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Summary: Throwing mechanics and faults

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  • Summary: Throwing mechanics and faults

    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    A) anyone's work that may not be published, so thereby missed on my searches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 ( 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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