Question/Answer 2004

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001.   I went to Jim Stinson's website and saw your autograph was $250 dollars.   I'm not trying to say your autograph isn't worth paying for, but I have yet to work so I do not have that kind of money.   Is their a way I can get a autograph straight from you?

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     I understand that many Americans think that if everything in life were free, then they would have happier lives.   Looters justify what they do when the lights go out in our large cities with self-pity, these stores cheat them or these companies can afford it.   But, they are common thieves.   I will not contribute to that attitude.   Therefore, I give hand-ups, not hand-outs.   I am giving away my Coaching Baseball Pitchers book and my advice.

     Unless people work hard to earn something, it is not valuable to them.   I have worked hard my whole life for everything that I have.   I am very proud that I have never asked for a handout.   I call it, the work ethic.   After you spend your life earning an education and working hard for everything you earn, you will realize the significance of work ethic and, hopefully, the insignificance of autographs.

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002.   We are nearing closure on this phase of the pitching motion.

     First, high speed film is not required to see the backside or transitional activity because things are not going very fast.   I do not challenge your research in that nobody really knows what the pitching arm does during forward acceleration and deceleration unless they see the high speed films that you have created.   There is no contest here, there is no challenge about arm activities during forward acceleration from the ready position inward to the plate, nor the deceleration phase.

     Second, I had informed you about what the pitching forearm does at the end of transition as it approaches the ready position and as it readies to begin forward acceleration.   AS the elbow starts forward, our hand positions match identically.   The ball is now on top of the hand with the palm facing upward.   During that first phase of acceleration, the forearm rotates as a function of pitch selection as follows:

1.   Fastballs and changeups:   the hand remains palm-up throughout the motion until after release at which time the forearm naturally pronates during deceleration.

2.   Supination curve:   as the hand approaches the ear during forward acceleration, the forearm has smoothly supinated 90 degrees with the palm facing the head and fingers pointing at the head.   After releasing the ball with proper overspin, the forearm begins to naturally pronate as usual.

3.   Screwball or Pronation Curve:   as the hand approaches the ear during forward acceleration, the forearm begins to pronate to release and then continues to pronate during deceleration.

     I refuse to teach sliders and choose not to spend time on knuckle balls.   My students are taught these basic pitches, the fastball, the change-up, and one or two curves.   They are informed that when they get older and commit to pitching some minor alterations to the pitching motion need to be made, that other pitches and other grips will have to be worked on, and that much later on in their pitching careers they will want to work on a slider unless they happen to throw one more or less naturally.

     Certainly I would believe high speed film of my pitcher's arm paths during acceleration and deceleration.   And regarding the angle of the elbow from the end of transition at ready to release, the following are approximations and what I believe that I "see" with my eyes and capture on video tape:

1.   At ready: 135 degrees.
2.   As it passes the ear: somewhere near 60-75 degrees, maybe even less.
3.   As it approaches release: 180 degrees for FB, changes and pronation curves, near 60-75 degrees for supination curves.


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     I agree that thirty frames per second is sufficient for parents, pitchers and coaches to follow the path of the baseball during the transition phase.   I recommend that parents, pitchers and coaches take digital videotape of baseball pitchers from thirty feet directly behind pitchers toward home plate with the camcorder about seven foot high.   Then, I recommend that parents, pitchers and coaches show the video on a monitor with graph paper overlaying the performance.   Then, I recommend that parents, pitchers and coaches advance the video one frame at a time and draw a circle around the baseball from the moment pitchers remove the baseball from their glove through release.

     Parents, pitchers and coaches should first study the transition phase.   It starts when pitchers remove the baseball from the glove and ends the frame before pitchers first move the tip of their pitching elbow forward.   If you do this, then you will see that how you teach your pitchers to move the baseball to the 'Ready' position does not move the baseball in straight lines.

     Then, when you freeze-frame on the 'Ready' position frame, then you will see that the first force that your pitchers apply to baseballs is not directly toward home plate.   You will also see that they drop their pitching elbow under and drag their pitching forearm and baseball forward, rather than driving behind the baseball, reverse forearm bounce where pitching forearm and baseball move backward or pirouetted, the 'loop' behind their heads where they bent their pitching elbow, and much more.

     You said that the angle of the pitching elbow of your pitchers is 135 degree at the 'Ready' position.   If this is true and you can easily find out with a digital camcorder set thirty feet to the pitching side of pitchers about four feet high centered three feet in front of the pitching rubber.   If your pitchers have achieved this, I congratulate you and them.   I have no doubt that the first force that your pitchers apply to the baseball is not directly toward home plate.   If you have used my graph paper method of circling the baseball, you should be able to see that on videotape.

     You said that when the baseball passes their pitching ear, your pitchers achieve sixty to seventy-five degrees of separation between the longitudinal axis of their pitching upper arm and pitching forearm, maybe even less.   Are you videotaping from the side?   What do you mean when the baseball passes their pitching ear?   It sounds to me that your pitchers have their pitching forearm tightly bent behind their head and you have merely stopped the video at some point in the pitching arm's full extension.

     Then, you said that as the baseball approaches release, your pitchers completely straighten and slam their olecranon process into their olecranon fossa at one hundred and eighty degrees for fastballs, changeups and pronation curves.   What I call, pitching forearm flyout.   Your pitchers start with bent pitching elbows and, as a result of centripetal force and extending their pitching elbow upward, rather than toward home plate, they flyout to one hundred and eighty degrees.   This is what we are trying to prevent.

     Then, you said that, with your supination curves, your pitchers achieve sixty to seventy-five degrees of separation.   Without high-speed film, we will never know. However, I doubt that the baseball comes closer than an arm's length of their pitching ear.   I also doubt that they have any degrees of separation.   If they achieved twenty degrees of separation, I would congratulate you and them.   If they achieved sixty to seventy-five degrees, I would give you one thousand dollars for every one of your pitchers that did so.   Also, please explain what you think is the difference between you pronation curve and your supination curve.   I believe that it is impossible for pitchers to have any degrees of separation when they supinate their pitching forearm to throw curves or sliders.

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003.   A while back, I emailed Bert Blyleven and asked him how he threw his curveball.   He didn't give me any answers, except to say that he threw it like a four seam fastball.   Is this possible?   He had one of the best curveballs in the history of the game.

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     Four seam fastballs spin with the horizontal top seam rotating backward with a horizontal axis in what laymen call from twelve o'clock to six o'clock.   Four seam curves spin with the horizontal top seam rotating forward with a horizontal axis in what laymen call from twelve o'clock to six o'clock.   To the less discriminating eye, if both pitches leave the pitchers hand in a horizontal straight line toward home plate, they appear identical.   However, as the seams collide with the air molecules on the bottom for the four seam fastball and on the top for the four seam curve, these pitches move exactly oppositely.   The four seam fastball fights the downward force of gravity and does not move downward as fast as gravity would make it.   The four seam curve adds to the downward force of gravity and moves downward faster than gravity would make it.

     I have some film of Mr. Blyleven throwing his curve and, although the frames per second are too slow to clearly show the moment of release, it does appear that he primarily released the baseball over top of his middle finger rather than with the side of the middle finger driving horizontally across the top of the baseball.   As a result, my Maxline Pronation Curve has a higher spin velocity and my pitchers can achieve over-spin, which further moves the baseball toward the pitching arm side of home plate.

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004.   In your book, you do not talk about the change-up?   Could you give me some information on the proper grip or grips and the release on the change-up?   Also I’m teaching a 16 year old pitcher how to throw a curve ball.

     Can you talk to me about setting the forearm in the proper position to get the maximum pull down without to much stress on his arm?   I have the grip and release, but could you get really specific on the arm angle and how to properly pull the ball down to create maximum top spin to cause the ball to rotate downward?

     Thanks for your time, and helping out the youth of today.   Your book is awesome, although at times the book sometimes is a little over my head, I love the knowledge that I have attained.   Believe it or not I have a master’s degree in exercise science.   That was over twenty years ago, if you don’t speak the language you do forget the language.   I love your technical information and would love to e-mail you with specific questions from time to time?


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     I do teach changeups, but I prefer that they have a variety of spin axes and spin velocities.   Changeups are pitches where, at release, the horizontal release velocity of the baseball is ten and twenty miles per hour slower than the horizontal velocity of the pitching arm.   I call my changeups, Maxline True Screwball, Maxline Pronation Curve, Maxline Fastball Sinker and Torque Fastball Slider.   I believe that these four pitches are far superior to the 'traditional' changeup, which is ten miles per hour slower that the pitching arm at release and does not make any definitive movement on its way to home plate.

     When they teach their curves, 'traditional' pitching coaches teach their pitchers to maximally pull their pitching arm down.   As a result, they destroy pitching arms.   I teach pitchers to drive behind the baseball in a straight line toward home plate and, to achieve the horizontal spin axis of the twelve to six curve, pronate their pitching forearm, wrist, hand and fingers horizontally through the top of the baseball.   As a result, my pitchers achieve very high spin velocity Maxline Pronation Curves with no stress on the front of their pitching shoulder, inside of their pitching elbow or, on the posterior side, under the tip of the extended elbow.

     I look forward to all questions.   They make my day.

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005.   I have read chapter 19.   I understand the horseshoes on the baseball away or toward the glove side.   What is the direction of the circle of force?

     Also what is the difference between Max line, and Max force when throwing the different pitches, two seem or four seam and other pitches?


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     Because I basically edit my Coaching Baseball Pitchers book annually, I am always concerned about how what I wrote in my book compares with what I am presently teaching.   My Question/Answer files always have my latest thoughts.   Nevertheless, I think that I can handle these questions.

     I have the open end of the horseshoe of the baseball point toward the pitching arm side on my Maxline Fastball and Maxline True Screwball.   I have the open end of the horseshoe of the baseball point toward the glove arm side on my Torque Fastball and Maxline Pronation Curve.   For the two fastballs, I want horizontal spin axes, which means twelve to six, but I want pitchers to slightly turn the glove side forward with my Maxline Fastball and the pitching arm side forward with my Torque Fastball.   As a result, the two short seams on the side of the baseball rotate in a small circle, which, when these seams collide with air molecules create horizontal forces that helps move these pitches laterally albeit in opposite directions away from those small circles of frictions.

     I named the pitches that move to the pitching arm side of home plate, MAXLINE, because, with my force application technique, pitchers can MAXimize the length of their driveLINE.   I named the pitches that move to the glove side of home plate, TORQUE, because, with my force application technique, pitchers have to turn, TORQUE, the baseballs from straight forward to toward the glove side of home plate.   I suppose I could have called them, TURN, but that does not seem sufficiently dramatic for headline writers.

     I do not know what you mean with, Max force.

     Except as it influences my Maxline Fastball Sinker and Torque Fastball Slider, I no longer teach two seam fastballs.   My Maxline Fastball Sinker is a two seam Maxline Fastball where pitchers apply diagonal force to the glove side of the baseball at release such that it spirals with the large circle of friction on the top, front surface of the baseball.   My Torque Fastball Sinker is a two seam Torque Fastball where pitchers apply diagonal force to the pitching arm side of the baseball at release such that it spirals with the large circle of friction on the top, front surface of the baseball.   These pitches move downward and laterally in opposite directions.   Until my pitchers master my four seam Maxline Fastball release and my four seam Torque Fastball release, I do not teach these pitches.

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006.   You have previously received and responded to messages from my son's college coach.   Attached is a brief summary of the what we have been through since July.   At this point my son has not thrown since early October yet he continues to have pain in the elbow.   That pain is along the ulnar groove on both sides of the elbow point.   His current doctor says we have to be patient.   But, I am not convinced we are on the right path.   Originally, you thought the problem was an irritation of the ulnar fascia.   If that is still your opinion, would it take this long for the pain to go away?

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     The MRI did not show any damage to his Ulnar Collateral Ligament.   I still believe that he has fascial tears on the inside of his elbow.   While these are painful, they are structurally insignificant.   The drop-under start of the forward movement of the pitching elbow and the accompanying pitching forearm flyout unnecessarily stresses this area.   Treatment starts with learning how to properly apply force to the baseball.   Treatment continues with simulations of this new pitching motion with mild resistance and repetitions.   Rest equals atrophy.   Atrophy equals increasing problems.   When the doctor said no throwing, but do a non-specific physical therapy program, he made a simple situation to correct into an impossible situation to correct.   My 280-Day Adult Pitchers Interval-Training Program is the answer.   If your son wants to have a pitching career, my recommendation is that he immediately comes to Zephyrhills, FL and start my program.

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007.   Love your first video and wondered if you had finished the revised (next) version?   Would like to get the next copy.   Also, I was running across some new info on a "Coaching Adult Pitchers" book that seems to be different than the one I downloaded "Coaching Pitchers".   How can I receive (or download) a copy?

     I've been trying to decide implementation of at the High School where I coach.   I handle Strength & Conditioning and Pitching.   I have some questions.

1.   Icing vs. Non-icing after Pitching?   I hear too much controversy on the subject lately from the Big's to major college programs.

2.   Lactic Acid and whether icing and running the day of or after pitching is necessary?

3.   Your thoughts on conditioning the "Decelerator" muscles?

4.   Jobe exercises?   Tubing vs. pulleys vs. light (3-5lb) dumbbell?   What's best for conditioning Rotator Cuff, etc?


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     When I first put my materials on-line, I had a Coaching Adolescent Pitchers book and a Coaching Adult Pitchers book.   After a year or so, I combined them into a Coaching Pitchers book.   When I complete my next rewrite, after I finish my second Instructional Videotape, I will call my book, Coaching Baseball Pitchers.   In any case, if you have found my material under the title of Coaching Adult Pitchers, I have to assume that the material is at least two rewrites old.   What I presently have on-line is the latest, but it is about one year old and we do seem to learn something new that will help the teaching and learning process weekly.

     I promise that I am working every day as hard as I can to get my second Instructional Videotape done.   It is a much bigger job than the first and I still have to coach twenty pitchers every day, answer emails every day, continue to remodel the apartments in which these twenty pitchers live and so on, and so on and so on.   Even though we are still refining the process and we do not have the perfection that we are seeking, I also promise you that it will be worth the wait and greatly advance the science of baseball pitching.

1.   When pitchers put their pitching arm in ice, the hyperemic reaction passively increases blood flow to the area.   When pitchers throw twenty-four baseballs at a blood flow intensity, between fifty and seventy-five percent of maximum, the body dramatically redistributes blood flow to those specific muscles.   I suppose that pitchers could chose one or the other or do both.   I prefer the latter, but I also want to make certain that how they apply force does not unnecessarily stress the pitching arm.

2.   When athletes perform at intensities greater than their anaerobic threshold, between fifty and seventy-five percent of maximum depending on the anaerobic fitness of each athlete for each motor skill, they can produce lactic acid as a result of the incomplete metabolism of their stored muscle glycogen.   However, I question whether baseball pitching is an anaerobic activity.   I agree that pitchers throw baseballs above seventy-five percent of their maximum intensity, but it does not last for more than two-tenths of a second per pitch.   Then, they rest for about twenty times their work interval.   If they do metabolize muscle glycogen for the resynthesis of adenosine-triphosphate, I believe that they do not overload the glycolytic system to the point that they produce lactic acid.   Nevertheless, I jog every day and taking their pitching arm for a blood flow bucket of throws will insure that their slow-twitch oxidative muscle fibers metabolize any stray lactic acid molecules.

3.   My wrist weight exercises train the muscles that decelerate the pitching arm.   They are the true pliometric training that is specific to baseball pitching, not this silly bouncing up and down, catching medicine balls and so on that appears to be the latest rage.

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008.   What's your advice on the following?   Take a 6'3 pitcher with good, hard-moving stuff, with solid mechanics, but has long arm path and not deceptive.   Greg Maddox has great stuff and pin-point control, but I believe his ability to hide the ball, along with a short arm path, is maybe his best asset.   Is there a solution to this problem?

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     I disagree that Mr. Maddox has 'solid mechanics.'   I would say that he is smart enough not to push his bad mechanics.   However, without high-speed film and our agreement on what we should base our assessment of 'solid mechanics,' I doubt that I can make you understand without educating you far more than I can do here.   You will first have to read my Coaching Baseball Pitchers book.

     When you say that Mr. Maddox has great stuff, what you are really saying is that his fastball moves like a sinker, that is, toward the pitching arm side of home plate and downward and his change-up moves like a screwball, also toward the pitching arm side of home plate and downward.   He has a so-so curve, but he knows that it is so-so, so he rarely uses it.   This means that he dominates the pitching arm side of home plate with his fastball speed and his change-up speed, which is ten miles per hour slower.   Glove side pull hitters cannot hit these pitches, therefore, Mr. Maddox gets them out easily.   Pitching arm side spray hitters has difficulty with these pitches, therefore, unless he tries to backdoor the glove side of home plate with his fastball, Mr. Maddox usually does well with them.   This leaves the glove side spray hitters and the pitching arm side pull hitters.   Because he does not have a fastball that moves toward the glove side of home plate and/or a minus ten mile per hour pitch that also moves toward the glove side of home plate, he has difficulty with these batters.   Further, Mr. Maddox does not have any minus twenty mile per hour pitches, such as my Maxline Pronation Curve and Maxline True Screwball with which he could throw when he has two strikes to close out at bats.   What I am saying is; Mr. Maddox has limited pitch selection and decent command, but his greatest asset is that he knows how to sequence his pitches to minimize potential damage.

     I do not believe that any of this has to do with long or short arm paths, but I do like movement and I have nothing against control, but, with my concept of baseball pitching, I accept maximum intensity strikes over reduced intensity precise locations.

     The successful baseball pitchers of my future vision will throw two fastballs; one will move toward the pitching arm side of home plate, my Maxline Fastball, and the other will move toward the glove side of home plate, my Torque Fastball.   They will also throw two minus ten miles per hour pitches; one will move toward the pitching arm side of home plate, my Maxline Fastball Sinker, and the other will move toward the glove side of home plate, my Torque Fastball Slider.   Lastly, they will also throw two minus twenty miles per hour pitches; they will both move toward the pitching arm side of home plate, my Maxline True Screwball and my Maxline Pronation Curve.

     I understand that these pitchers will require much, much more top-quality coaching than they presently receive and they will need to train throughout the year without 'resting' their pitching arm.   When eight baseball pitchers master these pitches with plus ninety miles per hour release velocity and the pitch sequence knowledge that I write about in Chapter Twenty-Eight of my Coaching Baseball Pitchers book, they will dominate college and major league baseball.

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009.   Some questions.

1.   Why does throwing a ball with two seem ¾ arm angle move more than a 4 seem fastball at ¾ arm angle.

2.   Please talk about the Magnus effect- the physics part of it.   (In simple language as possible I’m coaching high school and younger athletes.

3.   I have heard that a lot of power pitchers close their stance toward arm side.   When they start their movement it is a jab step to the side.

4.   I also heard they like to throw against their bodies a little.

5.   They also seem to spin off a firm front side and swing the hip around quickly.   How stiff do you want the front landing leg?   I was always told, firm landing, but you still need separation from the rubber and allow the chest to get over the front knee, and the backside needs to get through.

6.   If you follow the pitching bio-mechanics is the follow-through natural?


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     My answers.

1.   There is no such thing as three-quarter pitching arm angle.   It is anatomically IMPOSSIBLE for pitchers to raise their pitching upper arm above a line that is parallel with the line across the top of their shoulders.   In addition, except for the loss of their extension range of motion as a result of slamming their olecranon process into its olecranon fossa, the longitudinal axes of the pitching upper arm and the pitching forearm of 'traditional' pitchers line up.   Therefore, when 'traditional' pitchers throw what you called, with a three-quarter pitching arm angle, all they really are doing is leaning their shoulders forty-five degrees to their glove side.

     The reason why pitches move relates to what part of the baseball is colliding with the air molecules on their way to home plate.

     With perfectly horizontal backspin axes, the four and two-seam fastballs would move similarly, except with four seams colliding with the air molecules, the four-seam fastballs will not drop as fast as the two-seam fastballs.

     With forty-five degree horizontal backspin axes and the glove side of the baseballs turned forty-five degrees forward, the four-seam fastball would only have a small circle of friction on the glove side provided by the circularly spinning short seams and the two-seam fastball would have a much larger circle of friction on the glove side provided by the circularly spinning loop of seams that make up one-half of the figure eight stitching.   Therefore, the two-seam fastball would move more dramatically.   I explain this in Chapter Nineteen of my Coaching Baseball Pitchers book.

2.   With the third paragraph above, I explain the Magnus Effect.   With the fourth paragraph above, I explain the Marshall Effect.   Both explain what happens when the seams of baseballs collide with air molecules.   I explain Bernoulli's fluid flow equation in Chapter Nineteen of my Coaching Baseball Pitchers book.

3.   'Traditional' pitchers step across the line from their pitching foot toward home plate because they take the baseball so far laterally behind their body to their glove side that the first forward force that they apply to the baseball is primarily so lateral to their pitching arm side that the sideways momentum throws them to their pitching arm side.   As a result, they have to unnecessarily stress their pitching arm to try to correct these inappropriate force and redirect the baseball back to their glove side to get somewhere near home plate.   The 'traditional' pitching motion destroys the pitching arm.   There is no part of that motion that any pitcher should emulate.

4.   By against their body, if you mean that the 'traditional' pitching motion forces pitchers to stride so far forward that their glove foreleg stabs into the ground and stops any further forward movement of their center of mass, then I agree.   This terrible, terrible pitching flaw greatly unnecessarily stresses the glove ankle, knee and hip.   Ask Randy Johnson and Mark Mulder.

5.   What you describe is precisely what no pitcher should ever do.   Pitchers should uniformly move their center of mass straight forward from the 'Ready' position to the end of the deceleration phase.   I recommend that pitchers delay lifting their glove foot off the ground until they start the baseball straight forward toward home plate from the 'Ready' position.   Then, pitcher should only step as far forward as they can smoothly move their pitching leg ahead of their glove leg.

6.   What people call, follow-through, is actually nothing more that the centripetal imperative of a curvilinear force application pathway.   The end of their deceleration phase occurs when they extend their pitching arm as far forward toward home plate as they can.   I recommend a rectilinear force application pathway.   Therefore, when my pitchers extend their pitching arm straight toward home plate, they have completely decelerated their pitching arm.

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010.   I know this is way off the subject, and I apologize in advance, but I am trying to get in touch with your ex-wife.   I just read Home Games, and I would love to talk to her about it.   I assume she is a lawyer in Minnesota and has changed her last name, but I could be completely wrong about all of that.   I have tried plugging many different things in the search engine but come up with nothing.   If you could give me an email address or even a name, I would really appreciate it.   Her book really hit home with me, and I would love to let her know that.

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     While I am in almost daily communication with our children, I have not seen or spoken with my ex-wife in over twenty years.   Other than through our children, I have no idea how to contact her and I would never give that contact information to anybody.   I do know that she is not a lawyer, that was a ruse to get more money.

     I doubt that you are interested, but what she wrote about herself in that book was less than half true and what she wrote about me was primarily paranoid fantasies.   You should read the book in that context, i.e., as fiction.   Basically, I think that the book portrays her as is a whiner who blamed everybody else for everything that she failed to earn for herself.   I cannot see how any part of that book can 'hit home' with anyone, except to never be like her.

     In case you have not figured it out, but neither she or the former Mrs. Bouton wrote those letters when they say that they did, they made them up later.   The entire book is a fraud.   They duped you.

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011.   I was planning to come down at the end of next week to watch and learn.   Do you have any objections to me video taping the workout?   Don't worry, I plan on buying your new tape as soon as it comes out.

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     Whether they buy my second Instructional Videotape or not, everybody is welcome any time and everybody can videotape to their heart's delight.   I look forward to seeing you again.

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012.   Are you paying attention to the Pete Rose situation?   I would like to know what you think.   You pitched to him, didn't you?

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     When every professional baseball player walks into any baseball clubhouse at every level of baseball, the first thing that they see is a sign that says if you bet on baseball, then baseball will ban you for life.   Pete Rose did what Shoeless Joe Jackson never did, he admitted that he broke the rule.   True, he lied for several years before he told the truth, but the truth is he broke the rule, he jeopardized the integrity of baseball.   I believe that baseball should ban Pete Rose for life.

     With regard to whether the writers should vote on whether Pete Rose belongs in the Hall of Fame, did the writers get to vote on whether Shoeless Joe Jackson belonged?   Nevertheless, I think that the writers should vote on whether Pete Rose belongs in the Hall of Fame.

     With regard to the type of major league baseball players belongs in the Hall of Fame, I believe that position players and pitchers should at least be the best player on their team unless the better players are already in.   Hall of Famers should demonstrate abilities and accomplishments that very, very few colleagues also achieved.   I want the best of the best of each era.

     I did pitch to Pete Rose.   I faced Mr. Rose forty-three times.   I walked him five times.   I struck him out five times.   He had nine singles, seven with nobody on base.   He had one home run.   He had three runs batted in.   He batted .263.   However, if how hitters did against me meant anything, several Hall of Famers from my era would not be in.

     More important to me is that Mr. Rose was never even close to being the best player on his team.   Joe Morgan was better.   Tony Perez was better.   Johnny Bench was better.   Ken Griffey, Sr. was better.   Dan Dreissen was better.   Dave Conception was better.   George Foster was better.   I even preferred to pitch to Mr. Rose rather than Cesar Geronimo.   In other words, I believe that Mr. Rose got all those hits because pitchers preferred to give him pitches to hit rather than any other batter on his team.   He did not have base speed, but he batted leadoff.   Quality batters, especially those without speed, bat third or fourth.

     I also believe that, for writers to consider them for the Hall of Fame, pitchers should be the best pitcher on their team.   If they did not pitch against the best pitcher of their opponent's team, then, I do not care how many wins they had, they do not belong.   Number two starting pitchers or below do not belong in the Hall of Fame.

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013.   I was planning to come down at the end of next week to watch and learn.   Do you have any objections to me video taping the workout?   Don't worry, I plan on buying your new tape as soon as it comes out.

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     Whether they buy my second Instructional Videotape or not, everybody is welcome to visit my Pitcher Research/Training Center any time and everybody is welcome to videotape to their heart's delight.   I look forward to seeing you again.

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014.   I purchased your pitching video late last year and thoroughly enjoyed it.   I have been involved in baseball as both a player and a coach.   I have coached high school baseball for 23 years.   I have purchased countless videos, books and other instructional aids on baseball hitting, pitching, etc.   Your knowledge and expertise due to your background of the body and experience as a major league all-star, I think cannot be matched.

     I have a strong desire to learn more.   I also have two sons ages 12 and 14 that I would like to be able to teach this to.   Do you only give lessons in Florida or do you travel?   We are located in the northern middle east.   Are you ever in this area?   Would you ever consider doing some teaching in this area?


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     I only train high school and junior college graduates for forty-weeks starting the fourth Saturday in August and high school juniors and seniors for eight-weeks starting the second Saturday in June.   I do not travel.   The best that I can offer is my second Instructional Videotape and my annual edit of my Coaching Baseball Pitchers book.   With but a couple of hours off to train the nineteen pitchers presently training with me, I am presently at my computer from 6:00AM through 10:30PM.

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015.   Before getting to my question I once again feel compelled to express my sense of admiration for what you are doing.   I have kept up to date with all of the questions and comments contained in your E-mail forum and continue to be amazed by the depth of your passion for and commitment to the science (not art) of pitching.   In recent E-mails you have been challenged by a gentleman who I believe has taken groundless swipes at your intentions and integrity.   I read your responses very carefully.   YOU STICK TO THE FACTS AND SEEK TO FIND THE TRUTH, EVEN IF THAT MEANS ADMITTING THAT YOU ARE WRONG TO SOMEONE WHO HAS REDUCED HIS INQUIRY TO A PERSONAL LEVEL.   It is partly because of that that I have great trust in what you are doing and saying.

     Now my question.   My son is beginning his winter workouts with his HS team.   I am very anxious about giving him an opportunity to see your concepts in action.   I've conveyed as much as I could from my interpretation of your book, but you know what they say, a picture is worth 1000 words.   I know that you are working very hard to get the new video going and understand that it may take some time to finally finish it.   Does your older video provide the type of "visuals" I am looking for, specifically a comparative illustration of the traditional pitching method and your method.   I've spoken to my son about your force application concepts.   Will he be able to see them in action in the video?   I guess the question is simple, should I purchase the old video or wait for the new one?


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     I put my first Instructional Videotape together as a result of readers threatening to storm my house in Zephyrhills, if I did not show them how to perform my training drills.   I was not ready.   My kids were not ready.   Nevertheless, I put as much into the videotape as I could.   While I have adjusted my drills somewhat, they remain sufficiently similar that someone can follow the first video and adjust to my second video when I have it ready.   However, I did not discuss how my pitching motion differs from the 'traditional.'

     In my second video, I will carefully and thoroughly discuss and show how the 'traditional' pitching motion destroys pitching arm and how my pitching motion differs.   This time, all my kids will show how to properly perform my drills.   I will have high-speed film of the releases of all my pitches as well as my pitching motion and drills.   This videotape is so large and complex that I have had to purchase a two hundred and fifty gigabyte hard drive in which to store my clips.

     Lastly, as I have told everybody else, if you do purchase my first video, I will take seventy-five percent off the price of my second.

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016.   I am interested in purchasing your second video.   Could you please give me the information necessary to obtain it?

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     I will post when I have my second Instructional Videotape ready in my Instructional Videotape file on my web site.   I prefer to not receive any payments prior to when I have the video ready to ship.

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017.   I think I played against you.   Were you at Bakersfield at all in 1962?   I played for Fresno.   Centerfield.

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     Yes.   The entire year.   Shortstop.

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018.   You commented: "I believe that Mr. Rose got all those hits because pitchers preferred to give him pitches to hit rather than any other batter on his team."   Either I have misinterpreted your statement or you are implying pitchers have a limited supply of quality pitches to make to hitters through the lineup and they should distribute them only to the best hitters.   If a relatively poor hitter is selective and the pitcher falls behind him in the count, I can see a pitcher targeting his pitches more toward the center of the plate, but that's not stated in your response and that's not necessarily Rose's tendency.   If a pitcher throws the same quality pitches to the worst 4 hitters in the lineup as he throws to the best 5, wouldn't he throw less pitches and ultimately be more effective?   Why would a pitcher give in to a hitter like Rose who wasn't particularly selective just because he wasn't, in your words, one of the best 5 hitters in the lineup?   Your explanation doesn't make sense.

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     I do not recall commenting on whether Mr. Rose was more or less selective in his choice of pitches than any other batters to try to hit.   While I will agree that it is easier to pitch to batters who voluntarily swing at pitches outside of the strike zone, I did not include Mr. Rose in that category.

     I also do not recall saying that pitchers have limited supply of high quality pitches.   However, when pitchers try to increase the quality of their pitches, both with throwing their fastballs harder and moving their non-fastballs more dramatically, their strike to ball ratio decreases and pitchers do not want to walk singles hitters with no baserunning speed.

     But, the quality of the individual pitches does not fully answer the question.   Which pitch that pitchers select to throw also defines high quality pitches.   On first pitches, one ball no strikes counts, two ball no strikes counts, two ball one strike counts, three ball one strike counts and three balls two strike counts, batters prefer fastballs.   Therefore, when pitchers throw something else, it is a higher quality pitch.

     Lastly, not all non-fastballs are of the same quality.   For example, a slider is not the same quality as a curve and a sinker is not the same quality as a screwball.   Also, when pitchers have concern that batters will hit home runs, they work harder to throw higher quality pitches.   Usually, when pitchers have baserunners in scoring position or pitching to the top five hitters on a team, they throw their higher quality pitches.

     I will never believe that hiding in the shadow of the quality hitters and picking up the crumbs qualifies anybody for the Hall of Fame, even if they do it for a long time.   I do not measure the number of the hits, I measure what kinds of hits they were, what time of the game they get them and whether pitchers prefer to pitch to that batter than the previous or next.   I include number three starters who win three hundred games in this category.

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019.   I have a young pitcher who has come to me with deltoid soreness in the belly of the medial muscle.   All the tightness appears to be in the muscle and not towards the attachments.   He has "traditional" mechanics and raises the ball to throwing position with the fingers on top.   The tenderness goes away after warm-ups but is frustrating to him and a red flag to me.   What would cause this soreness?   How do we treat the current soreness?   What force application changes need to occur?

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     When pitchers have discomfort in the belly of the middle deltoid muscle, it means that he needs to do my crow-step with shakedowns wrist weight exercise.   He should start with ten pound wrist weights and do at least sixteen daily.   His middle deltoid muscle is insufficiently fit to raise his pitching upper arm to shoulder height and keep it there.

     I share your concern that he keeps his fingers on top of the baseball during the Preparation/Transition Phase.   This always causes a late forearm turnover and a reverse forearm bounce and does unnecessarily stress his middle deltoid.   However, the front of the shoulder and inside of the elbow usually take the brunt of these flaws.

     With regard to what force application changes he needs to make, I would probably have to rewrite Chapter Thirty-Seven of my Coaching Baseball Pitchers book here.   For short-term help, get him a pair of ten pound wrist weights.

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020.   I'm trying to picture how to correctly perform and explain the trigger from the set position.   Do you take the ball out of the glove and then cross your wrists (how is this done to best hide your grip on the baseball from the batter?   Pitching wrist over the top of the glove wrist?) and then begin to pendulum swing to start the transition phase?

     As the wrist, hand and forearm begin to supinate in the transition phase, you explain to shift your weight back to the pitching leg and then just prior to reaching driveline height you would then lift the glove foot off the ground.   What position is the upper arm and forearm in when the glove foot should be lifted off the ground?   Am I correct to say that it should be a couple inches away from laying your forearm on top of your upper arm at driveline height?

     When pitching in a game and using the maxline and torque drivelines to home plate, it seems as though the intelligent batters will figure out by where the pitcher stands on the rubber the location the pitcher is trying to pitch (inside or outside).   Do you teach your advanced students methods to overcome this?


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     The key to the set position is rhythm.   I teach my pitchers the proper rhythm with my wrist weight warm-up exercise, crow-step with shakedowns.   With their feet angled at thirty degrees from the pitching rubber, they simultaneously and subtlely cross their wrists, pitching arm below, and slide their pitching foot forward a couple of inches.

     Then, when they start their pitching arm downward and backward parallel with their acromial line, which I now want at ten degrees forward of perpendicular to the driveline toward home plate, they simultaneously start their glove arm downward and forward and lock their pitching hip to prevent any reverse rotation.   To get to the 'Ready' position, pitchers should pendulum swing, which means absolutely no horizontal component, their glove arm to shoulder height pointing toward home plate with their palm downward, their pitching arm to driveline height toward second base with their pitching forearm vertical and their palm forward and the toe of their glove foot still contacting the ground.   Rather than stopping, I prefer to think of the 'Ready' position like smoothly turning the corner from moving backward and upward to driving behind the baseball straight forward.   In this way, pitchers can start their forward drive with some positive velocity.

     After pitchers 'lock' their pitching arm and shoulder to their body, they start to powerfully 'step' forward off the pitching rubber with their pitching leg.   Pitchers must not use their pitching elbow to 'drag' the pitching forearm and baseball forward.   Instead, pitchers must 'lock' their pitching forearm and baseball with their pitching upper arm and carry it forward while they lean their shoulders to their glove side and flex their pitching elbow until, at release, the angle of their shoulders and the degrees of separation of their pitching forearm from their pitching upper arm is at least ninety degrees, which means that their pitching forearm is vertical.

     To understand what pitchers should do with their glove foot, I need to return to immediately after pitchers powerfully step forward off the pitching rubber with their pitching foot.   At that moment, pitchers should still have the toe of their glove foot on the ground.   While I do have my pitchers practice my 'no-stride transition' throwing drill and they throw very well, at this moment, I do want them to step straight forward to the glove side of the driveline for their pitching leg.

     I want pitchers to move their pitching knee inward toward their glove knee and forwardly rotate their body straight forward until the pitching forearm and baseball move beside their head.   At this time, I want pitchers to initiate the 'power triad.'   That is, I want them to powerfully pull their glove straight backward into their glove armpit, I want them to push with their glove foot straight backward toward second base and I want them to inwardly rotate their pitching shoulder, extend their pitching elbow and pronate their pitching forearm, wrist, hand and fingers straight toward home plate.   In this way, pitchers will move their center of mass straight forward until the end of the deceleration phase of their pitching arm.

     Now, to answer your questions.   The 'trigger' action starts the pitching motion.   Let me copy the first paragraph.   "The key to the set position is rhythm.   With my wrist weight warm-up exercise, crow-step with shakedowns, I teach my pitchers the proper rhythm.   To start, they simultaneously cross their wrists, pitching arm below, and slide their pitching foot forward a couple of inches."

     In games, umpires will not permit pitchers to slide their pitching foot forward.   But, pitchers do not have to.   They only need to 'feel' the rhythm.   As long as they keep their pitching foot in contact with the pitching rubber, they can slightly lift the heel of their pitching foot with the crow-step rhythm.   But, umpires will not object if they simultaneously lift their pitching hand and glove hand a few inches while they remove their pitching hand and baseball from the glove and slide them along their glove wrist.   With the glove covering the baseball, they can start their double arm pendulum swing parallel with their acromial line.

     I do want pitchers to shift their body weight to their pitching foot during the double pendulum swing, but I do not want them to move their center of mass backwards.   During the 'trigger' action, pitchers might appear to move upward and forward, but they should only slightly move their center of mass forward and, during the double pendulum swing, they should prevent their center of mass from moving backward.

     To prevent any last second reverse rotation, I want pitchers to keep their glove foot on the ground until they start to powerfully step straight forward off the pitching rubber.   This is in keeping with the crow-step pitching rhythm that does not permit pitchers to start their body forward until their pitching arm is at driveline height.   You are correct when you describe when pitchers should step straight forward with their glove foot as, 'a couple inches away from laying their pitching forearm on top of their pitching upper arm at driveline height.'

     We love to have batters think that we only throw Maxline Fastballs from the glove side of the pitching rubber and Torque Fastballs from the pitching arm side.   While I have not recently reviewed my 1st, 2nd and 3rd At Bat Pitch Sequences for Youth and High School Pitchers in Chapter Twenty-Eight of my Coaching Baseball Pitchers book, I do believe that I do have them throw what I call Maxline Torque Fastballs from the glove side of the pitching rubber and Torque Maxline Fastballs from the pitching arm side of the pitching rubber.   With a little directional adjustment with the glove foot forward steps, pitchers can stand on the glove side of the pitching rubber and throw to the glove side of home plate and stand on the pitching arm side of the pitching rubber and throw to the pitching arm side of home plate.

