We get asked all the time – why do we use PlyoBalls?
We’ve decided to put together an explanation on some of the reasons we have used them for the past several years, and why we went overseas to develop the first Softball PlyoBalls on the market. They’re absolutely essential to all our training – both over and underhand, and when used properly can be one of the most powerful tools in an athlete’s bag. So here are some of the reasons we use them:
Promote Powerful, Efficient Mechanics
One of the most important reason for PlyoBalls is that they can mimic the sport-specific movements necessary for an athlete’s success on the field. The different sizing and rubberized cover distances the mind from the idea that the athlete is throwing a softball. Too often the second athletes put their hand on a leather softball, they revert back to a series of cues coaches have shouted at them throughout the year. Allowing the athlete to use an implement that goes through the same movements, yet feels completely different gives the athlete a blank slate so that they can build better mechanics through self-organized exploration during drill work.
By overloading the arm with a heavy implement, as well as using a wide variety of weights, athletes can better feel mechanical changes and more efficient pathways for their arms. The athlete does not have to worry about throwing to a target, as Softball PlyoBalls are used 5-10 feet or so away from the wall, which gives the athlete the ability to internalize these feelings and changes much more quickly. When paired with constraint drills, such are our brush pivots, more efficient outcomes are promoted which minimizes the need for less effective verbals cues.
Along with more efficient mechanics, our Softball PlyoBalls are a vital piece of how our athletes prepare for the season. By following guidelines in our free programming, athletes can ramp up from an off-season break, and maintain, even gain, arm strength in season. Proper programming teaches the body to increase force production efficiently, while simultaneously focusing on overall arm health. Appropriate warm up, and using progressions and periodization throughout the year allows the athlete to have the best chance to stay healthy while competing at high levels.
Versatile Training Tool
PlyoBalls can be used for multiple parts of the athletes training – as low effort starters in the warm up, as submaximal drill work during training, and as force acceptance cool down exercises. It’s no fun to carry around a ton of equipment, so we did our best to build products with multiple uses.
Additionally, can be put in a coach’s bucket, an athlete’s bag or backpack and taken just about anywhere, including on trips that require a flight. This means athletes do not have to sacrifice their use when at tournaments or opposing stadiums.
Softball PlyoBalls are also versatile in that there is no need for a partner – just a wall or a net. This allows athletes to get a workout in almost wherever and whenever, no longer needing a teammate, parent or sibling to get their work in. Athletes can throw these balls in a number of different environments. Nets are an obvious choice as they are relatively inexpensive and help the PlyoBalls last longer. Additionally, athletes can throw against smooth wood or concrete surfaces which are either relatively cheap to build, and common in most gyms and some garages.
Since these can be throw against walls or nets and do not need a large space to be utilized, athletes never have to worry about missing throwing work for the day. In our area, it seems like half the spring season is rained out, which leads to many athletes simply not throwing more than 1-2 days per week, and then being asked to throw in games for 4 or 5 straight days during makeups. Instead, by using Softball PlyoBalls, athletes are able to stay on target and can even simulate bullpen work if necessary.
Hopefully this sheds a little more light on why we use Softball PlyoBalls as an every day tool for our athletes. If you’d like to see the free program that includes warm ups and recovery series that can be used in season, as well as an 8-week velocity program, sign up for our free newsletter at the top of the page.
PlyoBalls are for sale on our Shop Page. All PlyoBalls come with our free programming and we are always here to help with any questions about use or programming.