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Thread: Should I be Worried?

  1. #1
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    Should I be Worried?

    I take photos of my Son's Tournament Team Game. I got shot this Photo and up came the infamous 'Inverted W". is this cause for concern? Should I tell the parents? He complained of elbow problems during winter workouts, but has been pain free ever since.

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    Tell the parents to get in this position and have them get their arms up and twist their arm in the manner you see above and see if it stresses their elbow.
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  3. #3
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    I will have a talk with the parents this week. I am guessing this is part of the reason he gets tired after the 4th inning. On the 60FT diamond it wasnt a problem but on the 90ft diamond he tires around the 3rd or 4th inning.
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  4. #4
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    IMO, it's not the fact that the elbow is up, but that his forearm/hand is below the elbow at foot plant. This makes the forearm bounce phase very violent.
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by AL_DAD View Post
    I take photos of my Son's Tournament Team Game. I got shot this Photo and up came the infamous 'Inverted W". is this cause for concern? Should I tell the parents? He complained of elbow problems during winter workouts, but has been pain free ever since.
    Yes and Yes, especially since he's already having pain.

    P.S. Technically, this is the Inverted V.

  6. #6
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    1. That elbow is far higher than his shoulder. I agree with Jake, have the parents get in that positions and simply ask "feel good?"

    2. My 10yo son has the same stride length as this pitcher. I'm assuming that the pitcher is taller than 4'10. In other words, the stride length needs to increase as well.

    3. The front foot has essentially landed and we would like to see a mostly vertical forearm at that point with fingers on top of the ball.

    His glove and GS elbow are also very far from his body.

    My guess is up to this point this pitcher has been able to "outbig" (as I call it) everyone else?

    Honestly, I would stop him pitching ASAP and start working on the 3-4 major mechanical flaws. Not because his arm is going to fall off in the next 5 minutes (although injury could occur), but because the flaws he has are (IMO) easily correctable and in short order.

    Those are really, really, really cool hats. No joke. I would tell my players to start a fight with your team just so one of us could grab one of those. *grin*

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by CircleChange11 View Post
    the stride length needs to increase as well.
    Be aware that if you change his stride length, his arm motion will likely change.

    You could add some distance, then see what his arm position is at foot plant. Note that 2 long steps equals his height.

    IOW, try to change one thing at a time. Try the stride, then see what happens. Then fix his arm motion to match his new stride.

    If you just want to fix his arm motion, without tinkering with the stride first, see if he takes his hand back, or down, out of the glove. I'm guessing he takes his elbow back, like you do when you are just throwing in the back yard. If so, you might try just having him throw his hand down toward the ground out of the glove.
    Last edited by songtitle; 04-30-2012 at 06:59 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by songtitle View Post
    Be aware that if you change his stride length, his arm motion will likely change.

    You could add some distance, then see what his arm position is at foot plant. Note that 2 long steps equals his height.

    IOW, try to change one thing at a time. Try the stride, then see what happens. Then fix his arm motion to match his new stride.

    If you just want to fix his arm motion, without tinkering with the stride first, see if he takes his hand back, or down, out of the glove. I'm guessing he takes his elbow back, like you do when you are just throwing in the back yard. If so, you might try just having him throw his hand down toward the ground out of the glove.
    I am not saying this in a mean or insulting way, but if that's his stride length his arm motion will essentially need to mimic a catchers. In order for his arm to be in a "better" position at foot contact, he'll basically need to bring the ball near his ear and then throw.

    I wonder what arm action he uses on "throws from shortstop" or "throws from CF". I ask that because his arm action in the photo almost resembles what one would expect from a "submariner", only his torso is upright.

    The stride length will need to increase regardless of his arm action. You can pitch effectively with 75% height for stride length. But from the photo, he's going maybe 50% stride length. There's essentially no way to not have timing issues and create hip-shoulder separation.

    I'm saying this out of compassion for a pitcher who is likely pitching with a lot of effort, but fighting against himself in regards to mechanics. I'd want to help him ASAP.

  9. #9
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    circle, I agree with what you said.