     Besides, don't 'traditional' pitchers only stand on one side of the pitching rubber and throw their fastballs and non-fastballs.   When my pitchers stand on the glove side of the pitching rubber, they can throw Maxline Fastballs, Maxline Fastball Sinkers, Maxline True Screwballs and Maxline Pronation Curves.   I don't see where hitters are better off than against 'traditional' pitchers.   I agree that when my pitchers stand on the pitching arm side of the pitching rubber, they only throw Torque Fastballs and Torque Fastball Sliders, but an occasional Torque Maxline Fastball from the pitching arm side might keep them from leaning over the plate too far.

     After my pitchers master the basic six pitches that I believe that all pitchers must have to meaningfully pitch competitively, I do have other suggestions of how they can combine the Torque force application technique with other spin axes beside Torque Fastball and Torque Fastball Slider.

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021.   My 17 year old son pulled a hamstring during baseball conditioning.   What advise can you offer for treating this?   3 years ago he pulled a muscle in his upper back and you suggested ice followed immediately by light swinging of the bat to get the blood flowing to the damaged area.   Should he do any light running after icing the hamstring?

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     Athletes 'pull' their hamstrings because they have residual muscle tension in their antagonist muscles.   Only muscles can 'pull' muscles.   The layman term for the four muscles of the back of the upper leg is hamstrings.   However, to understand why athletes tear this muscle tissue, we need to be more specific.

     Humans sit on their Ischial Tuberosity.   The Semimembranosis, Semitendonosis and long head of the Biceps Femoris muscles attach to the Ischial Tuberosity of the hip.   The Tibial portion of the Sciatic Nerve sends contraction and relaxation signals to these three muscles.   The short head of the Biceps Femoris muscle arises from the posterior side of the bone of the upper leg, the Femor.   The Peroneal portion of the Sciatic Nerve sends contraction and relaxation signal to this muscle.   The antagonistic muscles of the hamstrings is the quadriceps.

     When the quadriceps contract, the hamstrings must relax.   Any co-contraction of antagonist muscles during rapid bone movement unnecessarily stresses the muscles that should be relaxing.   Sometimes, over-zealous coaches ask their eager athletes to move their bones at high rates of movement without insuring that the athletes have the muscle fitness to totally relax while the antagonist muscles contract or have perfected the motor unit contraction and relaxation sequence that includes the timely reciprocal inhibition signal arriving at the muscles that should totally relax.   Unfortunately, for the short head of the Biceps Femoris muscle, this is a more complicated process.   A different nerve signals the short head of the Biceps Femoris than signals the long head of the Biceps Femoris, Semimembranosis and Semitendonosis.   As a result, the short head of the Biceps Femoris may not get it's relaxation signal before the quadriceps contract and the short head of the Biceps Femoris muscle tears.

     If this is what happened to your son, he should have a knot in the middle of the back of his upper leg.   If he is extremely tight all the way up to his Ischial Tuberosity, it is a much more serious injury.   He can recover from the short head tear in weeks, the other takes months.   As soon as possible, he needs to return to whatever walking or jogging intensity he can tolerate without making the injury worse the next day.   Ice, diathermy, ultra sound, deep muscle massage do little, but, if he cannot move at all, that is all that is available.   He must increase blood flow to the injured tissue.   The redistribution of blood due to the production of waste products from and replacement of nutrients to the injured muscle fibers is best.

     After the knot goes away, your son should do what the coach should have taught him how to do, that is, gently increase the intensity of the running movement over several days for only a few minutes per day.   As the muscles become fit and he perfects the sequence of the motor unit contraction and relaxation signals, he can start my 'speed-ups.'   With my 'speed-ups,' athletes jog easily for about twenty yards, then, gently increase the intensity for ten yards and gradually decrease the intensity back to jog.   That represents one repetition.   I recommend that athletes begin with ten repetitions of this forty yard drill with ten seconds of walking between.   After the athletes gradually increase their intensity to maximum over several more days, they can start increasing by two repetitions every third day to a maximum of twenty repetitions.   For uninjured athletes, this process takes three weeks of daily training.   For injured athletes, it takes much longer.

     If his coach had received a proper Physiology of Exercise course, certainly mine, he would not have injured your son.   In my seven years of college coaching, no position player has ever 'pulled' a hamstring or a quad.

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022.   Thank you for your hospitality during our visit over the Christmas holidays.   As always, we really enjoyed watching the work.   I learn so much every time we are there.   My oldest son really looked great.   No other word for it.   He probably does not realize how much progress he has made, especially in strength.

     My young, high school son finally got over the flu, and is back to his workouts with a vengeance.   He usually throws three to five buckets per day, mixing up his pitches each day.   The curve is still great, but we will have to find a fix for the friction burn on top of his ring finger.   By the end of his work, the area is bleeding.   He is going to try some of the skin glue type products over the coming weeks to find some help.   After our visit, his screwball has improved 100%.

     In trying to get a better torque fastball rotation, I suggested he try throwing a slider with pronation, then back off on the severity of the angle of rotation.   Well, that worked pretty good on getting the proper torque fastball rotation.   Much more movement.

     But the funny thing is, he is throwing a hell of a slider.   You might get mad about that, but it was not intentional.   I think he just gets on top of a torque fastball, and man, you should see the break.   I am afraid he is hooked on throwing it.   Great control.

     Then, of course he got the idea to try the sinker while he was at it.   Same story.   Getting on top of a maxline fastball, and letting it roll off the side of his middle finger.   Great sharp late break.

     If you say so, I will make sure he stops throwing the slider and sinker.   Just say the word.   Above all, he is having fun.


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     I had the same problem with my ring finger.   I taped it every off-season training day with a one-inch high-quality flexible bandage that I bought in grosses.

     You are correct.   I do not want your young, high school son practicing my Torque Fastball Slider.   First, I worry that he will start dropping his pitching hand under the baseball and injure the inside of this pitching elbow.   Second, while it might fool high school batters, it will not fool major league batters.   And, it is valuable only in fastball counts.

     He needs to master the Torque Fastball.   He needs to feel as though his pitching fingers are horizontal at release.   Like you saw my pitchers practicing, to learn the proper Torque Fastball release, he should find a junior size football, put his index and middle finger on opposite sides of the point of the football, use my Torque Pickoff Pronation drill, point the football toward his target and extend his throwing elbow straight toward the glove side and pronate his throwing forearm such that the football rotates horizontally end over end to this glove side.

     Unless it interferes with practicing my Maxline True Screwball, I do not have any problem with him throwing my Maxline Fastball Sinker.   At all levels, it is the best pitch in baseball.

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023.   I have a 19 year old son who will be pitching as a freshman at a university this spring.   When he extends his pitching arm out in front of him palm facing up, he can not extend it to straight so that it is parallel to the floor.   The pitching arm is about 15 degrees higher then his other arm.   He has no pain, but has lost some velocity.

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     In Chapter Ten of my Coaching Baseball Pitchers book, I discuss the causes of decreases in the flexion and extension ranges of motion of the pitching arm.   These causes are insidious in that neither of these causes necessarily result in sufficient discomfort that pitchers complain.   Nevertheless, they do permanently deform the pitching arm.   For your son to not be able to straighten his pitching arm as far as he can straighten his glove arm indicates that he uses the 'traditional' pitching motion that fails to protect the olecranon fossa of the back of his upper arm bone, Humerus, from collisions with the olecranon process of the tip of one of his forearm bones, Ulna.

     The complete answer is to learn how to properly apply force with my 280-Day Adult Pitchers Interval-Training Program, wherein pitchers learn how to pronate the pitching forearm on all pitches.   Forearm pronation protects the olecranon fossa from the olecranon process.   Forearm pronation means that pitchers powerfully turn their pitching thumb to point downward immediately after release.

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024.   I’m a Canadian writer on assignment for a monthly online publication that provides health and fitness content to universities, health clubs and medical centers.

     I’m currently writing a short piece about developing the deltoid muscles and would be delighted if you would agree to answer a few questions via email.   If you’re amenable, please let me know and I’ll send questions with the hope that your schedule would permit you to respond fairly quickly, ideally within a few days.


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     Before I can agree to take the time to answer your questions, I will need to look at your questions.

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025.   Thank you for agreeing to consider the following questions:

1.   Are the deltoids particularly responsive to exercise?   Perhaps you could make a specific recommendation(s).   Is it possible to over-develop the deltoids to adverse effect?

2.   What is the benefit in terms of athletic performance?


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1.   The Deltoid muscles respond to APPROPRIATELY-APPLIED physical stress the same as every other muscle in the body.   I train baseball pitchers.   They need to abduct (raise) their pitching and glove upper arms (Humerus bones) to shoulder height.   The middle Deltoid muscle does this.   They need to inwardly rotate their pitching and glove upper arms, the anterior Deltoid does this.   They need to outwardly rotate their pitching and glove upper arms, the posterior Deltoid does this.

     When athletes specifically train for their sport activities, they will achieve the proper fitness in the Deltoid muscles.   Nevertheless, I cannot envision a situation where athletes could develop their Deltoid muscles to excess or that very highly developed Deltoid muscles would have any adverse effect for any reason.

2.   I believe that, in my answer to your question one, I gave my answer to this question.

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026.   After a recent pitching lesson, my 14 year old son experienced pain in his elbow for the first time.   He normally ices after each lesson, however he did not after this one.   It was still sore after a week, however the soreness had subsided a bit.   We skipped his next lesson and took him to an orthopedic doctor.

     He x-rayed my son's elbow and found nothing wrong.   However he did state that his growth plate had closed.   The doctor did not act like this was uncommon nor did he seem concerned about it.   He advised 3 Advil twice a day for 10 days with no pitching for a week.   My son did throw a little that week, but no pitching.

     My son had his first pitching lesson since the soreness began, 4 days ago.   He did ice after this lesson and took 3 Advil.   The next morning his elbow was sore again.   I called the doctor and he told me not to let him throw at all for two weeks and continue the Advil.

     In researching elbow pain in youth pitcher's on the Internet, I came upon your site and read about premature growth plate closure in young pitchers.   My question to you is:   Does premature growth plate closure affect their pitching in the future?   Or does this pretty much guarantee he is "all washed up" at the tender age of 14?   And would you recommend resting his arm for longer than 2 weeks?


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     Normally, the growth plate for the medial epicondyle closes in biologically-aged sixteen year olds.   The number of months since someone was born represents chronological age.   In Chapter Five of my Coaching Baseball Pitchers book, I have a chart that I developed while completing my doctoral dissertation that shows that five percent of fourteen chronologically-aged young men are biologically sixteen years old.   Your son could be in that five percent.   However, baseball pitching can cause premature growth plate closure.   The only way for you to know whether the growth plate of the medial epicondyle of his pitching arm prematurely closed because of baseball pitching is to compare it with the growth plate of the medial epicondyle of his glove arm.   If the growth plate of the medial epicondyle of his glove arm is also closed, then baseball pitching did not accelerate it closure.

     While, when growth plates close, no further normal growth and development of that growth plate can occur, it only means that that aspect of the bone will never be the full adult size that genetics intended.   It is still good bone.   It will still respond to appropriately-applied training.   All is not lost, he just has less with which to work.

     However, I am very concerned about the discomfort he is experiencing before, during and after someone teaches him how to apply force to his baseball pitches.   I have no doubt that the coach is teaching him the 'traditional' pitching motion with too much reverse rotation, pitching elbow drop-under, pitching forearm flyout, pitching elbow pull across and downward and more, all of which unnecessarily stresses the inside of his pitching elbow and will eventually permanently destroy his pitching arm.

     While, in general, because inactivity means atrophy, I disagree with the doctor's advice to rest and medicate, with the coach teaching him harmful techniques, it might be better for him to stop.   On the other hand, if he wants to learn how to pronate his pitching forearm correctly to achieve the proper spin axes for my Maxline Fastball, Maxline True Screwball, Maxline Pronation Curve and Torque Fastball, he could learn how to do my throwing drills.   I am presently working on the second version of my Instructional Videotape and my Coaches' Eye Videotape.   After I finish those, I will edit my Coaching Baseball Pitchers book to bring it up to date with what we are doing today.   You can copy my present Coaching Baseball Pitchers book at my web site at www.drmikemarshall.com in the FREE BOOK!!! file.

     Lastly, no pitcher at any age should have to 'ice' his pitching arm after throwing and, certainly, no pitcher at any age should have to medicate for the pain that pitching caused him.

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027.   I would like a little more information, if you wouldn't mind.

1.   Could you explain how and where our son could participate in your 280 day training program?   I have read some of your material on the web and I think it is way over our son's head, mine, as well!   I have a background in business, not physiology or kinesiology.

2.   Our son has trained under a pitching coach who stressed mechanics over speed.   Our son has never had an arm injury of any sort and has been diligent to ice after games and practices.   In your opinion, however, he has most probably never been instructed to use the right position for his thumb upon release.   Correct?   Is there a way to have his mechanics evaluated by someone who looks at this problem from your perspective?   Do you know anyone in our area?

3.   What type of damage will our son sustain if he continues to pitch this season the way he has been trained?   We have been referred to an orthopedist who specializes in sports related elbow injuries, but our son does not want to miss games or practices in order to come back from college and wants to wait until after the season.   Should this condition be immediately addressed?   Are there any exercises he can do in the interim to begin to correct this problem?


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     The Pitching Instruction icon on the home page of my web site at www.drmikemarshall.com explains the normal circumstances under which I train pitchers.   However, because I recently expanded the housing I have available and I been working hard to get them to acceptable habitable condition, I am presently able to accept another pitching partner.

     To protect the extension range of motion for their pitching elbow, pitchers must learn how to pronate the releases of all pitches.   I do not know of anybody in your area who could evaluate or teach your son how to pronate his releases.   However, we welcome visitors at any time.   While, without being partners, he cannot train at my Pitcher Research/Training Center, he can watch what my kids do and ask questions that I will answer.

     If your son continues to use the 'traditional' pitching motion and supinate his curve, slider and/or fastball releases, then he will continue to lose his pitching elbow extension range of motion.   He also will never become the best pitcher that he can be.   If he is serious about becoming the best pitcher he can be, then I recommend that he does not waste another semester of college eligibility and start my 280-Day Adult Pitchers Interval-Training Program either on his own or here in Zephyhills, FL.

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028.   If we were to digitally record our son's pitching motion, would you review and provide us with your assessment and possibly a recommendation?

     I think it might also be helpful to better understand a little more background on our son.   We live in a reasonably warm climate area and he has been pitching competitive baseball since he was eight year old, for six years.   This generally means approximately seventy games per year: three-four practices per week, and four-five games per week over sixteen week seasons.

     We have been extremely careful, both us as parents and his coaches, to limit pitch counts to no more than eighty per game and generally two games per week.   My son has always had very good command of the strike zone so his pitch count per game does not vary too much around the seventy average and is generally lower than his peers.

     About two years ago, at twelve years old, my son began receiving weekly private pitching lessons from an ex-professional baseball pitcher and one of his assistants, who is also a professional baseball pitcher.   He is very well respected and if you would like his name I will provide upon request.   During the regular season we stop the lessons, so he would start his weekly lessons in September and conclude twenty weeks later in February.


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     I only evaluate live performances of the pitchers with whom I am pitching partners in their attempt to become the best pitcher that they can be.   If I were to agree to evaluate videotape performances, I would not have time for anything else.   Therefore, I will not review videotape.

     I recommend that youth pitchers train for two months per year, wait until they are biologically thirteen years old to pitch competitively and pitch one inning per game twice a week.   You can guess what I think about how much your son has pitched and what I think has happened to his pitching arm as a result.

     I am certain the his pitching coaches are teaching him the 'traditional' pitching motion with its numerous flaws that have destroyed pitching arms for over one hundred years.   Their names are inter-changeable with thousands of others who do not know what they do not know.

     If he still has a pitching arm when he completes his sophomore year of high school, then to see whether he has anything on which to build a quality adult pitcher, I will accept him for my eight-week summer program for high school juniors and seniors.   For more details, click on my Pitching Instruction file on the home page of my web site at www.drmikemarshall.com.

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029.   Your thoughts on twelve year olds lifting weights, whether circuit or free weights.   Or, do you just give them your Ball Drills and wrist weight program?

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     The growth plate of the medial epicondyle of the elbow joint closes when young men are sixteen biological years old.   I would not put any stress on that and other growth plate with any kind of weight training, lifting or whatever until after those growth plates close.   I have clearly stated that, until youth pitchers are sixteen biological years old, they should not do my wrist weight or iron ball throws.   I want youth pitchers with open growth plates in their pitching elbow only to work with the normal weight of baseballs to master the skills for proper throwing my four basic pitches.   I certainly would never recommend that a biological twelve-year-old young man regularly lifts anything more than the garbage bags that he has to put out for collection.

     The proximal end of the Humerus bone in the shoulder has two growth plates that remain open until young men are nineteen biological year olds.   The distal end of the Radius and Ulna bones in the wrist also has two growth plates that remain open until young men are nineteen biological years old.   Therefore, I recommend that young men between sixteen biological years old and nineteen biological years old keep the weight of my wrist weights at ten pounds and of my iron ball at six pounds.   After nineteen biological years old, I have increased the weight of the wrist weights to forty pounds and the iron ball to fifteen pounds with great results.

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030.   My son pitches and plays High School football.   This football season he suffered a subluxation type injury to his shoulder.   The doctor fitted him with a brace that attached to his upper arm to prevent his arm from going behind his acromial line.   It worked like a charm and he played the remainder of the season with no problem.   Would such a contraption work for a pitcher?

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     I am not a fan of anything that interferes with the free-flow of sport activities.   Motor Skill Acquisitionists call them, facilitators.   In this case, the brace limits the horizontal extension of the shoulder joint, that is, the backward movement of the abducted bone of the upper arm, the Humerus.   I want pitchers to freely and easily pendulum swing their pitching arm parallel with their acromial line with absolutely no horizontal component such that it arrives at driveline height ready to smoothly turn the corner to drive behind the baseball in a straight line toward home plate.   I think that a mirror teaches this much better than a brace.

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031.   In December 2002, I had a partial dislocation of my right throwing shoulder and two months later, in February 2003, I suffer a full dislocation.   Both occurred during high school basketball games.   On February 20, 2003, I had mini open bankart repair surgery.   My ligament was torn off the bone, there was no other damage.   My doctor said it was a standard very straight forward surgery.   One week after surgery my physical therapy began; twice a day for 9 months.   By April 20, I was cleared to DH and run for my high school team, and, by May 20 I was cleared to begin throwing with my summer American Legion team.   Initially, I was using passive stretching and then by September began active isolated stretching.

     Throwing rehab progressed much slower than I hoped, even though my doctor and PT warned me.   The biggest problem was restoring full range of motion and external rotation.   My PT and dad stretched me twice a day.   I can say this was very painful at times.   My doctor operates on professional athletics, he knew I was a baseball player and he continued to comfort me that my full external rotation would return.

     After months of rehab by November, 9 months after surgery, I was at 90% range of motion and my throwing velocity was starting to return (throwing at 72mph).   At my December 30 doctor visit, I was at 98% external rotation (throwing at 76mph).   My doctor said that continued throwing will allow me to get to 100%.   Strength in my right shoulder was now greater than my left.   This past weekend, I hit 78mpg and my shoulder feels great.   I continue to throw every other day, stretch every day, lift weights three times a week, and exercise with bands three times a week.   Over the years I've always been a hard thrower playing shortstop, catcher, pitcher and outfield.   Prior to my injury, I was throwing at 84 mph, that was 1 ½ years ago when I was 16.

     Should I be doing anything else?   Is my rehab normal?   Looking at a slow motion of my throwing, my arm rotates to parallel to the ground.   Is there any reason why my arm will not return or even be stronger than before my injury?   What do you think about throwing with over and under weighed balls?   Mentally persuading my body to throw hard was a big obstacle.   I think I have worked through that. Is there anything you can suggest?


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     It sounds as though your rehabilitation has proceeded well.   However, I believe that the stretching delayed your recovery rather than helped.   I also disagree with trying to increase the shoulder joint rotation range of motion of your shoulder more than ninety degrees.   Nevertheless, you are where you are.

     At this point, I would recommend my 120-Day High School Baseball Pitchers Interval-Training Program.   Position players simply drop my Maxline True Screwballs and Maxline Pronation Curves and double the number of my Maxline and Torque Fastballs.   With this program, until you are biologically nineteen years old, you will use ten pound wrist weights and a six pound iron ball.   These weights will stimulate the strengthening of the bones, ligaments and tendons of the throwing arm.   They will also teach how to properly apply force.

     Over and under weighted baseballs do not stimulate strengthening of the bones, ligaments and tendons or teach how to properly apply force.

     My series of throwing drills teach how to properly use the throwing fingers, hand, wrist, forearm, elbow, upper arm, shoulder, shoulder girdle and the body in that sequence.   With my straight line drive technique, pitchers do not need more than ninety degrees of shoulder joint rotation range of motion.   With my straight line drive technique, rather than drop their pitching elbow under at the start of their upper arm acceleration phase, pitchers drive over top.   This removes unnecessary stress from the anterior shoulder.

     Right now, my Coaching Baseball Pitchers book is about a year behind what we are presently doing at my Pitcher Research/Training Center.   After I finish with my second Instructional Videotape, I will start editing it.   Nevertheless, it is a good place for you to start.   It is free for you to copy.

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032.   You wrote:

     "I will never believe that hiding in the shadow of the quality hitters and picking up the crumbs qualifies anybody for the Hall of Fame, even if they do it for a long time.   I do not measure the number of the hits, I measure what kinds of hits they were, what time of the game they get them and whether pitchers prefer to pitch to that batter than the previous or next."

     I'm no Pete Rose apologist, and this is not a pro or con Pete Rose argument, but you still have to explain to me how a hitter "hides in the shadows and picks up the crumbs".   Every hitter earns what he gets in the batter's box; there are no handouts.   The guy got on base 37.5% of the times he came to the plate, and as a leadoff hitter, isn't that his job?   And ultimately, isn't it the pitchers job to keep all batter's, but especially leadoff batter's off base, regardless of whether they prefer to pitch to them or not?   Especially a hitter of Rose's profile, limited power, limited speed.   Why did so many pitcher's let him 'pick up crumbs' and get on base instead of throwing him "quality pitches" and keeping him from scoring one of the 2,165 runs he scored?   Why not really go after a guy like that who is less likely to hurt you if you make a mistake?   If a guy is really a number 8 hitter 'hiding in the shadows' in the leadoff spot, treat him like a number 8 hitter and go after him!


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     The only batter that immediately comes to mind that did not 'pick up the crumbs' of the Hall of Fame hitter before him is Lou Gehrig.   But then, didn't he hit the most grand slam home runs?

     I am sure that I mentioned in previous emails that pitchers pitch differently to higher quality hitters.   Maybe, unless people dampened jockstraps on a major league mounds, they just cannot understand this.

     Of course, major league pitchers want to keep all batters off base. However, there is such a thing as game management.   Pitchers would rather let Mr. Rose get a single than walk him.   I cannot say the same thing for at least five other hitters on his team.

     I do not know whether a thirty-seven point five on-base percentage is in the top ten all time.   But, when did Mr. Rose get on base?   If he did it as a lead-off batter of an inning, then that counts more than two out, nobody on base bunt singles he tried to get off me.

     I will return to the only valid point in this discussion, Mr. Rose was nowhere near the best hitter on the Cincinnati Reds.   Therefore, he does not belong with the best of the best in the entire history of professional baseball.

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033.   Thank you for your quick response.   I’ve print off your information and will begin with the program.   Have you every worked with a player with the same surgery as me?   If so, have they come all the way back and how long does it take?   I think I’m almost back and my shoulder feels great.

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     I am presently working with several pitchers with much worse injuries and surgeries than you.   They definitely come all the way back.   To recover from their injuries takes the 280-Day Adult Baseball Pitchers Interval-Training Program.   To become the best pitcher that they can be takes a few years longer.

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034.   After ACL surgery, the doctor fully released my son to resume pitching.   His rehab has gone well, he was released to throw off a mound about 3 months after surgery (but only in controlled situations, to a screen, not a batter).   He and I have been running and doing standard leg exercises at the gym (machine squats, calf raises, ham string curls), and he has been throwing off the mound at our house.   His doctor would not allow him to do the wrist weight, nor iron ball exercises until he was fully released.   I wanted to ask you if you have any specific exercises that you would recommend, to strengthen for post ACL surgery.

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     I do not recall which knee he injured.   The Anterior Cruciate Ligament prevents the Femur bone of the upper leg from sliding forward over the Tibia bone of the foreleg.   This action would be problematic for the glove knee of pitchers who use the 'traditional' pitching motion.   However, with my pitching motion, neither knee would receive enough stress to cause any problem.   In the years since your son spent his short time here, we have considerably improved how we teach my pitching motion.   He could easily complete my Pickoff Pronation and Wrong Foot Slingshot wrist weight and iron ball exercises.   I would worry much more about throwing baseballs from the set position or wind-up.

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035.   It was his glove side knee that he injured.   He began doing the wrist weight exercises yesterday, I am not familiar with the pickoff pronation, nor the pitching motion you recommend, so I will print your latest book, review both and if I have any questions (which I probably will), I will contact you.

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     With the 'traditional' pitching motion with the high glove leg lift and long stride, if Kevin throws from the set position or wind-up, he will put the glove knee under considerable stress.   I prefer that he stay away from the set position and wind-up baseball throws.

     Unfortunately, I have not yet updated my Coaching Baseball Pitchers book with my Pickoff Pronation or Wrong Foot Slingshot throws.   I am working on my second Instructional Videotape.   After I finish it, I will start editing my book.

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036.   Prior to two weeks ago my son has worked through the 8-11 yr. old programs by throwing to a net 15' or so away, but now with the 12 yr. old program I have moved the net outside to 25'-30' feet away.   I'm very impressed with the screwball with the horizontal spin axis and the velocity and movement on his maxline fastball.   However, he is having difficulty obtaining velocity on the pronated curve and his torque fastball does not move as much as his maxline fastball.   Is this common with the four pitches?

     Is the lack of velocity on the pronated curve due to your fingers being on top of the baseball starting at driveline height vs. behind it like the fastballs?   Do your students usually find early success with the screwball and maxline fastball?   Anyway, I'm very excited with what he has accomplished so far and think that along with me he is now really sold on the new mechanics.   It is truly amazing the apparent increased velocity he is achieving now vs. the traditional mechanics.

     It is obvious to me that your intent with what you are doing is not money driven and that's great.   It would be nice if there was a way you can duplicate yourself in others across the globe and was wondering if you had thought of some sort of certification process that others could go through and be tested for completion.   Obviously, the students that go through your 280 day training will be well qualified to explain and teach others, but how many fathers/coaches can spend 280 days away from their jobs?   Do you have any thoughts of having some sort of system or certification process?


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     If I had finished my second Instructional Videotape and your son has completed my 60-day eight, nine, ten and eleven year old baseball pitchers interval-training programs, then he should be proficient with my Pickoff Pronation throws, my Wrong Foot Slingshot throws, my No-Stride Swing-to-Ready throws and my No-Stride Transition throws.

     In any case, with my 60-day twelve year old baseball pitchers interval-training program, he is practicing my Set Position Transition throws.   Now, the ugly head of lifting the glove foot off the ground enters the picture and pitchers want to reverse rotate.   Now, rather than the pendulum swing not adding any backward horizontal force to the start of the drive toward home plate, it does.   The least effected pitch is my Maxline True Screwball.   The second least effected pitch is my Maxline Fastball.   The second most effected pitch is my Maxline Pronation Curve.   The most effected pitch is my Torque Fastball.

     To correct this problem, I recommend that return to my No-Stride Transition throws.   Actually, he should for now and always also do my Pickoff Pronation throws and my Wrong Foot Slingshot throws.   Recently, we have decided to also keep my No-Stride Swing-to-Ready throws until pitchers start practicing my Wind-Up throws.   My No-Stride Transition throws keeps the glove foot on the ground throughout the throw.   I want to make sure that pitchers do not add any reverse knee, hip or shoulder rotation to the end of the Transition Phase.   Then, when pitchers start practicing my Set Position Transition throws, I get real grumpy about anything that moves the baseball to the glove side of the driveline.

     I define the driveline as a straight line through the back of the head toward the middle of home plate.   I want pitchers to stand with the feet turned at thirty degrees from the pitching rubber and their acromial line at ten degrees.   I want the glove and pitching arms pendulum swings to be vertical and parallel with the acromial line.   At the end of the pendulum swing, I want pitchers to roll their pitching shoulder and pitching forearm to ten degrees inside of vertical such that, from the rear view the baseball is directly behind the head in line with home plate.   This is my 'Ready' position from which the pitching elbow starts forward.

     With my Set Position Transition throws, I do not want pitchers to lift their glove foot off the ground until they start to forwardly rotate their hips and step forward off the pitching rubber with their pitching foot.   This helps to stop reverse rotation and enables my pitchers to apply the first forward force to the baseball in a straight line toward home plate.

     The critical moment in driving behind the baseball versus dragging the baseball forward, which leads to forearm flyout is how pitchers move forward from my 'Ready' position.   If, when the pitching elbow starts forward, the pitching forearm downward and starts to follow the pitching elbow, then pitchers have what I call, 'pitching elbow drop-under.'   This is the most egregious pitching flaw in the 'traditional' pitching motion and is our greatest challenge to correct.

     I recommend that, from my 'Ready' position, pitchers drive overtop of the pitching elbow straight toward home plate.   At my 'Ready' position, the pitching forearm is ten degrees inside of vertical from the rear view and vertical from the side view.   With my Wrong Foot Slingshot throws, pitchers learn how to have their pitching forearm horizontal with their shoulders at least forty-five degrees to their glove side.   Therefore, from 'Ready,' I want pitchers to move to my 'Slingshot' position.   This requires that they move their pitching forearm from ten degrees inside of vertical to ninety degrees inside of vertical.   But, pitchers must not permit the pitching elbow to lead the pitching forearm forward.   They must drive over their pitching elbow with their pitching forearm.

     With their pitching arm held solidly in this position, pitchers must 'carry' their pitching shoulder, pitching upper arm and pitching forearm, wrist, hand and fingers forward until they have forwardly rotated their pitching hip to point toward home plate.   Then, they powerfully horizontally inwardly rotate their pitching upper arm, extend their pitching elbow and pronate their pitching forearm, wrist, hand and fingers for the type of pitch that they wish to throw as they backwardly drive off their glove foot straight toward home plate.   I call this pitching arm action, 'pronation snap.'

     Your son does not have higher velocity with his curve because he does not 'carry' the baseball sufficiently forward before he starts his pronation snap.   He does not get movement with his Torque Fastball because he has 'pitching elbow drop-under.'   Pitchers must have sufficient pitching forearm degrees of separation from their pitching upper arm that those degrees of separation added to the degrees of shoulder lean to their glove side totals ninety degrees.   If they add up to less than ninety degrees, they their pitching forearm is that many degrees outside of vertical and they cannot get horizontal spin axes on my four basic pitches.

     In my second Instructional Videotape, I am working hard to lay all of this out for Dads everywhere.   I agree that some of my 280-Day students might make good instructors.   However, every year thus far, we have developed better drills with which to teach the skills.   They would have to come back for a refresher course each year.   Now, if I only had the money to set up Dr. Mike Marshall Baseball Pitching Training Centers across the country.

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037.   I went to a baseball clinic yesterday and a major league pitching coach gave a fancy presentation with video from the American Sports Medicine Institute (ASMI), Dr. Andrews' group.   This pitching coach made the statement that most pitching injuries occur in the deceleration phase of pitching.   Later, in private, I asked him on what did he base this.   He said that he really wasn't sure, but that is what Dr. Andrews told him.   There's nothing like making a statement to 1,000 coaches who will then pass this on to about 20,000 players.   Certainly their concept of deceleration differs from yours and I'm cringing at the wrong information that will be passed on.

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     In 1986 or 1987, when I was still head baseball coach at Saint Leo College, Dr. Andrews asked me to speak at a United States Olympic Committee Symposium in Phoenix, AZ.   He asked to explain the Deceleration Phase of the baseball pitching motion.   He also had someone else speak to the same topic.   The other presenter said that to decelerate the pitching arm, which he estimated weighed between fifteen and twenty pounds as I recall, to a stop required several hundred pounds of force.   I cannot recall the details.   If what he said were true, baseball pitchers would be ripping the muscles that decelerate the pitching arms on a daily basis.   But, I do not see that happening.

     The deceleration phase of the pitching motion ends when the pitching arm moves as far toward home plate as the length of the pitching arm permits.   Since the length of the pitching arm remains the same whether pitchers use the 'traditional' or my pitching motion, the distance over which that pitchers have to safely stop it's forward movement is the same.

     Baseball pitchers have to decelerate their Scapula, Humerus, Radius, Ulna, eight Carpal, five Metacarpal and fourteen Phalange bones.

     The Rhomboid Major, Rhomboid Minor, Levator Scapula and Trapezius muscles decelerate the Scapula bone from moving laterally around the side of the rib cage.   On occasion, during the early phases of my 280-Day Adult Baseball Pitchers Interval-Training Program, a few pitchers will mention some discomfort in their Rhomboids.   But, with continued training at a reduced intensity and it goes away in a few days.   The Inferior Angle attachment of the Latissimus Dorsi muscle decelerates the Scapula bone from moving upwardly over the shoulder.   Again, a few pitchers will mention some discomfort at the lower tip of their Scapula bone, which also goes away after a few days of reduced intensity and my admonition that they should forwardly rotate their shoulders through release rather than bend over forward.

     The Teres Minor, Teres Major and Latissimus Dorsi attachment to the Humerus bone decelerate the Humerus bone, the bone of the upper arm, from moving toward home plate.   In the 'Traditional' pitching motion, pitchers have extreme forearm flyout, such that their pitching arm completely straightens and horizontally circles outward from their pitching arm side at degrees that are nearly horizontal up to, depending on the amount of lean to their glove side, twenty degrees outside of vertical.   In all cases, because of the horizontal component, their pitching arms continue around the front of their bodies to their glove side.   Therefore, pitchers can put considerable unnecessary stress on these muscles.   At the more nearly horizontal degrees, the tiny Teres Minor muscle lines up as the deceleration muscles and cannot withstand the stress.

     In my pitching motion, I recommend that pitchers use a straight line driveline with a vertical forearm that they achieve with a combination of degrees of separation of the pitching forearm from the pitching upper arm and a lean to the glove side that totals ninety degrees.   That is, the greater the degrees of separation, the lesser the lean to the glove side.   In any case, like the baseball, I want pitchers to move their pitching arm to move absolutely straight toward home plate from 'Ready,' the position immediately before the pitching elbow starts moving forward, to the end of the deceleration phase, the position where the tip of the pitching fingers reach as far forward as the length of their pitching arm permits.   During the deceleration phase, I want pitchers to continue to move their center of mass forward and to continue to forwardly rotate their shoulders until their acromial line points at home plate.   These actions increase the distance over which pitchers have to decelerate their pitching arms and place the task of deceleration to the large and powerful Teres Major and Latissimus Dorsi muscles.

     The Brachialis, Biceps Brachii, Pronator Teres, Flexor Carpi Radialis, Palmaris Longis, Flexor Carpi Ulnaris, a portion of the Flexor Digitorum Superficialis, Brachioradialis and Extensor Carpi Radialis Longus and Brevis are the primary muscles that decelerate the Radius and Ulna bones and eight Carpal bones.   During my intense training program, my pitchers do report discomfort in most of these muscles.   But, it is a natural part of heavy training and goes away without reducing the training intensity.

     If injuries occur to any deceleration muscle that requires surgery of ends pitching careers, I am not aware of it.   However, since no pitcher I have ever trained has ever had a pitching injury that required surgery or ended his pitching career, I am not aware of allot of pitching injuries.   I will have to leave that discussion to the team doctors for colleges and professional teams.

     The typical injuries that require surgical intervention are when the Ulnar Collateral Ligament ruptures, the Olecranon Process continually slams into the Olecranon Fossa, the humeral attachment of the Subscapularis muscle and/or the humeral attachment of the Supraspinatus muscle pulls loose.   These injuries occur during the acceleration phase of the 'traditional' pitching motion.

1.   The Ulnar Collateral Ligament ruptures due to the pitching elbow drop-under and pitching forearm flyout of the 'traditional' pitching motion.

2.   The Olecranon Process slams into the Olecranon Fossa because 'traditional' pitchers generate excessive centripetal force.

3.   The humeral attachment of the Subscapular pulls loose because 'traditional' pitchers take their pitching elbow behind their acromial line and reverse rotate their shoulders until their pitching elbow points toward the opposite side mid-infielder, such that when they drag their pitching forearm back to their pitching arm side and then toward home plate, the unnecessary stress tears its attachment.

4.   The humeral attachment of the Supraspinatus muscle pulls loose because 'traditional' pitchers outwardly rotate their Humerus bone ninety degrees to horizontal and, during the acceleration phase, inwardly rotate their Humerus bone two hundred and seventy degrees.   As a result, the attachment of the Supraspinatus muscle moves from the back of the shoulder to past the front of the shoulder and farther.   This excessive range of inward rotation tears its attachment.   In my pitching motion, pitchers outwardly rotate the humeral attachment of the Supraspinatus muscle only forty-five degrees from which they inwardly rotate it only ninety degrees.

     If researchers wrongly believe that all thirty-one of these bones are moving at one hundred and thirty-two feet per second, ninety miles per hour, when they start to decelerate them to a stop in about two one-thousandths of a second, then we have a problem.   It cannot be done.

     At that Olympic Committee Symposium, I presented high-speed film that showed that the Scapula bone stopped while the Humerus bone was still moving forward and that the Humerus bone stopped while the Ulna and Radius bones were still moving forward.   This means that pitchers only had to safely stop the Ulna and Radius bones, the Carpals and Metacarpal and Phalanges bones and I am not convinced that the Ulna and Radius bones are not almost stopped before pitchers release their pitches.   This would mean that pitchers only to decelerate their wrist, hand and fingers.

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038.   Being that he asked you to speak, has Dr. Andrews ever spoken to you about your views on deceleration?   If not why wouldn't he at least want to analyze your views?

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     Dr. Andrews attended my presentation, but we did not speak privately.   You would have to ask him why he has not analyzed my research,or you can email Glenn Flesig, the Director of ASMI, at glennf@asmi.org.

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039.   Thanks for all your help and responding to my questions about a recent deltoid situation in the belly of the medial deltoid muscle.   He has been doing the shakedown wrist exercises with 10 pounds.   He now reports that as the hand passes the ear from external rotation to internal rotation he feels sharpness in the rear deltoid up more towards the shoulder.   It still does not appear to be in the attachment.

