[quote=“shermanreed”]What exactly is lead arm action?[/quote]Good question Sherman. There’s been lots of talk here lately about pointing the glove at the target and then pulling the arm/glove/elbow back to assist with shoulder rotation. It actually started off here with a statement about how Clemens supposedly aggressively pulls the entire arm back behind his body, eventually, to make shoulder rotation more powerful. He doesn’t actually do this, as video of him shows. Then it got to the point where it was said that Clemens pulls the elbow back, for the same reason. The video of him shows that his elbow comes in to his left side, generally, and then, after release, the forearm extends down and back during a full body follow through. This was an example of still images not telling the entire story.
The question is “what should it be?” Tom House has his ideas, some being to “throw the glove out there” and “bring the chest to the glove”. Others say to use the front arm as a “sight” (site??). There seems to be several main concepts floating around internet pitching circles and I encourage others to add more if they’d like.
Use the lead arm in some fashion to help stop early opening of the front side. This is one reason why the “point the glove” recommendation has surfaced. As you know, I don’t subscribe to this method. Another way to do this is to use the lead elbow to look over toward the target, thus combatting early shoulder opening. Although both can work, I dislike the glove pointing for the reasons I stated in an earlier post.
Use the retraction of the lead arm or elbow to assist in increasing the power of shoulder rotation. People often use martial arts to support this argument. I’m not convinced of this one but I’ll let others chime in.
Use the retracted lead arm as the pivot point or axis of rotation for the shoulder complex as a whole. I like this one.
Use the lead arm in the whole “scapula loading” issue. I have a real problem with this one. My question, which I got no answer to on another site, is “what role does scap loading on the lead arm side play?” The idea in scap loading, or loading of any musculature group, is to stretch, under load, rapidly in order to make use of the stretch shortening cycle and elastic energy to make the “unloading” more powerful. Load and unload. Back to my question, why “unload” the lead arm side. I can see why you need to unload the throwing arm side but why the lead arm. All of the video I have indicates to me (and this of course is just my observation of them) that the shoulder and arm complex on the lead side does not forcefully “unload”. What do you think folks?
Make use of the brain’s natural affinity for symmetry or asymmetry in the body and it’s movements. This is the “equal and opposite” issue. Although this is true, I don’t see “equal and opposite” in the pros.
Basiclly, Sherman, there’s lots of debate on this one and I’ve yet to hear a good explanation of what the “active ingredient” is with this. All I know is that the pros I’ve studied tend to generally do the following:
- They have a bend in the elbow through the entire motion and only straighten it after the ball has long gone and the body has followed through to “flat back finish”, if they go there (many don’t).
- The elbow leads the forearm (of course) in a path that starts from one of being in front of the body (to the 3rd base side in a RHP), and goes somewhat up and across, horizontally crossing the target line, then the elbow comes back, down and in to the hip, or thereabouts. Some let the arm straighten to a degree and there might be an “instant” where the glove might point at the target but it’s a fleeting moment and isn’t an “active ingredient” in the motion.
Come on folks. Give me (us) your thoughts.