Arm Motion - Looking for input


#1

My son is 15 and he threw 78 in October of 2013. He has stayed at the same speed since then although he had grown 3-4 inches, added 25 pounds, and increased his stride length.

A coach mentioned an issue with his arm and sent me this video. I am looking for an analysis and potential tips on correcting the arm motion, if it is not sound.

Thanks,

Joel


#2

I definitely think his arm action is hindering velocity. Bringing it that far behind him and high just doesn’t look like a powerful position, and I can’t imagine it’s that great for the arm either.

Two things to address:

  1. One of the mainstay coaches on here made a good post about just being more aggressive with the hand break. Break hands faster but later. If he does do this though, it would only exaggerate his current arm action.

  2. Have him think about breaking the throwing arm down his post leg rather than straight back and then up. His initial move is to just take the ball straight back out of the mitt. Have him bring it down and almost scrape the post thigh to create a fuller circle.

Look at the hard throwers. They all get to that “scap load” or “W” position right before torquing to release the ball. Your sons hand is still behind his head and high (:02 second mark), losing a lot of the power that those big muscles in your back provide.

One other side note. Your sons first move is to collapse his back leg pretty severely. That definitely hinders speed down the mound. Have him stay a little taller and lead with that front hip laterally rather than the old “drop and drive” adage.


#3

It may be the video, so forgive me if I’m wrong here:

  • it seems your landing leg is tilted to the 1st base side slightly–you’ll want to be able to draw a vertical line from the ankle up through the knee.
  • you seem to land a bit closed. From this angle it appears you start on the left side of the rubber and land center then throw a bit across.
  • one suggestion I have to take better advantage of your height is to try extending your glove to the catcher instead of having that arm folded. then bring your chest to the glove before you tuck it.

#4

“A coach mentioned an issue with his arm and sent me this video”

What issue would that be? He looks pretty strong to me. Good exchange of the shoulders, pretty good deceleration upon release, good head focus and stays with the pitch, good stride discipline, and so on.

Now I have to qualify myself here - the video is small and for one reason or another the video is kind of sketchy in spots. But then again, the young man looks very strong and well disciplined.

Could you go to the park when it’s not in use, take some video from the BACK and post it. I’d like to see that.


#5

That is a good observation as well as the leading with the hip suggestion. I think if he combines that with good arm path after hand break and my suggestion of extending the glove arm (I think extending the glove arm may help get your stride leg vertical as well as keeping you on the target line and forcing you to get down the mound to get your chest to the glove). All of that should help to improve your speed downhill.


#6

Thanks for your great comments.

His varsity coach took the video to highlight the arm swing mechanic issue. Of course, that coach resigned before the season started and he has a new coach. He has pitched 3 times on varsity and 2 of them have been with the bases loaded and no outs. He gets a lot of movement on his ball, which helps.

He has been near unhittable on JV. I will try to get some video of his next bullpen.

Thanks again coaches!


#7

Take notice in your video at 0:02.

During his release, his glove comes up, just under his pitching shoulder. This is his way of supporting his shoulder exchange - glove shoulder being replaced by his pitching shoulder, which by the way looks pretty solid.

On the other hand, for a pitcher of his age - tall and slender, it’s not all that unusual to see this posture. Now before you think that something is wrong, there’s nothing wrong here. He has an excellent body flow of momentum and control. In fact, he senses that his pitching shoulder has to has some support, all because his strength and development upstairs in his upper body isn’t there yet with the strength factors necessary to compliment his overall pitching style.

That “arm swing” thing that you mentioned is not all that unusual either for someone of his build and age. Again, once he puts a few more pounds on, a little more in the conditioning department, he’ll do just fine. In that regard, trying to fix things that are age and maturity factors are something that are just out of his control right now. And on that note, be careful not to push him into a winning mode instead of a development mode. He’ll continue to pitch the way he’s doing now, only because he has a lot of maturing to go yet.

Video of him in two ways - first a side view and back view of him playing a simple game of catch, then another video of him from the back and then a video from the side of him pitching would be very helpful.


#8

I would not mess with the throwing arm. This pitcher does appear to be hyper-mobile in the shoulder and I would be concerned that being tall and slender he does not have the strength to stabilize the shoulder with that much mobility in the joint. As such, I would limit his pitch counts - maybe use him in a relief role.

Aside from that, I would suggest two things…

(1) Regarding the throwing arm swinging so for behind him, it takes a certain amount of time for the arm to travel that path. By using the lower half to get his body moving faster and get into front foot plant quicker, he will reduce the overall time of his delivery and, therefore, the amount of time available for the throwing arm to do its thing. This very well could cause the arm to clean up its own motion. And that is the way to effect changes in the throwing arm, IMHO.

(2) Regarding the back leg collapse, this is the body adjusting into a posture in which his body has the strength to do what it’s being asked to do. I see at the very beginning of the video that he starts with some bend in his knees. I would scrunch him down even more to lower his center of gravity.


#9

You all gave great input. My son developed an olecranon fracture which was misdiagnosed by a local doctor. We finally took him to Koko Eaton and he diagnosed it correctly in 30 seconds. Fortunately, it was healing properly. He was doing well and he pitched 3 scoreless innings in a pre-season game but his elbow hurt. He pitched in his HS opener and was shut down after an inning.

We found a fantastic local doctor who diagnosed him with GIRD. I believe he developed GIRD with his throwing motion in the spring but it was glossed over due to the fracture. He has one more week of PT and he can begin throwing. It has been a tough year for him and he never had any arm problems before. His current doctor says it is because of his lanky frame (6’4"). He is swinging a bad again and he may see some time in April.


#10

Cocking the arm that high and early isn’t very healthy for the arm. You should delay arm cocking and not have elbow above shoulder until shoulder rotation.


#11

He started to feel some pain again so we did a full MRI with contract. No UCL issues. He is back to throwing but he is experiencing elbow discomfort during deceleration. He is getting frustrated but the doctor told him there are no structural issues. He has corrected his arm motion and he is straight down and up with the cocking taking place where it should.


#12

The current DR reviewed his MRI with contract with Andrews and the prognosis was no structural damage. Both doctors believe it can be corrected through PT. He is still frustrated as he has only pitched 4 innings in the last year. Patience is the key and keeping him focused on the end result and not the moment.


#13

He needs to work on shoulders and hips separation…more body torque !!


#14

Sorry if this is a really basic question, but what is “GIRD”?


#15

Glenohumeral internal rotation deficit. It’s an adaptation whereby a pitcher develops an increase in external rotation and a decrease in internal rotation.

https://www.orthobullets.com/sports/3055/glenohumeral-internal-rotation-deficit-gird