     All this seems to happen more in warm-up throwing.   When he goes to the mound the discomfort subsides.   Watching the young pitcher throw, you would not know he is experiencing any difficulties.   He is becoming very concerned and I am at a loss as to how to help.   It seems to be a good sign the sharp pain subsides when he goes to the mound.   I know nothing heals itself without blood and oxygen and continued exercise.   Spring training starts soon and we are both somewhat anxious.   We appreciate your thoughts.


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     Discomfort in the back of the shoulder tells me that, when he pitches, he pulls his pitching arm across the front of his body.   Without personally examining him and watching him throw, I cannot know if the tissue that is unable to tolerate the stress that he is applying is the Teres Minor, which is up under the posterior deltoid in the back of the armpit, the posterior gleno-humeral ligament, the Teres Major or Latissimus Dorsi.

Nevertheless, he has to stop the pitching forearm flyout that results in his pitching arm moving across the front of his body.   He does this with powerful pitching forearm pronations through release.

     I allow at least three weeks for a physiological response to daily training to occur.   I do not know for how long he has been doing my Crow-step with Shakedowns wrist weight exercise, but he needs to continue and he needs to do my other wrist weight exercises.   He has to learn how to 'fight the flyout.'

     The beauty of the human body is that, with appropriately designed and administered training programs, it will physiologically respond and withstand greater stresses.   However, it has its own timetable.   It does not care about college baseball game schedules.   It does not care how fast someone else wants it to respond.

     I recommend that pitchers start training for the next season within a couple weeks of the last season.   Your boy is paying the price of the 'traditional' pitching motion and not appropriately training through last summer and fall.   For every day that pitchers take off, it takes one and one-half days to get back to where they were before they took that day off.   Rest means atrophy, not increased strength.

     I train several professional baseball pitchers.   They start with me two weeks after their season.   Precisely what we do depends on what we did the previous off-season, but seventy-two days before spring training starts, they go into my in-season maintenance level training.   Then, thirty-six days before their spring training starts, they begin their pitch sequencing training for the first three at bats against the four types of hitters.   When spring training starts, I and they know that they are physically fit to pitch a season, I and they know what game they have and how to get the most out of it and I and they know that, during the first bullpen of spring training, they will throw very well and without any discomfort.

     The NCAA mandated three weeks before the first game is way, way too late to start getting a pitching arm ready for the season.   This is the main reason why I have no interest in NCAA baseball.   By mandating that baseball coaches cannot work with their pitchers during the summer, when their training is critical, and only eight weeks during the fall does not permit baseball coaches to properly prepare their pitchers for the season.

     Rather than try to rush his rehabilitation and possibly seriously damage his pitching arm, he may want to red-shirt this season and get started on properly training his pitching arm.

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040.   Thought I'd give you a report from the 'field,' so to speak.   Your work is having an impact throughout the baseball world, but 'competition' is slowing down its implementation.   The guys who are stealing your stuff are making 2 major changes to their teachings on mechanics;   1.   keeping the throwing arm parallel or slightly in front of their acromial line and   2.   at hand break, keep weight over posting leg until the throwing arm is up in back.   These changes seem to address the major 'sins' of the traditional throwing motion.   My son's coaches are also trying to implement these changes.   I know this is not enough, BUT it is a positive impact.   These kids ARE going to compete soon and coaches know they can't implement wholesale changes in their pitchers mechanics.   I guess this is why MLB has no use for you, even though they KNOW you are RIGHT.

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     Isolated as I am in beautiful, but tiny Zephyrhills, FL, I greatly appreciate reports from the field.   It is fabulous that they realized the damage they can do to the front of the shoulder if their pitchers take their pitching upper arm behind their acromial line.   It is also fabulous that they are incorporating the 'crow-step' pitching rhythm that enables the pitching arm to reach driveline height before they start the body forward.   You are correct, these are two very important changes to the 'traditional' pitching motion.'

     However, I worry about 'supinating' their releases damaging their pitching elbow.   I guess I have to teach them how to teach their kids how to 'pronate' their releases.   I will spend a great deal of time on that in my second Instructional Videotape.

     I also worry about pitching forearm flyout as a result of pitchers reverse rotating their pitching arm to point at the opposite mid-infielder.

     Lastly, in my second Instructional Videotape, I will introduce and explain the worse pitching flaw of them all, 'pitching elbow drop-under.'   This flaw occurs immediately after the 'Ready' position and causes pitching forearm flyout even in my pitchers who do not reverse rotate their pitching arm laterally behind their body.   Rather than drive their pitching forearm over top of their pitching elbow immediately after the 'Ready' position, even my pitchers drop their pitching elbow under and drag their pitching forearm and the baseball forward.   This causes even my pitchers to extend their pitching elbow upward rather than forward and creates the centripetal force that my guys have to fight.   Even though my guys achieve up to forty degrees of separation between the longitudinal axes of their pitching upper arms and pitching forearms, which prevents injury, they lose release velocity, release consistency and pitch quality.

     You have an excellent point about why major league baseball has not embraced my pitching motion.   It requires that pitchers train for two hundred and eighty days after they sign and throughout their off-seasons.   That means that the teams would have to pay their coaches and pitchers throughout the year.   I have longed believed that, until the bottom line cost of injuries to pitchers exceeded the cost of properly training them, major league baseball teams would do nothing.

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041.   I would like to know the impact of humidity from a pitching stand point.   In Florida during July and August, the ball doesn't seem to travel much (FSL).   Even worst during day game (GCL).   It's hot, humid.   High temperature has a low molecule air density which means that the ball should carry more.   So why's that?

     Also throwing against the wind is it good for breaking pitches since there's more drag?

     Finally, you played in Major League stadiums.   Those circular one have some moment of the day, shaded area.   I know the impact of the Sun on OF and INF, but what about playing in shaded area for the hitter and pitcher stand point?


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     Cold air has more air molecules per cubic foot than hot air.   More air molecules cause greater drag.   I suppose that when it rains, the water could influence how far baseball travels, but I don't what effect water vapor has.

     The faster air molecules are traveling toward the seams of baseballs, the greater the force of their collisions.   Therefore, pitching into a stiff wind helped my non-fastballs and hurt my fastballs.

     I always liked standing in the Sun and pitching into shade.   With the variety of movements that I used, I think it made it more difficult for batters to see the spin axes.

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042.   A friend of mine is a scout for a major league team.   He has been working with my 11 year old pitchers on my travel baseball team.   We been having discussions on whether using weighted balls then lighter balls or using lighter balls (increasing arm speed) than heavier balls would increase arm speed?   I believe overload training works but to increase arm speed I'm not sure.   I would appreciate your input on increasing arm speed and how to increase it.

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     Overload training works equally well with all muscles anywhere in the body.   However, biological eleven year old males not only have wide open growth plates that respond negatively to stress, they do not even have the ossification center for their olecranon process and lateral epicondyle.   Under no circumstances would I train with weights of any kind.   I would spend my time on skill development, that is, the brain's computer program for telling the pitching arm and body what to do to properly throw all baseball pitches.

     I have no doubt that this gentleman is well-meaning, but I also have no doubt that he teaches the 'traditional' pitching motion with excessive reverse shoulder and pitching arm rotation followed by pitching elbow drop-under, which leads to pitching forearm flyout with forearm supination through release.   This terrible pitching motion will destroy your son's pitching arm sufficiently without adding weighted baseballs to exacerbate the situation.   And, even with mature adult bones in the pitching arm and my pitching motion, which removes all unnecessary stress, I would not use those weighted balls.

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043.   My son just turned 4 and is quite an athlete.   He has been riding a two wheel bike since he was 3.5 years old.   If I had listened to him, he would have been riding a couple of months earlier.   He has great balance.   He roller blades too, plays soccer (a coach saw him playing and wanted him to participate even though he was a year younger than the minimum age).

     Obviously, he did not get his athletic genes from me (my wife was a high school track star).   What should I be doing from an early childhood development standpoint other than making sure that he is having fun and doing all those things that kids do.   I know that I sound like a proud papa, but is what he does typical of his age?


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     At young ages, the difficulty that children have is with balance activities.   This is because, at birth, the length of their arms barely can reach around their head, which means that, proportionately, their head accounts for forty percent of their height.   When babies become adults, their head accounts for ten percent of their height.   Therefore, from birth to adult, the percent of total height for which our head accounts decreases.   With the adolescent growth spurt in the long bones of the lower limb, this percent drops dramatically.   As a result, young children need to develop body control skills.

     Tumbling teaches body control.   Martial arts teach body control.   Gymnastics teach body control.   Dance teaches body control, yes, even ballet and tap dancing.   Certainly, bicycle riding teaches body control.   I recommend that you expose him to as many different type of body control activities as you can find.   However, I do not want children or adolescents to practice any motor skill for more than two months per year until their growth plates completely mature.

     Children also need to master skills that involve their upper limbs.   Typing, playing the piano, drawing, writing, shooting marbles, horseshoes, throwing bean bags and so on.   You have a fertile mind, think of more.   Expose him to everything.   However, when the activity physically stresses growth plate, such as baseball pitching, baseball hitting, football throwing, long jumping, running, golfing and so on, please follow my no more than two months per year admonition.

     All parents should be proud and they should talk with and treat their children with the same respect as they should each other.   And, they should always ask, what did you do today, and listen carefully and ask questions like, what did you think about that and permit them to believe that they are making their own decisions.   What he is doing is typical for him.   Whether it is faster or slower than others his age does not matter.   With enough help and commitment, everybody can reach their potentials.

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044.   I am a senior in high school and play center field for my softball team.   My elbows hyperextend naturally, (it's genetic), and I've been experiencing pain in my elbow joint since I picked softball back up during the summer of my sophomore year.

     I played last season in almost constant pain, and made every excuse I could to avoid throwing the ball during practice.   The pain completely surrounds my elbow joint and I would experience a sharp pain across and just above the joint.   I was diagnosed with bicep tendonitis in December and was given an elbow brace to use.   I went to physical therapy where, among other things, was given ultrasound and an into two to three times a week.

     I've recently began practicing and have noticed almost no change in my elbow.   Even with the brace, which is designed to prevent me from hyperextending, I am experiencing pain to almost the same degree.   Last Sunday, after only fifteen minutes of throwing for short distances, I had to quit because the pain was too intense.

     I've had X-rays and there is nothing wrong with my growth plates.   The cause for the continuing pain has not been found, and even my doctor seems to be at a loss.

     I was wondering if you could provide any insight to my problem, or recommend anyone in the mid-northern states who might provide any new ideas.


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     The fact that you can extend your elbow joints such that your forearms create an anterior surface angle greater than one hundred and eighty degrees has absolutely nothing to do with your discomfort.   The pain that you experience results from the olecranon process of your throwing arm colliding with its olecranon fossa when you throw.   I am sure that you can find an anatomy book in the school library or ask a science teacher.

     The way to stop doing this is to powerfully pronate your throwing forearm through release.   This means that you have to turn your throwing thumb downward throughout the throwing motion.   Also, rather than dropping your pitching elbow under and dragging your pitching forearm forward, you have to learn how to drive your throwing elbow over your pitching elbow.

     You need to start with my Pickoff Pronation drill for my four-seam Maxline Fastball, which isolates the throwing arm.   After you perfect the grip, throwing forearm release action and spin axis, you need to start my Wrong Foot Slingshot drill.   Then, my No-Stride Swing-to-Ready drill, my No-Stride Transition drill and Crow-Step Set Position Transition drill.

     At present, I am working on my second Instructional Videotape, which will show these drills, but, after I finish, I will start editing my Coaching Baseball Pitchers book and try to explain how you should do these drills, which you can read and copy for free.

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045.   Just following up.   As it turns out, contrary to what I told you, even though the MRI did not show it, my son did have a tear in the Ulnar Collateral Ligament and underwent tommy john surgery last Friday.

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     Sorry to hear about the tear in the Ulnar Collateral Ligament.   I wonder why we pay so much for MRIs when we cannot rely on the readings.   Without evidence of an injury other than your son's complaints of pain, why did they do surgery?   I hope that this resolves the injury phase of your son's problem.   However, his pitching motion did injure his UCL.   To avoid future problems, he needs to correct his pitching motion, greatly strengthen his bones, ligaments and tendons and learn how to throw the variety pitchers required for success.

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046.   I coach baseball at a junior college.   I have followed your materials for the past two years.   I just got an email from Paul Reddick that wanted me to buy all the materials that he used to use.   I sent him this response.

     Because of your affiliation with Tom House, your material is worthless and you are trying to steal money from the public and I would never recommend you to anyone.   If you really want to eliminate arm injuries and contribute positively, you should listen to Dr. Mike Marshall and do things right.   This was his response to me.

     "I no longer have a relationship with Tom House.   Mike Marshall is a friend, in fact, I am helping Marshall get his book published."


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     Mr. Reddick has telephoned me.   He arranged for Mr. House and he to come to my Pitcher Research/Training Center, but they did to not show up.   He has talked with Dr. Jim Peterson of Coaches Choice about publishing my book.   I have allot of work to do before I am ready to offer my materials for publication.   Actually, I prefer to give the book away, but I cannot reach the wide-spread audience that publishers can.

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047.   Do you have any advice for breaking in a new baseball glove?   Did you use any type of substance to break your gloves in?   As a former shortstop, did you have any system for fielding groundballs at shortstop?

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     In 1961, my first season of playing professional shortstop in Dothan, AL, the roving infielder instructor, Sibby Sisti, told me to use glove oil to keep my glove from stiffening and cracking.   Later, as a major league pitcher, we used shaving gel.   With a new glove, we would put a baseball in the 'pocket,' that is the hollow between the thumb and index finger, fold the thumb side of the glove around the baseball over the little finger side and either tape it or put the large rubber bands around it.   I saw some infielders put their new folded gloves into water with dishwashing liquid overnight.

     Like every sport skill, before athletes attempt to perform the skill in competitive circumstances, they need to break the skill down to its essential elements and build from the simplest upward.   To teach my college infielders, I would put them on their knees with knee pads about fifteen feet from a wall and throw the rubber batting cage balls at the wall from behind them.   This taught them how to rotate their body to their forehand and backhand sides and raise their glove from the ground upward.   The next step is to do the same with them standing.   And so on.

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048.   Your reply sparked a few more questions in my mind, if I may.   Are you near completion on the new video?   Is the elbow drop fault basically the same 'old' elbow drop that has troubled pitchers for eons?   The popular circle change appears to be actually be screwball would you agree or are their small differences that I can't detect?

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     This project grows and grows.   We have had some recent insights that we wish to share.   They require that I schedule several additional videotapings and, at least, one more high-speed filming.   Please trust that I am working from 5:30AM until 10:30PM with breaks only for answering emails, jogging, coaching the twenty kids presently on site and family duties.   I am very excited about what I am doing and I greatly appreciate your patience.

     While pitchers have also been doing this pitching elbow drop-under for eons, it is not the widely-recognized pitching elbow drop-under to which you refer.   That pitching elbow drop-under is actually pitching forearm supination, where, during the pitching forearm flyout stage of the 'traditional' pitching motion, pitchers supinate their pitching forearm.   As a result of pitchers turning their thumb to point backward, the pitching elbow drops under the pitching forearm.

     The pitching elbow drop-under to which I refer describes the first forward movement that pitchers make immediately after their 'Ready' position.   It is the worst 'flaw.'   Even with my pitching motion, where I teach pitchers to drive overtop of their pitching elbow in a straight line slightly above and very near the pitching ear, I see pitching elbow drop-under.   Even though we fight the pitching forearm flyout with pronation, we need to eliminate pitching elbow drop-under.

     The circle change is closer to my Maxline Fastball True Sinker.   My Maxline True Screwball is a much more dynamic pitch with a horizontal spin axis.

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049.   I'm a board member with our local Babe Ruth Baseball Organization.   Our league has doubled in size in the last 2 years, expanding from 300 players to almost 700.   We don't have enough baseball fields to even practice on and games are becoming more difficult each year to schedule.   Our league is currently in the beginning phases of a major campaign to raise 2-3 million dollars to build a baseball complex that our youth could enjoy for years to come.   We have been fortunate enough to have the Outback Steakhouse sponsor us with luncheon fundraiser that we can schedule during March or April of this year.   We plan to sell tickets for $10.00 each and we plan to sell around 300 tickets for the event, maybe more.   We are seeking a key note speaker that can help us out.   We can't afford to pay the thousands of dollars that many famous baseball players ask for to speak.

     I'm sure you are a very busy man and are asked for help all the time.   We could afford to fly you here and put you up in a nice hotel.   The luncheon would last from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m..   We have the flexibility to schedule this event around your schedule if you are willing to help.   I won't waste anymore of your time, but if you can find it in your heart to help us, please send me a email reply or feel free to call me.   I would be more than happy to answer any questions you might have and more importantly, supply you with the necessary references to ensure you that this is a reliable request.   In this day and age, a person can never be to careful.


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     Wow, seven hundred players playing Babe Ruth baseball in one town.   Isn't Babe Ruth baseball for thirteen years old boys and older?   Fifteen players on a team means almost fifty teams.   At least three pitchers per team means one hundred and fifty pitchers.   I recommend that thirteen through fifteen biological year old male baseball pitchers train for only sixty days per year.   I recommend that biological thirteen year old pitchers pitch only one inning per game no more than twice a week.   How do you determine their biological age?   I know that you do not want to destroy their pitching arms with too much stress before the growth plates in their pitching arms mature.

     With regard to your kind invitation, I coach twenty pitchers every day, I am putting my second Instructional Videotape together, I have five apartments to renovate, I have to re-edit my free Coaching Baseball Pitchers book, I have emails to answer every day, I hate flying and I am too old to travel without severe physiological distress.   However, after you have read how I believe we should teach the skills and strategies of baseball to youth baseball players, I wonder if you want me to speak.   If you do, I have an assistant coach who is ready, willing and able to explain how I believe youth pitchers should learn the skills of baseball pitching.

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050.   My injury:   I saw a doctor three days ago regarding the amount of pain in the front part of my shoulder, towards the top, that results from throwing.   I was told I had strength and flexibility problems with my internal rotators and most likely just had tendonitis.   The doctor also mentioned a possibly torn labrum.

     Questions:   I am somewhat familiar with reverse forearm bounce, and was wondering if this could possibly be to blame?   If so, what drills can be done to help correct this?

     The discomfort in my shoulder is most noticeable during the transition phase of my mechanics.   Is there an ideal height for the upper arm and forearm during the transition?


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     You say that you experience discomfort in the top, front part of your pitching shoulder during the transition phase.   Is your pendulum swing parallel to your acromial line?   If the direction of your pendulum swing crosses your acromial line, then the problem could be the humeral attachment of the Subscapularis muscle.   The Subscapularis muscle inwardly rotates the head of the humerus bone.   Tearing the labrum usually involves a critical event.   Since you did not mention a particular pitch during a high-intensity moment of competition, I doubt that this is your problem.   In any case, I would first train you and see how you respond.

     The top, front of your shoulder can also mean several other problems.   If you have reverse forearm bounce as a result of dropping your pitching elbow under your pitching forearm as you start driving toward home plate from the 'Ready' position, then you can also unnecessarily stress your Subscapularis attachment.

     However, I suspect that the first force that you apply to the baseball from your 'Ready' position is not directly toward home plate.   All you need to determine this is a digital camcorder set up in line with and thirty feet behind the pitching rubber and with home plate, preferably six feet high.   When you view this videotape, watch each frame for how the baseball moves.   I even use graph paper taped to the screen to make a frame-by-frame sketch of the baseball's pathway.   Pay close attention to where your pitching forearm is the frame before you start your pitching elbow forward and where the baseball goes from there.

     If the baseball does not go straight toward home plate or if your pitching elbow leads the pitching forearm forward, then you have found your problem.

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051.   In you 13-15 yr training program file you have the following paragraph:

     "I do not want biological thirteen through fifteen year old pitchers to train for pitching for more than two months per year.   I want them to pitch one inning per game twice a week against opposing teams.   I want biological thirteen through fifteen year old pitchers to learn how to use the wind-up position to throw my six basic pitches:   Maxline Fastball, Maxline True Screwball, Maxline Pronation Curve and Torque Fastball."

     You say you have 6 basic pitches but only name 4 of them.   Do you actually have 4 basic pitches or did you leave two out?


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     Whoops.   For non-adult pitchers, that is those less than nineteen biological years old, I recommend only four of my six basic pitches.   I should have said four, not six.   The other two basic pitches for adults are my Maxline Fastball Sinker and Torque Fastball Slider.   My bad.   If you check my recommended pitch sequences for youth and high school baseball pitchers, I only include the four that I mentioned above.

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052.   I am interested in your treatment of the topic of the "stretch-shorten cycle" in muscle contractions.

     In your 2003 Q&A, you discuss this topic in response to question 005.   Question 005 concludes with the question, "[W]here in the pitching motion should you take advantage on the stretch-shortening cycle or should you at all?"   This is asked in connection with the topic of eccentric muscle contraction, to which you replied as follows:

     "Muscles apply force only when they decrease their length.   When muscles stay at the same contracted length or they increase their length, they can only resist force.   Therefore, there is no such thing as an eccentric muscle contraction.

     "Sarcomeres either contract or they don't.   When one sarcomere in the sarcomere chain that makes up myofibrils contracts, that myofibril either applies or resists force at that length.   When more sarcomeres in the sarcomere chain contract, that myofibril either applies or resists force at that different length.   Whether the contraction is concentric or eccentric has nothing to do with sarcomere activity, it has to do with how the contracting sarcomeres influence the movements of the bones to which they attach.   Therefore, I propose different nomenclature."

     Then you go on to define your different nomenclature of mioanglos joint action, isoanglos joint action, and plioanglos joint action which I won't reproduce here.

     My interest is in your analysis of the stretch-shorten cycle, but I'll start with eccentric muscle contractions since that seems central to your take on the stretch-shorten cycle.   For reference I am using Neuromechanics of Human Movement, 3rd Edition, 2002, by Roger M. Enoka, Ph.D, published by Human Kinetics, Champaign, IL.   All page references below refer to this source.

Definition:   Eccentric contraction - A muscle contraction in which the load torque is greater than the muscle torque and as a consequence the active muscle is lengthened.(p. 466)

     So as you say, the muscle is resisting force, but in this case the load torque exceeds the muscle torque and, though contracting, the muscle is lengthening.   That is the angle between the bones it attaches to is increasing in the case of a flexor muscle, and the angle between the bones the muscle attaches to is decreasing in the case of an extensor.   Using your nomenclature, this eccentric muscle contraction occurs in a plioanglos joint action (increasing distance or angle) if the muscle is a flexor, and in a mioanglos joint action (decreasing distance or angle) if the muscle is an extensor.   I think I've converted this to your nomenclature correctly.

     You say that muscles only apply force when they shorten their length, and that they can only resist force when they stay the same length or lengthen.   Can you explain the difference between "resist force" and "apply force"?   I may be wrong, but it seems like to "resist force" a muscle contracts, which is what is described in eccentric contraction.   The muscle torque simply is insufficient to overcome the load torque causing the muscle-tendon unit to lengthen.

     Now on to my main topic, the stretch-shorten cycle.   First I'll define the term, then offer a brief summary of it from Enoka, and finally ask my questions.

Definition:   Stretch-shorten cycle - A muscle activation scheme in which an activated muscle first lengthens before it shortens.(p. 480)

     I have come across this term quite frequently in biomechanics, so I did a literature search to see how often it comes up in published papers.   I found 100 papers doing a search using the term "stretch-shortening cycle" and 21 using the term "stretch-shorten cycle."   I searched the Entrez-PubMed database of the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI).   Here is the URL for one of the searches:   http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov:80/entrez/query.fcgi?CMD=search&DB=PubMed

     There are probably other places to search that would show other references, but that was a start.   I didn't go read all the papers. Instead I turned to Enoka for a discussion of the topic.

     The stretch-shorten cycle is addressed in its own section on pages 273-276.   A couple of dozen studies of the phenomenon are cited and numerous examples of the cycle in everyday life are presented.   Enoka writes "The advantage of the stretch-shorten cycle is that a muscle can perform more positive work if it is actively stretched before being allowed to shorten (Cavagna & Citterio, 1974; Fenn, 1924).   The result is that a greater quantity of work can be done during the shortening contraction than if the muscle simply performed a shortening contraction by itself."(p. 273)

     Enoka concludes the section on the stretch-shorten cycle with this paragraph:   "There appear to be two reasons for the common occurrence of the stretch-shorten cycle in most movements.   First, it can enhance the positive work done by muscle during the shortening contraction.   Second, it can lower the metabolic cost of performing a prescribed amount of positive work." p. 276)

     It seems to me like the stretch-shortening cycle is something that pitchers and athletes should and do take advantage of for the reasons given.   Do you disagree with my conclusion?   Do you agree that the stretch-shorten cycle has the benefits described by Enoka?   Do you have evidence that the use of this stretch-shorten cycle causes specific injuries?   Can you direct me to published studies or to textbooks that contain references that support your conclusions?

     I respect your work, both as a coach and as a professor.   I thank you for your time and for your web site.   I have found you and your site to be very helpful in my own efforts to learn these topics.   Since I am just a coach and not a biomechanist, I will pass your answers on to a friend who has a Ph.D. in biomechanics to help me evaluate what you tell me in your response in case I have trouble understanding what you write.   I may also ask Professor Enoka to comment on your response, as he has been helpful to me in the past.


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     What fun.   Thank you for taking the time to understand my position on how muscles apply force.

     The first thing that I want to do is to define what we are talking about.

     First, some people believe that they can 'stretch' muscles to make them longer and increase the range of motion about specific joints.   To this, I say, without tearing tissue, never.   The only way that athletes increase the range of motion about specific joints is to learn how to resist the stress with fewer sarcomeres contracting.      Second, my fellow kinesiologists say that muscles contract concentrically, eccentrically and isometrically.   To this, I say, nonsense.   Sarcomeres apply force only when they contract.   The apparent difference in how athletes use their contracting muscles relates to the relative positions of the bones to which muscles attach.   If the bones move closer together, they call it, a concentric muscle action.   I call it, a mioanglos joint action.   If the bones move farther apart, they call it, an eccentric muscle action.   I call it, a plioanglos joint action.   If the bones remain in the same position, they call it, an isometric muscle action.   I call it, an isoanglos joint action.

     Third, some have used the fact that muscle and tendon have the ability to withstand sudden stress to train athletes with what they call, plyometrics.   In the mistaken belief that they will increase the ability of the three muscles with the common tendon attachment, the Achilles Tendon, to apply force, they tell athletes to jump down from increasingly higher heights.   Like the ballet dancer in 'The Company,' or numerous football quarterbacks, like Dan Marino and baseball pitchers and like Tommy John, the repetitive sudden stress of bouncing tendons eventually causes them to snap.   To this, I say, they are irresponsible and the athletes should hold them legally liable in Courts.

     Plioanglos joint action in the Deceleration Phase differs from the Preparation Phase of sport activities.   During the Deceleration Phase, to safely slow down and stop the activity, the deceleration muscles resist the force that the acceleration muscles generated during the Acceleration Phase.   During the Preparation Phase, or, as I prefer to call it, the Transition Phase, the deceleration muscles move the acceleration muscles to the 'Ready' position where the acceleration muscles are at the appropriate length from which to powerfully contract for a Mioanglos joint action.

     Sarcomeres connected end to end make up the length of myofibrils.   Hundreds of myofibrils make up a muscle fiber.   Sarcomeres change the length of muscle fibers.   When no sarcomeres shorten, then the muscle fiber is at its greatest length.   When one hundred percent of the sarcomeres contract, then the muscle fiber is at its shortest length.   Different percentages of sarcomeres contracting explains the different lengths of muscle fibers.   I use the term, sarcomeres and contractile units interchangeably.   Therefore, you can substitute whichever you prefer.

     In Baseball Pitching, the Preparation Phase occurs when pitchers take the baseball out of the glove and move it to the 'Ready' position, which is the instant immediately before they start the baseball on its journey to home plate.   At the 'Ready' position, the acceleration muscles are passively at their longest length or, in the terminology of Professor Enoka, the stretch aspect of the stretch-shorten cycle.

     I am not a fan of the stretch terminology.   I believe that layman attach the wrong interpretation to the word, 'stretch,' in this connotation.   Muscles do not stretch.   When the chain of sarcomeres, or contractile units, have no tension, they achieve their greatest length.   If athletes forcibly attempt to lengthen muscle fibers in this state, they will tear tissue, either connective or contractile.

     During the Acceleration Phase, to generate their maximum force, these passive, lengthened muscle fibers at the 'Ready' position spring powerfully into action.   With regard to the pitching arm only, I recommend that pitchers 'carry' their pitching arm forward isoanglosly until they forwardly rotate their hips to perpendicular to the driveline and their shoulders to forty-five degrees ahead of perpendicular. At this body position, I recommend that pitchers powerfully mioanglosly extend the pitching elbow and pronate the pitching forearm through release.

     Immediately after release of the baseball, pitchers have to take all tension out of the acceleration muscles and ignite the deceleration muscles.   The plioanglos joint action of the deceleration muscles slows and safely stops the pitching arm.   During the deceleration phase, these muscle fibers resist the force that the acceleration muscles generated.   They do this by activating fewer and fewer sarcomeres in the sarcomere chain of myofibrils.   The number of muscles fibers that are operating determine the amount of force that muscle fibers are resisting, not the percentage of sarcomeres that are contracting at any moment.

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053.   I was wondering if you could identify some of the physiological characteristics that make for high velocity pitching.   If two pitchers of approximately the same height and weight apply force identically why might one throw harder than the other (joint flexibility, muscle makeup, length of limbs....)?   Some pitchers are clearly genetically predisposed to throw hard.   What specific characteristics do such pitchers display?   At what biological age range would you say a pitcher is capable of throwing his hardest?

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     Physiologically, we are not all created equal.   Height, weight, joint flexibility, length of limbs are like counting the number of cars that go over the bridge to determine how much water went under the bridge, that is, there is no causal relationship.   However, you did include muscle make-up.   That can mean anything. Did you mean how big muscles are?   If so, no.   Did you mean how long muscles are?   If so, no.   If you mean percent of fast-twitch muscle fibers, then you might be on to something.

     We could biopsy the primary pitching muscle, Pronator Teres, and use gel electrophoresis to identify its specific type of myosin isoform.   The myosin isoform in fast-twitch muscles fibers promotes a rapid breakdown of Adenosine-Tri-Phosphate (ATP), which provides fast energy for high-speed muscle contraction.   Let me know how that goes.

     In the meantime, I train pitchers without fast-twitch muscle fibers and watch them achieve higher release velocities as well.

     If they are properly trained, I believe that the biological age at which pitchers should throw with their highest release velocity is between twenty-five and forty biological years old.   Unfortunately, with the 'traditional' pitching motion steadily destroying pitching arms, by the time they get to twenty-five, they are already on the downward spiral.

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054.   Thank you for the very thorough response.   I now think I understand your position on this much better.   For my own sake, I'll try to restate your position very briefly.

     Since muscles do not stretch, you are not comfortable with the term "stretch" in "stretch-shorten cycle."   However, you do describe in detail how muscle tissue at its greatest length can contract with maximum force.   The danger in taking advantage of this muscle contractile length/force relationship is that an athlete cannot know at what length the muscle and/or connective tissue will tear.   Therefore, efforts to maximize the length of the muscle to take advantage of the "stretch-shorten cycle" can cause injury in competitive athletes.

     I hope that's your position, because that makes sense to me.   As an aside, I now think I understand why some people say that plyometrics can be a dangerous training method.


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     It is not that I am uncomfortable with researchers using the word, stretch, muscle fibers do not stretch.   Even rubber bands snap when they receive too much stress.   They are finite length tissue.   Repeated pulling on them do not make them better able to withstand future stresses.   With any definition of stretch, it is the wrong word with which to describe what happens.   When scientists describe a physiological event, they have to be very careful with their nomenclature.   The only way that muscle fibers achieve their greatest length without injury is for every sarcomere (contractile unit) to not have any actin protein filaments sliding over any myosin protein filaments.

     The perfect length of muscle fibers for powerful contractions would appear to be from their maximal resting length.   However, when we factor in the inertia of the pitching arm moving backward and, possibly, laterally, we might better protect the muscle with some percentage of sarcomere contraction.   Also, if backward inertia does pull on the pitching acceleration muscles to the extent that the actin protein filaments move slightly away from their myosin cross-bridges, that could delay contraction.

     I know for sure that I do not want someone pulling, pushing or in any other way applying force to muscle fibers in the name of 'stretching.'   I also do not want athletes themselves bouncing or in any other way applying force to muscle fibers in the name of 'stretching.'

     The recent bastardization of the word, plio, into plyometrics, and training athletes with jumping up and down or catching medicine balls and the like is even more hazardous to muscle fibers.   My wrist weight exercises plioanglosly safely and appropriately train pitching muscles.

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055.   I have a particular situation with a player that I want your opinion on.   He is 16 yrs old and plays RF and Pitcher.   Very strong arm and has been clocked at 89mph.   He has been Pitching sporadically due to arm pain (inside elbow area).   Never complains of pain when playing Outfield.

     He has no pain when normal throwing, warming up, etc, but once on the mound he starts to feel pain mainly on the inner side of the elbow (possibly the "ulnar collateral ligament").   Within a few pitches he starts to feel pain in this area, between the inner and middle epicondyle areas (not the lateral epicondyle area).   Do you think it could be Medial epicondylitis?

     He has had an MRI of the area and been told that he is fine.

     I was going to be video taping the Pitchers this week and thought that maybe I could send you a copy of this Pitcher and possibly his MRI exam to get your recommendation on what may be causing the pain and remedy.   I'm not sure if this is something you have time for and if there would be a fee for this?   I've spoken to the pitcher's parents about your program and they wanted me to see if it was even possible for them to bring their Son over to you for an evaluation, or do you recommend other action be taken?

     I mainly wanted you to see the pitching motion and the stress on the elbow that I think is due to a timing issue in his mechanics.   I will be evaluating the pitcher further today at practice, as I haven't seen him since yesterday.   He went home after throwing a bullpen (~60 pitches) and complained of pain in the elbow last night to his Dad, which called me today and asked that possibly contact you for advice.


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     When he throws from the outfield, during normal throwing, warming-up and so on, does he lift his glove leg like you have him do when he pitches off the pitching rubber?   If he does, then I will have to see him.   If, instead, he uses the crow-hop throwing rhythm of non-position players, then that is the problem.   You are teaching him the 'traditional' balance position pitching rhythm that has destroyed pitching arms for over one hundred years.   I could go on and on, but you get the idea.   Stop it and teach him my pitching motion.

     I do not have time to review videotapes.   Sorry.   His parents might consider my eight-week summer program for high school juniors and seniors.   It costs allot less than doctors and MRIs.

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056.   Instead of talking about just the muscle fibers, what if we expand this to include the tendons, too.   On page 275 Enoka writes, "[S]ome energy can be added to the muscle by the stretch of the connective tissues, especially the tendon, that can be used during the performance of the positive work."   Is it possible that the muscle fibers achieve a certain length and contractile strength and that the contractile force of the muscle-tendon combination is enhanced by the elastic energy stored in the tendon?

     I realize that for the reasons you give trying to do this in a pitching (or other athletic) motion could lead to injury, but I'm trying to understand the concept as best I can so I can explain it and answer questions about it as they arise from my athletes.


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     No, not without serious potential injury.   I would like to know the research or hypothesis on which he bases this statement.   For him to say that connective tissues stretch is like saying the wires that secure telephone poles stretch.   I know that wire industry researchers determine at what stress wires rupture, but I have not heard of human subjects volunteering to have exercise physiologists stress their tendons and ligaments to determine at what stress they rupture.   Like I assume that he had to do with his doctoral dissertation, I challenge him to defend this recommendation for training athletes with evidence that it is not irresponsibly dangerous.

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057.   Here are Enoka's references.   I've only included the titles for the studies that used humans.

01.   Biewener, A.A. (1991) American Zoologist, 38, 703-717. (not sure the animal used)
02.   Fellows, S.J., & Rack, P.M.H. (1987) "Changes in the length of the human biceps brachii muscle during elbow movements," Journal of Physiology, 383, 405-412.
03.   Griffiths, R.I. (1991) Journal of Physiology, 436, 219-136. (studied cats)
04.   Ito, M., Kawakami, Y., Ichinose, Y., Fukashiro, S., & Fukunaga, T. (1998), "Nonisometric behavior of fascicles during isometric contractions of a human muscle." Journal of Applied Physiology, 85, 1230-1235.
05.   Roberts, T.J., Marsh, R.L., Weyand, P.G., & Taylor, C.R. (1997) Science, 275, 1113-1115. (studied turkeys)

     Here is a specific passage from Enoka describing tendon lengthening:   "When the medial gastrocnemius muscle of a cat is electrically stimulated to produce an isometric contraction, muscle fibers can shorten up to 28% of their resting length [he then references a graph from Griffiths (1991)].   For this to happen, the tendon must lengthen by an equivalent amount so that whole-muscle length remains constant (i.e., isometric).   This tendon compliance (mm/N), which is the inverse of stiffness, is most evident in muscles with long tendons.   Not only does this effect occur during electrical stimulation of muscle, it also occurs during voluntary movements such as walking."(p. 275)

     Enoka then goes on to reference another graph from Griffiths (1991) showing whole-muscle length (mm), muscle fiber length (mm), and EMG (mV) for a cat step cycle plotted over time(s).   He uses the term whole-muscle length to include the tendon and the muscle.

     Enoka also includes references showing that some movements are influenced by the elastic energy mechanism.   Those studies are by Komi & Gollhofer, 1997, Journal of Applied Biomechanics, 13, 451-460; Reich, lindstedt, LaSayo, & Pierotti, 2000, American Journal of Physiology, 278, R1661-R1666; Zatsiorsky, 1997, Journal of Applied Biomechanics, 13, 479-483.


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     As I read through the list of these references, I am carried back to my university days when everybody was designing research studies, rushing through them and publishing.   They all had the publish or perish mentality.   My own department ran wires to the leg muscles of rats and ran them on treadmills.   When I asked why, they looked at me like I was crazy.   It is thirty years later and I still ask why. Nothing that they did meant anything to the real world.

     What purpose does studying, "Changes in the length of the human biceps brachii muscle during elbow movements" serve?   The olecranon process contacting the olecranon fossa limits the elbow extension range of motion.   The coronoid process contacting the coronoid fossa limits the elbow flexion range of motion.   The Triceps Brachii muscle straightens the arm.   The Biceps Brachii and Brachialis muscles bend the arm. Did they take the Biceps Brachii muscle out of some human and study it like they did some poor cat in a following discussion?

     How did the people who wrote, "Nonisometric behavior of fascicles during isometric contractions of a human muscle," conduct this study?   Again, did they take a muscle out of some human volunteer experimentation?   How did they study fasciculi?

