We had a super group of performance professionals come together for this year’s PRI Integration for Baseball course at Salt River Fields in beautiful Scottsdale Arizona. Awesome to have course attendees representing high school, collegiate and professional baseball performance from all parts of the United States, the Dominican Republic and Japan. A big thank you to the Arizona Diamondbacks for the warm hospitality and professionalism in hosting the course. We couldn’t have been treated any better.
I started the first day introducing key PRI principles and concepts for first time attendees and others who are new to the science. Fundamental concepts of performance breathing like Zone of Apposition (ZOA), diaphragm function, abdominal integration and abdominal regulation for breathing and movement were discussed. The Left AIC/Right BC pattern of developmental asymmetry was also introduced and explained, including objective tests used to identify this pattern clinically. We then demonstrated the respiratory changes and the positional orthopedic changes that occur when a Zone of Apposition is restored.
Ben Hagar, DPT, PRC took over on the second half of day one to take us through the mechanics of throwing and hitting. Wind Up, Stride, Cocking, Acceleration and Decceleration/Follow-Through were all discussed, including analysis of slow motion video to break down the movement into functional pieces that were easier to digest. Tendencies in each phase of throwing and hitting were discussed, including the patterned tendencies for a baseball player as a result of their inherent Left AIC/R BC pattern. This understanding of the pattern included the specific early and late phase tendencies for both right and left handed throwers and hitters.
Positional and rotational performance tests for baseball athletes were provided in the seated position, the quadruped position and upright in standing to help guide diagnosis and treatment. Specific treatments for R BC, Superior T4 Syndrome and Repetitive Rotation Superior T8 patterns were discussed, with the majority of our time and attention being spent on Superior T4 Syndrome, because of its high prevalence in baseball. Ben went on to provide training activities for performance deficits at different phases of throwing and hitting for both right and left handers.
It was an honor to be there with such a super group and again to be able to partner with someone as dynamic as Ben Hagar. He continues to impress me with his understanding of rotational performance and his ability to orchestrate learning and to clarify challenging concepts for large groups in a classroom setting like this. Well done Ben and thank you to everyone in attendance. Your attendance made each one of us a little better.