead of creating speed, tension slow things down. Have you ever seen the best sprinter in the world in slow motion? If not, take a look at them. They are so relaxed that their muscles are firing up quickly. In order to generate explosiveness, bat speed, power.. you need to have your mind and nervous system alert but your muscles relaxed, ready to fire.

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Q & A – Weight Training for Pitchers

Question: My daughter is 17 years old and going into her senior year in high school. What type of weight training exercises would you recommend for a pitcher?

Answer: There are many types of training that are important for a pitcher. First you have to look at the performance factors, in others words, what do pitchers need to perform and prevent injuries:

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Q & A – Dynamic Stretching vs. Static Stretching

Question: We are settling in with our program and doing fine. I am confused about stretching. I have a book called “Sports Stretch” respecting static stretching. It seems this book is out of date as I keep hearing about “dynamic (active) stretching”. I guess the idea is to use active stretching prior to the pitching workout and use static stretching at the end. Do you know about this and if so can you provide an active stretching plan for a softball pitcher?

Answer: This book is not out of date. It is actually an excellent book. First of all, you have to make a distinction between warm-up and flexibility. The goal of a warm-up is to decrease injuries and improve performance wherever the goal of flexibility is to increase range of motion around a joint.

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Q & A – Pain in Throwing

Question: 2 years ago I hurt my shoulder from throwing too much. I have had an MRI and it showed no tears. I went to physical therapy, but that didn’t help much. I can’t throw now with any speed because it hurts. Do you know any exercises that may help? Thanks.

Answer: I am really concerned with the pain. Even if the MRI didn’t show anything and the physical therapy didn’t help. There is certainly something wrong if it still hurts. Until you get an idea of what it is, it will not get better if it has been that long.

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