The HSS Thrower’s Performance Program is a comprehensive assessment of how an athlete throws, and is designed to help improve speed, power, and control while minimizing risk of injury. Located at the Tisch Sports Performance Center, the program is run by a team of physical therapists, strength coaches, and exercise physiologists with extensive backgrounds in sports treatment.
Who’s the program for?
HSS works with a wide range of throwing athletes, including professional baseball professionals, adult league competitors, high school and collegiate athletes, and youth baseball and softball players. Young throwers experience many of the same stresses on their arms as adult players do, and injuries that occur at this age run the risk of becoming more serious over time. The tools offered by the Thrower’s Performance Program can help players and their coaches actively prevent or minimize these types of issues.
Athletes who are looking to get back into pitching after surgery and/or rehabilitation will find a supportive, knowledgeable team of professionals to teach them how to prevent their injuries from recurring. Please note that players with any existing conditions must be cleared by their treating physician or therapist before beginning the program.
What should athletes expect?
We adjust to meet the needs and goals of every athlete we see, but the overall experience when you come for a thrower’s assessment is:
- A physical therapist will sit with you and discuss your history as a baseball or softball player.
- The therapist will then perform a full body musculoskeletal assessment to gauge your strength and flexibility, keeping a close eye out for any potential issues.
- A certified strength and conditioning specialist then guides you through a performance assessment.
- After a warm up, your pitching form will be filmed from four angles (front, back, left side, and right side) using Dartfish© Video software. Both regular and Little League pitching mounds are available for use.
- Before leaving, the therapist will sit with you again and offer some initial thoughts and feedback. You will be given the therapist’s contact information in case you have any questions.
A few weeks after your appointment, you’ll get a call from the therapist letting you know that your media book is ready. You can either come by the Tisch Sports Performance Center to pick it up, or your therapist will mail it to you. Your media book contains a disc containing video clips of your throwing along with notes from the performance team, a report outlining your flexibility, range of motion, muscle strength, and endurance, and some exercises to improve in any areas that may be lacking. You are welcome to contact the team with follow up questions at any time, and continued training options are available.
Michael Levinson, Physical Therapist and Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist, is the Clinical Supervisor of the Overhead Athlete program at the James M. Benson Sports Rehabilitation Center at Hospital for Special Surgery. Michael has over 16 years’ experience as the physical therapist for the New York Mets baseball club, and has been with the HSS Sports Rehabilitation and Performance Center for over 30 years. He has been a consultant to numerous youth, high school, collegiate and professional athletes. He is on the faculty of Columbia University School of Physical Therapy, has published numerous chapters and articles on Sports Medicine Rehabilitation, and lectured extensively on various subjects regarding the shoulder, elbow, knee and ankle.