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You've got me questioning my son's pitching mechanics

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  • You've got me questioning my son's pitching mechanics

    I recently started a thread about my son's recent elbow surgery:
    http://baseball-fever.com/showthread.php?t=74563

    A few people responded that it was more likely caused by his mechanics, and not weightlifting. I realize that everyone is entitled to their opinion, but now you guys have got me second-guessing my son's throwing mechanics.

    I don't have any recent video to have people critique, but I do have the following pic's that were taken last summer. Does anyone see anything from these pictures?
    Attached Files

  • #2
    Pictures continued:
    Attached Files

    Comment


    • #3
      More pics...
      Sorry about the size of previous - Photoshop went crazy, so I went in and resized.
      Attached Files

      Comment


      • #5
        Last 2 pics ...
        Attached Files

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        • #6
          Without video this is not an 100% accurate statement, but it looks like your son pronates his throws which according to Marshall should have protected his elbow. It looks to me like he should reach home a little more so his arm does not come across his body in order to protect his shoulder. He should point his front toe more at his target.

          Comment


          • #7
            His mechanics look solid.

            They are even quite advanced (which can be bad for a younger kid because he can throw harder than is good for his body).

            I'd tend to agree with your MD and say the problem was primarily related to overuse. In particular the travel ball. I don't think your pitch limits are tight enough, and I think your son's problems are proof of that.

            I think the weightlifting (too much weight at too young of an age) probably pushed him over the edge.
            Hitting Coordinator for Harris-Stowe State University in St. Louis.

            I also work with the pitchers who are dealing with injury problems.

            Comment


            • #8
              Originally posted by Baseball gLove View Post
              Without video this is not an 100% accurate statement, but it looks like your son pronates his throws which according to Marshall should have protected his elbow. It looks to me like he should reach home a little more so his arm does not come across his body in order to protect his shoulder. He should point his front toe more at his target.
              Don't get me wrong. Pronating is a VERY GOOD habit to get into.

              However, the problem with pronating is that it is of only limited value for kids with open growth plates.

              Both the UCL and the Ppronator Teres attach to the Medial Epicondyle. As a result, regardless of whether you supinate or pronate your pitches, you are putting a large load on the Medial Epicondyle (and the growth plate in particular). The growth plate becomes the weak link in the chain, and you end up with an avulsion injury.

              I discuss this in this piece...

              - The Limits Of Pronating

              All of this is why Mike Marshall wants kids to delay the start of pitching for as long as possible.
              Hitting Coordinator for Harris-Stowe State University in St. Louis.

              I also work with the pitchers who are dealing with injury problems.

              Comment


              • #9
                Twitch5,

                Go to Dr.Marshall’s site and ask him directly and send the pictures.
                He will tell you how his mechanics are causative and how to fix it.
                If Joe or me told you it would not carry the same impact for you and you need to hear it.
                Primum non nocere

                Comment


                • #10
                  His mechanics look perfect...awesome for a kid that young! i think that is a great thing to have perfect mechanics at that age...you keep pitching that way...that should bring accuracy and good command as the kid gets older..and bigger.

                  Comment


                  • #11
                    Twitch,

                    Based on evaluating hundreds of hours of film and working on biomechanics of pitching I'm of the opinion there's a substantial mechanical issue here that could well explain your son's problem.

                    In the first image note that the throwing forearm is still tipped substantially forward. In the second image, where footstrike has already occurred, that the forearm is driving upward. To lessen stress on both the elbow and shoulder the forearm needs to be essentially vertical somewhere between frames one and two. Without this, as the pelvis and torso rotates forward, the forearm accelerates up and then slams backward, as you're seeing here. This causes elbow damage and because the same stresses are transferred to the shoulder, the shoulder is also in harms way. Also, in the third frame, note that the glove side is substantially open. This adds to stress on the front of the throwing shoulder. All of this is a timing problem, and it started at handbreak.

                    My opinion: this is a prescription for trouble. Please let me know what I can do to help.

                    Coach45
                    Attached Files
                    www.rpmpitching.com

                    Comment


                    • #12
                      Coach,

                      Can you please elaborate on what you think he should be doing at handbreak to alter his timing and get the throwing arm more vertical by toe touch?

                      I'm pretty sure my [13YO] son's arm is late getting up too and then it looks like his rotation "tugs" it forward. (Recall that he injured his elbow 2 yrs. ago.)

                      Thank you.

                      Comment


                      • #13
                        Without more images in this particular sequence it's tough to critique the exact nature of the problem, I just know it's there from watching film over and over.

                        As a generality a little higher leg kick, coupled with getting the break started BEFORE the kick hits the top helps a bunch. This tends to be a bit counter intuitive for youngsters because they are inclined to then slow the break down and sync it back up with their 'normal' rhythm, defeating the purpose. One of the teaching cues I use is 'get the forearm vertical at footstrike.' It seems to help if you'll pose this as a question: "Did you get your arm vertical before your body started to rotate?" That way they become aware of what they're doing and can start self-diagnosing. Another good tool is working on this in front of a mirror. It also helps to start with the elbows slightly in front of the body, flexed at about 90 degrees.

                        Does that help?
                        www.rpmpitching.com

                        Comment


                        • #14
                          Originally posted by Coach45 View Post
                          In the first image note that the throwing forearm is still tipped substantially forward. In the second image, where footstrike has already occurred, that the forearm is driving upward. To lessen stress on both the elbow and shoulder the forearm needs to be essentially vertical somewhere between frames one and two. Without this, as the pelvis and torso rotates forward, the forearm accelerates up and then slams backward, as you're seeing here. This causes elbow damage and because the same stresses are transferred to the shoulder, the shoulder is also in harms way. Also, in the third frame, note that the glove side is substantially open. This adds to stress on the front of the throwing shoulder. All of this is a timing problem, and it started at handbreak.
                          I agree that there could be a timing problem going on here, because I do see some breaking the hands with the elbows (which can make the arm late).

                          However, it's hard to say without video.

                          Twitch, does your son have a problem missing up or up and in?
                          Hitting Coordinator for Harris-Stowe State University in St. Louis.

                          I also work with the pitchers who are dealing with injury problems.

                          Comment


                          • #15
                            I agree he needs to get his arm in high-cock position before foot plant. The pull down phase of Jaeger's Long Toss helped my son with his timing. He sometimes losses this timing with steeper mounds so he'll crow hop his 1st few warm up throws to fix it.

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