Elbow Protection


#1

There are many people on this site that know a lot about pitching mechanics and ways to reduce the risk of injury. I’m a 16 year old sophomore pitcher and I’ve had elbow problems in the past. With a new season approaching is there anything I can do to reduce the rist of these problems occuring again?


#2

I discuss my ideas about this in this article…

Pitching Mechanics That Prevent Medial (Inner) Elbow Pain
http://www.chrisoleary.com/projects/Coaching/Pitchers/essays/PitchingMechanicsThatPreventMedialInnerElbowPain.html


#3

[quote=“Chris O’Leary”]I discuss my ideas about this in this article…

http://www.chrisoleary.com/projects/Coaching/Pitchers/essays/PitchingMechanicsThatPreventMedialInnerElbowPain.html]Pitching Mechanics That Prevent Medial (Inner) Elbow Pain[/url
[/quote]

Chris,

I extracted the following from your article: “If you were wondering, very few major league pitchers actually show the ball to Center Field. Instead, most show the ball to SS or 3B.”

You are mistaken. You misunderstand the timing and misinterpret what you see on the still images you have compiled. The critical timing factor is how long you see pitchers stay ‘thumbs down’ on the ball. Most right-handed major league pitchers actually face the ball to the shortstop or even the first baseman, radically different from what you wrote. Because Barry Zito ‘hooks’ his wrist, he dramatically faces the ball to third base.

I really wish you would not present yourself as having expertise when you don’t. There are numerous critical errors in your assessments. When you have actually trained a pitcher and understand something of what you’re talking about, anatomically and mechanically, then you might be able claim a minimal level of experience. Your ‘suggestions’ will not help the above young man avoid further elbow injury.

At a personal level I’ve attempted to be both patient and kind with you. Please wise up.

Coach45


#4

perfectly put Coach45


#5

For the record, I believe strongly that Dr. Marshall’s theories are correct. I know Chris has put a lot of time and effort into what he’s doing…it’s the same approach I took long before he started investigating the subject.

That said, I KNOW some of Chris’s conclusions are incorrect. I know this in part because I’m actively teaching Dr. Marshall’s mechanics. I pitched at the college level (D1) and have some real-world experience with pitching. I also trained a young man, my son, who was drafted out of high school. He currently trains with Dr. Marshall. Though he’s got a lot more training to come I saw him throw pitches this last summer that will blow your socks off.


#6

[quote=“Chris O’Leary”]I discuss my ideas about this in this article…

Pitching Mechanics That Prevent Medial (Inner) Elbow Pain
http://www.chrisoleary.com/projects/Coaching/Pitchers/essays/PitchingMechanicsThatPreventMedialInnerElbowPain.html
[/quote]

1- Chris please point me to the text in the article where the author clearly states that "early pronation of the throwing arm is a key to diminishing chances for injury. Please give me the page number and paragraph. I have the article and have looked at it several times I must have failed to see the text. In fact I dont recall even reading the words early or pronation, where is it?.

2-you say in your post “my ideas” than on your site you say “what the author means” So what is it? Is it YOUR IDEA of what the author means? Or is it clearly WHAT the author means? A sensible person would construe what the author means by what he writes not by what you thinks he means by what he writes. Quite simply YOU are trying to put words into the authors mouth to coincide with your own beliefs, thats B.S. and you should know better!

3- less than 50 words into the article the authors make it crystal clear that more research is needed in regards to mechanics and injury.

4- later in the article the authors state in real text, this is NOT my idea of what I think they are saying, it is what they actually wrote.In verbatum, at this point we have NOT found definate correlation between mechanics and injury they do state of the importance of proper mechanics. Although I readily admit they may make a reference about mechanics and possible injury but you talk like the article is about mechanics and injury, which it clearly is not. They have found correlation in regards to pitch types and pitch counts. They have found correlation in regards to a younger person who has real pitching skills when compared to a already high level pitcher. In short high level successful pitchers pratice the same mechancis, pretty much.

5- ANYBODY that reads that article and comes away with the thought that they are emphasizing early pronation is either one of two things stupid or naive, you choose which Chris. Fact is the article was centered around types of pitches and pitch counts leading to possible injuries NOT early pronation as being a saviour AGAINST possible injury. Chris you basically took the article and skewed one or two sentences to “fit your agenda” and pretty much disregard the real meat and potatoes of what the study revealed.

