The Inverted "W" The Real Story by Paul Nyman

Super excited to let you know Paul’s newest post is available. Great stuff!

“Can’t we all just get along”…

R. King… :lol: :lol: :lol:

If those 3 guys are bad…I want their bank accounts…
It’s so funny…what “IS” success?

For Smoltzie it’s a HOF career marked by “some” injury…his entire family will be wealthy for generations…he pitched FAR beyond the time expected for an MLB pitcher…
For Prior…He is a wealthy man who pitched beyond the average career length of an MLB pitcher and won many awards and accolades…

Strass? The sky is THE limit…one injury (Mucho denero) and he is the number one starter for the team many pick as odds on fav to win the NL.

So where is there a down side?
Who wouldn’t be one of the above guys…isn’t speculation about “what they could have been” completely absurd based on these facts of reality?

OH Please throw me in THAT briar patch Brer Bear!!!

Great stuff indeed ThinkTank!

Really looking forward to the other 3 parts!

I can see what you are trying to accomplish, but I actually agree with what JD is saying.

We could pretend that a guy with a ‘bad’ arm action would be equally effective with a minty arm action, but that isn’t true (at least I haven’t seen it)

Bob Gibson pitched for 20+ years professionally, the whole time throwing like a maniac, with horribly unrepeatable mechanics - However, he was wildly successful.

Joel Zumaya never made a full season as a reliever. Could it be the intent, the action, the fluidity, the conditioning, the genetic makeup, the abduction? Who knows?! We all know Zumaya was monstrously successful when he wasn’t hurt. The extreme examples are easy to find, but they don’t explain much.

I don’t doubt that a pro can change their arm action and throw quality pitches, but I am not convinced that the institution of baseball is holding down guys with filthy stuff, deceptive repeatable actions, and good attitudes.

That is counterintuitive to their business model.

What strikes me as the so-called “Problem” with the Inverted W and L has nothing to do with the forms themselves, but rather that both forms require you to go into your throwing motion as soon as your hands break. Only problem there is that there if you’re doing anything even a smidgen off, you can screw your timing so that you wind up throwing the ball before your front leg has the chance to plant.

As long as you’re cocked into your inverted W or L or whatever upon planting your leg instead of before, I should think that injury really shouldn’t be as big of a problem.

I don’t think so. If this were the case the play would be the be throwing with half velocity or throwing the ball of the catches head. The inverted W being a timing problem is a total fallacy created by those who have attempted to present themselves as injury prognosticators i.e. that they know so much about mechanics that they can predict who will or will not have injury.

Throwing a baseball optimally is about timing it’s about harvesting momentum. Any hitch or break in the transfer of momentum will significant compromise the ability throw the baseball. therefore any concern or attempts to minimize timing issues by eliminating movement has the potential to significant compromise optimally throwing a baseball. In other words players who throw hard, throw with control, throw with movement are those who have learned how to solve:

The inverted W is part of a throwing system that maximizes utilization of the body’s momentum. What most people don’t realize is that its momentum conversion not arm strength that creates not only velocity but efficient mechanics.

“The Case for the Inverted W” Is the first of a series of articles where I will try to explain how the body optimally throws the baseball. That optimally throwing a baseball, What many call good mechanics is the confluence of physiology, physics and motor learning.

Something else that must be understood is that what I advocate Will only benefit ( understood and accepted by) the 1% of those who have the desire and want to understand what it takes to maximize their genetic potential.

Thanks for your reply, Mr. Nyman.

First off, allow me to clarify: I personally don’t take any stock in the “Inverted W/L causes injuries” school. After all, you show me case of a guy who throws that way whose career was cut short by injury, and I’m pretty sure I can point multiple example of folks who did use either of those methods who had long careers.

No, my last post was just me conjecturizing (Is that a word? If not, let it be known that on this day, I invented “conjecturizing”!) on what a possible cause for injury might be with such styles. I’ve no empirical evidence to support my previous statement.

Here is a question for you though: What do you think IS a common cause of pitching injuries? What are some common factors?

I don’t pretend to be an expert on injury. I can say I spend a lot of time trying to understand how the body optimally throws the baseball. I try to do as much research as possible as to existing literature/studies regarding injuries as a result of throwing the baseball. that being said I will give you my opinions:

  1. Lack of proper conditioning. This applies to all levels of baseball including professional. This may surprise some of you i.e. including professional players in the lack of conditioning category. I can cite a number of examples of players who after being drafted could not do the type of training that got them drafted. Why? Simply because of fear of injury on the part of the organizations that drafted them. Long toss was/is a favorite “verboten” for many major-league organizations. I players who did a lot of long tossing prior to being drafted aren’t allowed to do long tossing after being drafted. Simply stated major-league baseball is running scared and has adopted the mentality relying upon their doctors to determine what the players should or shouldn’t do. As opposed to relying on those who really understand what it takes to condition the body i.e. the trainers and physiologists.

