The Myth Of Arm Slot


#1

I developed this diagram for use in a debate on another board, and thought that some of you might find it interesting. Essentially, it makes the point that the only difference between one arm slot and another is how much you tilt your shoulders.

The idea that a pitcher who throws 3/4 has their elbow bent 90 degrees is a myth.

Comments?


#2

Maybe I’m just lucky but I have yet to run into anyone knowledgeable about pitching who believes that the elbow is bent at 90 deg. to get a different arm slot.


#3

Hey Chris, do you have a pic of Nolan Ryan at the same spot in his delivery as the diagram?


#4

kc86
I do. Email me at "dm-59@hotmail.com" and I’ll send it and the video it came from.


#5

The first 2 look a little low to me. Over the top looks like 3/4 's, 3/4’s looks like very low 3/4’s. I think side arm is OK and submarine looks right.

When I look at the over the top the curve thrown from this angle would be 1 to 7 or maybe 1:30 to 7:30 not the classic 12-6 uless you would hook your elbow, Ian.


#6

[quote=“Chris O’Leary”]I developed this diagram for use in a debate on another board, and thought that some of you might find it interesting. Essentially, it makes the point that the only difference between one arm slot and another is how much you tilt your shoulders.

The idea that a pitcher who throws 3/4 has their elbow bent 90 degrees is a myth.

Comments?[/quote]
The diagram seems to depict the position of each pitcher’s arm immediately after release of the ball. At that point, regardless of arm slot, a pitcher’s arm will be mostly extended straight. So I guess it makes sense that at that point the only difference could be the angle of the shoulders. But this seems relatively uninteresting. I think the more interesting thing would be to consider the path taken by each pitcher’s forearm and the maximum angle relative to the upper arm achieved by the forearm.

Ultimately, you can’t discuss arm slot until you have defined it. If you defined it to be just a height above the ground (or, obviously, the angle of the shoulders), then shoulder angle determines arm slot. But I feel arm slot should be defined in relation to other parts of the body that have maintained an upright posture.


#7

correct me if i am wrong, i just only tested this out while sitting but i am pretty sure that it is extremely hard or impossible to throw 3/4 without bending your elbow as this would create a sweeping motion that would not have much power from the hips as the timing would be screwed up and you would tend to more over fling the ball at the catcher rather than throw let alone pitch.


#8

Here you go…

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#9

dm59, you run in a different crowd. You would be amazed what the coaches I know believe.


#10

I kind of agree. Some people who throw over the top have a steeper angle. However, it’s hard to achieve that angle and still be effective.

I general, I have found that people’s arm slots tend to be flatter than they think they are.


#11

I would say that it reflects the moments just before and after the release point. See the first photo of Nolan Ryan.

The path is pretty much the same for everyone due to the forces involved. The forearm is vertical and then lays back our bounces to be horizontal as the shoulders start to turn. As the shoulders slow down, the elbow rapidly extends between 90 and 135 degrees.


#12

That’s exactly the problem.

You can test this out when you are sitting because the forces are very different. Your arm throws very differently if you are trying to throw 10 MPH versus 90 MPH.


#13

dm59, you run in a different crowd. You would be amazed what the coaches I know believe.[/quote]

Not really. I did qualify my statement with the words “anyone knowledgeable about pitching”. I run into plenty of people who say the strangest things but I can quickly gauge how much effort and study they’ve actually put into this.

If they’ve not done the homework, their comments are meaningless. I just try to be nice and explain things to them with the assistance of VIDEO.

For example, so many people I run into make statements like “you have to reach back to get power or you’ll “shortarm” the ball”. One video turns that around in a flash. I show them one of Billy Wagner, who throws over 100 mph and that’s that. Now, I’m not advocating Wagner’s overall mechanics but it very clearly demonstrates that what people often think is an absolute just isn’t and that the real, “active ingredients” in this activity are often a surprise to those who haven’t done the homework.


#14

Chris,

I agree with you that pitchers generally think they have a higher arm slot than they really do.

See if you agree, From over the top your pitches are pretty much limited to 4 seam fast ball, Old Drop curve ( a very effective pitch), Splitter/Forkball, Slider (although myself I always seemed to have agreat capacity to hang it when I threw it over the top). Cutter, A pitch I did not have much use for personally.

I disgaree with Coach Bagonzi, who I like a lot, that you can get a decent sinking fastball from overhand & 3/4’s plus. Also the circle -change is not going to have much movement either. You kind of live in the 12-6.6-12 world.

It would be intereting to debate if the overhand curve is different enough from the the splitter to throw both. This is an issue I have tossed back and forth in my own mind. What do you think?


#15

I agree, but I wouldn’t see that as being limited. :wink:

You can also throw a knuckleball or knuckle curve from an overhand slot.


#16

I do think they are different because the nature of the movement is very different.

A splitter looks like a fastball until the bottom drops out of it. In contrast, the hard part (among many) about the curveball is knowing whether (and how much) it will bite and thus whether it will end up as a strike.