5- You than proceed to call into question the authors integrity by offering up some more jibberish which means absolutely nothing. So what , now after your 9 month crash reading course in regards to pitching mechanics coupled with a few dozen still pics you TRY to pass off as REAL analysis along with the title of being a site “moderator” suddenly vaults you into a person who dares call into question what real ortho docs who have been studying the pitching motion for years and years while compiling vast amounts of data when doing so, but somehow you deserve credence or merit over what these guys have written? Somehow your knowledge is so vast that you can effectively tell others what the authors are “really saying”?

6- Please just stop, your so far out of your realm of knowledge its ridiculous as well as blatantly obvious to the common layman. Your beginning to take on the form of a true “huckster”! When I log onto Chrisoleary.com and see a fee being charged for your “notions” than you will have reached the epitome of being a true “huckster” in every sense of the word.

7- When I read your “notions” what I think you are really SCREAMING at the top of your lungs is this, " I do not have a fricking clue what I am talking about"! Fair enough?


#7

Just to be clear, when I talk about the common advice to “show the ball to Center Field,” this advice is usually given by others in the context of the moment that the hand passes through the High Cocked (or High Guard) position in which the upper arm is elevated 90 degrees from the body and the forearm is vertical (with the elbow bent 90 degrees).

Coach45, do you agree that telling someone to “show the ball to Center Field” is bad advice?

I will grant you that many players show the ball to the Short Stop, which is also problematic. However, relatively speaking it’s not as bad as showing the ball to Center Field (or Second Base).

I’m trying to fix one problem at a time.

I think how long a person stays “thumbs down” on the ball is related to a different, and equally problematic, piece of advice to always keep the fingers on top of the ball. This leads to Late Pitching Forearm Turnover which worsens Reverse Pitching Forearm Bounce.


#8

I think the fundamental problem is that what I am trying to do is help to make the traditional pitching motion safer (as an interim measure) while you and Dr. Marshall want people to abandon it immediately.

I am doing this because I do not believe that everyone is willing to move to Dr. Marshall’s pitching motion. The reason is that people are not yet convinced that Dr. Marshall is right.

What I am trying to do is, while you and Dr. Marshall are working to prove that Dr. Marshall is right, I am trying to reduce the likelihood that people will injure themselves while using the traditional pitching motion.


#9

In the last full paragraph on page 495 the authors say the following…

“In fact, two mechanical flaws, backward lean in the balance position and early hand separation, correlated with a decreased risk of elbow pain. Two other flaws, a long arm swing and arm ahead of the body at the time of ball release, correlated with a decreased risk of shoulder pain.”

The only way to have the arm ahead of the body at the point of ball release is to have actively pronated before this point (which I call Early Pronation).

The forearms and upper arms of traditional pitchers, who not not pronate early, are in line at the release point. This is because the centrifugal force generated by the rotation of their shoulders causes their elbows to rapidly (and fully) extend, and their forearms to fly out.

The only way to resist this centrifugal force is to be pronating the forearm as the elbow is rapidly extending (not after it extends). If you do this, then the elbow will not fully extend, the forearm will not fly out fully, and as a result the hand of the pitching arm will be ahead of the body at the Release Point.


#10

In the last full paragraph on page 495 the authors say the following…

“In fact, two mechanical flaws, backward lean in the balance position and early hand separation, correlated with a decreased risk of elbow pain. Two other flaws, a long arm swing and arm ahead of the body at the time of ball release, correlated with a decreased risk of shoulder pain.”

The only way to have the arm ahead of the body at the point of ball release is to have actively pronated before this point (which I call Early Pronation).

The forearms and upper arms of traditional pitchers, who not not pronate early, are in line at the release point. This is because the centrifugal force generated by the rotation of their shoulders causes their elbows to rapidly (and fully) extend, and their forearms to fly out.