There are several studies where healthy pitchers (asymptomatic) were subjected to ultrasound to measure the thickness of the UCL. It was found in a number of pitches that the UCL of the pitching arm was thicker (larger) than the UCL of the non-pitching arm. The point being that a certain amount of stress is required to increase the size of body tissue which includes not only muscle but connective tissue. And that pitching alone i.e. the stress of pitching on the UCL is not necessarily the best means for increasing the capability of UCL to withstand the rigors of throwing a baseball. I will have more on this in future articles on baseballthinktank.com.

  1. Inefficient mechanics. In the almost 20 years that I’ve watched other pitching experts attempt to convey what constitutes good mechanics there’s been a gradual shift to what I’ve been saying for almost 20 years that the intent to throw baseball is what determines effective mechanics. It’s not the instruction per se it’s how the player interprets the instruction and no more importantly how they apply the instruction to achieve their goal. Your mechanics will be almost exclusively shaped by what you’re trying to do. If you’re trying to mimic what someone believes are good mechanics you probably will never achieve good mechanics as defined by your goals. If your goal is to throw strikes then you will develop mechanics to throw strikes. If your goal is to throw hard and you will develop mechanics to throw hard. If your goal is to throw hard strikes than you will develop mechanics to throw hard strikes.

As a level of competition increases the stress on the body will increase i.e. the harder one tries to throw the greater the stress on the body. Inefficient mechanics that did not create injury at lower levels of competition will put the player at risk at high levels of competition.

The same can be said for good mechanics i.e. the high-level competition the more stress and even good mechanics will not prevent injury.

  1. Genetics. No two players will have the same physical makeup and capabilities. One player may have a larger stronger UCL then another player. For example Mets pitcher RA Dickey has no UCL in his pitching elbow. He was born that way.

  2. Fear of injury. There is no sure way to get injured that the fear of getting injured. And by this I mean not pushing the body hard enough or beyond the existing limits. Of course this must be done in an intelligent manner but when it comes to pitchers the predominant philosophy is to err on the side of doing nothing as opposed to doing something. I’m willing to bet that less than 1% of pitchers at the major-league level ever subscribe to pitch counts when they were growing up. I believe I can safely say this about non-American-born players i.e. players from Dominican Republic, Venezuela, Puerto Rico, Japan, Korea etc.

  3. Bad luck. Bad stuff happens to good people. Bad stuff happens to people who do everything possible to avoid injury but it still happens. Throwing a baseball is probably the most stressful thing you can do to the connective tissue on the body. I believe that it is possible that some arm injuries occur simply because of a failure of the neuromuscular system to sequence properly the muscles which then places an undue stress on the elbow. In other words if everything is function normally there’s no problem but because of a misfiring or a miscommunication of the body’s neural system the sequence gets screwed up.

  4. ASMI. I believe they have done more to harm the development of high-level throwing performance than any other organization again my not so humble opinions.

Paul, I don’t see you considering over-use as an agent of injury, I’d contend that it is a catalyst, which along with any of the things you’ve mentioned (I don’t have the same belief that Fleisig et al is as bad as you believe but agree on all others) lead to injury.

Do you not think that over-use has that little bearing on it?

Great stuff

[quote]1. Lack of proper conditioning. This applies to all levels of baseball including professional. This may surprise some of you i.e. including professional players in the lack of conditioning category. I can cite a number of examples of players who after being drafted could not do the type of training that got them drafted. Why? Simply because of fear of injury on the part of the organizations that drafted them. Long toss was/is a favorite “verboten” for many major-league organizations. I players who did a lot of long tossing prior to being drafted aren’t allowed to do long tossing after being drafted. Simply stated major-league baseball is running scared and has adopted the mentality relying upon their doctors to determine what the players should or shouldn’t do. As opposed to relying on those who really understand what it takes to condition the body i.e. the trainers and physiologists.
[/quote]

Could not agree more.

[quote=“jdfromfla”]Paul, I don’t see you considering over-use as an agent of injury, I’d contend that it is a catalyst, which along with any of the things you’ve mentioned (I don’t have the same belief that Fleisig et al is as bad as you believe but agree on all others) lead to injury.

Do you not think that over-use has that little bearing on it?[/quote]

I was thinking that was what he was referring to when he was talking about pitch counts.

Also, I love Love LOVE what Paul’s saying in regards to intent. When I was playing for my first HS baseball team, our coach HATED my mechanics. Never mind the fact that they worked for me, and had been since I was five: Everything I did was wrong in his eyes. He went about trying to change me to look more like the contemporary pitcher. And it worked. I certainly looked the part. Except for the fact that I couldn’t throw strikes anymore, and nothing I threw had the speed or bite they did before.

