To fix or not

I am a high school coach and one of our jv pitcher has a funky delivery (arm back behind him) to say the least. My question is should I try to fix it this offseason.

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I have two comments…

First, I would not try to fix the throwing arm. Instead, I would make sure his glove arm gets to a good “equal & opposite” position relative to his throwing arm. So, if he wraps his throwing arm around behind him towards 1B, make sure his glove arm reaches the same amount towards 3B.

Second, if this pitcher is maybe thin/lanky with a lot of flexibility, then he may lack the strength to match that flexibility and stabilize his joints (especially the shoulder joint). If this is the case, I’d consider closely monitoring his work load and his health and possibly limiting his work load as appropriate.


“I am a high school coach and one of our jv pitcher has a funky delivery (arm back behind him) to say the least.”

This is known as “Hyper horizontal abduction of the Humerus”. It is a gateway pathomechanical position to attain for the shoulder. It leads to Labrum tears, shoulder capsule laxity, proximal Bicep’s tendonitis, Brachialis tears, Intuitive supinated pitch drives.

Notice while the Humerus is outwardly rotated 90 degrees already (good, but not good enough) (and does he attain this position during adrenalin assisted competitions?), the forearm is still pronated at the back This ensures intuitive supinated drives and forearm flyout (the elbow degrader).

The tenet to follow is: Keep your Humerus in line with the Acromial line (the imaginary line running from shoulder tip (acromion) to shoulder tip) during pendulum swing , during Humeral/forearm arrival, during drive and very importantly to recover the arm. This means the pelvis must rotate a full 180 degrees if you want the shoulders to also.

Here is why these injuries occur kinesiologically: When throwers Hyper horizontally abduct (HHAH, (no pun here) their Humerus by contracting the Terres minor and infraspinatus (2 of the rotator cuff muscles) (lengthening the Pectoralis major (agonist)) it puts the tendon and muscles in a non aligned position so when the pectoralis major fires off just like when bench pressers are taught not to take the bar down where the Humerus’s get past alignment with the acromial line has your humerus push pressure forwards on the “head of the Humerus” rubbing forwards against the labrum edge causing first laxity then tears on the Labrum and or the biceps tendon attaching right next to it. When the pressure heads the other way by the forearm catching up it sends the forwardly positioned Humerus sliding back the other way perturbing the labrum on the other side and laxing those ligaments.

All this is mitigated by keeping the Humerus and head of the Humerus centered in it’s glenoid cavity by aligning the Humerus with the acromial line from start thru recovery!

“My question is should I try to fix it this offseason.”

It would be the ethical thing to do, if you realize the importance of the pathologies it creates.
Shoulder things tend to end it! This is one of the coaching hurdles when you learn why injuries occur, can you ethically proceed with pathomechanical approaches for youth throwers? or adults .

Watch how Zack Grienke brings his Humerus back 4 years ago (he’s getting lower and later now). this is optimal! If you also supinate your forearm going back you can then drive your Forearm in the same direction as your humerus in drive pronation, this also protects the UCL!

Look at that intuitive grip he is displaying, I’ll bet his forearm supinated curves or Sliders are good!
But eating away at the back of his elbow! The next tenet would be Learning how to throw only forearm pronated pitch types!

Do you understand fully what Dirtberry just posted, in response to your question? Do you understand the responses as a chain of events and his observations?

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Yes thank you all


Dirtberry makes no sense. I have no idea what @CoachBaker is alluding to in Dirtberry’s repsonse.

@Roger is more on the mark. Balance in delivery is very important. YOU CANNOT TELL ANYTHING by this picture. The best analysis would be to see how he looks upon layback and then final release.

Without that, it’s all just a bunch of mumbo jumbo. If he’s been throwing this way without pain and he has good stuff, most likely you should leave it alone. And if you can’t work within his natural abilities as they are, then make a plan and just work on one improvement at a time.