The only way to resist this centrifugal force is to be pronating the forearm as the elbow is rapidly extending (not after it extends). If you do this, then the elbow will not fully extend, the forearm will not fly out fully, and as a result the hand of the pitching arm will be ahead of the body at the Release Point.[/quote]

Chris, Nope still missed it! WHY? BECAUSE ITS NOT THERE! Your injecting yet again another Chris Oleary “notion” are you not? This is only your interpetation as to what you think they mean, hence another one of your “notions”. Why even post the REAL article Chris if your going to take its true gyst away only to insert your “notions”? Heres a bit of advice. most of the time in the real world a person gets the teaching degree before he opens up his classroom. You are trying to earn your degree while teaching at the same time in most cases your pupils/subjects already forgot more than you will ever know on the subject. Id say get with it or get out, preferably the latter. Personally Im done with your notions, your a nutjob Chris! If I can thank you for one single item it would be your “notion” of a Mike Marshall pitching motion. to the very day I die I will always remember just how pitiful that truly was! So thankyou by the way my kid laughed his ass off as well. HEs 15 and is another one that no doubt has forgotten more than you will ever know in regards to pitching. Good Luck Chris but moreso good luck to the fools that actually buy into your “notions” they will certainly need it.


#11

[quote=“Coach45”]For the record, I believe strongly that Dr. Marshall’s theories are correct. I also trained a young man, my son, who was drafted out of high school. He currently trains with Dr. Marshall. Though he’s got a lot more training to come I saw him throw pitches this last summer that will blow your socks off.[/quote]As I said in a previous post, if it can be “proven” that Dr. Marshall’s mechanics can result in high velocities, as compared to traditional pitching mechanics, which have been proven to do that, the world will beat a path to his door. Do you have independently verified proof that it’s even possible? If so, and also that it results in injury reduction, then I’ll be his staunchest advocate. Until then, it’s all talk. I’m not trying to be nasty, it’s just the way it is right now. No proof. Just talk.

I also don’t believe Chris has Marshall’s mechanics figured out, as evidenced by his video of himself allegedly throwing using those mechanics. I’d be shocked if what that video showed would result in 60 mph, let alone 90.


#12

For the record, the emphasis on pronation isn’t my idea, it’s Dr. Mike Marshall’s. The whole reason I wrote the article on Early Pronation was to attempt to clarify exactly what (and more importantly when) Dr. Marshall was talking about. The problem is that Tom House and Will Carroll spend a lot of time talking about the importance of pronation, but I am concerned that they don’t understand when you have to do it for it to have the desired protective effect (you have to do it during the acceleration phase, not just at the release point).

It’s a free country. You’re entitled to believe what you want to believe just as I’m entitled to say what I want to say.

If anyone chooses to listen to me, they should do the research and see if it backs up what I’m saying.


#13

I’d be the first person to admit that I don’t have it all figured out when it comes to Dr. Marshall (although I’m trying). That’s why I’m eagerly awaiting the arrival of Dr. Marshall’s 2006 video in my mailbox.

I’ll also be the first person to admit that what I am doing in that video looks very different (and somewhat awkward). However, the point of the video was to illustrate some aspects of what Dr. Marshall is talking about (e.g. Wind-Up Set position and initial arm action) rather than to set myself up as the next Roger Clemens (which I clearly am not). You also have to take into account that fact that I took it on a cold, wet day in January on which I hadn’t thrown a baseball in 4 months. Now that the weather is warming up here, and I’m starting to get my arm in shape, I’ll try to put together a new clip or two in the next few weeks.

Of course, if you want to see the real deal, but Dr. Marshall’s 2006 video when it comes out or PM coach45 and see if he’ll send you a clip.


#14

[quote=“Chris O’Leary”]
Just to be clear, when I talk about the common advice to “show the ball to Center Field,” this advice is usually given by others in the context of the moment that the hand passes through the High Cocked (or High Guard) position in which the upper arm is elevated 90 degrees from the body and the forearm is vertical (with the elbow bent 90 degrees).

Coach45, do you agree that telling someone to “show the ball to Center Field” is bad advice?[/quote]

Yes, I agree that this advice is poor and contributes to injuries. However, what you apparently do not realize is that, mechanically, what sets this up is taking the ball out of the glove with the palm and thumb facing downward. You misunderstand the chain of events and how those events inter-relate. From extensive contact with higher level pitching coaches I am aware that they identify the ‘High Guard’ position because it readily shows up on video. This happens because the arm is just entering the acceleration phase and can still be clearly seen before it becomes nothing but a blur. In reality this ‘position’ does not exist because the arm is constantly in motion. ‘High Guard’ is simply an attempt to isolate, in a flawed reductionist way, parts of what is realistically continuous motion. This is a serious downside to using still images to attempt to describe a continuum of motion. Until you understand what happens on both sides of this ‘position,’ and why, your conclusions will continue to be in error.