     In order to write, "When the medial gastrocnemius muscle of a cat is electrically stimulated to produce an isometric contraction, muscle fibers can shorten up to 28% of their resting length," I know that they 'sacrificed' some poor cat.   They took the medial gastrocnemius muscle out of a cat, tied it securely on both ends and electrically stimulated it.   They found that the muscle fiber portion of the muscle shortened up to twenty-eight percent of its total length.   Then, from this information, Professor Enoka concluded that, "For this to happen, the tendon must lengthen by an equivalent amount so that whole-muscle length remains constant."   At first glance, this speculation appears interesting.   But, what does it mean for the real world?      Does it mean that, like cats, the tendon of human gastrocnemius can stretch twenty-eight percent percent without rupturing?   Let's see, the best of humans can jump straight upward about one-half of their standing height, but cats can jump straight upward about six times their standing height.   Does that mean that the gastrocnemius tendon of cats has twelve times the tensile strength of humans?   Does that mean that the gastrocnemius tendon of humans has one-twelfth the tensile strength?   I think that it means that this laboratory egghead recommended to don't-know-enough-to-know-better athletic trainers to start bouncing muscle and tendons with 'Plyometrics.'   The resulting tendon snaps can be traced back to them.

     Perhaps we all should go watch 'Ol Sparky' at work here in Florida, where they electrocute humans.   We could tie down their lower legs and study how much the human medial gastrocnemius muscles shorten when they electrically stimulate them.

     Remember when Dan Marino and dozens of others popped the tendon of their Gastrocnemius muscle, the 'Achilles Tendon'?   Did it stretch twenty-eight percent?   Remember with Tommy John and thousands of others popped their Ulnar Collateral Ligament?   Did it stretch twenty-eight percent?   In the real world outside of staged experiments, muscles and tendons do not voluntarity stretch without the potential of serious injury.   We should not try to make tendons stretch.   With my email answers, I am talking with laypeople in the real world.   With researchers in the laboratory world, we talk differently, but then, with the exception of human anatomist, Jeffrey Dalmer, to determine at what stress their tendons will pop, we know not to take muscles out of athletes.

     This was fun, thank you.

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058.   It sounds like you're not too impressed with the research cited.   I'm in no position to decide that one, of course.   The good thing about published research is that other scientists can look at the methods and decide for themselves if the research was good or bad, attempt to independently reproduce the results and so forth.   As you've pointed out, anecdotes and opinions really don't advance our understanding and are not scientifically useful.

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     It has nothing to do with whether this research impresses me.   If, to keep their jobs, professors publish these simplistic articles, this type of research is fine, and some of it may even eventually prove helpful.   For those of us training athletes, this research has no meaningful purpose.   Therefore, I read it, I think that it is interesting and I get back to the real world.   As you noted in an earlier email, the misuse of pliometrics causes injuries.   I do not believe in telling athletes to apply greater stress than muscles can withstand in the hope that the tendons will stretch and rebound to provide greater force.

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059.   Thank you once again for your gracious hospitality on my recent visit to your training center.   As always, I learned much.   Having seen the outline for your upcoming video, I am very anxious for you to complete it.   You have a great bunch of young students and I wish you and them all the best.

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     We do love to have visitors.   As a result of your inquiry about pitching elbow drop-under out of the 'Ready' position, I have changed my Instructional Videotape dialogue to say, pitching forearm drop-under.   It is actually part of 'reverse pitching forearm bounce' without pitchers having to turn their pitching palm from facing second base to facing home plate.

     I continue to feverously work on my second video.

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060.   How many of your students have gone on to play professional baseball?

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     What percent of high school pitchers without college scholarship offers or junior college pitchers unable to make their teams do you think should get an opportunity to pitch professionally?

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061.   For a number of reasons, I know you know what you are doing.   I have a 19 year old son that wants to play professional baseball as a pitcher.   He earned a scholarship to a junior college out of high school.   I don't know if going to this junior college is the best path for him after playing fall baseball the last month.   I would like to meet with you for determining the best path for my son.   If he needs to take a year off and go through your programs we can do that.   If you tell me he doesn't have the mechanics, mental make-up or physical attributes to consider a career in baseball we are better off knowing now.   Your input in this situation would be greatly appreciated.

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     Without regard for any circumstance, before they attend college, I recommend that all high school pitchers find out what they need to do to become the best pitcher that they can be and become that pitcher.   Then, rather than learning how to throw the pitches that they need, they can use the college experience to learn how to get batters out.   This is precisely what I guarantee to teach all pitchers that train every day with me for two hundred and eighty days.

     I wish I were smart enough to watch pitchers throw and know whether they will develop into quality college and/or professional pitchers.   I am not.   However, from the pitchers I have trained, I would say that they need to be able to throw at least eighty-five miles per hour when they come to me to get to ninety miles per hour necessary for professional baseball.   However, several eighty mile per hour pitchers have become quality college pitchers and, thereafter, a couple have further developed into professional pitchers.

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062.   If the players mentioned have the ability and desire and can demonstrate both my answer would be 100%.

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     Do you really believe that high school pitchers that do not receive any college scholarship offers and junior college pitchers that cannot pitch for their junior college team have the ability to pitch professionally?

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063.   Perhaps I should rephrase my original question.   What percentage of your students do you consider to have achieved success in baseball after completing your program?   For the record, I have a number of D-1 scholarship offers, however, based on what I have seen of college ball so far, I do not think the coaches are really concerned with my personal development.

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     Now, I understand what it is that you want to know.   I promise all pitchers that I will show them what they have to do to become the best pitcher that they can be.   We become partners in that quest.   I work as hard as I can to give them the understanding of what skills they have to have, how to learn those skills and show them the work ethic that they have to have.   I never pre-select my pitchers.   I have had many who exceeded my expectations.   That means that I have had some who did not.   Nevertheless, I consider every one a success.

     I do not know what is in the hearts and minds of the young men who come to train with me.   A couple of them told me that they did not love it enough to put in the work.   A couple of them told me that they decided that they would not be good enough even with all the work to justify the time and effort.   One missed his girlfriend too much to stay.   One, even after all my explanations and showing him on high-speed film, believed that he knew more that I about how he should apply force.   He should be on the road to great success, but he sits at home with his pitching arm injury.   These examples are few.   The vast majority work hard, learn the skills and become the best pitchers that they can be.

     Whatever the case, I believe that everybody learned what they needed both about how to become the best pitcher he could be or who he is and what they want in life that they all could continue with or without baseball pitching without regrets.

     Of those who threw eight-five miles per hour or above when they arrived, every one has had an opportunity to pitch professionally.   Some continued to work, others did not.   If you can throw eighty-five miles per hour or above and master my six basic skills, you will have your opportunity to pitch professinally.   I will guide you through every step on the way and, to help you stay, after you get there.

     I am not convinced that college coaches do not care about helping their pitchers.   I believe that they have tried and learned that they do not know how.   Therefore, they quit trying and just recruit as many as they can and hope that some get through the season before they injure their pitching arms.

     No pitcher that I have trained has ever or will ever injure their pitching arm and, if they master my skills, they will have the game with which to succeed at their highest level, which relates to their genetic heritage.

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064.   How would you recommend hitting your pronation curve ball?   My thought is that since we know that the ball is dropping faster than it normally would due to the forward spin axis of the ball, we would try to swing at the bottom half of the ball or slightly below it.   Does that make any sense?

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     To successfully hit any pitch, hitters have to correctly predict where and when baseballs will pass through the hitting zone and then, they have to perfectly time and locate their bat to intercept the baseball.   To prevent this from happening, I teach my pitchers to throw six different pitches with six different movements at three different speeds.   When my pitchers can throw my pitches for strikes two out of three times with proper sequences for all four types of hitters, they humiliate hitters.   If pitchers master only one fastball force application, one breaking ball force application and one change-up force application, then they still do not have enough to get all types of batters out.   Why teach a pitching concept that, even after pitchers master it, they still cannot get everybody out?   Even though it is harder to teach and takes longer to learn, I prefer to teach them a game that, if they master it, then they will dominate.

     The only way that hitters will ever hit my properly thrown Maxline Pronation Curve is if they have seen it many times and correctly anticipate it.   If my pitchers follow my pitch sequences, then, unless they play the same team many times in a short time period, they will not see hit it enough to know how it moves and will not correctly anticipate it.   They should have a less than one in six chance of correctly guessing when it is coming.

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065.   I am the father of a soon to be 10 year old son who loves baseball.   He desperately wants to pitch this season.   He pitched one inning last year and was hooked.   So during the winter, I tried to research all that I could on pitching instruction.   I was ignorant last Fall.   I checked with Dick Mills, SETPRO, and Dr. John Bagonzi among others.   But, after visiting your website and reading your forums, I will not let my son pitch until he is 13.   What's three years?   I would like him to use the drills that you have outlined in your book, but that is where the problem lies.

     I have read nearly all of the 2003 forum questions and answers, and all of the 2004 Q&A.   I have read your book.   Yet, I still can't quite figure out exactly what your pitching motion looks like.   I have tried to mimic it myself to no avail.   After reading many of the forums, I see that you have re-analyzed your theories on some of the training in the first video.   That is why I hold off on purchasing the first video, and anxiously await the second video.   In the meantime, is there anywhere on the web that you are aware of that has a video clip of your pitching motion?   I have searched, and found nothing.   Perhaps one of your students is computer literate enough to provide a webpage link to a clip.

     Also, I may be headed to the Tampa area over Easter break.   Will you still be training your students the week after Easter?   You are there between 9:00 and 11:00, correct?


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     I will do everything I can do to help you and your son.   The answer to your desire to teach him how to pitch is in my second Instructional Videotape.   I will show every throwing drill for every age.   I want to put out the best video that I can with as much information as I can.   This project is already three times bigger than my first and that one took me over three hundred hours to put together and that does not count the time to take the clips that I need to have.   When finished, this video will put all controversy to rest.   Sorry Tom, Dick and Harry, you will have to stop stealing money for the garbage that you teach.   I appreciate your patience.

     With regard to videotape on my web site, I am one guy in Zephyrhills, FL.   I am spending my retirement to give readers my Coaching Baseball Pitchers book for free and give free advice.   I do not have the money to rent an one hundred gig web site the I would need to have video available.   However, my video guy is working on a way for me to host my own web site.   He says that, while it is more expensive, I might be able to do that.   Who knows, maybe by this time next year, I can put my video on my web site for free too.

     The only times that I may not be training pitchers at my Pitcher Research/Training Center is between the fourth Saturday in May and the second Saturday in June and between the second and fourth Saturdays in August.   While I might be on-site during those days, my lady and I just might take a week off and leave town.   In any case, we will train on Easter and we do train between 9:00 and 11:00AM every other day of the year.

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066.   As a huge fan of baseball and of your accomplishments I thought I would ask you about Hub Kittle.   I read he just passed away, at the age of 86, and I was wondering if you knew him and his theories of pitching?   I ask because I never knew he pitched a perfect inning in AAA in 1980 at age 63.   That's pretty impressive.

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     In 1970, I played for Hub in Oklahoma City for a couple of months.   He was a honorable man.   I know that he would frequently throw batting practice.   I do not know of his theories.   I think that he just said throw allot.   Since I always did my wrist weights, iron ball and baseball drills every day, we got along fine.   Thanks for bringing up some fond memories.

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067.   I've been engaged in an online forum with a couple of former professional pitchers who are now minor league pitching coaches (at least that's what they claim).   Below is one of their comments on the traditional balance position.

Here is what I asked them to discuss:

1.   When the pitcher breaks his hands and begins to stride, his center of mass and pitching arm are moving in opposite directions, the arm is moving down, back and up while the rest of the body is moving forward.   This leads to an extremely inefficient application of force and creates a looping and bouncing action in the arm that leads to injury.

Here's the reply I got:

     There is no phenomenom with a pitcher striding out and keeping his weight back.   Its a function not a phenomenom.   Perhaps easier to think in these terms.

     If a car is driving down the road pulling another car with a rope or chain does the car being pulled pass the car that is pulling it?   No, because both vehicles are moving in the same direction at the same speed one is just in front of the other.   Of course it is possible to move forward and keep the center of mass where it should be.

     The car analogy is not why its just an analogy to create a picture of reference.   That's exactly why pitching is dynamic in regards to balance.   As far as the throwing arm going the opposite direction that has nothing to do with the lower body, other than the motion of the throwing arm going back perhaps making it a little easier to keep the weight back, but that's just a thought and nothing more.   In fact, even that's nullified to a certain extent due to the lead arm action.   Whatever is gained by the throwing arm going back is really lost because the lead arm is going out in front.   This is done to create symmetry between the 2 arms.   Okay so now you see how it is possible to be moving out to landing and still keep the center of mass where it should be.

     The car pulling the other car is a great analogy because it will only pull smoothly if the chain is kept taunt between the 2 if not it becomes jerky and loses its taunt connection.   This could easily be compared to the kinetic chain that pitching evolves around.   As a pitcher is striding out he is staying connected, but also creating separation [the chain between the 2 cars] from the lower and upper body.   The separation is what makes it possible to create over/torque/explosion upon the rotational forces into foot plant.

     Now take this to the mound as in moving out but doing so in a downhill manner [mound].   The key is to be moving out to landing but not letting any slack be created in the chain that's pulling the car.   In this case its the lower body being the car that is pulling the one behind it, the upper body.   The chain must be kept taunt and must not let any slack creep in.   Because, then, instead of following or pulled by the lead car the rear car is chasing it.   That's where some people may make a case for rushing.   While another person may think in terms of speeding up the lead car so the chain stays taunt.

     Whose answer is right and who's is wrong?   Impossible to say because in both cases the problem could be corrected.   Just 2 different avenues to create the same end result.   The speed analogy of the cars boils down to "tempo" of the pitcher.   Now we have the 2 cars upper/lower separated by the taunt chain.   Huh oh! were going down the slope [mound] suddenly we see we are going to crash into a wall [akin to the stride leg planting] and bracing up, creating the wall.   As the lead car [lower] hits that wall in order to not be crushed by the rear car [upper] it needs to catapult/sling the rear car [upper] over the wall.   The slinging or catapulting is best done in the same manner that a whip cracks.   The more speed [tempo] at which the lead car [lower] can attain [within reasonable parameters] the more force he will have to sling/sling the rear car [upper] over that wall.   I hope this helps!!

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Dr. Marshall, it didn't help at all!   It just solidified my belief in what you say about pitching coach wannabes!!


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     Wow, the earth-is-flat thinkers must be proud.   Except for being glad that I have spell-checker that automatically corrected at least a dozen not even close words, I don't know what you want me to do with this.   I disagree with absolutely everything that he says.

     The body pulling the pitching arm forward destroys the front of the shoulder.   That snapping sound that you hear when his pitchers crash the first car into the wall are the Gleno-Humeral ligaments and the anterior shoulder capsule.   The pitching arm slinging forward destroys the pitching elbow.   Again, that snapping sound that you hear are Ulnar Collateral Ligaments.

     It is clear that the pitching coach wannabe has absolutely no understanding of kinetics.   He certainly does not understand how to convert Sir Isaac Newton's three laws of motion to three laws of force application.

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068.   Last fall my 17 yr old son (not a pitcher) was experiencing a significant amount of pain in his elbow when throwing.   We purchased your video and he began throwing with his forearm inside vertical and taking it straight to the target.   Within a couple of weeks he was able to throw without any pain.   He has thrown 2-3 time per week at maximum intensity for the past 3 months without ANY pain.   He is only throwing approx 20 throws at a high intensity each time.   Last night when throwing he started having pain while warming up.   This seems odd.   It's hard for me to tell if he's getting careless with his mechanics.   I always remind him prior to throwing to concentrate on his form.

     Someone suggested to me today that he use the "towel drill" (going thru the throwing motion using a towel) to strengthen his arm on days he does not go to the cages.   They also suggested that he use this drill prior to throwing a baseball.   I can understand that this drill could help reinforce good mechanics if he is doing it correctly.   Does this make any sense to you? The weather here does not allow us to throw everyday.   We drive about 45 minutes each time to the indoor facility.

     I know the important thing is for him to concentrate on the mechanics he learned from your video.   Any other suggestions?


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     Whatever the activity, athletes experience discomfort only when they place more stress on muscles, tendons, ligaments and so on than they can withstand.   In all likelihood, inappropriate force application caused the problem.   However, he could also not be fit for the intensity that he is able to now use.   I am not sure that I understand what you mean when you say, "He has thrown 2-3 time per week at maximum intensity for the past 3 months without ANY pain."   Does he only train two to three times per week?   If so, then fitness might be the problem.

     To be able to throw at maximum intensity, my program requires daily training.   When athletes take a day off, they have to train for two and one-half days to get back to their fitness level before the day that they take off.   To maintain a level of fitness does not require much intensity or many repetitions, but it does require daily training.

     At seventeen biological years old, your son should have already completed my 120-Day High School Baseball Pitchers Interval-Training Program.   That would have increased his fitness level and taught the force application techniques appropriate for his biological age, such that now all he has to do is maintain it.

     In your subject heading, you wrote elbow pain.   I will assume that you mean the inside of the elbow.   That means that your son is taking the baseball laterally behind his body from where his throwing forearm is bouncing downward as he pulls it forward with his pitching elbow.   As a result, the centripetal force slings his pitching forearm laterally outward, which places considerable unnecessary stress on the inside of his pitching elbow.   He has to make sure to take his pitching arm toward second base, such that he never goes laterally beyond his driveline toward home plate.   Then, from his 'Ready' position, he must drive his pitching forearm horizontally over top of his pitching arm straight toward home plate.   If he does this and achieve some degrees of separation between his pitching upper arm and his pitching forearm, then he can lean the to his glove side the degrees that he needs to get his pitching forearm vertical at release.   This eliminates the unnecessary stress on the inside of his pitching elbow.

     The towel drill is mechanically wrong, does not properly apply the regulated stress for a physiological adjustment and gets the towel dirty.   Your son should use the towel to dry off after he showers.

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069.   I've enjoyed reading up on baseball pitching on your website and your ideas on the subject.   I am writing an article for the university student newspaper on UCL tears in baseball pitchers.   I am going to discuss the rehab for such injuries, the problem of the injuries at the college level, and how they can be prevented.   If you could answer the following questions for the article it would be a major help.

     If a normal person, say, Joe writer, or Joe factory worker, were to suffer a UCL tear, how would it affect their daily lives?   Would they even suffer such an injury, or, is it exclusive to pitching in that pitching forces the arm goes through such stress?

     What does the injury do to the pitcher, pain, loss of velocity and control, or all of them?

     Does the high success rate mean that it's just merely a setback nowadays instead of a major arm reconstruction?   Do you think that is wrong?

     With the vast numbers of pitchers having the surgery, does it speak to there being some flaw with the system of pitching as it is today?

     Does the college system predispose pitchers to these injuries?   Does anything?

     Are they generally overuse injuries?   What can college coaches do to prevent these injuries?   Are pitch counts the answer?   More long tossing?   Can they even be prevented?


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     The Ulnar Collateral Ligament connects the medial surface of the Ulna bone of the little finger side of the forearm with the medial epicondyle of the Humerus bone of the upper arm.   To apply greater stress on it than it can withstand, people have to uniquely position the forearm, such that they apply a sudden, powerfully backward force to the medial aspect of the forearm at the same time that that the muscles of the forearm are trying to apply a powerful forward force.   In other words, it just about only occurs when baseball pitchers use the 'traditional' pitching motion and, most commonly, when they try to throw supination curves.

     The UCL acts like a guy wire that holds an electric pole upright.   When it ruptures, the inside of the elbow opens wide.   Even though the Radial Collateral Ligament remains intact, for medial elbow movements similar to arm-wrestling, another possible cause of UCL ruptures, the arm is useless.

     The UCL replacement surgery is a simple, but very effective surgery.   Surgeons drill holes in the medial epicondyle of the Humerus bone and the medial aspect of the Ulna bone and thread a tendon from the Palmaris Longus muscle or elsewhere when patients do not have a Palmaris Longus muscle through these holes, tie the ends together and wait for the bone to close the holes around the new UCL.

     While this is a great surgery, I would not call it a mere setback and I think it is great.   However, what the surgeons and physical therapy personnel have failed to understand is that the 'traditional' pitching motion caused the injury.   To successfully return to competition, they need to not only return the bones, tendons, ligaments and muscles to competitive strength, they also have to retrain how these pitchers apply force to their pitches.   Otherwise, they will again rupture their UCL or related tissues.

     The 'traditional' pitching motion has destroyed pitching arms for over one hundred years.   With the emphasis today on velocity rather than movement, the percentage of pitchers suffering this injury appears to be increasing.   In addition to professional pitchers at all levels, twelve year olds, high school kids and college kids are all too regularly popping their UCLs.   The fault lies with the reverse rotation of the pitching arm to point to the opposite mid-infielder, which causes pitchers to have to drop their pitching forearm downward while they pull their pitching forearm forward with the pitching elbow.   The reverse pitching forearm bounce is the unique, sudden, powerful backward force on the inside of the elbow while pitchers are trying to apply a powerful forward force that overwhelms the UCL and ruptures it.   This action even breaks the Humerus bone of adult professional baseball pitchers.

     UCL ruptures relate totally to inappropriate force application.   It has nothing to do with overuse.   Pitch counts do not protect UCLs.   Long tossing does not protect UCLs.   Rest only causes atrophy and results in more injuries, not less.   The only way to protect pitchers from UCL ruptures, Olecranon Fossa damage, Coronoid Process enlargement, Shoulder Gleno-Humeral ruptures, Subscapular humeral attachment ruptures, Teres Minor tears and more is to discard the 'traditional' pitching motion.   Instead, the first forward force that pitchers apply to their pitches must be toward home plate, not back to their pitching arm side, pitchers must extend their force application farther forward and not stop their center of mass from moving straight toward home plate until they have safely decelerated their pitching arm and with their glove arm, pitching leg and glove leg and pitchers must apply greater straight line force toward second base.

     To learn how to meet these criteria, please read my Coaching Baseball Pitchers book, which is free for all to read and copy on my web site at www.drmikemarshall.com or purchase my Instructional Videotape.

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070.   I am the Assistant Women's Volleyball Coach at an university.   After discussing bio-mechanics with our Baseball Coach, he suggested that I write you.   I am very interested in the science of motor learning and bio-mechanics (especially as it applies to volleyball).   Though my educational background was in the social sciences, over the past several years I have become increasingly more interested in the movement of the human body.   I am especially interested in the application of bio-mechanics and motor learning as it applies to the training of my athletes.

     I have been guided along this path by a Professor of Motor Learning and Head Coach of their men's varsity volleyball team with two NCAA National Championships.   He alsoserved as the USA Men's National Volleyball Team Head Coach and Technical Advisor for the past six Olympic games with two gold medals.   He is currently assisting the new Head Coach as the U.S. men prepare for Athens in 2004.   I came to know this gentleman after attending one of his coaching clinics several years ago.

     He believes in teaching the game of volleyball based on the principles of motor learning and proper/efficient movement patterns (bio-mechanics).   He argues in his coaching clinics that there are proper methods/mechanics for playing the game and teaching the game.   To put it simply, there are proper ways to play and improper ways to play.

     As you may imagine with so many different coaches out there and everyone claiming to be an expert, much of what he (and others) teaches comes under considerable debate.   However he is the only coach with whom I have spoken that derives his methodology and techniques he teaches, through the use of scientific research.   During our many discussions, he and I have explored several issues involved with the teaching the sport.   One of the bigger debates in coaching is whole method teaching vs. part.   As a teacher of motor learning he is a major proponent of the whole method.   Ironically the USA Women's Team Head Coach utilizes several part method drills to teach the women's team their skills.

     If you were to go to the USA National Training Center you would be amazed at the contrast in practice techniques being applied.   He believes the application of bio-mechanics and motor learning is essential, especially in skills such as setting, passing serving and hitting.

     Would you have any research and/or evidence that would support the premise that are certain bio-mechanics (movement patterns) that must be applied if we are to efficiently and most effectively play volleyball (and/or other sports).   Could some of the research that you have conducted on baseball players be applied to volleyball?

     I obviously have several questions I would like to ask you.   As a coach, I am always seeking the best ways to train my players.   Based on what our baseball coach said about you and some of the research you have conducted, you are an outstanding person to ask.   I believe that my friend would also be very interested in what you have to say.


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     In Chapter Thirty-Four: Motor Development, Learning and Skill Acquisition of my Coaching Baseball Pitchers book, I discuss the circumstances under which coaches should teach motor skills as a whole versus by the critical elements.   Because baseball pitching is a complex, total body involvement, ballistic activity, I teach it by its critical elements.   I start with the proper use of only the pitching arm.   After pitchers master those critical elements, I add body movement that extends the length of the driveline in gradations.   After pitchers master those critical elements, I teach the whole.   However, rather than assume that those before me have correctly defined any aspect of the pitching motion, I take high-speed film and apply my conversion of Sir Isaac Newton's three laws of motion into three laws of force application for baseball pitching.   Hopefully, unlike my experience, after your high-speed film analyses, you find that those before you have correctly defined the critical elements of the various volleyball skills.

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071.   I am a college baseball coach.   Paul Reddick recently sent me a letter trying to sell me a bunch of stuff that he wants to get rid of.   I wrote him the following response.

     You still don't get it.   This same information has been taught for a long time by Dr. Mike Marshall.   When I approached Jill and Mr. Wolforth at the Texas High School Baseball Coaches Association in Waco a week after the ABCA clinic in San Antonio, she explained that they were the only people in the country with these ideas.   After explaining to her that they are more than 30 years late with regards to her previous statement and that these velocity increases have been proven with Dr. Mike's program for nearly as many years, I observed Mr. Wolforth slowly ease out of sight behind a curtain.   It seems as if more and more people are making money by stealing Dr. Mike's material and calling it their own.   That's OK though, the more Dr. Mike's stuff gets out, the better the pitching world will be.   Keep up the good work.


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     If all pitching coach wannabes want to put their names on my Coaching Baseball Pitchers book and Instructional Videotape, I promise not to sue.   We sure as hell better not put our egos ahead of continuing to destroy pitching arms.

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072.   Saw your web materials, impressive.   I want to talk about coaching 15/16-year old kids, and what it would take to get you to a northern state for the kind of baseball clinic kids here have NEVER had.

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     You have no way of getting me to travel anywhere.   But, I have an assistant coach whom I have trained to give one-day pitching clinics.   For the one-day pitching clinic, we charge five hundred dollars plus expenses. We have a few weekends available, but weekdays are wide open. At sixteen biological years old, we teach how to use ten pound wrist weights and six pound iron balls. I also have an eight-week summer program for high school juniors and seniors. You can find details about the summer program by clicking on my Pitching Instruction icon on my home page.

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073.   I took your advice today and used graph paper to trace elements of my son's pitching delivery.   Here's what I did:

1.   I used video I had taken in the summer with my new digital video camera.   The shots were taken from a side view approximately 25 feet from my son.   The camera was held approximately 5.5 feet from the ground.   He’s 6’2.   He pitched from flat ground in my back yard.

2.   I taped graph paper to my television set and used two sets of pens, 1 blue and one red, to trace out his movements.   The blue pen was used to mark the path of the ball while the red pen was used to mark the path of his belly button.   B1-Bx was used for the ball markings and M1-Mx was used to mark the path of his center of mass.

3.   He employed the traditional pitching motion.

Here's what the tracings revealed:

     a.   His belly button disappeared from the camera in the early frames because he dramatically reverse rotated his body.
     b.   His arm spent most of the delivery time behind his body with the ball pointing downward.
     c.   His center of mass moved dramatically forward and dramatically downward as his arm was still stationed down behind his body.
     d.   When his center of mass stopped moving forward (and down) his arm had just begun to move up and backward to driveline.
     e.   When he did raise the ball his arm was in a posting position (elbow and upper arm at 90 degree angle).
     f. From that posting position he brought the ball closer to his head.
     g.   In the next frame his forearm is violently snapped back.
     h.   In the next frame his upper arm and forearm finally accelerate forward.

     When you look at the path of the ball the inefficiencies are obvious to anyone with an ounce of common sense, it moved down, disappeared back behind the body, up, back, down and towards the head, back again, then towards home plate.

     I am waiting for your instructional tape to arrive in the mail.   After I receive it I will work with my son on your method, video him again and chart his movements as noted above.   I will then compare the two charts.

Now a couple of questions:

1.   Aside from the fact that his mechanics are totally out of kilter what can you tell, if anything, from what I've described above?
2.   In charting movements as I've done, what is the pathway I would expect to see the ball take from a pitcher applying force in the most efficient way (ball down back and up during transition then 1 straight line from driveline towards home plate?).
3.   Should the center of mass and the forward movement of the ball from the driveline be totally synchronized and uniformed (e.g. mass does not move forward till ball moves forward, mass stops when ball is released)?
4.   Should the center of mass remain level throughout the delivery?   In the trace that I made his center of mass moved forward and down in an almost perfectly straight line.   I felt like I was back in college studying the slopes of demand and supply curves!   He had to be about 5’5 when the ball was released!

We completed this little project together.   I told him the bad news was that his mechanics were highly inefficient and unhealthy.   I told him the good news was that he has dramatic room for improvement.   During last summer he was clocked at 80 MPH.   He was 16 at the time.   Is there any way of estimating, in order of magnitude, the amount of velocity he might gain with proper application of force?


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     Congratulations, you are leaving the world of the-earth-is-flat thinkers.   You collected scientific data, crude scientific data, but clearly, irrefutable, replicable scientific data.

     When his 'belly button disappeared from the camera because he dramatically reverse rotated his body,' you learned that he reverse rotates too far and points his pitching upper arm at the opposite mid-infielder.

     When 'his arm spent most of the delivery time behind his body with the ball pointing downward,' you learned that he has late pitching forearm turnover caused by not supinating his pitching arm during the transition phase.

     When 'his center of mass moved dramatically forward and dramatically downward as his arm was still stationed down behind his body,' you learned that he did not get his pitching arm to driveline height before he started his body forward.

     When 'his center of mass stopped moving forward (and down) his arm had just begun to move up and backward to driveline,' you learned that his stride was too far for him to move his pitching leg ahead of his glove foot.

     When you saw his pitching elbow and upper arm at ninety degrees, you learned that he generated backward horizontal centripetal force.

     When 'he brought the ball closer to his head,' you learned that, when he starts his pitching elbow forward, he would create a 'loop' behind his head on its way to extreme pitching forearm flyout.

     When 'his forearm is violently snapped back,' you learned the result of that backward horizontal centripetal force, you learned that he drags his pitching forearm forward with his pitching elbow and you saw the cause of Ulnar Collateral Ligament ruptures.

     I would like you to collect some more.   This time get behind your son.   Set the camera level thirty feet behind at a few inches higher than your son's height (You want to be at his driveline height).   With this view, you should see the entire flight of the baseball to its target.   With your thirty frames per second digital camera, I want you to trace only the baseball and put a dot on his pitching elbow and draw a line between each baseball and its dot.

     If you film from behind, you would be able to freeze frame with his pitching arm close to release.   If you had placed a known measure, such as a yard stick or the twenty-four inch width of the pitching rubber in the frame, then you could show him how much horizontal movement he has from 'Ready,' the frame before the pitching elbow starts forward, to release.   Since the first force that pitchers apply to the baseball from 'Ready' should be toward home plate, you will see what causes his lack of release consistency, decreases his release velocity and jeopardizes his pitching arm.

     From behind, you should see whether the baseball moves straight back toward second base and straight forward toward home plate.   Any deviation indicates a force application flaw that he needs to correct.

     Until pitchers properly move the baseball from their glove to driveline height, the body and its center of mass should remain still.   Once pitchers place the baseball on the driveline in the proper 'Ready' position, they should drive behind the baseball straight toward home plate.   To accomplish this, pitchers should quickly move their pitching knee straight forward and forwardly rotate their shoulder.   They should continually move their center of mass straight forward until their pitching foot lands ahead of their glove foot on the straight line toward home plate.

     Because the pitching mound has an one inch per foot slope for six feet, the center of mass moves straight forward with a one inch per foot downward angle for six feet.   The fact that your six foot two inch son released his pitch as though he were five feet five inches tall shows that he did not stand tall and rotate.   Instead, he bent forward at his waist, which not only lowered his release height, but also shortened the length of his driveline.

     Except that I do this at five hundred frames per second, welcome to my world.   When you start getting out compasses and straight edges, you become a researcher.   More importantly, you are teaching your son how to better perform this skill.

     There may well be some way of predicting how much pitchers gain in release velocity with my pitching motion and interval-training program.   However, I have not had a sufficient sample size or collected the requisite data to do so.   Besides, I cannot do the training or learning, the pitchers have to do that and they vary greatly in desire and ability to learn.   Nevertheless, they all improve.

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074.   This is the response that Paul Reddick sent me to the email I sent him about stealing your stuff.

     "I don't think you understand me. I am not trying to go against Marshall.   I like Mike and if Mike asked me I would help him sell his video.   Like I said, I am trying to get Marshall's book published.   Even Mike will say that his teaching has evolved over the years.   In 5 years Marshall could be teaching something different.   Ron Wolforth is a friend and a good guy.   I liked his program so I shared it.   I got nothing from it."

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     "In five years, Marshall could be teaching something different."   You may change what drills you use, but you have never changed anything about how you want pitchers to apply force.   Some friend he is.


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     Can't everybody just get along?   We have to put egos aside and figure out how to stop destroying pitching arms.   I felt that I had completely defined my reasons and research for my pitching motion before I When I read that articles that Tom House, Dick Mills and Paul Nyman wrote for Collegiate Baseball News last summer.   To confirm and/or advance my knowledge, I wanted to read what they knew about baseball pitching.   When I learned that they had absolutely no scientific basis for anything that they said, I was very disappointed.   I was also angry that they were charging ridiculous amounts for worthless, dangerous advice.   I wrote my reviews in a state of disappointed anger.

     If I offended anybody with the frankness of my reviews of their articles, I apologize.   I was hoping to read informative, helpful articles.   I would love to read scientific, irrefutably-collected data.   Whether at ASMI in Birmingham, AL or in San Diego, CA, I would applaud the researchers.   If I had their financial support and research assistants, I would churn out quantifiable, replicable research reports at a maddening pace.   We do not need earth-is-flat opinions.   We need research.   We need symposiums.   We need cooperation.

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075.   I have written you previously to inquire about my shoulder pain and its relation to forearm bounce (thank you for your response).

     You had suggested I watch my video tape with graph paper taped to the screen to watch for misdirected force on the ball.   I have done this and you were correct, my first movement from the "ready" position is not towards home plate.   My glove side arm and shoulder open up and my arm appears to drag and never get to an optimal release position "out front."   Are there any drills I could do to try to correct this mechanical flaw?


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     In Chapter Thirty-Seven: Dr. Mike Marshall's Throwing Drills for His Interval-Training Programs, I discuss the throwing drills that correct all mechanical flaws.   Unfortunately, that chapter is about two years old and I have developed even more effective drills with which to teach my pitching motion.   I will include all of them in my second Instructional Videotape and, when I find time, I will rewrite my entire Coaching Baseball Pitchers book and put it online for you to read and copy for free.

     I congratulate you on your first scientific step into understanding baseball pitching.

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076.   I am interested in your summer program.

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     The earlier interested persons reserve their space for my eight-week summer program for high school juniors and seniors, the lower the cost.   The cost of fifty-six days of coaching, housing, equipment to take home and electric is one thousand three hundred and twenty-one dollars ($1,321.00).   If you send in your deposit and notarized partnership agreement by March 01st, you save two hundred and twenty-one dollars ($221.00).   I appreciate your interest.

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077.   I have a close friend that has been playing softball since she was very young.   She is quite an athlete and has earned a scholarship to pitch in college.   As with most young ladies in a small school environment she pitched nearly every game and sometimes both games of a double header.   She began experiencing pain and a knot about the size of a golf ball between the bump of the shoulder blade and the spine.   It seems it is down deep in the Trapezius muscle.

     She went to a doctor who explained it as "Myrolfinger Pain Syndrome".   I'm probably not spelling it correctly and I'm not to sure of what his real diagnosis was.   She can throw for a while but when she quits and then tries to throw again she has a difficult time even raising her arm.   What would you think it may be?


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     Rather than the Trapezius muscles, I would suspect the Rhomboid muscles.   I would have her lie face down on a very high bench, such that, even when she reached down as far as she could, she could not touch the ten pound wrist weights on both of her arms could to the floor.   Then, as relaxed she could do it for five minutes, I would have her swing both arms forward and as far upward as possible followed by downward and as far backward as possible.   She should supinate her forearms on the way forward and upward and pronate on the way downward and backward.

     Until her body physiologically responds to this training program, icing and deep muscle massage might give her some temporary relief.

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078.   I have been coaching baseball for many years at the 14 and under ages.   With the Lords blessing it has been a wonderful ride many winning seasons.   Now I have the opportunity to coach high school baseball in the private school system.   I have never thought pitching and still do not, just some basic movements fastball and change up only no breaking stuff.   I read your free book along with many others.   My thoughts on pitching are with arm movement down past the pivot leg and back.   Most books and coaches are teaching straight back and up.

     Can you help me I want to have a solid program to help these young men later in life.   But my main concern at this level is to train properly and keep these young men free form injury.   Have three players that will play at higher levels than high school with the proper teaching and instruction.   I am scared.   This is a new and tough position I am in.   But, I would rather do it my way than have these young men hurt.   In 23 years of 14 and under I have never had a player injured because of bad instruction and do not want to start now.   Pitching is such a larger part of the game at this level.   Can you help me?


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     I am not sure what you mean with 'arm movement down past the pivot leg and back.'   I suspect that what you call the 'pivot leg' is the glove leg.   If true, then you might be saying that you want your pitchers to bend forward at their waist and pull their pitching arm downward and backward.

     I recommend that, rather than bending at their waist, pitchers stand tall and rotate.   I recommend that, rather than pulling their pitching arm downward, pitchers drive the baseball in straight lines toward home plate.   This requires that pitchers also drive their pitching arms in straight lines toward home plate.

     I am surprised that, with the bend forward at the waist and pull their pitching arm downward, no pitchers suffered front of the shoulder discomfort.

     I wrote my Coaching Baseball Pitchers book and created my Instructional Videotape to help every baseball pitching coach, be they the father of the young men or coaches, how to properly teach the pitching skills and train the pitching arm.   I hope to have my second Instructional Videotape completed in the next month or two, after which, I will start on my rewrite of my book.

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079.   My family will be on a holiday in your area in March.   My 14 year old son loves to play baseball, mostly 3rd base and pitcher.   He plays at the top level in our city and played in the national championship last year.   He has never had arm problems and we would like to continue to avoid them.   My son also wants to continue to improve as a pitcher.   We are only in your area for a few days and we have other activities planned, like going to see a spring training game.   I was wondering if you thought that you could do him some good through one or two lessons?   If so, what would you charge for a lesson?

