Greatest myth in pitching mechanics

…does body really deliver the arm? I mean, like a lot of coaches say, is arm ‘on the ride’ of the body? I’m real confused since it looks impossible to throw 90mph+ with your arm ‘along the ride’.

I would partially argee with this statement. One, because one the most important elements in pitching is torque. Torque is created through the hip/shoulder seperation in the pitching stride followed by the delayed shoulder rotation. When developing rotationial momentum in the windup, the hips are what lead the way and the shoulders and (pitching) arm follow. Also a pitchers legs are the biggest factor in creating linear momentum. As you can see the hips/legs are what generate a pitchers torque and momentum, so in a way the arm is along for the ride. BUT, that does not mean (as you probably know) that the pitchers arm does not contribute to velocity. Scapular loading is crutial to generating substantial whip in the arm needed for throwing hard

"Scapular loading occurs as an unconscious accommodation to help the throwing shoulder stabilize and compensate for the weight of the throwing arm/baseball. A maximum eccentric load is imposed when the throwing shoulder changes direction, while th
-Tom House

So you could vaguely say “arm is along for the ride”, but as pitchers we call this scapular loading.

Now everyone can critique and critize my post :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :oops:

how and when are you supposed to scap load in your delivery?

In a high-level throw, yes.

Good question!!! I don’t know if there are any definitive studies on this matter. I remember doing a literature review for my master’s
thesis, and coming across a study measuring where velocity comes from
in pitching. As I recall the biggest contributers to velocity were hip rotation, trunk flexion, internal rotatiion, and the most from wrist flexon. I guess its kind of like craking the whip, at the end of the throw flexing (or pronating) the wrist will add the most to ball velocity because the other forces will culminate there. To say the arm plays a passive role and just goes along for the ride to me seems improbable. For example, the arm doesn’t internally rotate nor will the wrist flex by themselves . Until proven other wise, because of the above mentioned study, and my personal experience in pitching, I for one believe the arm takes an active role in pitching.

Internal rotation is over-rated and reflects a misunderstanding of where arm slot comes from (e.g. elbow bend versus shoulder tilt).

If you look at high speed video, you will see that most internal rotation occurs after the elbow extends, which is too late to be a major source of power.

the internal rotation interest may be coming from the statement by the mets pitching coach on the pure heat dvd. he said that high velocity ptchers are off the charts in their ability to get from maximum external rotation to maximum internal rotation quickly. whether or not this is a by-product of something else is debateable but it is present in high velocity pitchers.

There are problems with this study.

There are problems with this study.[/quote]

Could you please explain this Chris O’Leary kind of left us up in the air.

At Chis O’Leary’s suggestion I looked at a series of still pictures of Nolan Ryan from Tom Seaver’s “Thr Art of Pitching.” In frame S he has externally rotated a full 90 degrees. In frame T he is shown still with the ball in hand , and the arm fully extended. He has internally rotated back that 90 degrees. He then continues to internally rotate. The question seems to be when is force applied to the ball with internal rotation? Not where it is the greatest. I believe force is applied at the initiation of
internal rotation , and is done quickly. I guess that puts me in the Mets pitching coach’s camp. But I have enjoyed the discussion.

Like most things in life, the extreme viewpoints about “where a pitchers velocity comes from” are over-simplifications.

I’ve always liked House’s ideas about regression analysis in the context of pitching mechanics. Basically, he identifies key variables (the mechanical features) in a pitching motion and considers each of them in correct sequence. Appropriate timing of the sequence of mechanical variables is also something he studies carefully.

Looked at in this way, mechanical features of a delivery can be assigned a qualitative relative importance using the regression analysis concept.

The old saw, “He’s got a great arm”, is clearly an extreme oversimplification–one that’s made for TV announcers who don’t have the time to explain anything very well. “He’s got great hip/shoulder separation and delayed shoulder rotation” is probably always a “better” description when describing a great pitcher, but that also doesn’t capture the whole picture. Of course the musculature in the arm contributes to the throwing event, both in acceleration and deceleration.

But what are you gonna do? I look forward to the day that I watch a game on TV and the announcer says, “You know, that pitcher has great starting balance and posture, and he really gets his momentum going to the plate early in his leg lift. Not only that, you’ve got to love his opposite and equal arms at footstrike and, man, that hip/shoulder separation is just awesome. The potential energy he stores up during the h/s separation is really getting used effeciently after he opens his shoulders to the plate. What a kinematic chain! Our viewers are in for a treat today!..”

But I’m not holding my breath…what I always expect to hear is, “Our viewers are in for a treat today…this pitcher has a great arm!”