this is too good to pass up
When I saw the first few frames of this .gif I began to think “oh no, this might be even worse than Marshall,” until the kid finishes with great rotation, separation and clearly some velocity.
I can easily believe this kid throws 90 mph.
I poked around on the website for a little bit, and I saw some recurring themes. “compressing” and “tightening” of the back muscles to create “extreme scap loading” in addition to a violent follow through in the “vertical plane”
My mouth actually dropped as I realized this guy was saying pretty much all the exact things I had been discovering on my own the past few months (at least, in my overhand long toss mechanics).
In fact, I posted this on my log just a couple days ago in response to Priceless:
This is what I sent to priceless in response to his video
"Is the problem you’re asking about that your throwing arm is getting way behind your body and kind of dragging? Is this what you meant by excessive scap loading? In my opinion your arm action is too loose and passive. Who is a mlb pitcher you think makes a good mechanical model for you? Few hard throwers have passive, dragging arms. It’s hard to see sometimes but 90+ mph throwers are activating different muscles in their throws. I forget where but I remember a study that major league pitchers activated their lats 300% more than amateur pitchers during their throws.
I have found this to be the case in my own throwing, especially in my long toss, where I throw from a high 3/4 arm angle. Its hard to describe but when I throw with a sort of “loose tension” i can get the most velocity.
watch this kid at 5:02 in slow motion. His arm doesnt just come down out of hand break and get dragged along by his body, it plays an active role in the throw throughout the movement. Look at the immense difference between the activeness of his arm action in the warm up throws vs. the high velocity throws. It’s the exact same player, but he’s subconsciously reducing the activeness of his arm action during warmups in order to stretch out/get loose or whatever, and then as he gets to his max distance you can see how aggressive he’s getting with his arm action. He’s using his lats way more in the throw, and he’s focusing the pulling the ball down as hard as he can using the lats.
to talk about this last point a little bit more, imagine a single arm straight arm lat pulldown http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Ue35xA5LBw
for me this is the feeling I look for in my 3/4/overhand long toss throws (it’s a little different when I’m pitching sidearm). I kind of brace my body (loose tension, relaxed intensity, whatever you want to call it) and during my throws my focus is pretty much on having an active and aggressive arm action, and on getting my body in a position to allow me to PULL DOWN as hard as I can, using the same muscles that you feel in the straight arm pulldown. You see this in the jaeger videos too. The arm action completely drives the throw, the lower body just does what it has to to support the arm action, and the torso gets in the position it needs to to allow the arm to pull down with maximum leverage.
It’s hard to throw this way. It requires a LOT more athleticism. When you do it properly you will get crazy extension out over your front leg and throws will take a lot of effort. Nobody ever said throwing hard was easy. Listen to the kid’s grunts, listen to nolan ryan if you have watched him pitch and you hear the same thing. Josh Beckett talks about putting everything he has into his throws and it taking a maximum effort.
If your body isn’t pre-tensed a little bit you’re going to have a tendency to be lazy in your throws, even if you think you’re putting a maximum effort.
Again, I’m going to use a weightlifting example. Take a bench press (or a squat, or anything really) for example. When lowering the bar to your chest you can do two things. You can stay loose, let the bar drop to your chest and then try to turn on all of your pressing muscles at once, or you can stay taught and pull the bar down to your chest with your lats and back muscles and then explode out of the bottom from a stable base of support. The movement still looks smooth, but in one you’re pressing from a stable base of support and you’re kind of pre-tensed for explosion, and in the other you’re too loose to generate as much power. Try it. Huge difference.
keys for me being able to build up to long tossing 300+ feet are
- bracing or pre-tensing of the body. This is preparing the body for a high intensity max effort athletic movement. If you weight train properly you know what this means. Preparing for big lifts requires intensity and some tension in the right muscles for maximum power
- being aggressive with your arm action, using the right muscles. This means using the lats and back muscles to initiate the arm action and to FINISH the throw with an athletic explosive pulldown. You should feel a huge amount of power coming from your throwing arm lat during this pulldown part of the throw - at least I do and I can tell the players in these jaeger videos are getting the same feeling.
allow the lower body and torso to do what feels natural to accommodate the arm action. The torso is going to want to contort and get way out over your front foot in order to have the best leverage in the pulldown part of the throw. Remember, your brain can’t focus on more than one or two things at a time during a throw. You need to pick the most important piece of the puzzle and let the rest follow. I focus on initiating the throw with the lats and then think about pulling the ball down as hard as I can.
I hope some of this made sense. It’s a little different when I throw sidearm, and probably why most sidearmers throw 5-10 mph slower than overhand throwers. You have worse leverage and can’t use the big powerful muscles as much in your throws. Your arm slot is pretty high though, so all of this should apply."
I still can’t get over the coincidence, but I’m excited by it. I don’t think this guy’s methodology is “perfect” and “superior” as he claims, but he is on to something. I think his kids can be getting a lot more out of their lower bodies than they are - but it still highlights how important arm action, rotation and proper muscle activation are that his kid could get to 93 mph throwing like that. It’s like he took the bare minimum components of throwing hard and came up with an absurdly simple formula for velocity. I don’t think this guy should necessarily be hailed as a genius, but he certainly shouldnt be discarded like mike marshall. Pretty cool stuff, to say the least.