    BTW, my 'be aware' comments were poorly worded. I intended them for the OP, not you.
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  10. #10
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    I am going to reach out to the Father. He is a baseball guy and will take what I tell him to heart. I just dont want his son having arm troubles at such an early age. I will video tape his next start to see if this is from fatigue or something he does 100% of the time. Regardless his dad will be notified.
    Last edited by AL_DAD; 04-30-2012 at 08:23 AM.
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  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by songtitle View Post
    IMO, it's not the fact that the elbow is up, but that his forearm/hand is below the elbow at foot plant. This makes the forearm bounce phase very violent.
    correct. all good pitchers have some forearm bounce but if it is too violent it can hurt a pitcher. that guy is really extreme as his arm is maximally internally rotated. that means he has to ER to arm a lot to get to the fully loaded position (maximum ER).

    Teach him to swing the arm up with the thumb pointing up instead of down this will keep his hand above his elbow.
    I think walks are overrated unless you can run. If you get a walk and put the pitcher in a stretch, that helps, but the guy who walks and cant run, most of the time hes clogging up the bases for somebody who can run. Dusty Baker.

  12. #12
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    I spoke to the Father yestaerday and he was very receptive. His biggest complaint was that his son goes to a Pitching coach all winter and the coach did not see the problem. I sent him a ton of the photos that I have of his son and he will go over it with him. His son was always a big dude and would over power kids in his age group but not anymore. I am going to try and video tape his next outing as well as my son's next outing to see if I can run a comparison.
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by AL_DAD View Post
    I spoke to the Father yestaerday and he was very receptive. His biggest complaint was that his son goes to a Pitching coach all winter and the coach did not see the problem. I sent him a ton of the photos that I have of his son and he will go over it with him. His son was always a big dude and would over power kids in his age group but not anymore. I am going to try and video tape his next outing as well as my son's next outing to see if I can run a comparison.
    While the kid could have come up with this all on his own, it's also possible that a cue that the coach used could have created or worsened the problem.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by AL_DAD View Post
    I spoke to the Father yestaerday and he was very receptive. His biggest complaint was that his son goes to a Pitching coach all winter and the coach did not see the problem. I sent him a ton of the photos that I have of his son and he will go over it with him. His son was always a big dude and would over power kids in his age group but not anymore. I am going to try and video tape his next outing as well as my son's next outing to see if I can run a comparison.
    Ask the father if his son's pitching "coach" has take photographs or video of his son's pitching.

    If not then he needs to either find a new pitching coach or hire you.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by tradosaurus View Post
    Ask the father if his son's pitching "coach" has take photographs or video of his son's pitching.

    If not then he needs to either find a new pitching coach or hire you.
    I know for a fact he does not use any photos/video because 80% of the time my Son is with his pitching coach (11 Years in the MLB) right next to him. Although my Son's coach does not video/photograph, he has broken down my sons pitching motion into about 15 movements when we first started his lessons about 2 years ago. Every winter when we star up he makes him go through the motions to make sure everything is ok.
    Many Theories One Outcome

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by AL_DAD View Post
    I spoke to the Father yestaerday and he was very receptive. His biggest complaint was that his son goes to a Pitching coach all winter and the coach did not see the problem. I sent him a ton of the photos that I have of his son and he will go over it with him. His son was always a big dude and would over power kids in his age group but not anymore. I am going to try and video tape his next outing as well as my son's next outing to see if I can run a comparison.
    We have two kids that use a pitching coach. Last tournament I sent several photos to one of our dads that is very similar to this photo with the difference being our player was reaching the ball up to the sky and his arm was completely extended. How can a former D-1 pitcher who is currently a pitching coach not pick up on that immediately?

  17. #17
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    I'm sure there are many, many great pitching coaches, but...

    I know 5 or 6 HS pitchers that have used well-known former MLB pitchers for lessons for 2+ years. Their mechanics are awful, some have been injured, and none of them start varsity. Yet, their dads are still star-struck.

    This doesn't mean that former MLB pitchers are good, or bad. It just means that you need to realistically evaluate your instruction experience.
    Last edited by songtitle; 05-01-2012 at 09:25 AM.
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by songtitle View Post
    I'm sure there are many, many great pitching coaches, but...

    I know 5 or 6 HS pitchers that have used well-known former MLB pitchers for lessons for 2+ years. Their mechanics are awful, some have been injured, and none of them start varsity. Yet, their dads are still star-struck.