When you start mucking with a young pitcher’s delivery, you get them out of the mindset of “Throw a good hard strike” and instead get them into the mindset of, “Is my leg kick high enough? Is my arm cocked at the right angle? Is my glove hand moving with my front leg? And what about…”

And at that moment, you finish your pitch and bean your third baseman.

[quote]5. Bad luck. Bad stuff happens to good people. Bad stuff happens to people who do everything possible to avoid injury but it still happens. Throwing a baseball is probably the most stressful thing you can do to the connective tissue on the body. I believe that it is possible that some arm injuries occur simply because of a failure of the neuromuscular system to sequence properly the muscles which then places an undue stress on the elbow. In other words if everything is function normally there’s no problem but because of a misfiring or a miscommunication of the body’s neural system the sequence gets screwed up.
[/quote]

We also know this to be true. Co-contraction injuries happen as a result of neuromuscular “freakouts” which would never happen otherwise.

[quote]Paul, I don’t see you considering over-use as an agent of injury, I’d contend that it is a catalyst, which along with any of the things you’ve mentioned (I don’t have the same belief that Fleisig et al is as bad as you believe but agree on all others) lead to injury.

Do you not think that over-use has that little bearing on it?[/quote]

My problem (blind spot) is I possibly give people (coaches?) Too much credit in them having common sense as to how much a player should throw. But then again I also have a problem with trying to artificially dictate that every player has the same limitation or capability with respect to the number of pitches they can throw.

And to answer specifically your question yes I believe that overuse is a factor in many injuries in young players.

but at the professional level and I believe for the most part at the collegiate level overuse is not an issue, my opinion.

One of the fundamental principles of physiology is the SAID principle (Specific Adaptation to Imposed Demand). Anyone who has done strength training understands this principle i.e. “no pain no gain”, the last two or three repetitions are the ones that yield the greatest return, etc., etc.

The same goes for throwing a baseball there is a certain amount of stress that needs to be created for the body to become more capable of handling more stress. The danger of pitch counts is that some players may never be subjected to the stress which actually will help them develop greater capability to avoid injury.

I will repeat something that I’ve repeated too many times here before is that commentary here is based upon what I believe necessary to develop the players maximum capabilities i.e. reaching the genetic potential. The ASMI is simply a medical organization whose purpose and mission is to prevent injury as opposed to developing maximum athletic capabilities. Again my opinion(s)

Nice post, xj. The last two paragraphs especially. Additionally, I think under preparation is even more of a problem than overuse.

The inverted W creates some funky arm motions and it’s difficult to get the arm up in the proper position to throw. To me, the inverted W looks like a large-winged bird trying to lift-off. The elbows go up; the torso goes down–just add the cry of a carrion bird to the footage and have yourself a good laugh. :slight_smile:

I would contend that “over-used” arms at the youth level don’t get over-used by misuse of pitch counts but by stressing at a frequency which prohibits a rest cycle to recover properly…the old complete rec game in mid-week followed by consecutive appearances in a high pressure 3-4 day week-end tourney scenario…followed by week on end of more of the same.
I’m no fan of pitch counts as “lip-service” to injury…or cya for leagues associations…but doing nothing isn’t an option either.

I can see your perspective Paul, I know Glenn would disagree…I think they get a huge amount of pressure for a “silver bullet”, but the bottom line is they were never a facility dedicated to player development, they’ve kind of “found” themselves in that position. Same with a doctor like Jim Andrews…he fixes broke stuff, doesn’t develop the stuff that gets anyone to the bigs. But:

Really? I’m thinkin your giving their reach way too much credit.

Maybe I am giving them too much credit but then again you have to remember this is an organization that has great credibility because of Dr. James Andrews and is connection with major-league baseball players.

When it comes to baseball information most people make the decisions by Association i.e. if Dr. James Andrews says it’s good and he’s the ASMI that it must be good.

I pointed a ridiculous conclusions regarding the long cost study.

http://www.letstalkpitching.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=14714&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=0

they attempted to equate long toss to developing mechanics. Anybody who has really engaged in long cost understands that it’s an attempt to develop the intent to throw hard. That the purpose of long cost is just the opposite i.e. it’s not about trying to develop pitching mechanics it’s about trying to learn how to throw the ball with maximum effort what I call decoupling pitching from throwing.

This is why I say the ASMI has done more damage than any other organization, because of their total ignorance of what it takes to develop high-level players.

I appreciate the clarification/elaboration

What is it that makes you think the inverted W makes it difficult to get the arm up?

If anything, it delays the arm.