A New Pitching Technique?

I am 48 years old, a 2 time Olympian and multiple World Record Holder in the javelin. I am still competing and am on track to qualify for my 8th Olympic Trials in 2012 when I will be 50 - honestly.
My main focus in my throwing is doing standing throws - which is very unusal for a javelin thrower. The last few years I have been working on a new technique that can generate a lot more power and accelerate my arm and release speed.
This video captures my standing throw and the 4 key positions:

I believe this technique can be used by baseball pitchers with the same benefits.
I would like to hear from any coaches or players out there as to what they think?
FYI: I was clocked at 100mph with a baseball back in 1985 when I was 23 and I have never had a single injury in my entire life in my shoulder or elbow!

why didnt you play baseball?

I am from the UK.
I came to the US on a full athletic scholarship for javelin in 1981 when I was #2 in on the World Junior Rankings. My goal/dream was the Olympics which I made in both 1984 and 1988

Well you finally made it over here (To Lets Talk Pitching), I saw you post on a couple of other sites and remember you posted about a year ago…
What is your goal Roald? I mean I stand in awe of your accomplishments but I do have to ask what I consider the key question…have you taken the method and brought it onto the diamond or even attempted it in something over there like for example cricket? From my observations you condition and train for 1 or a series of less than…what? 20 reps of what you are doing…A pitcher has to go through his motion (On a pro level) much more than a hundred times an outing (Not counting the warm-up prior to the game which is another 30-50 deliveries)…many times in greater than moderate heat…and I don’t know the frequencies of your competitions but in the major leagues a good healthy starter can perform as many as 50 times in the 8 months they are actively competing…so the intense volume of what they do is the contrast to what you do.
Flexation is a portion of every pitchers delivery…now I’m in no dispute of your clocked velocity at 23 (I know I wish I could re-do a few of the things I did at 23 :D)…no doubt at that speed a bit of prodding could have produced a look from scouts and a career doing it for “real” money, my inclinations are though, that the lack of that flexation would have spelled the end of your injury free streak and perhaps your rotator cuff.
Again the ability of you to over come spina bifida leaves me tipping my cap…particularly making it into Olympic competition at what is an advanced age for such a thing…what an inspiration 8)
I guess my advice to you would be to find or journey to a competant American college or university with a great baseball program and spend the time observing and questioning and see if perhaps your movement has some “translat-ability” (I hope you get my meaning…as it appears I’ve invented a new word :wink: ). Or perhaps contact one of our great Institutes or Associations; The American Sports Medicine Institute has a forum also and they spend quite a bit of time in discussion and research of the body and it’s motion during atheletic movement, Dr Glenn Fliesig is the person who heads that institute and I’ve found him very approachable and interested in new techniques.
You may also want to contact the National Pitching Association, headed by Tom House (Also the Pitching Coach of the University of Southern California) they give many training seminars and they may also be some place where you can find if what you do translates to what we do.
Both groups have means of contacting them on their respective sites.
If you can’t make it over here…go to any American base over there and go to the baseball fields…there will be baseball there 8)


Wow your stats are impressive and you seem like a natural athlete after watching that video. My 50 year old dad would break something trying to do that. haha. Anyways pitching is my passion and luckily i have the body to perform and not just teach. Im currently at JU down in florida and a sophomore. I’ve been clocked at usually around 86-88mph and Im left handed, which helps in this sport. My question: You seem like you understand your body well and you must’ve seen baseball pitchers throw at some point. What key similiar movements have you noticed between javelin throwing and baseball throwing that maximize velocity? Thanks, Joe Ryan

Thank you for your post.

The way I throw can not really be transfered over to cricket but the way I train can as I believe it can for baseball pitchers.

It is interesting you mention volume. You are correct with regard that javelin throwers take far less hard throws “in comptetion” and have fewer competitions. However, the way I throw the javelin which is unusal in my event is not the only difference I have with the javelin world. I have always focused on volume in my training, sometimes to the extreme! At my peak in the mid 1980’s I was throwing a 6lb medicine ball 10,000 times in a single session and did that 3 time per week: Here is a magazine article about it from that time period:
Now I recognize I went to the extreme but I wanted to see how far I could go both physically and mentally, These days I only do 600 to 800 throws with a 1kg medicine ball 3 times per weekMost of the 15 or so exercise are total movement working in all three planes.

My body is old and slowing down, well my legs are, but I am so well conditioned to throw. While the way I throw may be a challenge to convert to baseball pitchers the way I train does not.

The key is to break down the throw into drills and movements so you can do massive volume to build up the bodies ability to throw hard and often with out destroying the body by throwing or pitching to much. Does that make sense?