Arm Path and Pitching Velocity

Arm Path, Pitching VelocityThere is one “Arm Path” to pitching velocity that all high velocity pitchers take. This “Arm Path” begins not where conventional wisdom would believe, which is after hand break, but in the cocked position at front foot strike. The funky delivery here of Zach Outman is a great example of how the “Arm Path” of the high velocity pitcher works. What makes his pitching delivery so different is because he starts his delivery with his arms above his head instead of the conventional way, which is in the glove below the head. This out of the box approach makes it easier for him to get his throwing arm into the prefect cocked position at front foot strike, so he can generate his top velocity.

To understand this “Arm Path” of the high velocity pitcher let’s first look at the case study, which defines it, before you go outside and start pitching like Zach Outman.

The High Velocity Arm Path

A recent case study called, Relationships between ball velocity and throwing mechanics in collegiate baseball pitchers, performed by Werner SL, Suri M, Guido JA Jr, Meister K, Jones DG at the Texas Metroplex Institute for Sports Performance, Grand Prairie, Texas discovered the “Arm Path” of the high velocity pitcher. Here are some of the results from the case study.

Ball velocity was most affected by the time from stride foot contact (SFC) to maximum shoulder external rotation (MER), elbow angle at SFC, MER, elbow extension angular velocity…

Ball velocity would be increased by: (1) a shorter interval from SFC to MER; (2) increased elbow flexion at SFC; (3) increased maximum shoulder external rotation; (4) increased elbow flexion angular velocity.

Read a summary of the case study here: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18707902
If you would like to read the entire case study please contact me.

This paints a clear pitcher why Zach Outman used these unorthodox mechanics. He wasn’t just trying to look or be different but he actually had a method to his madness. Starting with the arms above the head and then dropping them down into the cocked position at front foot strike allowed him to create more elbow flexion before the arm moved into maximum external rotation. This is critical for accelerating the arm into MER earlier at SFC.

To learn more about this case study and how to implement this high velocity “Arm Path” into your pitching delivery, I would advise you to read the article called, Study Proves Arm Path Most Effective For Increasing Pitching Speed. Once you complete the article and would like to try the Zach Outman Delivery focus on getting the arm from over the head into the cocked position that is defined in the article. You may not want to pitch with this delivery in the game like Outman did, but it could be a good drill to use in a bull pen if you are struggling with your “Arm Path.”

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