The biggest problem all young pitchers face is learning how to NOT PITCH WITH JUST THEIR ARM. I talk about this issue in the video here.
What we as pitchers are dealing with here is that using the arm mainly to generate pitching velocity, is a natural human behavior. We as humans always find the easiest way to achieve the most reward. So if we continue to look at pitching in this light, we see a 5oz baseball as something not that threatening to our body. I mean think about it, my 96 year old grandmother can throw a baseball, but what if the ball weighed 60 pounds? My grandmother would probably tell me to get a life, because the weight of the ball has now become a threat to her physique. This is where you should experience an epiphany. What does the body do mechanically when it is under threat? It recruits more power. Hence the essence of “Power Pitching.” To learn more about “Power Pitching” watch the video on 3X Pitching 101.
It is important for us Pitchers to constantly discipline ourselves to recruit more of our core muscles when pitching. This should be driven home everyday, within every drill, every lift and definitely every pitch. So to help you find the signs in your delivery that illustrate that you are using more arm than an equal balance of muscles from your entire body, I will describe those signs here.
1. During leg lift you are leading with your shoulders instead of hips.
2. Your head is in front of your belt buckle during your stride..
3. Opening your hips before they travel down the hill.
4. Swinging your throwing arm way out of your glove and reaching ball to sky.
5. No separation in your back hip to back shoulder at front foot strike.
6. Poor pronation after ball release.
7. Short stride. Short drag line.
8. Rotator cuff pain. Long recovery time.
As pitchers, we all are guilty of performing a few of these bad habits every now and then. The questions is, are we aware of it when it is happening? If not, at least we have the last sign, number 8, when our body informs us that we are doing something wrong but sometimes this can be too late in the game. This is why we should always listen to our bodies. It is the best tool we have in coaching ourselves.
To prevent you, as a pitcher, from finding yourself under a 10 ton bag of ice because your arm is hanging, I would suggest you constantly evaluate, or have a coach evaluate your delivery for these 8 signs. If you need video analysis to help you with your evaluation, please visit our Video Analysis page or contact us.