Note: I made an editing error in my original statement. Most right-handed pitchers face the ball toward the second baseman (not shortstop) or even first baseman. It is much worse to ‘show the ball’ to center field or second base.

The critical error you make is again related to a continuum of motion. The real issue is where the ball hand faces when the pitching hand is still below the upper arm, not at ‘High Guard’ as you state. This tells you how far the pitcher has inwardly rotated the upper arm and how far they have already pronated the forearm. Example: When the upper arm inward rotators have maximally contracted and the outward rotators have maximally lengthened, and then additional force is applied to the maximally lengthened muscles, they tear. This is only one of the flaws.

As I just pointed out this rationale is flawed because one event leads to another within a kinetic chain. Much of this is happening so quickly that it becomes impossible to exercise voluntary muscle control. The real solution to this problem is in learning to take the ball out of the glove with the palm up.

Staying ‘thumbs down’ and ‘showing the ball to center field’ are part of the same flaw and not isolated, as I’ve already pointed out. This is why I conclude that you don’t understand the subject.


#15

[quote=“dm59”]As I said in a previous post, if it can be “proven” that Dr. Marshall’s mechanics can result in high velocities, as compared to traditional pitching mechanics, which have been proven to do that, the world will beat a path to his door. Do you have independently verified proof that it’s even possible? If so, and also that it results in injury reduction, then I’ll be his staunchest advocate. Until then, it’s all talk. I’m not trying to be nasty, it’s just the way it is right now. No proof. Just talk.

I also don’t believe Chris has Marshall’s mechanics figured out, as evidenced by his video of himself allegedly throwing using those mechanics. I’d be shocked if what that video showed would result in 60 mph, let alone 90.[/quote]

Hey dm,

I’m aware that one of Marshall’s recent trainees just signed with a Florida college. I can probably find out more details, if you’re really interested. He threw 95 in his tryout. (The Dodgers would not allow this young man to throw to hitters last spring, although he hit 95 on the gun then. I’ve talked personally with guys who were there and witnessed it.)

The high schooler I’m training, using Marshall’s mechanics, just threw Saturday to hitters for the first time since last summer. His velocities are now in the low 80’s (the hardest he ever threw, conventionally, was 74-75 mph). On Saturday, in two innings of work against teammates who won a state championship last year (we graduated no seniors), he faced seven batters, striking out six and walking one.

Like I offered to others elsewhere, if you want to see a bona fide clip (high speed film) of what this mechanic looks like, send me a PM and I can arrange it.

Coach45


#16

In my experience, the two flaws cause different problems. Keeping the fingers on top of the ball causes Late Pitching Forearm Turnover. Showing the ball to Center Field limits how much, and how early, the pitcher can pronate as their elbow starts to extend.

I agree. No big leaguers actually stop at this position.

Are you talking about excessive reverse-rotation?

When combined with keeping the fingers on top of the ball and showing the ball to center field (really Right Field if you are excessively reverse-rotated), reverse rotation will cause major problems.

I agree.

I disagree.

I think they are two separate flaws because they can occur independently; someone can have late pitching forearm turnover but not show the ball to center field.


#17

chris,45, Both of you should make it CRYSTAL clear that you are NOT talking about normal throwing mechanics. You should make it absolutely clear that everything you say basically goes against what “REAL” professional pitchers/researches say and do in regards to the pitching motion. Dont want to confuse people at to whats been proven compared to a couple of peoples different “notions” as to how a baseball should be thrown. You both are talking about motions that go against what is typically thought to be correct in regards to performance,injury and otherwise. The bottom line DO NOT pass off what you both are saying as ABSOLUTEs, they are not. They are merely notions as to how you both think it should be done. Chris as already proven over and over and over again that he does NOT have a clue in regards to baseball period. Much less how a high level player throws a baseball. In short Chris is a well intentioned just not well educated in regards to baseball pitching person. He is trying to teach while while he is learning, thats not good! He should learn first than perhaps try and teach, but than again we as readers would miss out on all of these “notions” that he spews out. On second thought Chris keep it up your “notions” are pretty good and sometimes border on “really cute”.