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     In my eight-week summer program, I teach school juniors and seniors.   In my forty-week program, I teach high school graduates and college freshmen and sophomores.   I do not teach short-term lessons.   However, you and he are welcome to visit and watch my pitchers train.   We train every day from 9:00 to 11:00AM.

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080.   I did as you suggested and utilized video from directly behind my son.   I actually had taped from that angle during the taping session I had with him this summer so I was able to use tape from that session for your suggested exercise.   As you suggested, for each stop frame I placed a dot at the location of his elbow and the ball then drew a line between the two dots.   There were a total of 23 stop frames from his initial removal of the ball from his glove to his release of the ball.   I also drew a vertical line (using a red marker) to identify the initial vertical axis of his body as he stood in the balance position.   This made it easy for me and my son to see all of the wasted action and movement occurring behind his body.

     For me, plotting and trying to understand the path his elbow and the ball took from behind was more complex than the side view tracing I did yesterday where I was looking at the relationship between the path of the ball and his center of mass.   However, if I understand the final series of lines I'm looking at, they reveal subtleties that I had not imagined.   I am a novice here, so please excuse me if my descriptions are less than vivid.

     Let me try to summarize what I saw before giving you some of the details.   If I were to draw a line connecting all of the ball dots, an almost perfect circle (dots in clockwise sequence) would be formed from the removal of the ball from his glove to 12:00 o'clock (2 to 12 O’clock moving clockwise).   Most of what was happening was happening behind his body.   The space between the lines remains constant for a series of points but then changes, either getting closer to one another or increasing in distance from one to another (irregular rates of acceleration? I assume the frame rates are constant).   Once the ball moves beyond 12:00 it's movements become erratic.

     From the removal of the ball from is glove, his elbow initially moves down in a small arc then up as he brings the ball behind the body.   Once it gets behind the body it appears to move slightly up and down (bounce?).   The ball remains outside of the elbow for the entire path of the ball until the last several frames where the ball is brought inside the elbow then dramatically outside the elbow just prior to release (flyout?).   It appears that things occur in series so that's how I present it below.

Stop Points 1-3:   BALL starts at upper chest area.   Ball moves in straight line downward and is now located at mid-chest level.   ELBOW moves down and slightly behind body. Ball is just short of 2 o’clock at point 3.

Stop Points 3-8:   Distance between line 3 and 4 is greater than the distance between each of first 3 lines (sudden acceleration?).   This gap between lines remains constant between lines 4-8.   Between line 3 and 4 the elbow also makes a significant horizontal move behind the body.   From points 4-8 the ball moves downward in an arc and ends at 6:00 o'clock.   The elbow has moved slightly upward and slightly back.   The elbow now is directly above the ball.   The ball is at mid thigh level.

Stop points 8-9:   The elbow moves very slightly up and laterally.   The ball moves to 7:00 o'clock.   Looks like ball has accelerated because gap between lines has increased.

Stop Points 9-10:   The elbow makes a significant horizontal move and the ball moves from 7 to 8 O'clock.

Stop Points 10-12:   Distance between lines decreases (arm slows down?).   At point 12, ball is at exactly 9 O'clock.   The elbow has moved slightly down and laterally from P10 to P11 then moves slightly upward from P11 to P12.   Points are "bouncing".

Stop Points 12-17:   Ball moves uniformly from 9 O'clock to 12 O'clock.   Elbow has changed direction and is now moving horizontally back toward front of the body.   At P17 the elbow is directly under the ball (Posting position?)

Stop Points 17-18:   (things start getting interesting)   The elbow makes dramatic horizontal movement towards front side of body.   The ball moves slightly upward, but very little laterally.   The ball is between 12 and 1 O’clock.   For the first time the elbow is outside the ball.

Stop Points 18-19:   The elbow continues to accelerate laterally while the ball moves only to 1 O'clock.   The elbow is now further outside of the ball.

Stop Points 19-20:   Again the elbow continues to accelerate laterally while the ball moves only just beyond 1 O'clock.   The line for point 20 is sloped negatively at about 60 degrees.

Stop Points 20-21:   Ball makes significant movement down and laterally midway between 2 and 3 o'clock.   Elbow continues to move laterally and now, slightly upward.

Stop Points 21-22:   Interesting thing occurs.   Elbow stops moving laterally.   Ball is now directly above elbow.   The line for point 22 is much shorter than all others.   I assume this is because the elbow has been accelerated ahead of the forearm.

Stop Points 22-23:   More interesting stuff.   The elbow moves up slightly and the forearm and ball suddenly moves up and laterally away from the body.   The ball is now outside the forearm, positive slope of about 45 degrees for line 23.   Ball is released from this point.

     I hope my explanation was not to confusing and made enough sense to give you a flavor for what is going on with my son’s delivery.   This exercise was absolutely great!   Like I said, I’ m about as far from being a scientist as one could be, but the inefficiencies occurring here are even obvious to me.   Thanks for putting up with my clumsy presentation.   I did my best.


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     To be perfect, during the transition phase, the baseball should move downward and backward toward second base.   The first baseball circle on your graph should be waist high when you son took the baseball out of his glove.   The second baseball should be directly below the first baseball.   The third baseball should be directly below the second baseball.   And so on, until the baseball reaches its lowest point in its vertical pendulum swing.

     Then, the baseball circles should start upward directly over top of the downward baseball circles until the vertical pendulum swing of the pitching arm reaches shoulder height.   At this point, the baseball circles should gradually move toward your son's head to the driveline, which is slightly above and very close to his pitching side ear.

     From this ready position, your son should drive the baseball in a straight line toward home plate.   That means, if perfect, you will draw each circle on top of the proceeding circle through release and on toward home plate until gravity and/or the spin velocity starts pushing the baseball downward.

     All deviations from this perfect graph indicate flaws that your son has to eliminate.

     The 2:00 o'clock to 12:00 o'clock circle that you describe from the rear view tells you that your son takes the baseball laterally behind his body.   If you had a known measure in your frame, you could calculate the magnitude of a couple of important flaws.   To determine how much negative reverse rotation your son makes, you could measure the distance between 3:00 o'clock and 9:00 o'clock.   To determine how much horizontal centripetal force that your son generates, you could measure the distance between 9:00 o'clock and his release point.   The result might surprise you.

     Between your twelfth and seventeen stop points, you write that the baseball moves uniformly from 9:00 o'clock to 12:00 o'clock.   In other words, your son's pitching forearm is vertical.   You also say that your son has changed directions with his pitching elbow, such that it is now moving horizontally toward the front of the body.   The frame of videotape immediately before your son started moving his pitching elbow back to the pitching arm side of his body is the 'Ready' position.

     This is not the posting position, whatever that is, this is the position of the pitching forearm when pitchers start accelerating the baseball toward home plate.   Pitchers should not have any position where the pitching arm stops.   Rather, the pitching arm should smoothly flow into the acceleration phase.   That your son's pitching arm stops shows that he generated horizontal backward force that he has to decelerate to a stop before he can apply force toward home plate.   That is like starting a one hundred yard dash by running two steps in the opposite direction.   Not a good idea.

     I do not know whether when you say that the baseball is at 12:00 o'clock, that means that the line that you would draw a line between the baseball and the tip of the elbow, the pitching forearm is vertical or that means that relative to some imagined center of a circle, the baseball is at twelve o'clock.   In any case, this movement is a continuation of the horizontal backward force that your son generated with his improper transition.

     It is very important for you to label the relative positions of the tip of his pitching elbow and the baseball.   What he does next determines how soon he will injury his pitching elbow.   If his pitching elbow moves back to the pitching arm side of his body, then the amount that the baseball moves dramatically downward while it follows his pitching elbow to the pitching arm side of his body indicates pitching forearm drop under that leads to pitching forearm flyout.   From your description, your son moved the baseball downward, from at least vertical and maybe more, sixty degrees downward.   This indicates that, with this reverse pitching forearm bounce, he considerably unnecessarily stresses the inside of his pitching elbow.

     From your beginning discussion of the baseball movement, even though you did not tell me, I assumed that your son is a right-handed pitcher.   Now, during the acceleration phase, you say that, while your son continued to move his pitching elbow laterally and slightly upward between your twentieth and twenty-first stop points, he moved the baseball downward and laterally between two and three o'clock.   Two o'clock is higher than three o'clock.   Therefore, while your son moved the pitching elbow laterally and upward, that means that he moved the baseball farther downward.   That means that he dropped his pitching forearm below horizontal.   If I have interpreted your words correctly, he not only severely drops his pitching forearm under his pitching elbow at the start of the acceleration phase, but he continues to drop it under through much of the start of the acceleration phase.

     This is about as far as a pitcher can get from driving the pitching forearm over the pitching upper arm that I recommend and indicates severe pitching forearm flyout.   Unless he corrects this, when he starts to develop man strength and tries to throw as hard as he can, he will injure his pitching arm.

     You describe the relative positions of the pitching forearm and baseball at release as a positive slope of forty-five degrees.   Since pitchers need their pitching forearms vertical at release, I would call this, a negative slope of forty-five degrees.   Even though you did not tell me the relative positions of the pitching upper arm and the pitching forearm, I will assume that they are in as straight a line that the pitching arm extension range of motion permits.   Therefore, your son has maximum pitching forearm flyout with zero degrees of separation.   To achieve forty-five degrees, your son leaned the line across the top of his shoulders to forty-five degrees.   This means that rather than use his Triceps Brachia muscle to extend the pitching arm toward home plate, he had to use his Brachial is and Biceps Brachia muscles to try to stop his Olecranon Process from slamming into his Olecranon Fossa.

     To sum up, this is the 'traditional' pitching motion and it will not only eventually destroy your son's pitching arm, but he will never achieve his maximum release velocity, release consistency or throw a quality horizontal spin axis curve.

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081.   I'm a high school student in a warm state, who used to pitch, but currently I play golf.   While discussing the golf swing with my pro we noticed that people use their wrists and elbows too much as they come into the golf swing.   These actions are unnecessary because as the body moves downward the body will rotate the arms in the correct position.   This comes to my pitching question.

     I don't think you need to use any rotation at the elbow because your body should rotate the arm for you.   Place your pitching arm at a position parallel to the ground, palm facing up, and pointed to second base; when your leading foot has hit the ground.   When you rotate your body through the pitch, your arm should come across your body in an arc, without any stress on the elbow, finishing with your arm at the opposite hip.


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     The Humerus bone of the upper arm and the Ulna bone of the forearm make up the elbow joint.   The elbow joint does not rotate, it only flexes and extends.   The Ulna bone and the Radius bone make up the forearm.   The Radius bone rotates toward and away from the Ulna bone.   Therefore, the forearm only pronates and supinates.

     Pitchers should apply force to their pitches in a straight line.   When pitchers apply force in an arc, at every point tangent to that arc, the baseball wants to fly off in a straight line.   Therefore, pitchers waste force continually returning the baseball to the curved pathway.

     What you describe is why baseball pitchers injure their pitching arms.

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082.   My son made the 7th grade baseball team.   Their first game is tomorrow.

     At the first practice, my son pitched.   When he threw your screwball, the coach told him that he had the best changeup.   I was not there, but my son said it was breaking sharply.   He has not thrown a pitch since July.

     The point of all of this is that as my son threw pitches, the coach told him he needed to turn his foot to be parallel to the pitching rubber.   My son politely told him: “Coach, I’m learning how to pitch a different way and my dad does not want me to turn my foot that way.”   The coach told him “No problem” and meant it.

     Now, the coach is a redshirt freshman on the local college baseball team, so he’s a young guy.   But I was very happy, and quite surprised, that he allowed my son to ignore his advice.   I told my son that he obviously told the coach in a polite way and I also told him that he will have coaches in the future who will not be as understanding.

     I have to ask about the status of the video. Remember doc, it will NEVER be perfect.   Your loyal followers want excellent and instructive and we have no doubt that is what we will get.   We don’t expect perfect.


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     I am so happy for your son.   I remember the thrill of throwing pitches that moved dramatically.   I will save my opinion of competitive baseball in the seventh grade for another reader, but I think you know what I will say.

     To reinforce your son's comment about not turning his pitching foot to parallel with the pitching rubber, I finally decided to make a complete break from the 'traditional' pitching motion.   It finally dawned on me that I was trying to equivocate.   For years, I have known that when pitchers place their pitching foot parallel with the pitching rubber, they cannot prevent their pitching arm from going laterally behind their body, they cannot powerfully step straight forward off the pitching rubber and they cannot move their center of mass straight forward throughout their pitching motion.   As a result, I now teach my Wind-Up Set Position.

     With my Wind-Up Set Position, pitchers stand with both feet pointing straight toward home plate.   Then, whether they pitch from the wind-up or from their set position, they raise and cross their wrists and double pendulum swing both arms to their proper start position before their lift their glove foot off the ground.   When they are pointing their shoulder high glove arm straight at home plate and their pitching arm is on the driveline in its proper 'Ready' position, pitchers step straight forward with their glove foot and, when it lands where it should, pitchers drive their pitching forearm over their pitching upper arm straight toward home plate.

     What this essentially does is remove a major problem of the 'traditional' pitching motion.   Now, the first force that pitchers apply to the baseball from 'Ready' is straight toward home plate.   When we include my moving the pitching leg ahead of the glove foot, my degrees of separation and my powerful pitching forearm releases, we will eliminate pitching arm injures, maximize release velocity, maximize release consistency and master the pitches required to succeed at the highest levels.

     With, at this moment, over four hundred and seventy clips in this videotape versus one hundred and twenty for my first videotape, this is a much larger project.   After I get all the clips I need, I still have to lay them into the timeline, edit them, put graphics where they need to be and whatever effects are appropriate.   This video will not be perfect, but it will be as perfect as I can do it.

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083.   My son is a left-handed high school senior pitcher.   He trained with you last summer.   He is throwing high quality fastballs and curves and, to a lesser quality, a screwball.   He made the baseball team this year.   However, during the last practice, when my son was pitching with a baserunner on first, the coach said that he balked whenever he crossed his wrists.   Is that true?

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     Absolutely not.   The coach saw something that he had never seen before and instinctively thought that it was a balk.   What is saw was that your son did not lift his glove foot off the ground before he started to throw.   Pitchers do not have to lift their glove foot first or simultaneously.   With the 'traditional' pickoff motion to first base, left-handed pitchers stand on one leg, separate their glove hand from their glove and then, they rotate their hips and shoulders toward first base and throw.   Clearly, they separated or crossed their wrists before they stepped toward first base.   The rule book says that pitchers must step toward first base, it does not say when or even with which foot.   It also says that, unless pitchers step backwardly off the pitching rubber, when they step toward first base, unlike second and third base, they must throw to first base.   Your son is well within the rules.   Looking different is an insufficient reason to call a balk.

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084.   Do you have a time frame for that new video release, would it be a wise choice for me to just buy the original and start with that?   The reason I ask is because the season is almost upon us, and I have only one more year of eligibility.   The information you have provided has shown me a world of improvement; therefore, I would like to begin learning your drills immediately in an attempt to discover the limits of my ability.

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     Please excuse me, but I do not remember whether you are still in high school or are in college.   Nevertheless, I give essentially the same advice.   I always recommend to young men, who are serious about baseball pitching, to become the best pitcher that they can be before they attend college or before their last two seasons in college.   Therefore, you should take a year off and do just that.

     In general, my first Instructional Videotape shows what we do.   My second Instructional Videotape goes in much greater detail with much better examples.   If you buy my first, I will sell you my second at seventy-five percent off.   You will be out an additional twenty-five dollars, but you will somewhat know what I recommend.   I am working as hard as I can, but with everything that I do, including answering emails, I cannot work on it for more than twelve hours per day.

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085.   I was reading Parade magazine last week (2/8/04) and the resident exercise columnist, a doctor, was saying that people should lift weights one day and take the next day off, etc.   His logic was that when you lift weights you tear muscles and the off days gives them a chance to repair themselves and get stronger.   Not to pick on Parade because as I have often heard this logic.   I believe that you teach the use of weights every day in a manner specific to the body movement you are trying to perfect.   Is there any tearing of muscles involved when your players lift wrist weights or throw iron balls even if it is microscopic.   Is the man from Parade wrong that lifting weights causes muscles to tear and I assume he means tear in a good way as the muscles get stronger with a day of rest?

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     If, when people train against resistance, be they weights or whatever, they tear muscle and/or connective tissue, then they need to immediately stop that training program.   However, to make a general statement that 'when you lift weights you tear muscle' does not tell me much.   Is this ballistic power lifting?   Is this anaerobic lifting?   Are they lifting the teapot or five hundred pounds?   There are nearly infinite numbers of training programs with varying resistances, repetitions and frequencies, most do more harm than good.

     In my 120-Day High School and 280-Day Adult Baseball Pitchers Interval-Training Programs, my pitchers do not tear muscles.   Therefore, they do not require time for their muscles to heal from injury.   Rest means atrophy.   One day of rest requires one and one-half days of training to return to the fitness level on the day that athletes do not train.   Everybody needs to train every day for whatever it is that the want to be able to do every day for the rest of their lives.   For example, because I want to be able to jog two miles every day for the rest of my life, I jog two miles every day.

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086.   I read a biography on you from the Web that lists your academic history and saw that you wrote a paper in 1976 called "How Tension Control Relates to Athletics."   Such research and writing must have taken months or years, so forgive such a blithe request as asking you to summarize some of that work.   It's a fascinating subject.

     Perhaps you could share a couple of paragraphs about the finger and wrist tension in pitching, and maybe a thought or two about grip pressure in batting?   Or whatever topic you choose that might shed some light on this work you did.

     Also, I would like to say that I have been working on your throwing motion for almost a year, with the benefit of the first videotape and your free online book.   I am an over-40 position player, and while I am not perfect, I have graphed my ball route and it's a lot straighter than before and the elbow and shoulder feel good for the first time in years.

     Older position players listen up: this can keep you in the line up!   Frankly, it's not that hard.   I say that not to detract from the task faced by your pitchers, but to illustrate that, as you have stated, position players are accustomed to getting the ball to driveline before the body moves forward, and that they have a much larger target area than pitchers do.

     As a position player, if you can rotate your torso and drive the pitching hand inside the target line and pronate, you can become reasonably proficient at this with only a few months of work.

     Sadly, most of us don't even consider adopting your motion until our arms have been severely damaged.   Thankfully, rest and then the use of the Marshall Motion can put all but the most destroyed throwing arm back on the field.   Thanks for your enormous contributions.


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     I know that I have a copy of that article around here somewhere.   If you send me you name and address, I will send you a copy.   I call the concept, differential tension control, where athletes differentiate between the tension necessary for an activity and those that are not.   Then, they learn how to eliminate those that are not, which frees those that are necessary to function without interference.   For example, while the novices with the contorted faces and laborious movements appear to fight themselves with every step, the great sprinters appear relaxed and run effortlessly.

     With regard to how much force pitchers should apply with their fingers and wrists:   Pitchers are only as good as the strength and skill of the tip of the middle finger of the pitching hand.   Strength to maximally transfer the force of their pitching arm to the baseball for horizontal and/or spin velocity and skill to impart the precisely perfect spin axis for each type of pitch, such that the move maximally on their way toward home plate.   I guess that means that pitchers should grip the baseball tightly and rip every release.   The same goes for batters.

     I appreciate your unsolicited testimonial.   You said it far better and with more feeling than I could ever do.   Unfortunately, no matter how often I say that all I want to do is eliminate pitching arm injuries and give away as much as I can and still live, readers think that I am like all the others and just want their money.   I and they thank you.   Besides, you did not cost as much as Fred McGriff charges.

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087.   I am writing you in reply to a letter written to you by a friend of mine.   I am the area scouting supervisor for a major league team.   I am working with his son.   I think you misunderstood the question my friend asked you about lighter ball-heavy ball training.   I by no means intended to use this on 11-12 year olds.   The subject came up and I basically gave him my opinion on the matter and he was looking to you for further input.

     That being said I was rather offended by your comments on myself being well meaning, but basically stating that I had no idea what I was talking about.   I know you have more experience and a greater knowledge of the physiological aspects of pitching, but I too have dedicated a great deal of time on the mechanics, mental approach and physical conditioning needed perform at the optimum level.   I played in college.   I played 4 years of professional baseball.   I coached at the High School level, the College level and at the professional level.   I have also been in scouting for ten years now.

     In my years of baseball, one thing I have always done is listen to coaches and players on their philosophies and approaches to both performing on the mound and teaching that guy to perform on the mound.   I do not teach your so called "traditional" pitching motion nor do I teach anyone in particulars throwing motion.   I teach kids my beliefs developed from listening to hundreds upon hundreds of opinions mixed in with what I learned as a pitcher and what worked for myself and others.   I do not believe in "cloning" pitchers.   Each kid is a separate entity to me and is taught accordingly.

     I guess the bottom line or the purpose of this letter is to inform you that not everyone out there teaches stuff one way.   To tell you the truth I was very offended by your comments in your letter implying that I did not know what the hell I was doing.   I take pride in what I do and work hard at it, and when I feel someone does not respect what I do it really bothers me.

     That being said, somewhere down the line maybe we will cross paths in this game and I can take some knowledge from you also.   I respect your opinion but not when it comes at the expense of someone you have never met or understand how they go about their business.


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     I appreciate that you took the time to send me this email.   That already puts you a cut above others in your profession.   I am on your side.   I am here to help you.   I welcome your visit.   I welcome debate.   That being said, when those in positions of authority do not know that they do not know, they cause the most harm.   You have allot of power and influence, now add knowledge.

     Every human movement has a biomechanical and anatomical perfect way to perform.   For example, bend your knees when you pick up a heavy box. Baseball pitching also has a perfect way of applying force.   You do not learn how to teach this perfect pitching motion with an opinion poll.   It is not a matter of cloning, it is a matter of the proper way to apply force.

     As I said before, I believe that you mean well, but you do not have any idea what you are talking about.   If you are truly serious about learning, read my Coaching Baseball Pitchers book and watch my Instructional Videotape.   I hope to have my second video ready shortly.

     By the way, I have a right-handed pitcher, who can throw my Maxline Fastball, Maxline Fastball Sinker, Maxline True Screwball, Maxline Pronation Curve, Torque Fastball and Torque Fastball Slider for strikes with both fastballs above ninety miles per hour.   With him on your team, you can learn how pitchers should nearly perfectly apply force to their pitches, but also help a young man achieve his dream.

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088.   Is this a sign of more elbow problems to come?   I notice that when pitchers have Tommy John surgery they also have bone spurs removed at the time of their surgery.   I noticed that Santana suffered elbow soreness in 2002 and then had the chips removed at the end of 2003.   Is Mr. Santana a good option for my fantasy baseball draft?   Or is Mr. Santana at serious risk for Tommy John surgery?

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     I know nothing about fantasy baseball or its draft.   I hope that it has nothing to do with money.   I want nothing to do with anything that anybody could call gambling.   You see, even as a sixty-one year old former major league baseball player, I will not violate that prohibition against gambling on baseball.

     'Traditional' baseball pitchers rupture their Ulnar Collateral Ligament because they place more stress on the inside of their pitching elbow than the UCL could withstand.   They get bone chips in their pitching elbow because they bang the radial head of their Radius bone against the capitular end of their Humerus bone.   The baseball pitching action common to both types of injuries is that these pitchers 'supinate' their pitching forearm.   Therefore, unless pitchers learn to 'pronate' the releases of all pitches, they could move from the lesser severe bone chips to Ulnar Collateral Ligament rupture.   It is all part and parcel of the 'traditional' pitching motion.

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089.   Although I am sure you truly know what you are doing I still have trouble with your attitude towards how I or others teach and coach.

     You mentioned a young man and he sounds interesting.   I would like to know where he is from so either I or another scout from our organization can see him.   That being said, I have helped countless kids improve to the point where they are pitching at the college level and a couple of these young men will undoubtedly have a chance to pitch at the pro level.   I feel I must be doing something right.

     If I can find the time I will try to pick up your book and video.   In the meantime it would be helpful if you could mention a couple of names from the big league pitchers who throw with your motion and maybe I can compare this with what and how I teach.


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     I mean absolutely no disrespect.   I welcome discussions.   I invite everybody, including all other pitching coach wannabes, to visit my Pitcher Research/Training Center in Zephyrhills, FL.   I wish everybody every success.   I am doing everything that I can do to help everybody to understand the baseball pitching motion.   We are on the same side.   Nevertheless, anybody who teaches any aspect of the 'traditional' pitching motion destroys pitching arms.   On the other hand, I know how to eliminate all pitching arm injuries.   No pitcher I trained has ever had or ever will have a pitching arm injury and all pitchers I train can achieve their maximum genetic release velocity, highest pitch quality and release consistency.

     This deeply committed, hard-working young man trains with me daily here in beautiful Zephyrhills, FL between 10:00 and 11:00AM.   He is from the Houston area and I believe that he is visiting his parents this weekend.

     My Coaching Baseball Pitchers book is free at my web site at www.drmikemarshall.com.   My first videotape is two years old, but I am presently upgrading it and hope to complete it soon.

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090.   So my take on your e-mail is that unless Santana changes his release or "mechanics", he will be at a greater risk for Tommy John surgery.   Interesting, let me ask you one more question, In your time in the majors was it common for pitchers to have bone chips removed from their elbow and not have TJ surgery or was it more common for pitchers to have the bone chips removed and not have TJ surgery?   Also do you think Santana will require Tommy John surgery in the near future?   I know you don't have a crystal ball, but I do value your opinion.

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     Anybody who uses the 'traditional' pitching motion is always at risk for pitching arm injuries.   Since, other than twelve degrees loss of my pitching elbow extension range of motion and twelve degrees loss of my pitching elbow flexion range of motion, I never had any pitching arm injury, I do not have much information.   I was present and friends of Tommy John before, during and after he ruptured his Ulnar Collateral Ligament, but the people with the answers you seek are the team doctors.   However, I do not know if they get together and keep records.

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091.   I will be in Florida the first two weeks of March.   I will do what I can to get to your facility.   Thanks for the reply and I look forward to bouncing things off you in the future.   By the way, I am confrontational by nature and love to debate people on certain topics.   I am by no means vicious in my approach but I really do enjoy a good argument.   I hope I didn't come across that way.

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     Zephyrhills is twenty miles North on Highway 301 off the I-4 interstate east of Tampa.   We would love to have you here and I will enjoy discussing baseball pitching.   I had to defend my doctoral dissertation against the aggressive questioning of five professors that I selected to be on my doctoral committee.   At times, it was hard to believe that they were my mentors and friends, but, as they said at the end, they taught me to organize my thoughts for answers and never be afraid to say, I don't know.

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092.   A few days ago, I wrote you about some elbow pain my son (17 yr old) was experiencing when throwing.   You mentioned something about taking the ball back toward second base during the motion.   When playing catch with him, I can see him bring the ball back behind him toward where a second baseman would be positioned.   Is this a problem?   Should I be able to see the ball when he takes it back if I am in line with him?   Could this be part of his problem?   We have purchased you video and we are trying to get it right.   His arm is much better now, but he still has minor pain on some of his throws.

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     As I recall, you said that your son has pain in his pitching elbow.   I assume that you mean the inside of his pitching elbow.   The major source of unnecessary stress on the inside of the pitching elbow occurs when pitchers pull their pitching forearm forward with their pitching elbow, such that the pitching forearm moves backward and downward.   Pitchers should drive their pitching forearm over top of their pitching upper arm.   However, when pitchers point their pitching arm at the opposite mid-infielder, because they have to return their pitching arm to the pitching arm side of their body, they cannot immediately drive their pitching forearm over their pitching upper arm.

     Sir Isaac Newton's first law, the law of inertia, tells us that pitchers must apply force in a straight line toward home plate.   Because your son takes his pitching arm so far beyond second base, he is generating the force that is injuring him.   With my new uni-motion, Wind-Up Set Position, I take 'traditional' pitchers, tell them to stand in the 'traditional' set position, make them my 'crow-step' pitching rhythm, where they keep their glove foot on the ground while they pendulum swing their pitching arm up to driveline height, then when they stop their pitching arm, I tell them to step and throw the baseball precisely opposite of where their pitching elbow points.   After a couple of throws, I rotate their body toward their glove side on the pitching rubber, such that precisely opposite is toward home plate.   In this way, they get to reverse rotate like always, but, instead of the first force that they apply to the baseball injuring them, it throws the baseball toward home plate.

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093.   My son pitched 2 innings and struck out three.   He had a nice screwball and a little more pop on his fastball than he did a year ago.   We literally have not yet started practicing pitching.   He was pleased with himself as he should have been even though his team lost.

     Parents are the ruination of youth sports.   I got a series of emails today discussing the miserable performance of the team and how we had to do something about it.   These are 7th graders.   One plan is for 5 hours of practice Saturday.   When I voiced concern about the lunacy of such a plan (although I chose my words more carefully than, say, YOU would have) I was the lone voice of dissent.

     We have had unyielding rain and cold for the last month.   The team was chosen about two weeks ago.   They had not practiced because of weather.   Yet there were parents who wanted to see them in mid-season form.   Incredible.


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     February baseball for seventh graders.   I can see nothing of value in any of this.   Isn't it basketball season where you live?   Like I said before, I will discuss my views on competitive school baseball for seventh graders in another email.

     While I am glad that your son had fun, I see two innings in February.   Does that mean that he will not pitch after sixty days?   I am nowhere near ready to send you my report on your son's biological age and so on, but, like I expected when I saw him in person, he is a biological twelve year old thirteen year old.

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094.   The coach of the team is a young man from the local college baseball team who is sitting out the year recovering from shoulder surgery.   I met him the other day and he seems very level headed.   He is the guy who allowed my son to pitch without turning his foot and he used him the other day.   This young man told the parents that he had four tests this week.   Many parents were upset that he would not be able to practice the kids because of the requirements of his academic schedule.   I suggested in an email that he was sending a very good message to the kids by putting his studies ahead of baseball.   That, too, was not a popular position.

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     This is a good story.   Thank you.   What caused his need for shoulder surgery?

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095.   You are now teaching guys to stand with both heels on the front of the rubber with the toes of both feet pointing straight at home?   The arms pendulum swing, but the feet do not move?   Is this the position from which they pitch or from which they do drills?   When does the glove shoulder then point toward home plate, when the glove arm is raised?   This is awkward because I've done it otherwise for 35 years, but I can see that with a little repetition, this is so very simple.

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     My pitchers pitch competitively with my Wind-Up Set Position.   I want pitchers to pendulum swing their glove arm toward home plate and their pitching arm toward second base.   I tell them to keep their glove foot on the ground until their pitching arm in at my 'Ready' position.   Because I have little rotational flexibility, to swing my pitching arm toward second base, I have to lift the heel of my glove foot off the ground and drop my glove knee somewhat inward.   However, pitchers vary.   Therefore, I tell my pitchers to see how much they need to reverse rotate their hips to align their acromial line with home plate and second base.   When they know that, they know where to 'lock' their hips to keep their pitching arm from going beyond second base.

     My Wind-Up Set Position is very simple, yet very powerful.   And, it puts the old slide-step technique to shame for quickness to home plate.   At a recent tryout, one of my pitchers was using it and, after several very powerful pitches, the camp supervisor asked him to throw some pitches from the set position.   He answered that he just did.

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096.   My son plays shortstop, so he will need to break old habits.   When he takes the ball from his glove, he will need to pendulum his throwing arm instead of taking it around.

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     Usually, because they use the crow-hop throwing rhythm, position players do not have the same throwing forearm flyout problems that pitchers have.   But, you are correct, he has to learn to pendulum swing his throwing arm directly opposite of his target without any backward horizontal centripetal force.

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097.   Does that mean that you have looked at the X-rays?   If so, did you see anything that troubled you?

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     Yes, I have examined all X-rays sent to me.   I just have not had time to respond.   The fact that he is biologically twelve years old and continues to pitch competitively for more than two months per year troubles me.

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098.   I am currently training for the upcoming baseball season.   I am playing for a local league.   I am training with the wrist weights and iron balls.   But my question is I want to lift weights for general fitness.   What exercises do you recommend I do without interfering or creating a hindrance to throwing a baseball.   I read you do not endorse squatting and you prefer the closed grip for bench presses.   Can I work on my shoulders?

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     During competition, other than to maintain their pitching fitness, I do not recommend that pitchers do any other type of weight training.

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099.   A couple of my guys are complaining of discomfort in the inside of the elbow when doing wrist weight maxline fastball pickoff position slingshot throws.   This discomfort does not carry over to playing catch or throwing the baseball hard.   I'm wondering if bad technique is the reason, what should I be focusing on?

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     The key is always whether the first force that they apply to the wrist weights, iron balls and/or baseballs is straight toward home plate.   The only way that they can stress the inside of their pitching elbow is to pull their pitching forearm and the wrist weight, iron ball and/or baseball outward.   They have to learn to drive their pitching forearm over top of their pitching upper arm.

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100.   I know that.   You couldn't possibly make that any more clear than you have.   My question is, however, whether you saw anything on his X-rays that troubled you.

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     The difficulty in answering your question is that X-rays do not show the future.   At present, he has enlarged the cortex of his pitching Humerus, but not much and greater stress on his pitching arm would typically show this.   How much is too much?   At present, the growth plates for his medial epicondyles and head of his radius bones appear comparable for both arms.   At present, the ossification center for his olecranon processes are of comparable sizes.   He does not show the ossification center for his lateral epicondyles.   That is why he is biologically twelve years old.

     To show what I mean about predicting future problems, I have another thirteen year old boy.   Because the ossification center of his lateral epicondyle has appeared and shows and open growth plate, his glove arm shows that he is biologically thirteen years old.   However, because the growth plate for his lateral epicondyle in his pitching arm has already closed, his pitching elbow is biologically fourteen years old.   With only X-rays of his pitching arm, doctors would say that he looks fine.   This finding plus the dramatically larger cortex of his pitching Humerus, I would say that this young man has pitched way too much and, as a result, he has interfered with the normal growth and development of the bones in his pitching arm.

     Just because the X-rays do not show breaks or avulsions or youngsters do not complain of pain does not mean that baseball pitching is not inappropriately altering the bones of their pitching arm.

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101.   I have been concerned that my 14 year-old son has received inconsistent pitching instruction over the years.   Now that I read your information, I am sure of it.

     Last fall my son began experiencing upper arm pain in the area where the deltoid muscle inserts.   He was examined by a "Sports Medicine" doctor.   His determination was that my son's rapid growth (6 inches in 18 months) did not allow his muscles/tendons to "keep up with the bone growth".   His diagnosis was deltoid tendonitis, but stated that his X-ray showed some growth plate widening.   He felt that several months of no pitching would resolve the situation.   Now that my son is training again, he continues to have pain when he throws hard.   Does this original diagnosis seem feasible?   Is growth plate widening an alarming finding requiring further investigation?   How does one go about finding an expert in diagnosising problems with pitcher's arms?


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     I assume that when you say 'where the deltoid muscle inserts,' you mean the distal attachment on the lateral surface one-third down from its proximal end.   The growth plate for the Humeral head is not that far down.   But then, you only said that the doctor said the 'his X-ray showed some growth plate widening.'   You did not define which growth plate.   Also, unless he compared it with his glove shoulder or a very recent X-ray of the same shoulder, I don't know how he could state that it had widened.

     That he grew six inches taller in eighteen months does not mean that his Humerus bone grew six inches.   Nevertheless, doesn't it boggle the mind to think about bones getting longer and the muscles have to get longer as well.   Still I would be far more concerned for the Triceps Brachii, Coracobrachialis and Biceps Brachii muscles, than for the Deltoid.

     With regard to the discomfort that your son is experiencing, I have greater concern for the attachment of the Subscapularis muscle to the lesser tuberosity of the head of the Humerus bone.   With reverse pitching forearm bounce, the pull of the Subscapularis muscle could transfer stress to the lateral aspect of the growth plate of the head of the Humerus.

     Like Osgood Schlatter's disease for the growth plate on the front of the Tibial bone of the lower leg, the cure for all growth plate discomfort is to remove the stress and permit normal growth and development to resolve the problem.   Also, with its excessive outward and inward shoulder joint rotation, the 'traditional' pitching motion unnecessarily stresses the head of the Humerus.   In the meantime, with my 60-day eight year old pitchers interval-training program, your son could start learning the proper pitching arm action without unnecessarily stressing his pitching shoulder.

     I know of no doctor who understands the pitching motion well enough to diagnose what caused the discomfort that pitchers experience.

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102.   I was interested in your deceleration drills that you use.   I have been reviewing your book online and probably have overlooked where you talk about these exercises.   Are there any specific exercises that you use to work the pronator teres muscle?   I do appreciate your work and willingness to share your information so openly.

     I pitched in the Cardinals organization and have served as pitching coach on a professional level.   I currently am the pitching coach for the local Community College.   I also own a baseball academy.   Your work is definitely a big influence in my learning and teaching.   I am looking forward to your new video.


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     My wrist weight exercises are my deceleration drills.   I use three warm-up exercises for my wrist weight exercises; Pronated Swings, Double Arm Leverage Throws and Crow-Step with Shakedowns.   While I am not read Chapter Thirty-Seven of my Coaching Baseball Pitchers book, I am sure that I discussed my wrist weight warm-up exercises.   I am not sure what pitch specific exercises I recommended two years ago, but I will name the ones that I will write in this chapter after I complete my second Instructional Videotape.

01.   Maxline and Torque Pickoff Pronation Throws.
02.   Maxline and Torque Pickoff Slingshot Throws.
03.   Maxline and Torque Pickoff Slingshot with Step Throws.
04.   Wrong Foot Slingshot Throws.
05.   Wrong Foot Swing-to-Ready Throws.
06.   Wrong Foot Transition Throws.
07.   No-Stride Swing-to-Ready Throws.
08.   No-Stride Transition Throws.
09.   Wind-Up Set Position Swing-to-Ready Throws.
10.   Wind-Up Set Position Transition Throws.

     Every exercise and throwing drill I have strengthens the Pronator Teres muscle.   I am ready to help you in any way possible.

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103.   High school baseball practices begin the first of March.   The season starts the first of April and last until June.   Summer ball lastsuntil the end of July.

     I'm planning ahead, but I was wondering what your opinion was about training in the off season for a non-pitcher.   Should he be able to run sprints, throw, take groundballs, and hit every day, or would he be overtraining?   I know that you teach that pitchers can throw everyday (if mechanically sound) without hurting their arms.   Does this apply to all of the areas of training that I mentioned above.   How do you establish what volume of training should be followed?   My son is willing to work as hard as necessary, but I don't want the effort to be counter productive.