    This doesn't mean that former MLB pitchers are good, or bad. It just means that you need to realistically evaluate your instruction experience.
    "Bad Information from Credible sources"!
    It took me years to find the right Hitting and Pitching coach for my son. Once I vetted the non teaching "Coaches", I was and am happy that I have found the perfect combination. I feel if the coach doesn't try and improve himself, then the chance of my son improving is basically zilch. There are only so many lessons that I can watch that the student is doing the same drills over and over. It gets boring for me, I cant even imagine how boring it is for my son. One of the biggest reasons that I chose his hitting instructor was because he had a masters in child psychology and he gets to my son either with hitting drills or with mental drills.
    Many Theories One Outcome

  19. #19
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    My big hangup with the whole pitching coach profession is that it seems to be primarily based upon who can collect the greatest "stable" of pitchers, and not necessarily how each pitcher has improved under their guidance.

    From reading this thread, seems like I could charge $100/hour (Professional Biology (Pre-Med) Degree, Masters of Science (Ed Admin), and former college pitcher) for lessons. I don't because I don't believe I should charge for private lessons. While in college I was able to work with 3 ex-MLB pitchers, 2 of them were making their (successful) comeback. They did not charge me a penny to be around them and have them show me stuff ... although one said I was only allowed to "teach this stuff to other lefties", righties were on their own. So, what I do is basically give instruction to players that are on our travel teams in small group sessions. I might need to rethink that idea.

    We use video to analyze mechanics and we keep bullpen session charts to record progress in accuracy, etc. If your instruction does not produce positive changes in mechanics and accuracy and if you can't demonstrate it, then they are wasting their money.

    Around here there seems to be quite a bit of emphasis on "who" a pitcher works with rather than how good of a pitcher the kid is. "He's with X" "He goes to Y" or "He's with ABC out of the XYZ area". Whether the kid can pitch nor not seems to be secondary.

    I will say, with pride, that almost every tournament we go to someone asks me "Who does he work with?" in regards to my son, and I get to say "Me". That's a nice feeling, because in the world of baseball who's who ... I'm a no-name.

    -------------------------------------------------------------

    If parents are reading this, I would strongly encourage you to get the following items from your kid's pitching coach: [1] Before/After photos or video, [2] detailed descriptions of the changes and why the changes were made (in baseball or science terms), [3] charts each week that show the location of the pitches throw to illustrate whether pitching accuracy has improved.

    If the coach cannot or will not provide these, then you're probably just paying for a babysitting service or for the t-shirt/reputation.

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by Chris O'Leary View Post
    While the kid could have come up with this all on his own, it's also possible that a cue that the coach used could have created or worsened the problem.
    yes. there are quite a few pitching coaches who teach that in order to get more "stretch" and "separation". they want that late and hard forearm turnover to create more arm lag and stretch reflex. this also can work to some degree but comes at the price of high impact on the arm.

    a player might squeeze out an additional MPH or two but it would be better to create that by good actions downstairs instead of extreme actions.
    I think walks are overrated unless you can run. If you get a walk and put the pitcher in a stretch, that helps, but the guy who walks and cant run, most of the time hes clogging up the bases for somebody who can run. Dusty Baker.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by dominik View Post
    yes. there are quite a few pitching coaches who teach that in order to get more "stretch" and "separation". they want that late and hard forearm turnover to create more arm lag and stretch reflex. this also can work to some degree but comes at the price of high impact on the arm.

    a player might squeeze out an additional MPH or two but it would be better to create that by good actions downstairs instead of extreme actions.
    I feel like I've heard that somewhere before.

  22. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by Chris O'Leary View Post
    I feel like I've heard that somewhere before.
    didn't you have some arguements with nyman over this? I think he said that there is no proof that those actions really hurt the arm and injuries are mostly "genetics".
    I think walks are overrated unless you can run. If you get a walk and put the pitcher in a stretch, that helps, but the guy who walks and cant run, most of the time hes clogging up the bases for somebody who can run. Dusty Baker.

  23. #23
    Wow! My shoulder hurts just looking at that. I hope you can help him fix that and prolong his career

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    Quote Originally Posted by DClutch View Post
    Wow! My shoulder hurts just looking at that. I hope you can help him fix that and prolong his career
    When I saw that, I thought "Zumaya", although Joel's mechanics are less severe than this kid's.

  25. #25
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    How do we correct this? In the video it still looks like he does the same thing. His father had a talk with him. Is there a drill he can do?




    http://youtu.be/dwG_NOZNyks?hd=1
    Many Theories One Outcome

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