Heck in one of Chris’s more educational posts he claims that the scapula is part of the upper arms anatomy, I was taught in college that the upper arm bone is the humerus, specifically the ball or head of the humerus. Chris also claimed that the long head of the biceps tendon inserts into the upper arm, he didnt say arm bone he said upper arm, therefore he says he is correct because in his terms its close enough, in fact he said his incorrectness was"intentional". When in fact the long head of the biceps tendon ATTACHMENT point is on the scapula not the upper arm, the scapula is NOT the upper arm it is the SCAPULA. Not to mention he said insertion when the insertion is its distal connection which is in the radias bone of the elbow, thats proabbaly close enough for ole Chris too. And some of you people honestly believes this guy has the knowledge to tell you how to best throw a baseball? Give me abreak I wouldnt trust this guy walking my beagles!


#18

While Coach45 and I are both fans of Dr. Mike Marshall, you don’t have to use his pitching motion to see the benefits from not excessively reverse-rotating the shoulders, not showing the ball to Center Field, and not always keeping the fingers on top of the ball.

There are many professional pitchers who do not do these things and I think it contributes to their relatively greater durability.

While this is the case, it doesn’t mean that we (and Dr. Marshall) are not still right.

A lot of people would disagree with you. That includes Steven Ellis. If he thought I didn’t know anything, then he wouldn’t have asked me to help moderate this forum.

No I didn’t. I was referring to the general structure that makes up the shoulder joint. The shoulder joint isn’t a conventional hinge or ball and socket joint, which means two people can use two different terms and both be right.


#19

While Coach45 and I are both fans of Dr. Mike Marshall, you don’t have to use his pitching motion to see the benefits from not excessively reverse-rotating the shoulders, not showing the ball to Center Field, and not always keeping the fingers on top of the ball.

There are many professional pitchers who do not do these things and I think it contributes to their relatively greater durability.

While this is the case, it doesn’t mean that we (and Dr. Marshall) are not still right.

A lot of people would disagree with you. That includes Steven Ellis. If he thought I didn’t know anything, then he wouldn’t have asked me to help moderate this forum.

No I didn’t. I was referring to the general structure that makes up the shoulder joint. The shoulder joint isn’t a conventional hinge or ball and socket joint, which means two people can use two different terms and both be right.[/quote]

Chris, The shoulder is a ball and socket joint, another Chris Oleary “notion” trying to say it isnt. You were SPECIFICALLY talking about the insertion point of the long head of the biceps tendon. You said that it inserted into the “upper arm” Which to everybody BUT YOU would specifically mean the humerus bone. The scapula is NOT part of the arm, never has been never will be. There is NOT a single bony structure that connects the arm to the scapula. Beyond that you did not even have the words right. Face it Chris you thought you knew or remembered what you had read but confused yourself. 1- you dont know the difference between insertion/attachment 2- you didnt know the difference between the long head and the short heads attachment points, you were obviously mistaken because you were talking about the long head of the biceps but you were referring to the short heads origination point. How quickly you forget, you said the long head attached to coranoid process, which was wrong as well its the coracoid process. You also referered to them as insertion points where as they are not insertion points but origination points. The fact remains you were trying to educate another of your “victims” and you flat out butchered everything you tried to tell him, you were wrong. Your were wrong not because of an error. You were wrong because you were trying to pontificate in an area that you are a mental midget within. I was glad to see your disclaimer up and going on your site you had better keep that one right there and load it EVERYTIME a poor soul logs on to that “photo album” you call pitching analysis. Here my “NOTIONS” for today, Chris Oleary is a fraud in the area of expertise in regards to pitching. Chris Oleary is a fraud in the area of expertise in regards to injury prevention and pitching. Chris Oleary is a fraud when giving advice on strength and conditioning issues. My ending “notion” for today Chris Oleary is basically a FRAUD!! Chris if you ask Stephen maybe he will boot me off his site or better yet you wield the badge of “modertator” do it yourself. Perhaps youd better. Ever seen a hound running a rabbit, get used to it!!


#20

What I said was that the shoulder isn’t a conventional ball and socket joint (like the hip). That is part of the reason why it has such a broad range of motion.

The shoulder joint isn’t conventional because much of the depth of the socket isn’t formed by bone; rather, it’s formed by the Glenoid Labrum, which is a rim made of cartilage (kind of like an O-Ring). Because the Glenoid Labrum is made of cartilage, and not bone, it is susceptible to tearing and other types of disruption. Once that happens, the stability of the shoulder can be permanently compromised.

That is why Labrum injuries like Robb Nen’s are so often career-ending. Often, there is nothing that can be done to completely or even suitably repair the structure.

Here’s a link to a document that describes the structure of the shoulder.