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     Until the growth plates in the pitching or throwing elbow completely mature (at sixteen biological years old), I recommend that youth baseball players do not train to pitch and/or throw for more than two months per year.   Between biological sixteen years old and nineteen years old when the growth plates in the proximal end of the Humerus bone and in the distal end of the Radius and Ulna bones completely mature, I recommend that high school baseball players do not train to pitch and/or throw for more than six months per year.   After nineteen biological years old, I recommend that adult baseball players train to pitch and/or throw twelve months per year.

     I do not know your son's biological age.   To recommend how much training he can do without jeopardizing his growth plates, I need that information.   Nevertheless, I recommend that parents and youngsters use these skeletal growth and development years to learn a broad base of not only sport skills, but also of lifetime activity skills.   Skill development for no more than two months for six different sports and lifetime activities are far less likely to interfere with the normal growth and development pattern and enrich their lives now and forever.   Imagine the fun of sharing all these activities with your son.   Time's awasting.

     At eighteen years old, he can use my one hundred and twenty days high school baseball players interval-training program with my ten pound wrist weights and six pound iron ball to train his throwing arm.   I would also have no problem with him simultaneously training his legs for base running, his hands for fielding and his body for baseball hitting.   After he graduates high school, he can start on his two hundred and eighty day interval-training programs.   I have only written a two hundred and eighty day interval-training program for pitchers.

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104.   To clarify, the pain is sharp, only occurs when he throws hard, and can be pinpointed on the arm at the distal end of the deltoid muscle.   He does not have any shoulder or elbow pain.   The growth plate he was referring to is at the proximal end of the humerus.   He did not compare it to the other arm.

     I am most concerned that pitching is damaging his growth plate.   He plays baseball at a very high level and the coaches expect pitcher's to pitch 3-4 innings per game, 2 days per week.   In fact, the league allows pitcher's to throw 8 innings per week.   Now that I have read your information, I have a new perspective on things.


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     You wrote that your son is fourteen years old.   I would need to know his biological age.   At fourteen chronological years old, thirty six point three percent of young men are also fourteen biological years old, but twenty-two point nine percent are thirteen and six point five percent are twelve biological years old and twenty-eight point six percent are fifteen and five percent are sixteen biological years old.   Only if your son was part of the five percent of fourteen year olds who are biologically sixteen years old would I approve of the amount of pitching he is doing.

     I do not approve of school competitive baseball for eighth graders.   Until youngsters are sixteen years old, they jeopardize their normal skeletal growth and development patterns throughout their body.   Even at sixteen chronological years old, approximately one-third are fifteen biological years old or younger and the same are biologically seventeen years old and older.

     Tenth grade competitive sports make sense.   Until the tenth grade, physical educators/coaches should teach youngsters a broad base of sport and lifetime activity skills with appropriately adjusted intramural game rules to protect the delayed maturers and to force the accelerated maturers to master skills and strategy.

     I recommend that you limit your son's participation and start him on the skills in my 60-Day Eight Year Old Baseball Pitchers Interval-Training Program.   After he masters these skills, he can move on to my 60-Day Nine Year Old Baseball Pitchers Interval-Training Program and so on until he masters my entire pitching motion.   By then, he should be sixteen biological years old and ready for my 120-Day High School Baseball Pitchers Interval-Training Program.

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105.   I am a senior at a major university up north and I am headed to grad school in the fall for Sports Management.   I want to get into scouting and player development and I obsessed with new baseball knowledge.   As a hobby, I have begun to collect articles and such on pitching because more than any position on the diamond, I am fascinated by it.

     I have begun skimming your book over the internet and am very intrigued by what you present.   I was wondering if you had any bound copies of the book for purchase in lieu of my trying to save it all and print it at a copy shop.   I would be happy to put a check in the mail ASAP if you have any bound copies.


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     I have my Coaching Baseball Pitchers on my web site for all to read, make a copy or whatever for free.   If I had it published, I could not edit it every year and give away my adjustments for free.   The only drawback is pictures.   My answer is to make an Instructional Videotape that shows what I say in my book.   I am in the process of completing my second Instructional Videotape.   Unfortunately, because they cost so much to make, I have to charge.   Under the present circumstances, I doubt that I will be publishing.

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106.   I pitch at a university.   I got reconstructive elbow surgery and also had the ulnar nerve moved (Tommy John surgery).   The surgery was done Jan 23rd 2004, exactly one month ago.   At this point I am just about finished working on my ROM, I am working on being able to lock out my elbow.   Coach informed me about your accelerated rehab program using wrist weights, weighted balls, etc.   A former pitcher from here did parts of your rehab program after he had shoulder surgery, and he returned to pitched way ahead of his rehab schedule given to him by his professional team.   I would like to do the same and get back to pitching ASAP.   It would be greatly appreciated if you could give me some of your advise as to how I should go about rehabbing my arm.

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     When the doctor clears you to return to training, you should come to Zephyrhills, FL and, rather than wait until my next forty-week group starts in August, I will start you immediately.   I will need your address and telephone number to send you my materials and to talk with you personally.   If the professional pitcher would spend his off-seasons training with me, then he would get ahead farther and faster.

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107.   The past two days I was throwing and after my workouts I had muscle tension in my tricep and a little in my bicep.   Do you have any idea why I might have muscle tension there.

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     With the 'traditional' pitching motion, pitchers never had any discomfort in their Triceps Brachii muscle, the muscle the extends the elbow joint.   This was because with the extreme pitching forearm flyout, they had to use the muscles that flexed the elbow joint, the Brachialis and Biceps Brachii muscles to prevent their Olecranon Process from slamming into its Fossa.   As a result, I have received many complaints of discomfort in their Brachialis muscle and its attachment to the Coronoid Process of the Ulna bone, but nothing with the Triceps Brachii muscle.

     With my pitching motion, in pitchers whom I have trained in the last year, I am getting regular complaints of discomfort in the Triceps Brachii muscle as well.   I believe that my pitchers are actually using their Triceps Brachii muscle to extend their pitching elbow.   This means that my pitchers are finally applying force to their pitches with their Triceps Brachii muscle.

     However, the muscle that extends the elbow and the muscles that flex the elbow are antagonistic muscles.   This means that for the muscle that extends the elbow, the Triceps Brachii, to work maximally, the muscles that flex the elbow, the Brachialis and Biceps Brachii, must completely relax, that is, have no active or residual muscle tension.   In the early motor learning programming of their computer program for this activity, the relaxation signal to the antagonist muscle's motor units might be a little slow, such that they get a co-contraction, where antagonist muscles contract at the same time.   Not only does this not permit a smooth movement, but it unnecessarily stresses both muscles.   With continued motor skill practice, I expect that pitchers will fix this glitch.

     Additionally, due to our heavy training, pitchers develop residual muscle tension.   Researches call this, 'muscle tone,' where, when touched, muscles feel firm.   When touched, 'fit muscles' feel flaccid.   When my pitchers maximally contract their pitching muscles, if their antagonist muscles have this residual muscle tension, those muscles essentially respond as though co-contracting, although not due to a programming glitch.   With continued training, their residual muscle tension muscles become fit, which eliminates this problem.

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108.   Again, I am so grateful for your advice.   I am trying to sort all of this out and am a little confused by something that you said in your e-mail.   You said that "I would be far more concerned for the Triceps Brachii, Coracobrachialis and Biceps Brachii muscles, than for the Deltoid."   What would you be concerned about with those muscles? Are they not keeping up with his growth or that they are being injured somehow from pitching?

     I am also confused because he did not throw at all for 3 months yet the first time he threw a ball from right field to home and the first time he pitched several weeks ago, he experienced pain again.   Wouldn't almost any soft tissue injury have healed in 3 months time?

     I am searching and asking around in order to find someone who can properly evaluate his pain, but no luck yet.


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     On its proximal end, the Deltoid muscle attaches to the Scapula and Clavicle bones of the shoulder girdle and, on its distal end, the Deltoid muscle attaches to the Humerus bone on its lateral surface about one-third down from its proximal end.   While the distal end of the Humerus bone continues to lengthen for several years after the proximal end stops lengthening, the Coracobrachialis, Triceps Brachii and Biceps Brachii muscles also start on the Scapula bone and attach one-half way down the Humerus bone and to the Ulna and Radius bones of the forearm, respectively.   As a result, they would feel the effect of the Humerus bone lengthening much more than the Deltoid muscle.

     With regard to your question of why, after three months of rest, would he experience discomfort throwing.   Rest does not strengthen muscle tissue.   Rest atrophies muscle tissue.   Atrophy means that muscle tissue gets weaker and more susceptible to injury, not less.   If, in addition to rest, you add that he did not change how he applies force, then you have the perfect recipe for injury.   He still throws wrong and his muscles are less, not more, fit.

     He needs to change how he applies force and he needs to undergo a properly applied interval-training program.

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109.   I am 45 years old and play in the MSBL over 40 league.   I can still run good for my age.   However, I get sesmoiditis (spelling?) on Sundays when I play.   This is a severe pain in the ball of my right foot.   It seems to be worse when I wear metal cleats.   When I get home I stretch and take Naproxen (over the counter).   Do you have any suggestions such as shoes to wear, stretching, etc.?   I went to a podiatrist years ago, and he said I could have the sesmoid bones removed, but that it wasn't necessary.   I do wear orthotics and a spenco pad.

     Also, I am on the local Little League Board where I live, and also coach one of the 7 and 8 year old teams.   I went to the Little league clinic last December.   I learned quite a bit since the instructors did a tremendous job.   They also feel the way you do about not having 7 and 8 year olds pitching.   However, they believe that mechanics can still be taught in every practice.   Therefore, I went back to my board and tried to do away with 7 and 8 year olds pitching.   We reached a compromise and in the second half of the season will only allow 2 innings of kids pitching with coaches pitching the rest of the game.   Nonetheless, I was not, and still am not very popular for this.

     My son will be 8 in April and is dying to pitch.   Do you really think it is that bad for an 8 year old to pitch one inning per week?   He'd be throwing 4 seam fastballs and basically be playing catch.   I am trying to teach him to come over the top with the ball.   I'm still trying this myself.

     I look forward to your reply.   I enjoy your web site tremendously, and have even set it up on a link for my teams web site, and passed it on to others.   I have been meaning to come out for a visit since I live nearby.   However, the next month or so I like to attend spring training.   I will make it out soon though.


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     The patella (knee cap) is a sesamoid bone.   Sesamoid bones lie in tendons and give their muscles a little more leverage when they contract.   The thumb and great toe also have sesamoid bones.   You do not want to have your sesamoid bones removed.   They are not your problem.   Your problem is fitness.

     While you did not specifically describe where you feel discomfort in your feet, if it is not on the under-surface of your arch or heel, then the problem lies with inflamed hyaline cartilage.   The bones of the foot are held together with numerous ligaments between them.   When we only occasionally use our feet in strenuous ways, these bones rub together and inflame the hyaline cartilage that surrounds these bones.

     The answer lies in quality shoes that cushion the impact with the ground and securely hold the bones of the foot and a daily training program during which you gradually add stress in the same manner that you do when you compete.   This daily program does not have to last long, but. over weeks, it does have to increase to competitive intensity and it does have to be every day.

     I strongly believe and advise that parents do not permit their youth pitchers to pitch competitively until they are biologically thirteen years old.   This means that the ossification centers for their Olecranon Process and Lateral Epicondyle have arrived.   At thirteen biological years, I recommend one inning per game twice a week until they are biologically sixteen years old.   This means that the growth plates in their pitching elbow have completely matured.   If parents do otherwise, they will alter the normal growth and development of the bones in the pitching arm.   As a result, when it counts, the young men will not have the full growth and development of their pitching arm that they should have.   I also recommend that youngster throw or pitch baseball for no more than two months per year.

     I want the parents of every youth baseball player to take responsibility for the health of their son or daughter's throwing arm.   Do not leave this decision to those who do not understand skeletal growth and development.

     You can use my methods to teach your eight year old son how to throw my Maxline Fastball, Maxline True Screwball, Maxline Pronation Curve and Torque Fastball.   Please follow my instructions.   Do not teach my Nine, Ten or Eleven Year Old Programs to eight year olds.

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110.   Do you think that strength training enhances an athletes potential to throw harder, run faster, and hit farther?   All of the training gurus seem to suggest that you must lift weights to become an elite athlete.

     I seen some old footage of George Foster hitting a homerun into the upper deck at Riverfront stadium.   He seemed really skinny compared to today's players.   He didn't look like someone that did allot of lifting, but he hit the ball as far as any of the players in the current era.

     Does lifting enhance sports performance in any way?


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     The two most important principles of exercise physiology are the Overload Principle and the Specificity of Training Principle.   The Overload Principle means that exercise physiologists design training programs that gradually and judiciously increase the amount of stress, such that the effected tissue can respond without injury.   The Specificity of Training Principle means that exercise physiologists design training programs to specifically enhance the desired fitness.

     If athletes want to throw harder, then they need a training program that trains the tissues to apply greater stress in the precise force application method that the throwing, running and batting motions require.   This means that bench pressing has nothing to do with throwing baseballs, running faster or swing bats faster.   Non-specific training programs do nothing to enhance sport activities.

     In the final analysis, if baseball players want to throw baseballs harder, run faster and hit baseball farther, then they have to throw baseballs harder, run faster and hit baseballs farther.   That is specificity of training.   With my baseball pitchers interval-training program, I teach the proper way to apply force and strengthen the bones, ligaments and tendons to withstand greater force without injury.   As a result, when my pitchers throw harder, they not only do not injure themselves, they increase their release velocity.

     George Foster can thank his parents for outstanding genetics and himself for the thousands of times that he swung the baseball bat with a good force application method.

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111.   If someone is training in a program that is designed correctly, how long does it take them to reach their power/speed potential?   Is there a point when you would no longer make power/speed progress?

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     When Exercise Physiologists determine the maximum amount of resistance (weight) that athletes can move through specific ranges of motion, they measure strength.   When Exercise Physiologists determine the amount of time that athletes require to move that maximum amount of resistance (weight) through those specific ranges of motion, they measure power.

     With regard to how long athletes require to reach their power potential for specific ranges of motion, such as baseball pitching, that depends on numerous factors.
01.   At what percent of maximum did they start?
02.   How quickly can they master the proper force application technique?
03.   Are they properly motivated, that is, not to low and not too high?

     In general, the body will physiologically adjust to a properly applied stress in approximately twenty-one days.   With my adult pitchers interval-training program, I take them from ten pound wrist weights and six pound iron balls to twenty-five pound wrist weight and twelve pound iron balls in two hundred and six consecutive days.   Thereafter, during their off-seasons, they should continue to complete additional one hundred and forty-six day interval-training programs.

     I have yet to have a pitcher train in this manner that I believe has come close to the point where he no longer improved his release velocity.

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112.   Last year my wife visited a friend to have x-rays taken of both arms of my son and sent them to you within a week of his birthday.   She sent the only copies to you without realizing she should have had a copy developed for ourselves.   Since that time I was hoping your second video would be completed so I could drive to your facility to pick it up and at the same time ask you if you could take the time to review my sons x-rays with me.   However, I continue to read your Q&A's to stay up to date with any new drills you discuss or ways of doing things better etc. and it seems as though the video will not be ready for sale in the next couple of months.   In the meantime, a day does not pass without my wife asking me if I had heard anything back from you concerning the x-rays.

     Even though I'm the head of my household, my wife is the NECK and she's wearing me out!   If you could find a few extra minutes to review his x-rays it would greatly be appreciated but if you can't I surely understand how pressed for time you are and I'll continue to explain that to my wife.   Do you know where I can purchase a good set of ear plugs?


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     I am sorry that I have had the time to answer those parents concerned enough to take X-rays of their son's elbows and send them to me.   I was hoping that the fact that since they took them, they looked at them and, at least, recognized that their son's have open growth plates.   Unfortunately, in your case, you do not have those X-rays to examine.

     I have glanced at all X-rays sent to me.   I wanted to wait until I have time to thoroughly examine them and give complete answers.   However, as another reader already bullied me into giving him a short answer, I will do the same for you.   Your thirteen years old son has a biologically thirteen years old non-pitching arm, but a fourteen biologically fourteen year old pitching.   The considerable difference in the size of the cortex of his Humerus bone shows that he has pitched allot.   As a result, he prematurely closed the growth plate of his Lateral Epicondyle.   I would expect the same for all other growth plates the remain open.   If he continues to pitch at the same rate, I would expect the rate of premature closure to accelerate.

     I continue to work from 5:30AM, when I start with answering emails, to 10:30PM, when I finish working on my second Instructional Videotape.   As always, I am learning allot and I am doing my best to organize the information to help parents, pitchers and coaches to teach and train to become the best uninjured high school junior pitcher that they can be.

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113.   It's been almost 15 years since I went to the Podiatrist.   He explained to me that the three little bones the size of peas in the ball of my right foot get inflammed.   When I was 19 years old I tore ligaments in my right ankle.   After playing baseball on Sunday I can twist my foot around and crack my ankle.   I also get shin splints.   This is all only in my right leg.

     I do work out a little during the week.   Mostly just long walks, and stationary bicycle since I'm too tired from work.   Also, some stretching.

     Also, on a side note you don't seem to like Pete Rose.   I don't like him that much either, but you have to admit with 4,000 plus hits cheap or not, he deserves to be in the Hall of Fame.


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     Please go to a library and check out Grant's Atlas of Anatomy.   Look in the section for the bones of the foot.   Let me know whether you find 'three little bones the size of peas in the ball of the foot.'   The 'ball' of your foot is where the five Metatarsals meet the five Proximal Phalanges.   The 'arch' of your foot is where the first, second and third Cuneiform and Cuboid bones meet the five Metatarsals.   Posterior to those joints, the Navicular meets the three Cuneiforms and the Calcaneum meets the Cuboid.   The Talus sits on top of the Calcaneum and anteriorly meets the Navicular.   No mention of three little bones anywhere.   Maybe Podiatrists have kept these bones a secret from Anatomists.

     You can do daily without discomfort what you do daily without discomfort.   Long walks and stationary bike rides will not get or keep you fit for playing baseball on Sundays.   The popping or cracking of your ankle indicates swollen hyaline cartilage that results from insufficient training.   Amazing that you still have not properly rehabilitated from an injury when you were nineteen years old.   Rest does not cure, it weakens.

     I have no personal animosity toward Mr. Rose, he just never was anywhere near the best hitter on any team on which he played.   I do not care how long players play.   I only care whether they are the best of the best.   In my opinion, as one who dampened a jock on a major league pitching mound and pitched to him forty-three times, he was not and he was not even close.

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114.   I don't understand this part of your book:>br>
     "I teach my pitchers to drive their pitching forearm from my 'Ready' position straight forward to the end of the deceleration phase with their pitching forearm horizontal.   This means that I teach my pitchers to lay their pitching forearm against their pitching upper arm.   As a result, my pitchers can powerfully extend their pitching elbow."

     I do understand this part that the forearm is 45 degrees towards 2nd base in the ready position which is the starting point for accelerating the arm forward:

     "I want my pitchers to move the baseball straight forward from my 'Ready' position.   Therefore, to prevent 'reverse forearm bounce,' I recommend that, pitchers have their vertical pitching forearm forty-five degrees toward second base."

     My question is how do you drive your pitching arm forward from the ready position with forearm 45 degrees towards 2nd base and then have your pitching forearm horizontal laying against the pitching upper arm during acceleration?   Is that movement of the pitching forearm the same movement as forearm bounce?


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     A 'reverse pitching forearm bounce' occurs when pitchers have their pitching forearm vertical and pull their pitching forearm forward with their pitching upper arm, such that the forward horizontal force of the from pitching upper arm causes the pitching forearm to move downward.   With my pitching motion, from my 'Ready' position, pitchers drive their pitching forearm over top of their pitching upper arm.   Therefore, while the pitching forearm does move from vertical to horizontal, it does so with force from the pitching forearm.

     Over the last couple of months, we have explored this critical moment in great depths with high-speed film.   I believe that pitchers can eliminate the centripetal force that slings their pitching forearm laterally outward.   I believe that it is a learned skill.   However, all pitchers I have trained came to me with years of the 'traditional' pitching motion, where the pitching upper arm pulls the pitching forearm forward from their 'Ready' position.   While my guys 'fight the flyout,' it is always after they start with pitching upper arm pull.

     Just last week, I high-speed filmed one of my guys doing my pitching motion with fifteen pound wrist weights.   I believe that, because he has mastered my pitching motion with wrist weights, he could drive his pitching forearm over the top of his pitching upper arm with no centripetal force.   However, if he did start his pitching forearm forward from 'Ready' with pitching upper arm pull, the extra inertia at maximum intensity could sling his pitching forearm laterally outward even worse than a five and one-quarter ounce baseball does.

     Even though he took the wrist weights slightly beyond the driveline, he corrected with slightly too much lean to his glove side and drove his wrist weight straight toward home plate from 'Ready' through 'Release.'   To me, this proved that pitchers can do this.   At this moment, all pitchers training with me are working hard to do just that.   As they get closer and closer, they increase their release consistency and their release velocity.   It is a very exciting time.

     What we are trying to achieve is straight-line force application toward home plate.   I propose that the driveline that we want to follow is close to and slightly above the pitching ear.   Therefore, at my 'Ready' position, which is the instant immediately before pitchers apply their first force toward home plate, I want the pitching hand on the driveline.

     When pitchers apply their first force toward home plate with their pitching hand beyond the drive, they cannot drive straight toward home plate.   When pitchers apply their first force toward home plate with their pitching hand short of the driveline, they cannot drive straight toward.   Therefore, to have the first force that they apply to the baseball actually be straight toward home plate, they have to be on the driveline.

     If you have read my recent questions and answers, you would know that I have changed my description of my 'Ready' position.   I now say that I want pitchers to have their pitching forearm vertical as seen from the side view and inside of vertical as seen from the front or rear views.   I am still analyzing how much inside of vertical pitcher should have their pitching forearm.   The pitchers with the best release consistency will teach me.   At this point, I am trying to make sure that they learn how to properly time their arrival at the 'Ready' position with their body action.   I want their pitching forearm to have positive velocity when it arrives at 'Ready.'   At this time, my educated guess would be at about twenty degrees from which it moves toward horizontal through 'Slingshot' and is at horizontal at 'Leverage.'

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115.   You have in your Book:

     "I teach my pitchers to forwardly rotate their pitching elbow from pointing at second base to pointing at home plate.   As a result, my pitchers apply forward force for one hundred and eighty degrees.   Therefore, to apply forward force for one hundred and eighty degrees, I recommend that pitchers forwardly rotate their pitching elbow from second base to home plate."

     Then your Questions/Answers 2004 #92:

     "As I recall, you said that your son has pain in his pitching elbow.   I assume that you mean the inside of his pitching elbow.   The major source of unnecessary stress on the inside of the pitching elbow occurs when pitchers pull their pitching forearm forward with their pitching elbow, such that the pitching forearm moves backward and downward.   Pitchers should drive their pitching forearm over top of their pitching upper arm.   However, when pitchers point their pitching arm at the opposite mid-infielder, because they have to return their pitching arm to the pitching arm side of their body, they cannot immediately drive their pitching forearm over their pitching upper arm."

     You speak about the stress caused by pulling the forearm forward with the elbow.   Then as describe in your book, when a pitcher forwardly rotates his elbow from pointing at 2nd base to point at home plate does that not create the same stress?

     The question then is the difference, then the fact that in your book you want the acromial line also to rotate to home plate with the elbow thus reducing the stress on the elbow?


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     The difference between the 'traditional' pitching motion where pitchers use their pitching upper arm to pull their pitching forearm forward and my pitching motion where my pitchers drive their pitching forearm over top of their pitching upper arm is that, with my pitching motion, my pitchers do not generate any horizontal centripetal force and the 'traditional' pitching motion does.   The acromial line refers to the movement of the shoulders.   It is possible to forwardly rotate the shoulders and still straight-line drive the baseball toward home plate.

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116.   I have two questions regarding pronation.   Conventional coaching has taught me to try to keep my fingers behind the ball as long as possible to get more/better backspin.   Also, I have been taught over the years the "towel drill."

     I have learned from the information you have provided that these notions of throwing are not correct while attempting to maximize ball release and minimize stress.

     What semantics do you use to teach your pitchers in order to get them to pronate properly?   While pronating my forearm, should my thumb continue extending out away from my body towards home plate?


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     Forearm pronation occurs when the Radius bone on the thumb side of the forearm rotates toward the Ulna bone on the little finger side of the forearm.   Therefore, to pronate the release of all pitches, pitchers powerfully rotate the thumb side of their forearm toward the little finger side of their forearm.   In layman's terms, pitchers must turn their thumbs to point toward the ground and beyond throughout their releases.

     Since the 'towel drill' requires that you bend forward at your waist, I strongly recommend that you stop.   You must learn how to stand tall and rotate and move your pitching leg ahead of your glove foot.

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117.   Thank you for the invaluable information that you have on your web site and the thoughtful responses to the questions that are posed to you.   Years ago I heard you speak and was impressed by the passion and clarity of your presentation. I am a high school baseball coach.   My brother who is my assistant will be in your area the week of March 2.   Would it be OK for him to come to your training facility to observe your pitchers training?   Do you sell your wrist weights or could you recommend a way to purchase some?

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     We welcome every opportunity to show off to visitors.   Until the fourth Saturday in May, we train from 9:00 to 11:00AM every day.

     I need to make a file for my web site for where I get my equipment.   But, here goes again.

01.   To purchase the Long Strap RS Series therapeutic ten and five pound weights with which we make our wrist weights, readers need to telephone (800)252-6040 for the name of the distributor near you.

02.   To purchase the six pound iron ball that we use for our middle fingertip spins and base level of iron ball throws, readers need to telephone (800)521-2832.

03.   To purchase the eight, ten and twelve pound lead balls that we use for our advanced levels of iron ball throws, readers need to telephone me at (888)658-8850.   I special order them just for me.

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118.   Thanks so much for taking the time to review the x-rays.   I truly was hoping for better news though and feel like I robbed him of growing into the best pitcher he could be.   I allowed him to pitch prior to him turning thirteen and I wish I had discovered you and your material long before he was twelve.   Since that time he has learned the eight through eleven year old programs throwing into a net fifteen feet away in the garage and is now working on the twelve year old program outside.

     I truly respect your opinion and would like to know if he was your kid in my situation would you allow him to pitch one inning a game twice a week or would you have him discontinue pitching until he is sixteen.   I understand the damage is done with the premature closure of the growth plate to the lateral epicondyle but as you mentioned, the others that are still open may prematurely close as well.   He has done so well working through the programs but he would understand if I told him not to pitch anymore.


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     He is biologically thirteen years old.   That means that I would permit him to throw with the set and wind-ups positions for two months per year.   During that time, I would let him pitch one inning per game twice a week for two months.   He could continue practice my pickoff and wrong foot releases.   During the adolescent years, all that is important is skill development.   He needs to develop a wide variety of sport and lifetime activity skills.   When the growth plate in his pitching elbow mature, we can revisit getting him stronger.   When the growth plates in his pitching shoulder mature, we can get him as strong as he can be.

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119.   My understanding now is that instead of the traditional pitching motion of horizontally pulling the upper arm around at such a force that causes the forearm to get left behind thus forearm bounce, verses your motion that is drive your forearm up over the top of your pitching upper arm.   I interrupt that as saying drive your forearm in a straight line towards your target in a straight up over upper arm circular type motion.   Forearm driving up over the upper line gives you some circular motion.

     Then going back to our previous topic of laying the forearm back onto the upper arm.   I still have trouble thinking about that description.   It still seems to me that laying the forearm back so far as to rest against the upper arm as the arm is driven forward up over the top of the upper arm would still put stress on the elbow.   Laying that forearm back against the upper arm is allot of bending back of the forearm for the elbow to have to go thru as the arm is driving forcible towards home plate.   Am I missing some important facts here or do I just don't understand your motion properly?

     One last thought is that, yes too me, it does seem that allot of stress is on the bending back of the forearm thus stressing the elbow but maybe with me not understanding the way the arm works that this stress may not be a big issue due to the new angles created by your pitching motion verses the "traditional" pitching motion.


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     When I tell my pitchers to drive their pitching forearm over top of their pitching upper arm, I want them to drive their pitching hand straight toward home plate.   I do not want them to drive the pitching hand upward, outward, inward or downward. I want them to drive it in straight toward home plate.

     When pitchers pull their pitching forearm forward with their pitching upper arm, the horizontal centripetal force slings their pitching forearm outwardly.   This pitching forearm flyout unnecessarily stresses the inside of the pitching elbow with their pitching arm in a weak leverage position.   When pitchers drive their pitching forearm over their pitching upper arm, they necessarily stress the inside of their pitching elbow with their pitching arm in a powerful leverage position.

     With my pitching motion, pitchers minimize the outward rotation and inward rotation range of motion of the shoulder joint.   Where the 'traditional' pitching motion requires the outward to inward rotation range of motion of the shoulder joint to approach two hundred and seventy degrees, my pitching motion requires one hundred and eighty degrees.   As a result, we greatly reduce the stress on the rotator cuff muscles.

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120.   Little by little I am figuring some things out.   I have been reading your chapter 37 off and on for 2 years trying to figure it all out and compare it to traditional pitching motion.

     Going back to your book:

     "I teach my pitchers to drive their pitching forearm from my 'Ready' position straight forward to the end of the deceleration phase with their pitching forearm horizontal.   This means that I teach my pitchers to lay their pitching forearm against their pitching upper arm.   As a result, my pitchers can powerfully extend their pitching elbow."

     In my previous emails I have mentioned that I have had trouble understanding how the pitching forearm is laid against their pitching upper arm.   To get the forearm to lay back against the upper arm is the forearm moving backwards and down.   Also does the forearm get laid against upper arm before forward motion from the ready position occurs.   Another point is that if the forearm is laid against the upper arm before forward motion which you would be in the ready position or a little after, then the ball in your hand would be positioned somewhat behind your head as the forearm/elbow bent is resting on the upper arm.   Is this why your new ready position is at 90 deg from the side and slightly inside looking from the front or the back?   This new position makes it easier to lay the forearm against the upper arm.


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     When I say, 'pitchers lay their pitching forearm on their pitching upper arm,' I am saying that they do not flex their pitching elbow, they permit gravity and their straight driveline to move their pitching forearm straight forward.   Try this.   Lean your shoulders forty-five degrees to your glove side and point your pitching arm straight upward.   Now, relax your Triceps Brachii muscle and permit your pitching forearm to fall down, such that your pitching hand touches your pitching shoulder.   Wala, you have laid your pitching forearm on your pitching upper arm.

     This is the mid-way position between my 'Ready' position and the end of the deceleration phase.

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121.   I have a few questions for you.   For the 40 week program, what are the options for sending in the $600 deposit?   Because I want to do it soon, could you e-mail me back so I can get this all done?

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     I advise you to get your materials in soon. We have many more interested pitchers and the earlier I receive your deposit and agreement, the more discount your get.

     To reward partners when they send in their deposits early, I will reduce the coaching and equipment fee that is payable on arrival as follows:

1.   If I receive the deposit before March 01, 2004, I will give partners one hundred and fifty dollars ($150.00) off my coaching and equipment fee.

2.   If I receive the deposit before June 01, 2004, I will give partners one hundred dollars ($100.00) off my coaching fee.

3.   If I receive the deposit before August 01, 2004, I will give partners fifty dollars ($50.00) off my coaching fee.

To reward partners when they also pay in full for the housing and electric on arival, instead of the full three thousand eighty dollars ($3,080.00), I will charge two thousand eight hundred dollars ($2,800.00).

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122.   My son is enrolled in the 280 day program and will start this August and complete the program in May 2005, after which he has the option of completing his final year of American Legion eligibility playing from June through August back here.   What are the chances of a college finding him and wanting him to play ball for them while he's in training with you (of course assuming he's good enough)?

     I'm not particularly concerned whether its division 1, 2 or 3.   Should he be applying to colleges while he's training or would you suggest he focus on training and apply to 4 yr colleges after he completes his legion ball, which would start his freshman year in August 2006 (he will be 20 yrs old then)?   Are there college coaches recruiting some of your pitchers while they are training?   I'm just trying to outline a rough timeline here.   I realize its somewhat of a personal decision on how best to approach this, but any suggestions you could provide would be welcome.


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     After your son completes my 280-Day Adult Baseball Pitchers Interval-Training Program, he will understand what he needs to do to become the best pitcher he can be.   At this time, neither I nor he or anybody else knows how good he can be.   However, when he finishes my program, he and I will know.   And, he and I will know how much more work he has to do to meaningfully compete.   At that time, we will be in a much better position to decide what he needs to do next.   Typically, to learn with which pitches he feels comfortable in tight competitive situations, I do recommend that pitchers pitch in summer leagues, such as with an American Legion team.

     We do have several junior college teams in our area and they all hold open tryouts every May.   If only for the experience, I recommend that my pitchers go to these tryouts.   As a result of these tryouts, some have attended these schools.   While I do invite coaches from these schools to visit and some do, the best way for pitchers to show what they have is with individual or open tryouts at each school.   Of course, college coaches are aware of the American Legion program and, with notification, they do scout those games.

     But, first things first, let's help your son learn how to become the best pitcher that he can be.   I do not know of any shortcuts.   It takes properly-guided hard physical and mental work.

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123.   What are you thoughts on a player getting prolotherapy while they are still learning your force application techniques?

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     I have no idea what prolotherapy is and please don't ask me to waste my time and energy learning another scam that uninformed, greedy physical therapists have conjured up.   I am confident that if athletes have enough money and time to waste, then they will gladly take both.   I prefer properly-guided hard physical and mental training.

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124.   I've got a player that contacted me from an academy in Florida.   He said it was the Mike Marshall academy.   Is there such a thing and do you have a web site?

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     My web site is at www.drmikemarshall.com.   I offer my pitching coach services to high school juniors and seniors for eight summer weeks and to high school and junior college graduates for forty fall, winter and spring weeks.   To learn more details, please click on Pitching Instruction on my home page and, for my free Coaching Baseball Pitchers book, please click on FREE BOOK!!!

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125.   My son is a Freshman in HS.   What resources of yours should I buy, at a minimum?   Do you insist a pitcher bring the ball back with the palm facing the ground, or do you believe, as some pitching coaches do, that it doesn't matter how you bring the ball back, so long as it gets in the up and ready position?

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     If youngsters are six years old in the first grade, then, in the ninth grade, they are fourteen years old.   If your son is also fourteen biological years old, then the growth plates for his Olecranon Process, Medial Epicondyle and Radial Head remain open and growing.   Therefore, at this time, he needs to start learning my interval-training programs. These are free on my web site. Please click the Training Programs icon on the home page of my web site.   He should start with my Eight Year Old Baseball Pitchers Interval-Training Program.   After he masters these drills, then he can move on to my Nine Year Old Baseball Pitchers Interval-Training Program.   And so on, until he becomes sixteen biological years old.

     When he becomes fifteen biological years old, the growth plate for his Olecranon Process matures.   When he becomes sixteen biological years old, the growth plates for his Medial Epicondyle and Radial Head will mature.   Then, he can start my 120-Day High School Baseball Pitchers Interval-Training Program.   At that time, he will need two ten pound wrist weights, cloth duct tape, a six pound iron ball and two dozen baseballs.   In an answer to an earlier email, I provide the telephone numbers for from where I purchase this equipment.

     Further, the growth plates in his Humeral Head and distal Radius and Ulna bones will remain open and growing until he is biologically nineteen years old.   Therefore, until your son is nineteen biological years old, he should not start my 280-Day Adult Baseball Pitchers Interval-Training Program, where he will also need two more ten pound wrist weights, two five pound wrist weights, more cloth duct tape, an eight pound iron ball, a ten pound iron ball, a twelve pound iron ball and two more dozen baseballs.   I also provide those telephone numbers in that earlier email.

     You might also want to build him a Pitcher's Training Center of his own.   In that case, you will need to build him an iron ball rebound wall, a pitcher's mound and a net into which he can throw his baseballs.   In Chapter Thirty-Five, I provide some instructions of how I built these facilities for my Baseball Pitcher's Research/Training Center.

     My Coaching Baseball Pitchers book is free on my web site.   However, I have to warn you that I last edited my book almost two years ago.   While the majority of the book will remain essentially the same, I continue to adjust the drills with which I teach pitchers.   The basic principles, such as straight-line force application, maximum driveline length and greater straight-line opposite force remains the same, but better drills produce better and earlier results.   Therefore, I will adjust, though not dramatically, how we perform my adjusted drills in Chapter Thirty-Seven; Dr. Mike Marshall's Throwing Drills for His Interval-Training Programs.

     Lastly, also almost two years ago, I completed my first Instructional Videotape.   Even though I did not have the best subjects to demonstrate what I wanted pitchers to do and I was new to the filmmaking process, that videotape does show parents, pitchers and coaches how to properly apply force to their pitches. If you want to get started immediately, you could purchase that videotape and, when I complete my second Instructional Videotape, I will give you seventy-five percent off.

     At this moment, I have three videotapes fully detailed, scripted and digitized into the computer.   The first videotape is my upgrade of my first videotape.   The second videotape shows the flaws in the 'traditional' pitching motion and the solutions in my pitching motion.   The third videotape teaches parents, pitchers and coaches how to get the Coach's Eye, that is, how to recognize even the smallest flaw and how to correct it.   Each videotape should be an hour long and I will finish them in this order and make them available as I finish them.

     Now, I have to move the almost five hundred clips onto the timeline in their proper order, edit each clip, add graphics to most clips, add script audio to each clip without script audio and double-check that I have all the clips that I need.   For example, for my baseball section alone, I have twelve different force application drills for six pitches for front and rear views, which is twelve times six times two or one hundred and forty-four clips that clearly demonstrate the skill in the proper order with separate graphics and script.

     Together, we will help your son become the best injury-free pitcher that he can be.

P.S.   One of the many, many things that you and he will learn is that pitchers must never have their pitching palm facing downward and it makes a great deal of different where pitchers have their palm facing when it reaches driveline height.

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126.   You wrote:   The towel drill is mechanically wrong, does not properly apply the regulated stress for a physiological adjustment and gets the towel dirty.   Your son should use the towel to dry off after he showers.   I have to tell you that your very (maybe very very) dry sense of humor makes reading your Q&A’s quite enjoyable.

     Another thing, in your question #47 you referred to Sibby Sisti:   long ago (in the late 50’s or very early 60’s) my parents bowled in a league with him in Buffalo NY.   So I got to meet him and spend some social time with him when I was very young (8-12 years old).   What a fun guy I remember him as, right down to the perpetual cigar in his mouth.   Thanks for bringing him up.

