Just a little nugget from a source I have relied on for many years, Dr. Michael Yessis. Lot's of good stuff if you are a coach looking to build better athletes -- who then go on to become better pitchers for you.
I Told You So:
"I Told You So"
Dr. Michael Yessis
For years I've been telling athletes who throw a ball or an implement, that they must generate the power for the throw with the body and use the arm for accuracy. This was recently brought out in a statement by San Diego Padres pitcher Kevin Correia to explain his improvement.
He stated that "I'm using my body more to throw the ball. It's easier to control." Many people were surprised by this statement but if you closely examine it, it makes perfect sense. In fact, I am surprised that more pitchers have not learned this, especially on the professional level."
Some basic knowledge of anatomy and biomechanics will tell you that the body has all the large powerful muscles. For a pitcher this means making use of the hip muscles, the abdominal oblique and flexor muscles and the very powerful shoulder muscles. The arm on the other hand, has relatively medium to small muscles.
Rather than making use of these large and strong muscles many pitchers still rely on the arm to generate maximum force in the throw. This I believe is the main reason why there are so many shoulder and elbow injuries to pitchers. They place excessive force on the muscles and joints that are not capable of handling the stresses involved.
What is especially interesting to note is that when you use the body to develop the force needed for the throw, the throw for the most part becomes effortless. I've had many players tell me that the throw has never been easier while at the same time they are throwing harder than ever before -- all because of using the body to develop the force.
It should also be noted that when you use the body to develop the force, the large muscles must go into action in sequence, beginning with the foot and ending with the hand. In this way the force generated by one joint can be transferred to the next adjacent joint and so on. In this way you build up to the maximum force possible when the ball or implement is released by the hand.
Although there are many good pitchers who use the body effectively to generate force, it appears that most still do not. This is not new knowledge as I know I have been saying and teaching this for at least 30 years. When will this knowledge permeate through the myths and misconceptions that guide throwing, down to the coaches and players?
For information on throwing and the muscles and actions involved see "Build a Better Athlete."
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