“” Justin Thorsteinson - Driveline Baseball

Justin Thorsteinson

University of Minnesota

When University of Minnesota left-hander Justin Thorsteinson first came to Driveline in June of 2023, he was throwing 86-89 mph and said he felt like all of the athleticism had been sucked out of his body.

The issues had popped up toward the end of his spring season, and instead of ignoring them or trying to power through them during summer ball, Thorsteinson decided he needed concrete answers and a blueprint to get back on track.

It didn’t take long before he felt like he was headed in the right direction again.

“The first week at Driveline was the biggest eye-opener for me, seeing all the data from my motion capture and really dialing in what needed to be done,” Thorsteinson said. “It’s so nice to know what needs to be worked on, rather than just randomly guessing.”

Thorsteinson’s initial motion capture pointed out several things he could work on to regain his athleticism on the mound, which in turn would help him gain velocity. The guesswork was done. He knew exactly what to do.

One of the glaring issues right away was Thorsteinson’s arm speed, which is common for athletes in their initial assessments.

He started on Driveline’s PlyoCare Ball throwing program, something he hadn’t previously had any experience doing. The step back, walking windup and drop step drills became part of his normal routine, and before too long, he started to feel his athleticism coming back.

“My number one favorite [drill] would be the drop steps,” he said. “[I like] getting the momentum down the mound and rotating and turning my hips as fast as possible. Having all that energy towards the wall and towards the throw really felt perfect for what I was looking for with hip-shoulder separation, arm speed, all the above.”

On top of his new PlyoCare Ball routine, Thorsteinson dove into Driveline’s mobility program, which also went a long way toward helping him with that hip-shoulder separation he was feeling during the drop step drills.

Thorsteinson had never done any mobility work outside of the normal school-issued dynamic warm-up routine. His new program was an unlock for him.

“My hip mobility has gotten unbelievably better,” he said. “I’ve seen huge strides in my T spine mobility, which obviously helps a ton in range of motion.”

When Thorsteinson first got to Driveline, his hip-shoulder separation was in the 50th percentile of Driveline athletes. During just his second motion capture, he had jumped all the way up to the 85th percentile thanks to his PlyoCare Ball routine and mobility program.

What does a jump like that do for a pitcher who came in feeling robotic and lost on the mound?

After two months training at Driveline, Thorsteinson went from sitting 86-89 mph to 91-94 mph, even popping a 95 in his first outing for the Golden Gophers this spring.

“I never thought I would see that,” Thorsteinson said. “Seeing that 95 was a surreal moment, because last year I saw 85 on the velo gun.”

And on top of throwing harder than ever, Thorsteinson’s arm feels better than it ever has.

“When people think about Driveline, they think about velo, but it’s more than that,” he said. “The throwing program has really helped me, using PULSE has really helped me. Recovery days are great. My arm has never felt better. That’s the most important thing for me.”

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