     On to business, my son and I have been watching your video and unfortunately the weather hasn’t been conducive to putting your principles into action.   Do you have any thoughts on what he can do inside?   Also in regards to a general question about fast twitch muscle fibers, what would you recommend he do to develop them?   In this case I am not talking about pitching muscles but more in the overall quickness mode.   He is also a basketball player and wants to develop his overall quickness there.   I have recommend jumping rope and just doing a lot of footwork exercises to maximize his ability.   Since all I am doing is recommending things I have been told and really have very limited knowledge, I prefer to turn to an expert.   Others have recommended plyometric exercises.   He has NOT tried that because of your thoughts.


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     The very first pitching skills that youth pitchers have to learn are how to properly release my Maxline True Screwball, Maxline Fastball, Maxline Pronation Curve and Torque Fastball.   But, they can learn how to use their pitching forearm, wrist, hand and fingers with objects other than baseballs.   They can use tennis balls and bounce them off concrete basement walls.   They can use those sponge balls and play catch.   I recommend that youth pitchers use my Pickoff Pronation, Slingshot and Slingshot with Step throwing drills.

     Although researchers claim to have evidence to the contrary, I believe that genetics determines the percentage of the, at least, three different types of muscle fibers that we have.   I do not believe that different types of training programs can change muscle fibers into different types.   At this point in the research into types of muscle fibers, I believe that we have three.

     Slow-twitch oxidative muscle fibers have myoglobin and mitochondria, which metabolize muscle glycogen and triglycerides to resynthesize adenosine-tri-phosphate that attach to the twenty percent fewer myosin cross-bridges for muscle contraction.   These fibers are the workhorse fibers that churn on second after second, hour after hour, day after day, month after month, years after years.   They make up our heart muscle.   They need oxygen, but keep on ticking.

     Fast-twitch glycolytic muscles fibers do not have myoglobin or mitochondria and do not need oxygen.   They metabolize muscle glycogen far less efficiently and, as a result, build up lactic acid, which increasingly interferes with the contractile process until athletes have to stop.   The high lactic acid levels no only stop muscle contraction, but also demands that the body stop everything else to force slow-twitch oxidative muscle fibers to immediately metabolize the lactic acid.   These muscle fibers create that huge oxygen debt that leads to the hands-on-your knees heavy breathing.

     Fast-twitch phosphagenic muscle fibers jump into action in moments of great stress.   Grandma lifts the car off of grandson after the jack fails.   The incredible Hulk appears.   We do not train these muscle fibers. They just are.   They also do not have myoglobin or mitochondria.   They do not metabolize any food substance.   They resynthesize adenosine-tri-phosphate by way of a coupled biochemical reaction between phospho-creatine and adenosine-tri-phosphate.

     All this means is forget about fast-twitch training and plyometrics.   Once again the creative physical therapist group have conned the public for their financial gain.   Athletes need only to learn the proper way to apply force for their specific skills and, after they master these skills and properly trained for the proper fitness, gradually increase their intensity to their maximum levels.   Wala, fast-twitch training and plioanglos joint action.

     Jumping rope and allot of footwork drills make athletes very good at jumping rope and those footwork drills.   I am not saying not to do them, but do not expect them to do anything other than what they do.

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127.   Do you think the pitching forearm should be against the pitching upper arm as soon as the ball reaches driveline, or does the contact happen after rotation begins?

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     I tell my pitchers to 'lay' their pitching forearm on their pitching upper arm.   When I say, 'lay,' I am telling them not to actively 'flex' their pitching elbow.   Instead, I want them to not 'extend' the pitching elbow, such that if they do not use their pitching upper arm to pull their pitching forearm forward, which leads to centripetal force slinging their pitching forearm outward, then, with pitching upper arm inward rotation and pitching forearm pronation, they can drive their pitching hand straight toward home plate.   I do not want pitchers to 'extend' their pitching elbow until they can do so straight toward home plate.

     I have said that the 'driveline' to home plate that the pitching hand and baseball should follow is slightly above and very close to the pitching ear.   Depending on the degrees of separation of the pitching forearm from the pitching upper arm, it might be slightly above the pitching ear, but through the back of the head.   This means that, to get their pitching forearm vertical at release, pitchers with less degrees of separation who have to lean their shoulders more toward their glove side might actually have to start from 'Ready' straight toward the back of their head.   At 'Ready,' I want pitchers to have their shoulders level.   Pitchers do not lean their shoulders to their glove side until they approach 'Release.'   This means that pitcher move their pitching hand and baseball from 'Ready' through 'Slingshot' straight at the back of their head.   But, from 'Slingshot' to 'Leverage,' they lean their head out of the way.

     In the pitching motion, the place where the rubber meets the road is the difference between theory and reality.   At this time, I only have high-speed film of my assistant coach throwing fifteen pound wrist weights as I theorize I want pitchers to apply force.   At this time, all high-speed film of pitchers throwing baseballs show centripetal force forcing their pitching forearm outward with varying degrees of separation up to forty degrees.   In every case, my pitchers continue to take their pitching hand and baseball beyond their driveline, such that when they try to return, they have already applied some sideways force that takes their pitching hand and baseball past their driveline due to the centripetal force that they generated.

     Pitchers apply the force that destroys their pitching arms.   I believe that it is a case of old habits die hard.   I believe that if parents and coaches teach youth pitchers how to properly complete my 'transition' phase with my crow-step pitching rhythm and double arm pendulum swing where pitchers take their vertical, from the front view, pitching arm parallel with their acromial line that they reverse rotate to ten degrees short of second base, then pitchers can move their pitching forearm to twenty degrees inside of vertical from the front view and vertical from the side view, which is my 'Ready' position.

     In that twenty degrees of inward movement of their pitching hand and baseball, pitchers should move to their driveline, not short of and not beyond.   Since twenty degrees inside of vertical from the front view is above the pitchers' head, and because the driveline passes slightly above their pitching ear, this means that I want the driveline angled slightly downward toward the top of the strike zone, which is about four feet high.   Therefore, when six foot tall pitchers with their pitching forearm above their shoulder height release their pitches, they should drive the baseball slightly downward.

     From 'Ready,' I want pitchers to supinate their pitching forearm, such that when they start their pitching upper arm forward, they 'load' the slingshot while they powerfully inwardly rotate their pitching upper arm and pronate their pitching forearm.   When pitchers apply their first force straight toward home plate from 'Ready,' I believe that they will achieve more than sixty degrees of separation, which will not only greatly increase their release consistency at higher pitching arm velocities, but they will also lengthen their drivelines and achieve greater release velocities without unnecessarily stressing their pitching arms.

     In any case, the pitching forearm never, never contacts the pitching upper arm.

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128.   I think you are much too modest about the benefit of your first Instructional Videotape.   I sense that many of your readers are conflicted about getting the first tape since you have another, better, one on the way.   Because I consider myself an average reader of your web site, I know how difficult it is to picture your pitching motion.   With baseball starting in the south and west and just around the corner in the north, I would strongly encourage your readers to purchase your first video ASAP because pictures are truly worth a thousand words.   Since those that purchase your first video tape get your next video for 75% off, it is more than worth the investment.

     Your readers should be warned, however, that ignorance is bliss and knowledge can be painful.   I am sufficiently alarmed from what I am learning that I am not allowing my son (13) to pitch this year period.   This is not a popular decision with the wife or son.   You said in one of your replies to a question about an unknowing coach something to the effect that the coach (boss) may be wrong but he is still the coach (boss).   I agree.   I don't think there are going to be many coaches out there that are going to allow one pitcher to pitch one way and only for one inning while the rest of the team pitches in the traditional manner.

     Hopefully, I am wrong.   And just so I don't come across as holier than thou, I am letting my son play on a team who's season goes for 4 months.

     Another point for your readers.   I believe rental car companies do not have drop-off charges if you rent a car in Orlando and drop it off in Tampa.   Also, it is not much more expensive (and may be less expensive) to fly into Orlando and fly out of Tampa.   The reason I mention this is that your readers who go to Disney World may want to tie in a visit to your facility.   It is pretty much on the way from Orlando to Tampa.   I highly recommend a visit to your facility.


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     I will print your unsolicited comments as stated.

     While I am happy that you are trying to protect your son against too much stress on his pitching arm, I trust that you are teaching him my pitching skills.   If so, he is at the age where he should be doing my wind-up set position throws.   He should not do these for more than two months.   And, unless he does not play in the field, he is throwing and, even though it is not as much at pitching, it does stress the throwing arm.

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129.   Just wanted to drop a line concerning my son’s first game pitching.   He pitched a complete (7 inning) game, shut out striking out 10 and allowing just 4 hits.   He got into minimal trouble in the fifth inning on a couple of errors, but was able to get out of it by striking out the last two hitters.   There were only two hits out of the infield of which one probably could have been caught and the other being a bloop single; the other hits were infield hits with the infield playing back.

     He’s pretty excited and it just added to the confidence he has in his pitching.   The coach has been very good in that he told him he would not attempt to change anything he was doing.   Of course it helped that the coach caught my son during the first week of practice and once he saw the curve it didn’t take much for him to recognize that most high school kids won’t see a curve like that.   He had had a scrimmage earlier in the week and pitched to 7 hitters striking out 6 of them.   The coach on the opposing team commented that that was the “wickedest” curve he had ever seen.

     It’s interesting to hear the people in the stands comment on the delivery.   They really don’t understand “stand tall and rotate” so when they see a follow thru that isn’t all stretched out and squat they don’t know what to think.   I just told them to look at the score.

     The coach is also calling the pitches and I’m not to sure he understands pitching sequences.   He hasn’t yet allowed my son to throw a screwball in a game situation but it doesn’t break as dramatically as the curve does and he isn’t as accurate with it as he is with the curve.   It’s more like a change up that sinks without the movement toward the pitching arm side of home plate.   His fastballs have a lot more velocity, but the movement is not as dramatic as he’d like so he has more work to do on applying the proper spin axis.   It seems never ending, but the results so far have been far beyond my son’s expectation and his control is extremely good.

     One of the problems my son was having in the game he pitched was with his windup.   He has, with his glove foot, begun the wind up by taking a small step to the back of the rubber and then moving to the ready position before stepping forward with the glove foot to proceed with the pitch.   This particular field had a significant drop off the back of the rubber which was hard for him to manage so he basically threw the whole game from the stretch.

     I’m interested in the Wind-up set position you’ve begun discussing.   Am I getting it correct in that you keep both feet on the rubber and double pendulum swing both arms to the ready position, step toward home with the glove foot, and follow thru with the motion?   All the motion is toward home plate?   If that’s correct I’ll work with my son this week and see if he can get comfortable enough to use it this week in the game.


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     It sounds as though your son has implemented what we covered last summer.   Eventually, he will need to bring whatever type of screwball he has.   But, the coach only cares about winning, not developing pitchers.   You can find my high school pitch sequences in Chapter Twenty-Eight on my Coaching Baseball Pitchers book.

     You are correct that I have refined how I want pitchers to pitch from the wind-up and set positions and they are the same.   I do call it, my wind-up set position.   It does not include a step back, but is very powerful.

     Unfortunately, your son is in-season.   Therefore, he should not change anything.   When he is in off-season, then he can change what he needs to change and work on improving his force application techniques.   When he is biologically nineteen years old, then he can work on getting as strong as he can become.

     While learning to execute the pitching skills that I believe will make pitchers the best that they can be does take allot of work and years to perfect, it is not never-ending.   The fact that he is having such success with the very little he has learned and perfected, should wet his appetite for the rest.

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130.   My son is 14 years old.   He will be 15 in June.   We have been taking pitching lessons from a "traditional" pitching coach for four years.   He has worked hard, has been very disciplined, and has enjoyed good success.   I have been reading your material for two years and have purchased your video.   After careful study and consideration I have come to the conclusion that if we continue with our present course my son will eventually injure his arm.

     Almost every older accomplished pitcher we meet in the baseball circles seems to have had arm surgery.   I do not want that for my son.   The decision to change approaches is not an easy decision for us because of the success he has had with the traditional method.   However, I am convinced it is a siren's song.

     We just returned today from an appointment with an orthopedic doctor.   They took x-rays of both arms as you have suggested.   His medial epicondyle growth plates look identical and there does not seem to have been any premature closure of the growth plates, which was good news.   The doctor says that his growth plates in the elbow look to be essentially done.

     That being the case, how should we proceed?   Should we start with your 8 year old training program for thirty days and follow it with the 9 year old program for thirty days?   Should he do any of the strength training that is contained in the high school training program? (wrist weight drills etc.)

     The 8 and 9 year old program do not present the entire pitching motion.   That being the case, what would you recommend concerning my son pitching this summer?   He obviously has a lot of the traditional habits that will have to be replaced with new habits.   My feeling is that it would be better if he just played a position and we could do your drills without the distraction of having to pitch in a game.   If he pitches in a game he will no doubt fall back to his old habits.   We would be in a kind of limbo between your approach and the one he has worked at for four years.

     We anticipate some frustrating times ahead learning a new way.   Based on your experience, what kinds of things can we expect in making the transition to your approach?   Such as:   Will he lose velocity at first?   Will working on this new approach cause him some temporary throwing accuracy problems when playing another position?   Typically, how long is it before pitchers feel comfortable enough with the new force application technique to pitch in a competitive situation?


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     If the first forward force that pitchers apply to the baseball is not directly toward home plate, then they are supplying the force that will destroy their pitching arm.   They will lose pitching elbow extension range of motion.   They will lose pitching elbow flexion range of motion.   They will unnecessarily stress, microscopically tear and lengthen their Ulnar Collateral Ligament and Gleno-Humeral Ligaments.   And, all this will happen without much discomfort.   I congratulate you for recognizing the danger and beginning corrective measures.

     Your son is fourteen chronological years old, soon to be fifteen and all the growth plates in his glove and pitching elbows have closed?   That means that he is a biological sixteen year old competing against the biological fourteen year olds.   He is an accelerated maturer.   When he was chronologically twelve years old, he was probably part of the eight point three percent of biological fourteen year olds who succeeded without working hard.   I applaud his and your desire to focus on skill development.

     For my eight-week summer program, I accept high school juniors and seniors.   However, I should actually say that I accept high school pitchers with mature growth plates in their glove and pitching elbows.   With a copy of the X-rays and a note from your family doctor that states that these growth plates have matured, I will include him with this summer's group.   If you prefer not to do that, you are correct that he should start my one hundred and twenty-day high school baseball pitchers interval-training program.   However, I would have to re-write it to include the four pitching skill learning stages of my new eight, nine, ten and eleven year old interval-training programs.

     You are also correct that youngsters cannot play competitively, pitching or otherwise, and learn new skills.   Your son would have to take this season off and only work on learning his new pitching skills.

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131.   First of all, thank you for your work and willingness to share your knowledge and wisdom.   I realize you are a busy man who takes time to enjoy discussing theories and research, but my request is of a different nature.   I need some fathering advice from you.

     My oldest son (8) is passionate about any sport involving a ball or throwing.   He is now old enough to want to play catch with a baseball or football or just throw rocks at trees, seemingly all the time.   Having grown up with the 50's and 60's "throw-a-lot" philosophy, I have encouraged this.   I just recently read your book (thank goodness) and I don't want my own ignorance to compromise his physical development or jeopardize his arm health.

     Do you have any suggestions about how to maintain the limits necessary in order to prevent over/improper use injuries to his throwing arm while still nurturing a love for playing the game and an appreciation for the time we spend together throwing a ball or playing a pick-up game?   While I have so far protected my son from the peewee baseball and football recruiters, if he had his way we would be in the front yard throwing from sunrise to sunset just because it's our favorite thing to do.

     If this type of question is not up your alley, I understand, but I respect your thoughts just as I respected your pitching career, and I would be grateful to hear what you think.


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     I will bet that he would be just as enthusiastic punting a football to you, kicking a soccer ball to you, swinging a golf club at a whiffle golf ball and hitting it to you, shooting a basketball with you, fishing with you and so on.   Did you notice the common denominator?   I recommend that you expose him and yourself to every kind of shared physical and mental activity you can find for the next ten years.   Take allot of videotape.   I wish I have more with my three kidos.

     Of course, at eight years old, this coming June and July, you and he can complete my sixty-day eight year old baseball pitchers interval-training program.

     What fun.

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132.   How do you recommend that coaches handle pitchers (and parents) that want to pitch the traditional way?   I say this as one who, before I met you, would have laughed at a parent who told his son to turn his pitching arm foot perpendicular to the pitching rubber.   If we chastise coaches for not letting our son's pitch our way, is it fair that we would make pitchers pitch our way?

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     Before my pitchers throw one pitch against a batter in a competitive situation, they should take whatever time they need to perfect my pitching motion and my pitches.   If they do not, then they will not only not be as successful as they should be and, hence, open to criticism from coaches who do not know that they do not know, but they will also greatly lengthen the time that they will need to perfect my pitching motion and my pitches.   Just like parents who think that they can stretch the two months of pitching will pay a price, pitchers who compete before they perfect their game also pay a price.

     This is why I want eight, nine, ten and eleven year olds to perfect what I teach before, at thirteen years old, they pitch a competitive inning.   This is why I want to train pitchers for an affiliated team.   In both cases, the pitchers should perfect my motion and my pitches, respectively, before they pitch competitively.   When I watch my pitchers pitch competitively before they are the best pitcher they can be, I cringe.   That is another reason why I stopped seeking college coaching jobs.   While I fought hard to permit them to try to pitch my pitch sequences, I hated putting pitchers into games when I knew that they had not perfected their game.

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133.   I am trying to understand all of the information that you present in your pitching instruction for the different ages.   Some of is difficult for my feeble mind to comprehend.   If it works out for your tape, and it would not surprise me if you are already doing it, but I would recommend having a short demonstration and lecture for each of the exercises that you recommend for each age group.

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     With already over six hundred video clips, I will definitely do the best that I can to clearly and thoroughly explain and demonstrate every drill that I recommend.   I will tell and show parents, pitchers and coaches precisely what they need to do from the first day through the end of my two hundred and eighty day adult baseball pitchers interval-training program.

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134.   I was a baseball pitcher up until my 2nd year of college, when my arm gave out on me.   I was what they called a junk ball pitcher.   My concern now is that my son who is 11 is pitching and been doing so since he was 8.   How old should a kid be to start throwing a curve ball.   I said when he started shaving he would then be old enough.   But now days that has changed and I don't want to hold him back from progressing like the rest of the kids.

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     With the 'traditional' pitching motion, he will never be old enough to start throwing their curve.   However, with my pitching motion and drills, he can start learning how to properly use his pitching arm to throw my Maxline Pronation Curve at eight years old.   Because your son is eleven years old, he can start to learn the skills in my eight year old program.   Then, when he masters them, he can start to learn the skills in my nine year old program.   Then, when he masters them, he can start to learn the skills in my ten year old program.   Then, when he masters them, he can start to learn the skills in my eleven year old program.   To accelerate the process, he can shorten their length to thirty days.   However, before he moves up, he should master the skills.

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135.   My son is definitely excited about his pitching and is motivated to improve and refine what he has learned.   I guess "never ending" was incorrect but possibly a "mountain of incorrect motor skills and teaching" to overcome is more accurate.   None the less the proof is in what we have seen and are experiencing with what you've taught thus far.   With my son being a teenager it is sometimes difficult for him to comprehend the necessity of daily workouts vs. atrophy of not doing it for "one day".   The experience he had observing your pitchers work ethic has paid great dividends.

     My son has already begun working on the Wind-Up Set Position and is far more comfortable with it than his previous wind-up.   He worked all fall and winter off the mound at our home with running shoes and since the season began he has had particular problems with cleats around the mound.   This seems more natural for him and interestingly seems to give more power to his pitches.


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     Ah, to be young and think that you are going to live forever.   If he takes a day off, it will not matter.   At sixty-one, I want every one of those days back.   I have far more work to do than I have days left in which to do them.   It is funny how I do not regret any of the days I worked hard or the hard work, I only regret the days I did not.

     My wind-up set position is a very easy, apparently almost reflexively natural way to pitch.   If your son has seamlessly changed his motion, then he should go with it.   It removes allot of unnecessary movement that interferes with the smooth flow of the pitching motion.   It is the removal of those 'insignificant' minor flaws, such as stepping back, raising both arms over the head, turning the pitching foot, lifting the glove foot before the pitching arm to driveline height and so on, that increases release consistency and velocity.

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136.   I came across this on the web and remembered you talking about prolotherapy in your answer/question segment of your website.   http://www.sportsprolo.com/sports%20prolotherapy%20newsletter%20pitching%20injuries.htm

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     Okay, you made me take time to read about prolotherapy.   It is as I expected, another scam to steal your money.   Take a shot, get better.   You don't have to do any work, just take a shot.   Irritate a ligament, a meniscus or whatever and, like sand in an oyster makes a pearl, the body will make a new whatever.   What part of this sounds right?   There was a guy, Gedney, I think, in the 1970's who did what he called, 'schlorotherapy,' (sp) that promised the same results.

     While I am glad that he found the pioneering work that Dr. Joel Adams did on youth pitching injuries, that does not give his methods credibility.   I know that no independent research institute has collected scientific evidence that this works.   His 'cures' are psychosomatic.   A few years ago, 'healers' from the pacific islands removed tumors with their bare hands and people believed them.

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137.   I appreciate your suggestions.   It's going to take some work, though.   For some kids, throwing things just seems to be a natural part of being a boy!   Although my son has not pitched in a game (his age group last year used machine-pitch), if his X-rays would be of use to you for the Research Study I would be glad to have them taken and sent to you when he turns nine next month.

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     It will take some effort, not work.   You will never regret the effort you take to share these hours with your son.   I would very much appreciate receiving X-rays of your son's elbows from nine years old to sixteen years old or whenever the growth plates in his elbows mature.

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138.   What are you thoughts on the alleged steroid use in MLB.   You have stated that weight lifting will not enhance athletic performance.   People seem to think that it is unfair for players to use them because they can lift weights more frequently and makes them bigger and stronger than the players that are clean.   Do you think that using steroids is an advantage?   Why are players hitting 70+ homeruns per season?   Are they really that much better than my heroes from the past?   I know that steroid use is illegal and unsafe, but I am just trying to understand all of this.

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     Anabolic steroids have legitimate medical uses, but, without a doctor's authorization and administration, athletes should take this drug in any form.   I stand by my earlier recommendation that, like betting on their sport, the use of steroids should ban players for life and their name and statistics should be expunged from the records.

     Weight lifting specifically enhances only however athletes lift the weights.   When athletes lift weights in a manner specific to a sport activity, like my wrist weight and iron ball drills, they enhance their athletic performance.   This drug helps the involved tissue to physiologically respond to the stress.

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139.   Is this picture of Greg Maddox showing how you are describing the following:   "Pitchers can move their pitching forearm to twenty degrees inside of vertical from the front view and vertical from the side view, which is my 'Ready' position."

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     The body works as a unit.   Pitchers cannot have the proper position for their pitching arm and already have started their body forward.   Therefore, when pitchers use the 'balance position' pitching rhythm, they start their body forward before their pitching arm reaches driveline height.   So, without opening your attachment, I know that Mr. Maddox does not use my 'Ready' position.   Without opening your attachment, I also know that he pulls his pitching forearm forward with his pitching upper arm.   Without opening your attachment, I also know that he has 'pitching forearm flyout.'   And so on.

     I do not open any attachments.   My email is already under daily assault from W32Dumaru and company and Avenue A.   I have had to spend considerable time and money just trying to keep my Questions/Answers file going.   Sorry.

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140.   My son is 17 years old.   He is not a pitcher, but wants to improve his velocity and continue to improve his mechanics (we purchased your video).   When training to throw fastballs only, how many wrist weight throws, iron ball throws and baseball throws should he attempt each day?   Where can the iron balls be purchased?   What type of stimulus would you recommend for bat speed and running speed that would provide similar results to the wrist weights and iron balls that you use for throwing?

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     At seventeen years old, I would guess that he is biologically at least sixteen years old and not nineteen years old.   Therefore, he should do my 120-Day High School Baseball Pitchers Interval-Training Program.   For the total of wrist weight, iron ball and baseball throws, position players should add the number of non-fastball throws to the number of fastball throws.

     I added a new file to my home page, Equipment Vendors, that tell readers how to get the equipment that I use with my pitchers.

     I do have a program that trains hitters with the same principles that I use to train pitchers.   However, I do not have a Hitter Research/Training Center with which to test the ideas before I make my recommendations.   Therefore, even when I have time to put that program together, I could not do so without being like the pitching coach wannabe frauds who have stolen millions of dollars and injured thousands of pitchers with their unsubstantiated garbage.

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141.   With regards to your hitting program.   Could you share some of the basic points?   I don't expect a detailed program.   I would just like to know the theory so that I can help my son to be a better hitter.   You wouldn't be like the frauds, because you're not charging me and you telling me up front that you have not had the opportunity to test your program.

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     I do love the offense side of baseball.   I played four full years of professional shortstop.   My first high-speed film was of batting.   I have taken considerable high-speed film of batting since.   In the same way that I have developed my baseball pitching protocol, I would love to develop a complete protocol for baseball batters.   I have head-coached seven college baseball teams during which I tested my baseball batting methodologies.   My hitters had considerable success.   For example, one .308 hitter the year before my program, hit .484 with my program and made the first team All-American team.   I have many other similar examples, including many other .400 hitters.   Therefore, my point is not that I have not tested my program, it is that, I last coached hitting in 1994, I do not have anybody to show what we do, I do not have clinical knowledge of how hitters respond to my drills.

     Nevertheless, after I complete my second Instructional Videotape, edit my Coaching Baseball Pitchers book, answer the parents who sent my X-rays of the sons, finish remodeling the apartments I bought to house the twenty high school juniors and senior who want to work with me for eight weeks this summer and the twenty high school and junior college graduates who want to work with me for forty weeks this fall, winter and spring and the rehabilitating amateur and professional pitchers who need my help, I will get to work on an Instructional Videotape for hitters.

     In the meantime, batter should apply force to the center of mass of their baseball bat in a straight line from 'Ready' through the end of their deceleration phase, they should extend their straight driveline as far forward and possible and they should apply greater force toward the backstop.   And, oh yes, the Physics concept of force coupling is very important.

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143.   Have you seen this article in the February 20 issue of Collegiate Baseball News that a Mr. Charlie Greene wrote?

     "One of the most thought provoking articles I've ever read in Collegiate Baseball comes from the September 5, 2003 edition and pertains to Mike Marshall's criticism of some of the most highly respected pitching coaches in the profession.

     His 100 percent disagreement with those experts got me thinking about how he could come to this conclusion.   After thoroughly reading this article, I further tapped into his referred website and read numerous chapters from his book, some of them two or three times.

     It reminded me of a presentation at the 1980 ABCA convention in New Orleans when Phil Swimley, University of California-Davis, revealed to those attending the clinics taht the forearm pronates after the release of ALL pitches.   That revelation changed my whole approach to teaching pitchers.

     While I found Mike Marshall's article and book extremely difficult to understand at first glance, upon persistent re-reading and relating it to present day accepted methods, I've come to conclude that Mike Marshall's findings merit further consideration and study.

     His professional analysis of such a skill as pitching a baseball is the most thorough I've observed in a career long search for what are the absolutes of pitching mechanics.

     In our never-ending seearch for the ideal, safe mechanics, we could all make a giant leap.

     I would further suggest that Mike Marshall be encouraged to make a presentation to the ABCA clinics and further clarify his findings.

     Some questions that I'd like to see explored:
What is meant by forearm flyout?   How does the arm swing after breaking the hands?   How do pitchers apply force to second base?   Why does he recommend that pitchers supinate on the backswing?   What is the "crow-step" method?   Exactly, what is the "driveline?"

     Baseball has long been considered a game of opinions.   Mike Marshall has created an opportunity for all of us to separate fact from opinion."


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     Thank you for taking the time to send me this article.

     I do not know Mr. Greene personally, but I understand that he coached baseball at Miami-Dade South Junior Colleage and, as he says, has a life-long interest in teaching baseball pitching.   I invite him and everybody else to visit my Pitcher Research/Training Center.

     After my 1967 season with the Detroit Tigers, I convinced the Agriculture Engineering Department at Michigan State University to let me use their four hundred frames per second claw-action high-speed camera to film my pitching motion.   I used some of those clips in my first Instructional Videotape.   Among the numerous previously unforeseen findings, I learned that the powerful action of the Pronator Teres muscle across the inside of the pitching elbow caused the pitching forearm to pronate immediately after I released all pitches.

     I wonder on what research Mr. Swimley based his finding that pitchers pronate their pitching forearm after they release all pitches?

     In 1967, I reported this finding to my Physical Education Department.   It was from this presentation that the Department decided to purchase the five hundred frames per second high-speed camera with which I took my three dimentional film.   In 1971, I presented that film and my findings, including the importance of pitching forearm pronation to the College of Education.   During the 1970's, I also presented these findings to numerous other organizations, including the American Medical Association, the Arizona Sports Medicine Assocation, the Minnesota Sports Medicine Association and, in 1975, the California Sports Medicine Association.   I wonder whether Mr. Swimley attended?   I am glad that he reported it and helped save pitching arms, but we all should cite our references.

     I am ready, willing, able and anxious to speak to the ABCA.   Many have contacted them on my behalf that they should have me speak.   Unfortunately, I have not yet heard from them.   I have had some state coaches associations contact me.   To date, I have declined.   First, I hate to travel.   Second, I want to have materials that show what I am talking about.   When I ever finish this second Instructional Videotape and edit my Coaching Baseball Pitchers book, I will have the materials I need.   Now, if they could just hold their conventions in Tampa, FL.

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143.   I am putting together a series of debates between all of the pitching gurus.   These debates will take place over the phone and will be recorded.   I have invited Tom House, Dick Mills, and Paul Nyman to participate.   I think it is important that you are a part of this.   There will be financial compensation.   We can work out those details if you accept.

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     Let me see.   You are trying to get all qualified persons together to help resolve the epidemic of baseball pitching injuries and you want me to participate?   Where is Glenn Feisig?   Where is Dr. Andrews?   Where is Dr. Jobe?   Where are the professional and college baseball team doctors and, I am sure, many, many others with the knowledge base required to study this problem?   Nevertheless, I applaud and encourage your effort.   I will participate in whatever way that I can.   I do not need any money.

     I think that the list of questions that Coach Charlie Greene asked in the February 20, 2004 issue of Collegiate Baseball News is a good place to start.   In fairness to all, I recommend that all parties receive a general list of questions after which they get to provide other questions that all have to answer.   I think that I will start with, "With regard to baseball pitching, please explain how you account for Sir Isaac Newton's three laws of force and would you please list the thirty-six primary pitching muscle and describe how they contribute to the baseball motion?"

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144.   I need clarification of how the pitcher is considered to be in a set position to avoid a balk call.   Secondly, do you have any insight on the linear vs. rotational hitting concepts from a scientific standpoint?

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     In the two years since I completed my first Instructional Videotape, I have adjusted my set position to resemble my wind-up position.   Therefore, I want pitchers to use the same pitching motion for each.   With or without base runners, they should come set with their hands waist high in the middle of their body.

     I recommend that pitchers stand with their feet parallel with the driveline to home plate and their hips and shoulders perpendicular to the driveline to home plate.   To trigger their pitching motion, I recommend that pitchers cross their wrists with their pitching hand below their glove hand as they swing both arms slightly upward from where they will pendulum swing both arms downward and away from their body.   I recommend that pitchers simultaneously pendulum swing their glove arm downward and forward up to shoulder height to point at the glove-side batter and their pitching arm downward and backward up to driveline height short of second base and gently inwardly roll their pitching forearm to inside of vertical.   At this time, I recommend that pitchers step straight forward with their glove foot, then with their pitching foot, pull their glove forearm straight backward, forwardly rotate their pitching leg ahead of their glove foot and, when their 'locked' pitching arm moves in front of their head, they powerfully extend their pitching elbow and pronate their pitching forearm while they powerfully drive forward off their glove foot.

     Baseball batters should drive the center of mass of the baseball bat straight toward the on-rushing baseball.   To get the center of mass of the baseball bat in line with the on-rushing baseball, pitcher should forwardly rotate their hips and shoulders to perpendicular to the driveline to the baseball.   To apply straight-line force to the center of mass of the baseball bat, batters should extend their rear elbow and pronate their rear forearm straight to the baseball.

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145.   Thank you for accepting the debate offer.   I thought about the doctors and the pro coaches, many refused my offer.   Dick Mills also refused.   Paul Nyman accepted and I am waiting to hear form Tom House.   I am also putting out an offer to Bill Thurston.   I think the doctors would be too technical for the average coach.   Who else do you think would be good?

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     I prefer to lift the average coach than lower the discussion.   Also, we need a way to quantify the size of the pitching arm injuries problem in high school, college and professional baseball.   I would like college and professional team doctors to talk about the injuries that they encounter.   I would also like biomechanists, exercise physiologists and motor skill acquisitionists.   It is my understanding that ASMI high-speed films pitchers.   I would like someone to represent them.   Nevertheless, whatever the forum, I will gladly participate.

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146.   I applaud your efforts to bring science and academic rigor to the practice of pitching a baseball.   You have challenged years of existing practice and stimulated new ideas and thinking.   It's about time.

     I am an ex-college pitcher, 44 years old, currently pitching in a fairly competitive men's league in my area.   My glory days are long gone, but I still love the excitement of stepping on the rubber and playing the game.   I throw with the traditional method, with all its flaws, and have experienced about every throwing injury imaginable.   If I am going to continue to play, I'm convinced, I have to make a major change in my mechanics.   What type of training program would you recommend in my situation that would allow me to learn the new mechanics and add functional strength to do so effectively?


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     You need to start with the skills that I teach first, my eight year old baseball pitchers interval-training program, master them and move to the next level of skills and so on.

     I am working as hard as I can on my second Instructional Videotape, it will precisely describe and demonstrate every skill that you will need to master.   You should also do my one hundred and twenty day high school baseball pitchers interval-training program with ten pound wrist weights and six pound iron ball.

     I pitched competitively until I was fifty-six years old.   I understand.

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147.   So, your pitchers use the same "Wind Up" whether runners are on base or not?   According to one of the more recent emails, the hands never go above the head?   I described the motion as I understood it to my son and was amazed at how quickly he picked it up and how powerfully and accurately he threw using this no wind-up wind-up.   It would be great to see it on video.   What's the ETA?   I don't mean to "bully" you, I just want to know.

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     I theorized my wind-up set position motion a couple of years ago.   The coward that I am kept me from testing it until I understood how to teach pitchers to stop pulling the pitching forearm forward with their pitching upper arm.   That my pitchers mastered it so easily and threw so much more powerfully also amazed me.

     I recently sent five pitchers to an open professional team tryout.   I was pleased to hear that none altered my throwing motion.   I was disappointed to hear that, although they all threw hard with great curves, one team evaluator walked to the three mounds where three of my guys were pitching and asked them with whom are they training and when they answered, Mike Marshall, he turned and walked away without comment.

     Until one team tires of destroying pitching arms and ask me to train their pitchers, I will have to rely on the biological thirteen year old pitchers to show that it does not matter what their pitching motion looks like, it only matters that they throw high quality pitches as hard as they can without injury.

     I also want to know when I am going to finish this monster.   All I can give is 5:30AM to 10:30PM seven days a week for week after week after week after week after week after week after week after week after week after week after week after week after week after week after week after week after week after week after week after week after week after week after week and so on.

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148.   Your health is good, isn't it?   For the sake of your target audience, dads with young sons, I hope you complete the project before rigor mortis sets in.

     Did I read correctly that you are going to break the project into three videos?   That is probably a good idea and could help limit your focus.   We are eager to view it and eager to help if we can in any way.


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     Me, too.   I also recognize the signs of exhaustion.   But, I jog daily and eat right.   It is just that this project is in my mind all the time, even when trying to sleep.   Still, I get four and one-half to six hours each night and nap when I cannot keep my eyes open or think clearly.   I will make it, my doctoral dissertation was much harder and I did not have a word processor.

     I want to get every bit of information that I have about pitching out.   At present, with over seven hundred video clips, I have over four hours.   I know that editing will reduce the size, but I did not exceed what I need by more than a few seconds each clip.   I have organized the material into six section.   The first is Introduction and X-rays.   The second is the Baseball Interval-Training Program.   The third is the Wrist Weight and Iron Ball Interval-Training Programs.   These three make up the second Instructional Videotape.   The fourth is Flaws and Solutions, where I discuss the twenty-four most egregious flaws of the 'traditional' pitching motion and how I propose that we solve them.   The fifth is Coaches Eye, where I use video clips followed my high-speed film that shows what my pitchers did from leverage through the end of their deceleration.   And, the sixth is Before and After, where I show how my kids threw when they arrived and how they throw after my training.   If I have time at the end of my second Instructional Videotape, I will include this section with it.   If not, I will put it wherever I have time.

     My video guy says that he can put one uncompressed hour of video on one computer disk.   Because readers can stop-action computer disks more easily than videotapes, we want to provide that option.   Therefore, my task is to edit each to one hour.

     My present thought is to complete sections one, two and three and see where I am.   If I have room, I will complete section six and include it.   If not, I will offer it.   Then, I will attack my Flaws and Solutions section.   If I have room, I will complete and include section six.   If not, I will offer it.   Then, I will attack my Coaches Eye section and, if I have not already used section six, hopefully, I will have room to include it.   If not, I will wait until my present forty-week group finishes and include their high-speed film and finishing videotape and expand my Before and After tape into a fourth video.

     As always, I will discount every videotape after my Instructional Videotape as low as possible, probably seventy-five percent discount, which includes production costs, shipping materials, a handling charge and the shipping.

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149.   My son's HS coach has the team doing push-ups before and during practice.   My son comes home and says his arms are sore from the push-ups, and that it affects his throwing.   Isn't this a bad practice?   Wouldn't it be better to do push-ups at the end of practice?

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     Push-ups help athletes to do push-ups.   They do not help them pitch.   They do not help them bat.   They do not help them do anything but push-ups.   Nevertheless, he is the coach and, unless athletes are much, much better than the other athletes and the coach feels that he has to win or lose his job, he decides who plays.   I do not know of a good time for baseball players to do push-ups.   But, your son might ask if he can do the push-ups after he throws and see how he reacts.

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150.   How ya doin Doc?   I have heard a lot about you.   Unfortunately, you have lost all credibility with what brainwashing I have heard about from your followers.   You have ruined the minds of several players with high potential.   I like to see those whopping stats of yours, but I just can't figure out what those supposed "records" even mean.   By the way, did you even use your quirky methods when you played?

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     Thank you for taking the time to email me.

