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  • been a while, some questions

    Hey Folks,

    Long time, no see. We've been out of baseball for a while because of football, and then an jury in football.

    My son broke his left elbow in football (on his 12th birthday:-(... He broke the radius bone, near the growth plate. The tip of the bone had to be pinned back together. The arm is unable to straighten all the way (he can get about 70%) and he is unable to suppinate all the way. He was in physical therapy for a while but the doctor had hm stop because he wasn't making any significant progress. He told him to sign up for baseball and use the arm as much as possible and check back in a few months. At that point, he will determine if another surgery is necessary to remove scar tissue and bone spurs that developed. His thinking is that baseball and everyday useage will be a therapy in itself.

    As far as playing baseball goes, it seems to be OK. With the arm being bent, he never gets to a full "V", but that is after contact anyway. His arm is actually in a good position at contact. I'm just trying to help him to do what he ca with what he's working with and have some fun.

    Oh... he is right handed, so he can still pitch and throw fine.

    I was just wondering if anyone here has dealt with this sort of thing before and what happened. I hear that elbows are the hardest to rehab.


    So, my next comment/question:
    Towards the end of last season, my son was taking pitching lessons with a guy and at the end of the lesson, he started looking at his swing and talking about hitting. This guy was from the 'swing down' camp. We had been working with rotational mechanics with other instructors and on our own. This particular instructor said something that made me think. He said that even though the reality is a slight upward swing, the intention was a slight downward swing. hmm..... I remember Bragg Stockton saying to 'land the air plane' with the swing. Not to steep.

    Within that line of thinking, you always used to hear 'don't dip the back shoulder' when in reality, we know that it does dip. However, my son has a habit of dipping too much, kind of getting too tilted inward, and causing too steep of an upward swing. The high fast ball was something that my son had a hard time with. At the cages, I told him to try to stay on top and not dip the back shoulder, and it really seemed to help.

    I'm sure it's been discussed here, but if it were, I missed it. (except maybe after the MLB Pujols Diamond Demo) We know from seeing slow motion video what the swing really looks like, yet most of those guys think they're doing the opposite. So after learning the rotational mechanics and ques, I'm re-thinking some of them. Not trying to start a fight here about this vs that. Just wondering if anyone has realized this and found a balance between the two- what to teach vs what really happens.

  • #2
    The shoulders must work like this:





    I guess it's theoretically possible to dip your shoulders too far, but I've yet to see a video with a hitter doing this.
    Last edited by songtitle; 03-01-2012, 02:00 PM.
    efastball.com - hitting and pitching fact checker

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    • #3
      Originally posted by songtitle View Post
      The shoulders must work like this:

      I talked about this with Torres a few weeks ago.

      We were talking about Tilt and how the A to C swing is wrong and why it kept him from being able to hit balls down.

      He knows that this is the right thing to do, and knows what's really happening and what he looks like, but he says that while he's in the middle of swinging it feels like a level swing.

      That's just an interesting point about the difference between cues and reality.
      Hitting Coordinator for Harris-Stowe State University in St. Louis.

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

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      • #4
        Originally posted by songtitle View Post
        The shoulders must work like this:





        I guess it's theoretically possible to dip your shoulders too far, but I've yet to see a video with a hitter doing this.
        Maybe I didn't articulate it well, but he kind of tilts his whole upper body in towards the plate. His head gets kind of sideways too. I do realize that what you are saying is correct about how the shoulders should look. But when he attempts to do it that way, he goes too far sometimes, causing too steep of an upward swing. I am completely on board with rotational mechanics, but what I am questioning is my ques to get him to do it that way, and what his perception is of what he's doing.

        On Epstein's Hole in the Swing tutorial, Jake talks about correcting the V swing, and trying to get a nice, shallow U shape (paraphrasing, it's been a while) On another thread, I see the back and forth about "knob to the ball". I never understood or liked that que either. But...... I could see how the perception of that que could be used to get someone to flatten their swing out if they were swinging acutely downward (again, the V swing). Jake talks about imagining that there is a wall that your hands have to stay above. "Knob to the ball" might give the same perception to the hitter if they are still rotating using their body, and not taking the knob down and out with their arms like someone with a frog gigging stick.

