View Full Version : Summary: Throwing mechanics and faults

Rod Whiteley
10-17-2001, 08:31 AM
Original request follows:

..introductory stuff deleted...
(throwing mechanics and faults, and the correction thereof)
What I'd like to ask the list for is
A) anyone's work that may not be published, so thereby missed on my searches
in this area,
B) 'favourite' and other references in regard pitching mechanics and faults
I'd be particularly interested anyone's aware of any objective measures
in this regard (e.g. A pitcher is said to be 'Flying open' when his trunk
rotates toward the plate whilst his
hand is still placed at XXdegrees relative to the path of the ball; or
C) One more specific question, there's been some recent work suggesting the
during the cocking phase, keeping the elbow flexed to more than 90 degrees
may be injury preventive where classical training has been to 'Keep your
hand on top of the ball, and "outside" your elbow'. Any thoughts
in regard this matter?

Firstly, thanks to all those who've helped me in this question.
Addressing the requests:
A) Thanks especially to Rohelle L Nichols for providing me with a copy of
her (very good) Master's thesis which addresses the very important question
of the
reliability of implementing a Checklist assessment of a pitcher's mechanics
and it's correlation to the mechanics described by more accurate 3-D high
speed video assessment. I'm waiting for a copy of The Checklist itself as I
write this. Many thanks also to some Japanese workers (Tomoyuki Matsuo,
Norihisa Fuji, and Michiyoshi Ae) who are providing me with some papers
which were not distributed widely (Shimada K., Ae M., Fujii N., Yuki M., and
Kawamura T.: Biomechanical study on the functions of the torso and lower
limbs in baseball pitching. Jpn. J. Biomechanics in Sport and Exercise 4 :
47-60, 2000; Takahashi K., Ae M., Fujii N., Shimada K., and Ozaki T.:
Increase in the ball velocity and the forces exterted on the ball by the
fingers of the hand. Jpn. J. Biomechanics in Sport and Exercise 4 : 116-124,
2000; Influence of different shoulder abduction angles during baseball
pitching on throwing performance and joint kinetics Tomoyuki Matsuo,
Tsuyoshi Matsumoto, Yoshihiro Takada, and Yoshiyuki Mochizuki, ISBS
Proceedings 1999.)

B) Many pointed me at the (well worn) path to the guys at ASMI, especially
Dr. Glenn Fleisig and his colleagues who've done a lot of the work in regard
kinematic and kinetic data on normal mechanics, and thoughts on 'abnormal'
mechanics. In particular I'm glad I've found a paper I'd missed which
elegantly compared within pitcher data for fastballs that varied by more
than 3 mph, and then attempted a post-hoc analysis of the mechanical changes
which compared these individual trials - why hasn't someone thought of this
before? (Matsuo, T. Escamilla, R.F. Fleisig, G.S. Barrentine, S.W. Andrews,
J.R.,Comparison of kinematic and temporal parameters between different pitch
velocity groups. Journal of applied biomechanics 17(1), Feb 2001, 1-13 ).
Another thing I'm waiting for with baited breath is a video produced by the
ASMI narrated by Dr. Fleisig regarding pitching mechanics (details available
from the ASMI's website).
Understandably, I've not yet got a scientist to say that for example, x
degrees of knee flexion at foot contact is wrong, whilst this is the kind of
thing that pitching coaches will routinely declare, although the work of
Fleisig's group is leaving less and less room for error around the
interpretation of what's allowable as 'within healthy normal limits'.

C) The paper which provoked this thought (Werner, S.L. Gill, T.J. Murray,
T.A. Cook, T.D. Hawkins, R.J. Relationships between throwing mechanics and
shoulder distraction in professional baseball pitchers. American journal of
sports medicine 29(3), May/June 2001, 354-358) hasn't seemed to generate
that much heat which is a little surprising.

Since a lot of the replies were of the kind 'This is something I'm
interested too, let me know what you find', if you want these references,
please mail me (rwhiteley@magnet.com.au) and I'll send you a copy of my
literature search (I don't want to attach the sheet to this mail and
infuriate listmembers who don't want to download or read it).
The next step for me is to now try and synthesise the wisdom of the pitching
coaches and the work of the biomechanists (to try and sort out the important
observations from the dogma) in regard 'true' pitching faults, and describe
the drills to correct these. Finally, I'll then try and see if these drills
(or other methods) can indeed alter a pitcher's mechanics advantageously.
All mail in this regard will be gratefully received.
Thanks again,
Rod Whiteley, Physiotherapist.

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