Pronation & shoulder discomfort

Will an emphasis on pronation cause shoulder discomfort\pain? A little background 15 year old son started throwing three days a week in late January. After throwing a couple weeks, we started a 1 oz under/ overload program. In addition an emphasis was put on a changeup & pronation. Highschool season has started & he has discomfort in the outside of his shoulder when he pronates any pitch. I am in the middle of tax season & will not have any videos for a couple weeks. Any thoughts? Thanks in advance

Question: Okay, working on a changeup is all right, because every pitcher needs one—but as far as pronation goes, could the emphasis (perhaps overemphasis) on this be affecting his arm slot and his delivery and thus causing discomfort? If such seems to be the case, drop it like a hot potato! Any attempt to alter the kid’s mechanics could be disastrous. In fact, it could lead to big trouble. Leave it alone. In fact, pronation per se is something you can’t really teach; it happens when it happens.
My incredible pitching coach of long ago made no attempt to change anything in my mechanics, just a suggestion here and there as to how I could make the most of them. :baseballpitcher:

Attempting or the actual teaching of pronation is in my opinion a prescription for disaster.

Totally agree with Zito Carno when he says:


Has your son had this problem prior to trying to teach them to pronate?

If the answer is no then enough said.

If the answer is yes then you have other issues you need to address.

For a more in-depth take on the fallacy of trying to teach pronation please see the following:

He has pitched for several years without issues. A local coach teaches the changeup with pronation, thus the intention during offseason changeup work. You have confirmed my suspicions. Thanks

So many times I have had to correct people who persist in calling me something I’m not. To repeat: My first name ends with an A, not an O, and I happen to be a female of the species. Maybe I should change my name to Hermione Hosselplotz and really give you folks something to chew on!
And, coachxj, you are so right. Pronation is really a nonteach. Pitchers will do it when they do it, and so it’s best to leave that aspect of pitching alone.
And now to the knuckleball. :baseballpitcher:

From a college pitcher’s perspective to your question, I believe the changeup is the single most effective pitch that any pitcher can develop. I remember learning many ways to throw this pitch growing up. Personally, I throw a circle-change and get good tailing action (RHP) into the right handed hitter. The best way I learned this pitch was by taping two baseballs together (kinda like if you go to a sporting store and they sell the baseballs in pairs). From here, I threw the left ball (because I’m right handed) in my circle change-up grip. By taping the balls together and the weight of the outside ball, it will teach you natural pronation. The balls should twirl similar to a helicopter when thrown. The path of the balls should not be wild and wobbly. When I was his age, I tried to do too much in my pronation and I remember that pain on my shoulder. Pronation should be natural with the grip, not something pitchers painfully add to the pitch.
Hope this helps.

I also just started a blog website which you can ask any question related to pitching or pitching ideas, beliefs, drills, etc.

About Me:

[quote=“coachxj”]Attempting or the actual teaching of pronation is in my opinion a prescription for disaster.

Totally agree with Zito Carno when he says:


Has your son had this problem prior to trying to teach them to pronate?

If the answer is no then enough said.

If the answer is yes then you have other issues you need to address.

For a more in-depth take on the fallacy of trying to teach pronation please see the following:[/quote]

Totally agree! I personally know two kids who tore labrums after altering mechanics to “pronate”.

The reason why people are constantly hurting their arms is because of a lack of information. Pitches aren’t something that one picks up over a couple weeks. Pronation is natural which is a result of the finger placement on the ball. I’m a college pitcher who has learned pronation and work with it every day when I throw. If I put a beach ball in front of your face and told you to push it away by placing your hand in the middle of the ball, what way would the ball go? straight. Now place your hand on the inside 1/3rd of the ball and push like normal. naturally you hand slides off the ball (pronating) and the ball goes to the right (if you’re right handed). This is the same thing with pitching. If you hold your change-up too much in the middle (splitting the ball), you have to over compensate the pronation to get the movement out of the ball. Practice a lot with finger placement to get the natural pronation. I’ve spent years trying to find the best placement that feels effortless when thrown. I strongly agree with benefits of “natural” pronation and how it affects you pitching. If you have time, check out my new blog website.

