STOP Focusing On The Throwing Arm
March 17, 2016
This is the 2nd installment of my "STOP" series where I address incorrect concepts/teaching points that circulate among teams. Last month I addressed the faults of the 1-knee drill (click here to read that newsletter).
Here I address the problem of focusing on the throwing arm as a way to coach pitchers.
The Throwing Arm Is The Symptom, NOT The Cause, of Accuracy Problems
Whenever a pitcher struggles, common coaching points include:
"Stay on top of the ball"
"Don't Throw Sidearm"
"Don't short-arm the ball"
"Reach back to second base"
which produce throwing motions like this:
These body positions INCREASE arm stress as I discuss in my August 6, 2013 newsletter "1 Way Pitchers Can Decrease Arm Stress" that you can read by clicking here.
Body position, NOT the throwing arm, is the problem.
Yes, the release point is incorrect when a pitcher struggles but the release point is the end result of how the body has moved through the throwing motion.
If you fix body position, the release point will take care of itself.
To address body position in pitchers, it's helpful to look at other rotational movements like hitting a golf ball/baseball, hockey puck, and tennis ball. As the shoulders turn to the contact point, the head stays in the same spot, causing the shoulder to rotate, NOT tilt.
Let’s watch some video…
A great concept from the National Pitching Association is to 'Keep Your Eyes Level At Release Point'. If you see below, here are 4 different pitchers with 4 different arm slots BUT they ALL have their eyes level at release point:
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