        So again, I'm not disputing rotational mechanics of the back shoulder dipping or getting on plane with the pitch, etc. I believe in it myself. I'm guessing the hitters think they are doing something other than what they are actually doing. Why would Pujols, or any other successful big league hitter think what he does? Surely he's seen video of himself.. Why would big league hitting coaches keep on with the same downward swing ques? Surely they've read the the same stuff that we have, seen the videos and I would think, know more about hitting than the rest of us. What gives?

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        • #5
          Originally posted by danocaster View Post
          Hey Folks,

          Long time, no see. We've been out of baseball for a while because of football, and then an jury in football.

          My son broke his left elbow in football (on his 12th birthday:-(... He broke the radius bone, near the growth plate. The tip of the bone had to be pinned back together. The arm is unable to straighten all the way (he can get about 70%) and he is unable to suppinate all the way. He was in physical therapy for a while but the doctor had hm stop because he wasn't making any significant progress.
          Try another physical therapist. Try to find one with an athletic back round. Men tend to do more sports then girls. Unless she was a gymnist. Also check this out for possible of elbow extension http://www.dynasplint.com/joints/elbow/. You shoulder get back 90% extension, but not hyperextension like the natural elbow is. Supination is hard to get back, takes a good therapist a the boy has to do a lot of home stretches.

          When did he break it? The longer it is the harder it is to get back .
          Last edited by LAball; 03-01-2012, 11:55 PM.

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          • #6
            I'm NOT a medical professional. I have NOT dealt with rehabbing an elbow.

            The rehabbing I have been involved with typically require regular visits to the therapists, xrays/scans to check internal progress, and 'home work' -- stretches for flexibility and exercises to strengthen the area.

            If a therapist told me, "Your son's physical therapy for his elbow isn't working, go play baseball...", it would leave me scratching my head. I think I'd want a second opinion. But that's just me.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by songtitle View Post
              The shoulders must work like this:


              I love this gif. However, I wish you could see the top hand in it.
              WAR EAGLE!

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              • #8
                Sorry, I gave the Cliff's Notes version and left out some details.

                - He broke the elbow on Sept 24, 2011. He had surgery a few days later. The doctor had the elbow immobilized. After getting the cast off, he started physical therapy. After a month or so, that doctor wasn't happy with the progress and referred us to another doctor who specializes in pediatric orthopedics.

                - The new doctor had us start going to a certified hand therapist. The therapist had him wearing a custom made splint at night for suppination. Minute progress was made and the therapist eventually got an RX for Joint Active Splint (http://www.jointactivesystems.com/JAS-Systems/1/1/JAS-Elbow.aspx It similar to the Dyna Splint but the doc and therapist said they like the JAS better. During this time, we had periodic appointments with the doctor to check progress. He said that he thought the bone spurs were hindering suppination, but he thought the only thing keeping the elbow from bending and straightening was muscle shortening and scar tissue.

                - On the last visit to the doctor, he said he didn't want him splinting the elbow (he was wearing it up to 3 hours /day). He said he felt like my son was protecting the elbow and wanted him to use it as much as possible, and not be stationary in a splint.

                We still have hm wear the splint when he 's watching tv or playing video games. But I have to be honest, trying to get a 12 year old to remember to wear it is a constant battle. Since he started playing baseball more, the elbow doesnt hurt him as much, but he still has limited range of motion, and his wrist still hurts sometimes at rollover, etc.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by The Flush View Post
                  I love this gif. However, I wish you could see the top hand in it.
                  This belongs to Paul Neiman ... Whether people agree with him on every detail, he was IMHO, one of the few who made those breakthrough momments in baseball. The clip above helped a great deal of people see the swing differently and I would offer the greatest weapon against the linear mentality that prevailed before his work. If you can get your hands on Rotational Hitting for Numbees.... Is't well worth reading.

                  PS: Paul still frequents the site.
                  "He who dares to teach, must never cease to learn."
                  - John Cotton Dana (1856–1929) - Offered to many by L. Olson - Iowa (Teacher)
                  Please read Baseball Fever Policy and Forum FAQ before posting.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by danocaster View Post
                    Sorry, I gave the Cliff's Notes version and left out some details.
                    Makes more sense to me now. Sounds like your son is in good medical hands.

                    I still don't have advice on rehabbing an elbow... I pray it goes well.

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                    • #11
                      Wear the brace at night maybe. I maybe uncomfortable but tolerable. Stretch especially in the morning. Put on Bengay, Icyhot or something before you stretch. He still has a couple months left maybe. Its up to him.

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