About Me:


I am going to lay out in detail what is happening with your son. You will not get this information from any other poster here. What I am going to tell you is the anatomical truth as it exists in kinesiological force applications with each mechanical action your son is trying to learn from someone who does not understand the whole story about how injuries occur or exacerbated by some positive changes (forearm pronation) added on to an intuitive (centripetal(arm flying away and to the side of the body)) traditional delivery.

Yes! But only the one your son is (not inner shoulder pathologies) experiencing because now he is producing even greater arm rotational speeds in deceleration across his chest. Pronation is not the cause though. The cause of his pathology is levering the proximal end of his Humerus against a flexed pectoralis major muscle that cracks the center of his still open proximal Humeral growth plate, basically a broken bone within the growth plate. This large growth plate will not close and solidify until he is biologically (not chronologically) 19 years old

His chronological age means nothing!!! What is his biological age? Is he an equated maturer, delayed maturer or advanced maturer?

Underload programs should not be performed until the proper overload interval exercises have your son fit and robust, this takes a minimum of 8 weeks of “sport specific” overload (not general) exercises! He must be strong enough to withstand the added stress under loading produces.

This is very good news, he will learn how to protect his elbow by allowing him to hinge his elbow thru voluntary concentric extension and back towards involuntary eccentric flexion so he does not bang the back of his elbow together in a ballistic hyper extension.
This forearm joint action has him contract the muscles that attach at the medial epicondyle (the flexor group and the pronator Terres) on the Humerus also helping to protect his UCL by pulling the Radius bone towards his Ulna bone. This will also allow him to avoid loss of range of motion in both directions in the elbow joint. This will keep his cartilage at the back of the elbow from splitting, where osteoblasts (bone growth cells) grow through them and become spurs that later break off and become loose impediments within the elbow joint. It will allow him to avoid severe inflammation, I can go on but this will suffice as presented.

[quote]“Highschool season has started & he has discomfort in the outside of his shoulder when he pronates any pitch.”
This is because he is using his traditional finish where he slings his arm across his chest at recovery only now it is much more speedy. The fix is not to throw out the baby with the bathwater but to learn how to fully rotate the shoulders 180 degrees instead of 90 to 110 degrees the way he is doing it now. With his low Humeral drive that is contracted by the Pectoralis major where the arm horizontally pulls the ball towards the side and then correspondingly across his chest levering the Humerus right where the proximal Humeral growth plate exists. You need to get it x-rayed and the Dr. will find a barely visible crack in the growth plate.

To test this have him lay his pitching arm across his chest and then push the wrist against his opposite lower ribs. You will notice the top of the Humerus pull away from the glenoid cavity, slightly separating the shoulder where you will also see the head of the Humerus (ball) pull out and away from its fossa (cup). This action also stretches the posterior capsule ligaments leaving him with a looser shoulder causing instability and what is known as “dead arm”.

The fix is not to eliminate pronation!!! The fix is in how to recover your arm correctly that is never talked about by the novices whom previously posted.

Have him throw from a higher arm vector (slot) by tilting to his glove side.
Have him rotate his shoulders fully 180 degrees by punching his ball arm leg through instead of anchoring it back perturbing rotation. This will allow him to have his arm drive straighter towards the target with his elbow popped up at recovery.
This will allow him to engage his Latissimus Dorsi so he can actually powerfully pronate his forearm by concentrically contracting his pronator terres muscle and powerfully inwardly rotate his Humerus that he is currently not doing with his traditional arm drive.

I have seen this hundreds of times and fixed it every time with these mechanical tenets.

Get that video and I will show you what I have laid out is true before even seeing the video!

Yes, here at “lets talk pitching “ read all you can get from Kyle Boddy from driveline baseball and your child will flourish without the prospect of injuring himself, he is one of the only ones that understands this important discovery. All others are remnants of the past and quickly disappearing and why they fight the good information with false and misleading info at every turn as relics often do.

Another good source of information is at RPM pitching that is run by Bill Peterson.

By all means get to Dr. Mike Marshalls site (an actual credentialed expert) where all injuries are explained in Kinesiological and anatomical detail so your son will have a chance to continue to enjoy the game from the bump.