     If you could be specific as to what you mean by 'brainwashing,' then I would be happy to explain.   You could also be forthcoming with regard to the names of my 'followers' and the 'minds of several players with high potential.'   Also, to what do you refer when you say 'whopping stats of yours'?   If you mean, most appearances 106 games, it means that I pitched in 106 games in one season.   If you mean, most innings by a relief pitcher, 208 innings, it means that I pitched 208 seventy, eighth, ninth and later innings in one season.   If you mean, 13 consecutive games, it means that I pitched in 13 consecutive major league games.   If you mean, 84 games finished, it means that I was the last pitcher from my team to pitch in 84 games.   These statistics show that I was always ready to pitch the toughest innings of major league games and my manager thought that I was the best pitcher that he had to pitch these innings.

     I used many of the same concepts that I teach today.   However, my biggest regret is that I did not understand how much more I could have done and, as a result, I was far less successful than I could have been.   It is my joy to help young men become more than I was.   If you care to be specific by what you mean by 'quirky methods,' I would be glad to explain.

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151.   My 17 yr old son (non pitcher) is experiencing elbow pain (inner elbow when arm is pronated) again.   He played in a fall league this past fall and the pain was severe.   We purchased your video and he began learning to throw using the mechanics that you teach.   This winter he was able to throw into a tarp in our garage at maximum intensity without any pain.

     We thought we had eliminated the problem.   Now that high school baseball has started, the pain is back (not as severe as last fall).   He says that he is concentrating on using the proper mechanics.

     I purchased a 6lb ball for him to throw. He can throw this ball without any pain at all.   When he throws a baseball at practice the pain returns.

     This is really getting frustrating.   I feel like we have tried everything.   Do you have any suggestions?


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     Athletes unnecessarily stress the inside of their elbow when they take their throwing arm beyond the driveline that is straight toward their target such that the first force that they apply is not straight toward home plate.   He needs to know precisely what he is doing.   You should take videotape from thirty feet directly behind him and look at it frame by frame.   Also, once athletes have strained the inside of their throwing elbow, they have to train with proper force application until the strained area physiologically responds and the discomfort goes away.   Rest does remove the problem, it will return when athletes return to the same intensity.   He may also only have normal training discomfort and need to train through it at reduced intensities.   Until he has completed my 120-day high school baseball pitchers interval-training program, which includes ten pound wrist weights, he has not tried everything.

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152.   What is a good time for you next week to talk on the phone with Paul Nyman and myself.

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     I return home from working with my pitchers at about 11:30AM.   I usually have a few minutes before I get on my computer to work on my second Instructional Videotape.   My best days next week are Tuesday, March 23rd, Wednesday, March 24th and Friday, March 26th.

     A few minutes after I answered your last email, Glenn Flesig emailed me on another matter.   I mentioned what you are trying to do and said that he should participate.   He answered in the affirmative.   Have you talked with him?   You can email him at glennf@asmi.org, fax him at (205)918-0800 or telephone him at (205)918-2139.

     I have talked with Paul and read his stuff.   I know that Paul does not know.   Did Tom House, Dick Mills and Bill Thurston chicken out?   What about House's biomechanist in San Diego?    I read some of his ideas in Tom's Collegiate Baseball News article last summer.   I would love to hear him explain his criteria for the 'perfect' pitching motion.

     Where are the questions?   Do we not get to prepare?   Do we not get to submit questions for everybody to answer?   Besides the ones that I have already submitted, I have a rather substantial list of questions that I want everybody to answer.   To list a few:   What causes pitchers to rupture the Ulnar Collateral Ligament of their pitching arm and how can we prevent it?   What causes pitchers to lose their pitching elbow extension range of motion and how can we prevent it?   What causes pitchers to injure the front of their pitching shoulder and how can we prevent it?   What causes pitchers to lose their pitching elbow flexion range of motion and how can we prevent it?   What causes youth pitchers to enlarge the Radial Head of their pitching forearm and how can we prevent it?   What causes pitchers to injure the back of their pitching shoulder and how can we prevent it?   If we cannot answer these questions, then what are we doing?

     Unless you want me to conduct a soliloquy, we remain a long way from a meaningful discussion and I have other work to do.

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153.   I play in an amateur adult league and am interested in following your training program.   As I understand it, you want adults to complete the youth training programs before starting the 280-day program, with the understanding that the 60-day youth programs can be shortened to 30 days and the 120-day high school program to 60 days with no breaks between program segments.   What is your advice concerning active competition in weekly league play during the resulting 8 month training period?

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     I designed my interval-training programs as though someone starts at eight years old and continues through my adult two hundred and eighty day program.   When someone starts after they are eight years old, they have to adjust accordingly.   When adults start my program, they still do only my two hundred and eighty day program.   However, for the first sixty days, they do the skills in my eight year old program.   For the next forty-eight days, they do the skills in my nine year old program.   For the next forty-eight days, they do the skills in my ten year old program.   For the next forty-eight days, they do the skills in my eleven year old program.   For the next thirty-six day, they learn my Maxline Fastball Sinker and Torque Fastball Slider.   Lastly, for the final thirty-six days, they practice my adult pitcher pitch sequences against the four types of hitters.

     While pitchers are intensely stressing their pitching muscles and trying to learn new skills, they should never pitch competitively.   As I do the math, at thirty days per month, two hundred and eighty days is over nine months.

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154.   I will contact Glen.   Paul Nyman is in.   Tom House and Dick Mills declined.   I want to have a conference call to discuss the details you mentioned.   I think it would be best if we also lay some ground rules.   I will talk with Paul and Glen and confirm one of those dates.

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     Just let me know when.

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155.   I'm doing a paper on how the muscles, joints, and bones work together.   can u help me to find some1 or u that can send me this information on that?

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     I would probably start with an Anatomy book.   When I was in high school, I found one in the library.

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156.   I am asking this question for our head baseball coach.   One of our pitchers has soreness in his arm.   The pain is where the tricep tendon goes into the elbow.   He would like to know "What pitching flaw could cause this pain."

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     Without personally examining this young man, I cannot be positive, but, in all likelihood, the discomfort emanates from his olecranon fossa.   This means that he is pulling his pitching forearm forward with his pitching upper arm and supinating his releases with no degrees of separation, such that he has extreme pitching forearm flyout that slams his olecranon process into his olecranon fossa.

     Yesterday, one of my kids showed me a magazine that had side-by-side photographs of Mark Prior and Kerry Wood with their pitching arms frozen an instant before they released their pitches.   Both showed that they pull their pitching forearms forward with their pitching upper arm.   Both showed zero degrees of separation between the longitudinal axes of their pitching forearm from their pitching upper arm.   Both showed that they supinate the release of their pitches.   Both showed that they do not use the Triceps Brachii muscle to extend their pitching elbow.   Without the genetic superiority of these pitchers, your pitcher is doing the same thing.

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157.   I have played professional baseball for 10 years and last year I experienced my first significant injury.   I partially tore my ulnar collateral ligament and was told by several doctors that a rehab program would take care of the problem.   After a 4 week rehab program I started a throwing program and after 4 weeks threw in the game with no ill effects.   The season ended and I again did some physical therapy on the elbow and shoulder to ensure that it would be strong for spring training this year.   So far this spring my elbow has felt good, although the muscles and tendons around the ligament and in my flexor mass get extremely sore on me.   The soreness has increased significantly since I have started throwing in games and stretching out my pitch counts in spring training.

     I was wondering if you thought this was normal for someone who went through non-operative treatment on a ucl partial tear.   There are a number of resources on the internet and books about surgical treatment and the rehab but I haven't found any on non-operative and don't know if what I am feeling would be normal, due to the muscles and tendons taking over for the weakened ligament?   I would appreciate your input since you have a valuable pitching and bio-mechanical background.


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     You did not answer the critical question. Are you still using the pitching motion with which you injured your pitching arm? If you are, you will do it again.   No amount of 'physical therapy' will so strengthen the bones, ligaments and tendons to withstand the stress of the 'traditional' pitching motion.   I put semi-quotation marks around 'physical therapy' because I seriously doubt that they properly stressed your pitching arm specific to the baseball pitching motion to do you much good.

     To maximize the appropriate stress of baseball pitching and minimize the unnecessary stress of baseball pitching, I teach pitchers how to drive the baseball straight toward home plate from the first moment that they apply forward force to the pitches over as great a distance as possible with the most opposite force they can generate.   To train pitching arms to safely decelerated their pitching arms from maximum intensity throwing of my Maxline Fastball, Maxline Screwball, Maxline Curve and Torque Fastball, I strap ten, fifteen, twenty and, then, twenty-five pounds of wrist weights to the glove and pitching wrist.   To train pitching arms to powerfully accelerate their pitching arms to greater intensity throwing of my Maxline Fastball, Maxline Screwball, Maxline Curve and Torque Fastball, my pitchers throw six, eight, ten and, then, twelve pound iron balls.   That is a PHYSICAL THERAPY program for baseball pitchers.   In addition, my pitchers learn the broad variety of pitches that they need to successfully pitch to all types of hitters.

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158.   I am a huge fan of yours.   In the past I have read numerous stories in regard to your career.   Although I was not fortunate to see you play in person, I have seen a lot of highlight clips.   My question to you is this, I have read that as a player you did not sign very many autographs, for either your fans or your teammates.   I was curious to know why this is/was?

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     I have answered this question several times in my Question/Answer files.   I understand that you are busy and want me to take my time to answer it again so that you do not have to read through all of my files, but.

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159.   I was hoping that you might clarify my understanding of your set and windup motions.   You have adjusted your set up and windup positions to be one and the same.   "Pitchers stand with their feet parallel with the driveline to home plate and their hips and shoulders perpendicular to the driveline to home plate.   To trigger their pitching motion, pitchers cross their wrists with their pitching hand below their glove hand as they swing both arms slightly upward from where they will pendulum swing both arms downward and away from their body.   They simultaneously pendulum swings their glove arm downward and forward up to shoulder height to point at the glove-side batter and their pitching arm downward and backward up to driveline height short of second base and gently inwardly roll their pitching forearm to inside of vertical."

     Does that mean that at this stage of the motion, your upper body (shoulders) would be twisted while your lower body (hips) remain perpendicular to the driveline to home plate?   Therefore your acromial line is not in a direct line home plate to second base, but at a slight angle (for a right hand pitcher the acromial line would point from short stop side of 2nd base to a left-handed batter standing in the batting box).   Am I interpreting this correctly?

     With this set position how do you keep a runner honest at second base?   Do you have to rely on signals from your catcher?


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     With both feet pointing to home plate side-by-side shoulder width apart, when pitchers pendulum swing their pitching arm ten degrees short of second base, they do have to reverse rotate their acromial line accordingly.   I still want the pendulum swing to be parallel with the acromial line and never cross it on the backward swing.   Depending on the torso range of motion, I tell my kids to 'lock and load' their pitching hip, which means that they keep their pitching foot pointing toward home plate or even toward the glove side hitter.   I want the pitching arm to go to, but not beyond their driveline.

     I tell my kids to keep their glove foot on the ground until their pitching arm reaches driveline height.   This enables them to drive behind the baseball, move their pitching hip ahead of their glove hip and release their pitches as far forward as they can.

     With this wind-up set position, pitchers have four alternatives for pickoffs to second base.
1.   With the appropriate footwork, they can rotate to their glove side one hundred and eighty degrees and throw or not throw.
2.   With the appropriate footwork, they can rotate to their pitching side one hundred and eighty degrees and throw or not throw.
3.   They can lift their glove leg to the balance position, rotate to their pitching side one hundred and eighty degrees and throw or not throw.
4.   They can lift their glove leg to the balance position, rotate to their glove side one hundred and eighty degrees and throw or not throw.

     As I recall the 'traditional' pitching motion, right-handed pitchers have their backs to base runners on first base and left-handed pitchers have their backs to base runners on third base and both manage to see them without the help of catchers.

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160.   Once again, thank you for your gracious hospitality last week when I visited your facility.   I learned much.   I am very impressed with your new wind up set position.   I would think it will really help a pitcher's consistency to pitch every pitch from the same starting position.   One thing that you pointed out to me that I would reiterate is that the glove foot steps straight off the mound.   It does not step toward the pitching foot drive line.   That sounds simple but even your well trained pitchers were having problems with the straight forward step.

     I wish your students every success as they finish up their 280 days.   They deserve it.


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     Your are correct Sir.   I tell them every day to move their center of mass straight forward.   Unfortunately, they are so used to the 'traditional' pitching motion with the closed stride that they forget.   Fortunately, after a few wide throws to their pitching arm side, they start to realize that they are moving their center of mass to their pitching arm side.

     I do have a 'drop-stride' drill that helps them.   I tell them to step forty-five degrees to their glove side and drive their center of mass straight toward home plate.   This shortens their driveline, but it keeps their body moving straight forward and helps them to move their pitching hip ahead of their glove foot.   Until pitchers eliminate such flaws, I would not call them, well-trained, they are still learning.

     We all deserve what we work hard to earn.   After two hundred and eighty days, they have greatly strengthened their pitching bones, ligaments and tendons and they know what they have to do to become the best pitcher that they can be.   However, they will need several more years of hard, focused work to become that pitcher.   The beauty is, they can see what they can be and what they have to do to be that pitcher.   That is the promise that I always keep.

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161.   Can you please describe the Pickoff Pronation and Wrong Foot Slingshot throws?

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     While I reserve the right to make last-second edits, here is the present status of my 2004 Baseball Pitching Instructional Videotape section in which I explain my baseball throwing drills.   Feel free to comment on what I can do to make this section better.

2004 IV Baseball Training Programs:

(SceneB01):   Me standing at my picnic table.

     When youngsters are eight years old, I recommend that parents and/or coaches take sixty summer days to teach their youth pitchers how to grip and release my four basic pitches.

***********************************************************************************

(SceneB02):   Me standing at my picnic table.

     To grip my Maxline True Screwball, pitchers direct the horseshoe toward home plate.   They run their middle finger along the glove side seam of a loop.   With the tip against the center stripe, they strongly press the side of their middle finger against the seam.   With their index and ring fingers, they ‘lock’ the baseball firmly in their hand.   They place their thumb below their index finger and strongly push against their ring finger.   With smaller hands, youngsters should place their thumb next to their index finger.

     For my Maxline True Screwball release action, pitchers turn the thumb side of their wrist forward.   They keep their pitching forearm inside of vertical.   They drive the index finger side of their middle finger through the seam of the baseball while they powerfully pronate their release.

     My Maxline True Screwball spins forwards.   The top seam collides with the on-rushing air molecules to create greater force above the baseball.   As a result, the baseball moves dramatically downward.

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bbrvwusptmsc: JS
bbfvwusptmsc: JS
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BBFVWUSPTMSc: JS (Capital letters indicate high-speed film)
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(SceneB03):   Me standing at my picnic table.

     To grip my Maxline Fastball, pitchers direct the horseshoe toward the pitching arm-side of home plate.   They place their middle finger along the center stripe and ‘hook’ the seam with their fingertip.   They rest the baseball on their ring finger platform and use their thumb to push against their middle finger.

     For my Maxline Fastball release, pitchers turn the anterior surface of their wrist slightly outward.   They keep their pitching forearm inside of vertical with their fingers vertical.   They powerfully pronate through release.

     My Maxline Fastball spins backwards with a slight tilt to the pitching arm-side.   The small circle of friction on the glove-side moves the baseball to the pitching arm-side of home plate.   The bottom seam collides with the on-rushing air molecules to create greater force below the baseball.   As a result, the baseball resists the down force of gravity.

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bbrvwusptmf: JKW
bbfvwusptmf: JKW
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BBFVWUSPTMF: JKW
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(SceneB04}:   Me standing at my picnic table.

     To grip my Maxline Pronation Curve, pitchers direct the horseshoe toward the glove side of home plate.   They run their middle finger along the pitching arm side of a loop and strongly press against the seam.   They spread their ring finger platform and tuck their thumb under the baseball.   With smaller hands, youngsters should place their thumb next to their index finger.

     To release my Maxline Pronation Curve, pitchers turn the little finger side of their wrist forward.   They keep their pitching forearm inside of vertical. They drive their middle finger through the seam.   They powerfully pronate their forearm and ulnar flex their wrist.

     My Maxline Pronation Curve spins forwards.   The top seam collides with the on-rushing air molecules to create greater force above the baseball.   As a result, the baseball moves dramatically downward.

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bbrvwusptmc: JSB
bbfvwusptmc: JSB
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BBFVWUSPTMC: JSB
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(SceneB05):   Me standing at my picnic table.

     To grip my Torque Fastball, pitchers direct the horseshoe to the glove side of home plate.   They place their index and middle finger on either side of the center stripe and ‘hook’ the seam with their fingertips.   They rest the baseball on their ring finger platform and use their thumb to push the baseball tightly against their index and middle fingers.

     For my Torque Fastball release, pitchers turn the anterior surface of their wrist slightly inward.   They keep their pitching forearm inside of vertical with their fingers horizontal.   They powerfully pronate through release.

     My Torque Fastball spins backwards with a slight tilt to the glove-side.   The small circle of friction on the pitching arm-side moves the baseball to the glove side of home plate.   The bottom seam collides with the on-rushing air molecules to create greater force below the baseball.   As a result, the baseball resists the down force of gravity.

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bbrvwuspttf: JSp
bbfvwuspttf: JS
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BBFVWUSPTTF: JS
***********************************************************************************

(B01):   Maxline Workout for the First Twenty Days of my Eight Year Old Baseball Pitchers Interval-Training Program graphic.

     This is my Maxline workout for the first twenty days of my eight year old baseball pitchers interval-training program and beginners of all ages.

(SceneB06):   Me demonstrating my Maxline Pickoff body action with my Pronation arm action.

     Because I used this body action to pick base runners off second base, I call it, my ‘Maxline Pickoff’ position.   For my Pronation arm action, pitchers start with their pitching hand beside their pitching ear from where they extend their pitching elbow and pronate their pitching forearm horizontally straight forward.

     To help pitchers to recognize the spin axes of their pitches, I use appropriately-sized footballs.

     To throw my Maxline Screwball, pitchers place the football between their index and middle fingers.   The football horizontally rotates to the pitching arm-side of home plate.   Youngsters should use the same release when they throw baseballs.

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Football Rear View Pickoff Pronation Maxline Screwball: (fbpprvmscdm)
Football Front View Pickoff Pronation Maxline Screwball: (fbppfvmsczs)
Baseball Rear View Pickoff Pronation Maxline Screwball: (bbpprvmscdm)
Baseball Front View Pickoff Pronation Maxline Screwball: (bbppfvmscab)
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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(SceneB07):   Me demonstrating my Pickoff Pronation Maxline Fastball with a football.

     For my Maxline Fastball, pitchers place the tip of their middle finger on the tip of the football.   The football vertically rotates to the pitching arm-side of home plate.

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Football Rear View Pickoff Pronation Maxline Fastball: (fbpprvmfrf)
Football Front View Pickoff Pronation Maxline Fastball: (fbppfvmfdm)
Baseball Rear View Pickoff Pronation Maxline Fastball: (need)
Baseball Front View Pickoff Pronation Maxline Fastball: (bbppfvjl)
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

***********************************************************************************

(B02):   Torque Workout for the First Twenty Days of my Eight Year Old Baseball Pitchers Interval-Training Program graphic.

     This is my Torque workout for the first twenty days of my eight year old baseball pitchers interval-training program and beginners of all ages.

(SceneB08):   Me demonstrating my Pickoff Pronation Maxline Curve with a football.

     For my Maxline Pronation Curve, pitchers place one tip of the football between their middle and ring fingers.   The football rotates horizontally to the pitching arm side of home plate.

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Football Rear View Pickoff Pronation Maxline Curve: (fbppmcjk)
Football Front View Pickoff Pronation Maxline Curve: (fbfvppmcjk)
Baseball Rear View Pickoff Pronation Maxline Curve: (bbpprvmcrf)
Baseball Front View Pickoff Pronation Maxline Curve: (bbfvppmcnn)
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(SceneB09):   Me demonstrating my Torque Pickoff body action and Pronation Torque Fastball arm action with a football.

     Because I used this body action to pick base runners off third base, I call it, my ‘Torque Pickoff’ position.

     For my Torque Fastball, pitchers place their index and middle fingers on both sides of the tip of the football.   The football rotates horizontally to the glove side of home plate.   Youngsters should use the same release when they throw baseballs.

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Football Rear View Pickoff Pronation Torque Fastball: (fbpprvtfdm)
Football Front View Pickoff Pronation Torque Fastball: (fbppfvtfdg)
Baseball Rear View Pickoff Pronation Torque Fastball: (bbpprvtfbp)
Baseball Front View Pickoff Pronation Torque Fastball: (bbppfvtfrf)
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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(B03):   Maxline Workout for the Second Twenty Days of my Eight Year Old Baseball Pitchers Interval-Training Program graphic.

     This is my Maxline workout for the second twenty days of my eight year old baseball pitchers interval-training program and beginners of all ages.

(SceneB10):   Me demonstrating my Slingshot throwing drill.

     For my Slingshot pitching arm action, pitchers start in Pronation.   To load the slingshot, pitchers maximally outward rotate their pitching upper arm and forearm.   They pull their glove forearm backward, forwardly rotate their shoulders, inwardly rotate their pitching upper arm, extend their elbow and pronate their forearm.

Maxline Day
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Football Rear View Pickoff Slingshot Maxline Screwball: (fbrvpsmscdg)(need)
Football Front View Pickoff Slingshot Maxline Screwball: (fbfvpsmscme)
Football Rear View Pickoff Slingshot Maxline Fastball: (fbrvpsmfdg)
Football Front View Pickoff Slingshot Maxline Fastball: (fbfvpsmfzs)(need)
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Baseball Rear View Pickoff Slingshot Maxline Screwball: (bbrvpsmsc??)
Baseball Front View Pickoff Slingshot Maxline Screwball: (bbfvpsmsc??)
Baseball Rear View Pickoff Slingshot Maxline Fastball: (bbrvpsmf??)
Baseball Front View Pickoff Slingshot Maxline Fastball: (bbfvpsmf??)
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

(B04):   Torque Workout for the Second Twenty Days of my Eight Year Old Baseball Pitchers Interval-Training Program graphic.

     This is my Torque workout for the second twenty days of my eight year old baseball pitchers interval-training program and beginners of all ages.

Torque Day
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Football Rear View Pickoff Slingshot Maxline Curve: (fbrvpsmc??) (need)
Football Front View Pickoff Slingshot Maxline Curve: (fbfvpsmc??) (need)
Football Rear View Pickoff Slingshot Torque Fastball: (fbrvpstfbp)
Football Front View Pickoff Slingshot Torque Fastball: (fbfvpstfjl)
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Baseball Rear View Pickoff Slingshot Maxline Curve: (bbrvpsmc??) (need)
Baseball Front View Pickoff Slingshot Maxline Curve: (bbfvpsmc??) (need)
Baseball Rear View Pickoff Slingshot Torque Fastball: (bbrvpstf??) (need)
Baseball Front View Pickoff Slingshot Torque Fastball: (bbfvpstf??) (need)
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

***********************************************************************************

(SceneB11):   Me demonstrating my Slingshot with a Step throwing drill.

     For my Slingshot with a Step pitching arm action, pitchers start in Slingshot.   They step forward with their pitching foot, pull their glove forearm backward, forwardly rotate their shoulders, inwardly rotate their pitching upper arm, extend their pitching elbow and pronate their pitching forearm, wrist, hand and fingers straight toward home plate.

(B05):   Maxline Workout for the Third Twenty Days of my Eight Year Old Baseball Pitchers Interval-Training Program graphic.

     This is my Maxline workout for the third twenty days of my eight year old baseball pitchers interval-training program and beginners of all ages.

Maxline Day
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Football Rear View Pickoff Slingshot with Step Maxline Screwball: (fbrvpssmsc??)
Football Front View Pickoff Slingshot with Step Maxline Screwball: (fbfvpssmsc??)
Football Rear View Pickoff Slingshot with Step Maxline Fastball: (fbrvpssmf??)
Football Front View Pickoff Slingshot with Step Maxline Fastball: (fbfvpssmf??)
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Baseball Rear View Pickoff Slingshot with Step Maxline Screwball: (bbrvpssmsc??)
Baseball Front View Pickoff Slingshot with Step Maxline Screwball: (bbfvpssmsc??)
Baseball Rear View Pickoff Slingshot with Step Maxline Fastball: (bbrvpssmf??)
Baseball Front View Pickoff Slingshot with Step Maxline Fastball: (bbfvpssmf??)
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(B06):   Torque Workout for the Third Twenty Days of my Eight Year Old Baseball Pitchers Interval-Training Program graphic.

     This is my Torque workout for the third twenty days of my eight year old baseball pitchers interval-training program and beginners of all ages.

Torque Day
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Football Rear View Pickoff Slingshot with Step Maxline Curve: (fbrvpssmcbp)
Football Front View Pickoff Slingshot with Step Maxline Curve: (fbfvpssmc??)
Football Rear View Pickoff Slingshot with Step Torque Fastball: (fbrvpsstf??)
Football Front View Pickoff Slingshot with Step Torque Fastball: (fbfvpsstf??)
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Baseball Rear View Pickoff Slingshot with Step Maxline Curve: (bbrvpssmc??)
Baseball Front View Pickoff Slingshot with Step Maxline Curve: (bbfvpssmc??)
Baseball Rear View Pickoff Slingshot with Step Torque Fastball: bbrvpsstf??)
Baseball Front View Pickoff Slingshot with Step Torque Fastball: (bbfvpsstf??)
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

***********************************************************************************

(SceneB12):   Me demonstrating my Football Wrong Foot body action and my Slingshot pitching arm action.

     With their glove foot forward and both feet pointing toward home plate, pitchers step straight toward home plate with their pitching foot, wait for their pitching foot to contact the ground and use my Slingshot pitching arm action to drive through release.

(B07):   Maxline Workout for the First Twenty Days of my Nine-Year-Old Baseball Pitchers Interval-Training Program graphic.

     When youngsters are nine years old, I recommend that parents and/or coaches take two summer months and, use my Wrong Foot body position with which to do their pitching arm throws.   This is my Maxline workout for the first twenty days of my nine year old baseball pitchers interval-training program.

Maxline Workout
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Football Rear View Wrong Foot Slingshot Maxline True Screwball: (fbrvwfsmscab)
Football Front View Wrong Foot Slingshot Maxline True Screwball: (fbfvwfsmscbp)
Football Rear View Wrong Foot Slingshot Maxline Fastball: (fbrvwfsmfck)
Football Front View Wrong Foot Slingshot Maxline Fastball: (fbfvwfsmfbp)
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Baseball Rear View Wrong Foot Slingshot Maxline True Screwball: (bbrvwfsmfbp)
Baseball Front View Wrong Foot Slingshot Maxline True Screwball: (bbfvwfsmfme)
Baseball Rear View Wrong Foot Slingshot Maxline Fastball: (bbrvwfsmfck)
Baseball Front View Wrong Foot Slingshot Maxline Fastball: (bbfvwfsmfck)
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

(B08):   Torque Workout for the First Twenty Days of my Nine Year Old Baseball Pitchers Interval-Training Program graphic.

     This is my Torque workout for the first twenty days of my nine year old baseball pitchers interval-training program.

Torque Workout
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Football Rear View Wrong Foot Slingshot Maxline Pronation Curve: (fbrvwfsmcme)
Football Front View Wrong Foot Slingshot Maxline Pronation Curve: (fbfvwfsmcdm)
Football Rear View Wrong Foot Slingshot Torque Fastball: (fbrvwfstfdm)
Football Front View Wrong Foot Slingshot Torque Fastball: (fbfvwfstfrf)
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Baseball Rear View Wrong Foot Slingshot Maxline Pronation Curve: (bbwfsrvmcab)
Baseball Front View Wrong Foot Slingshot Maxline Pronation Curve: (bbwfsfvmcdm)
Baseball Rear View Wrong Foot Slingshot Torque Fastball: (bbwfsrvtfjl)
Baseball Front View Wrong Foot Slingshot Torque Fastball: (bbwfsfvtfck)
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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(SceneB13):   Me demonstrating my Swing-to-Ready Pitching Arm Action.

     To introduce my crow-step pitching rhythm and my double-arm pendulum swings, I designed my Swing-to-Ready pitching arm action.   Pitchers simultaneously slide their pitching foot slightly forward while they cross their pitching wrist under their glove wrist and swing both arms.   Next, pitchers double arm pendulum swing their glove arm to shoulder height straight at home plate and their pitching arm to my ‘Ready’ position.   Pitchers briefly hold their ‘Ready’ position.   While they step straight toward home plate with their pitching foot, they roll their pitching forearm to horizontal and, after their pitching foot contacts the ground, they powerfully extend their elbow and pronate their forearm through release.

(B09):   Maxline Workout for the Second Twenty Days of my Nine-Year-Old Baseball Pitchers Interval-Training Program graphic.

     This is my Maxline workout for the second twenty days of my nine year old baseball pitchers interval-training program.

Maxline Workout
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Baseball Rear View Wrong Foot Swing-to-Ready Maxline True Screwball: (bbrvwfsmfrf)
Baseball Front View Wrong Foot Swing-to-Ready Maxline True Screwball: (bbfvwfsmfrf)
Baseball Rear View Wrong Foot Swing-to-Ready Maxline Fastball: (bbrvwfsrmfme)
Baseball Front View Wrong Foot Swing-to-Ready Maxline Fastball: (bbfvwfsrmfme)
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(B10):   Torque Workout for the Second Twenty Days of my Nine Year Old Baseball Pitchers Interval-Training Program graphic.

     This is my Torque workout for the second twenty days of my nine year old baseball pitchers interval-training program.

Torque Workout
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Baseball Rear View Wrong Foot Swing-to-Ready Maxline Pronation Curve: (need)
Baseball Front View Wrong Foot Swing-to-Ready Maxline Pronation Curve: (need)
Baseball Rear View Wrong Foot Swing-to-Ready Torque Fastball: (need)
Baseball Front View Wrong Foot Swing-to-Ready Torque Fastball: (bbfvwfsrtfrf)
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(SceneB14):   Me demonstrating my Transition Pitching Arm Action.

     With my Transition pitching arm action, pitchers do my Swing-to-Ready, but they do not stop their pitching arm.

(B11):   Maxline Workout for the Third Twenty Days of my Nine-Year-Old Baseball Pitchers Interval-Training Program graphic.

     This is my Maxline workout for the third twenty days of my nine year old baseball pitchers interval-training program.

Maxline Workout
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Baseball Rear View Wrong Foot Transition Maxline True Screwball: (bbrvwftmf??)
Baseball Front View Wrong Foot Transition Maxline True Screwball: (bbrvwftmf??)
Baseball Rear View Wrong Foot Transition Maxline Fastball: (bbrvwftmf??)
Baseball Front View Wrong Foot Transition Maxline Fastball: (bbfvwftmf??)
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

(B12):   Torque Workout for the Third Days of my Nine Year Old Baseball Pitchers Interval-Training Program graphic.

     This is my Torque workout for the third twenty days of my nine year old baseball pitchers interval-training program.

Torque Workout
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Baseball Rear View Wrong Foot Transition Maxline Pronation Curve: (bbrvwftmc??)
Baseball Front View Wrong Foot Transition Maxline Pronation Curve: (bbrvwftmc??)
Baseball Rear View Wrong Foot Transition Torque Fastball: (bbrvwfttf??)
Baseball Front View Wrong Foot Transition Torque Fastball: (bbfvwfttfme)
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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(SceneB15):   Me demonstrating my No-Stride body action.

     To properly move their pitching leg straight toward home plate ahead of their glove foot, I designed my No-Stride body action.   Pitchers keep their glove foot fixed on the ground while they powerfully drive their pitching foot off the pitching rubber.

(B13):   Maxline Workout for the First Twenty Days of my Ten-Year-Old Baseball Pitchers Interval-Training Program graphic.

     When youngsters are ten years old, I recommend that parents and/or coaches take two summer months and use my No-Stride Drills to teach how to move their pitching leg ahead of their glove foot.   This is my Maxline workout for the first twenty days of my ten year old baseball pitchers interval-training program.

Maxline Workout
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Football Rear View No-Stride Slingshot Maxline True Screwball: (fbrvnssmscdm)
Football Front View No-Stride Slingshot Maxline True Screwball: (fbfvnssmscdg)
Football Rear View No-Stride Slingshot Maxline Fastball: (fbrvnssmfab)
Football Front View No-Stride Slingshot Maxline Fastball: (fbfvnssmf??)
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Baseball Rear View No-Stride Slingshot Maxline True Screwball: (bbrvnssmsc??)
Baseball Front View No-Stride Slingshot Maxline True Screwball: (bbfvnssmsc??)
Baseball Rear View No-Stride Slingshot Maxline Fastball: (bbrvnssmf??)
Baseball Front View No-Stride Slingshot Maxline Fastball: (bbfvnssmf??)
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(B14):   Torque Workout for the First Twenty Days of my Ten-Year-Old Baseball Pitchers Interval-Training Program graphic.

     This is my Torque workout for the first twenty days of my ten year old baseball pitchers interval-training program.

Torque Workout
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Football Rear View No-Stride Slingshot Maxline Pronation Curve: (fbrvnssmcrf)
Football Front View No-Stride Slingshot Maxline Pronation Curve: (fbfvnssmc??)
Football Rear View No-Stride Slingshot Torque Fastball: (need)
Football Front View No-Stride Slingshot Torque Fastball: (need)
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Baseball Rear View No-Stride Slingshot Maxline Pronation Curve: (bbrvnssmc??)
Baseball Front View No-Stride Slingshot Maxline Pronation Curve: (bbfvnssmc??)
Baseball Rear View No-Stride Slingshot Torque Fastball: (need)
Baseball Front View No-Stride Slingshot Torque Fastball: (need)
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

***********************************************************************************

(B15):   Maxline Workout for the Second Twenty Days of my Ten-Year-Old Baseball Pitchers Interval-Training Program graphic.

     This is my Maxline workout for the second twenty days of my ten year old baseball pitchers interval-training program.

Maxline WorkoutMbr< --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Baseball Rear View No-Stride Swing-to-Ready Maxline True Screwball: (bbrvnssrmscdg)
BB Front View No-Stride Swing-to-Ready Maxline True Screwball: (bbfvnssrmscdm)
Baseball Rear View No-Stride Swing-to-Ready Maxline Fastball: (bbrvnssrmfjl)
Baseball Front View No-Stride Swing-to-Ready Maxline Fastball: (bbfvnssrmfab)
(B16):   Torque Workout for the Second Twenty Days of my Ten-Year-Old Baseball Pitchers Interval-Training Program graphic.

     This is my Torque workout for the second twenty days of my ten year old baseball pitchers interval-training program.

Torque Workout
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Baseball Rear View No-Stride Swing-to-Ready Maxline Pronation Curve: (bbrvnssmcbp)
Baseball Front View No-Stride Swing-to-Ready Maxline Pronation Curve: (bbfvnssmcrf)
Baseball Rear View No-Stride Swing-to-Ready Torque Fastball: (bbnssrrvtfdr)
Baseball Front View No-Stride Swing-to-Ready Torque Fastball: (bbnssrfvtfbp)
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(B17):   Maxline Workout for the Third Twenty Days of my Ten-Year-Old Baseball Pitchers Interval-Training Program graphic.

     This is my Maxline workout for the third twenty days of my ten year old baseball pitchers interval-training program.

Maxline Workout
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Baseball Rear View No-Stride Transition Maxline True Screwball: (bbrvnstmscme)
Baseball Front View No-Stride Transition Maxline True Screwball: (bbfvnstmscbp)
Baseball Rear View No-Stride Transition Maxline Fastball: (bbrvnstmfdm)
Baseball Front View No-Stride Transition Maxline Fastball: (bbfvnstmfrf)
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(B18):   Torque Workout for the Third Twenty Days of my Ten-Year-Old Baseball Pitchers Interval-Training Program graphic.

     This is my Torque workout for the third twenty days of my ten year old baseball pitchers interval-training program.

Torque Workout
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Baseball Rear View No-Stride Transition Maxline Pronation Curve: (bbrvnssmcdg)
Baseball Front View No-Stride Transition Maxline Pronation Curve: (bbfvnssmcdg)
Baseball Rear View No-Stride Transition Torque Fastball: (bbnstrvtfab)
Baseball Front View No-Stride Transition Torque Fastball: (bbnstfvtfdr)
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(SceneB16):   Me demonstrating my Wind-Up Set Position body action

     With my ‘wind-up set position’ body action, pitchers use the same pitching motion with or without base runners.   They stand with the feet pointing toward home plate.   They comfortably step straight forward with their glove foot and powerfully move their pitching leg straight toward home plate.

(B19):   Maxline Workout for the First Twenty Days of my Eleven-Year-Old Baseball Pitchers Interval-Training Program graphic.

     When youngsters are eleven biological years old, I recommend that parents and/or coaches take two summer months and, use my Wind-Up Set Position Drill.   This is my Maxline workout for the first twenty days of my eleven year old baseball pitchers interval-training program.

Maxline Workout
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Football Rear View WUSP Slingshot Maxline Screwball: (fbrvwuspsmscjl)
Football Front View WUSP Slingshot Maxline Screwball: (fbfvwuspsmscmm)
Football Rear View WUSP Slingshot Maxline Fastball: (fbrvwuspsmfmm)
Football Front View WUSP Slingshot Maxline Fastball: (fbfvwuspsmfjk)
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Baseball Rear View WUSP Slingshot Maxline Screwball: (bbrvwuspsmsczs)
Baseball Front View WUSP Slingshot Maxline Screwball: (bbfvwuspsmscck)
Baseball Rear View WUSP Slingshot Maxline Fastball: (bbrvwuspsmfjs)
Baseball Front View WUSP Slingshot Maxline Fastball: (bbfvwuspsmfjk)
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(B20):   Torque Workout for the First Twenty Days of my Eleven-Year-Old Baseball Pitchers Interval-Training Program graphic.

     This is my Torque workout for the first twenty days of my eleven year old baseball pitchers interval-training program.

Torque Workout
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Football Front View WUSP Slingshot Maxline Curve: (fbrvwuspsmczs)
Football Front View WUSP Slingshot Maxline Curve: (fbfvwuspsmcck)
Football Rear View WUSP Slingshot Torque Fastball: (fbrvwuspstfmm)
Football Front View WUSP Slingshot Torque Fastball: (fbfvwuspstfab)
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Baseball Front View WUSP Slingshot Maxline Curve: (bbrvwuspsmcjk)
Baseball Front View WUSP Slingshot Maxline Curve: (bbfvwuspsmcck)
Baseball Rear View WUSP Slingshot Torque Fastball: (bbrvwuspstfjk)
Baseball Front View WUSP Slingshot Torque Fastball: (bbfvwuspstfjs)
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(B21):   Maxline Workout for the Second Twenty Days of my Eleven-Year-Old Baseball Pitchers Interval-Training Program graphic.

     This is my Maxline workout for the second twenty days of my eleven year old baseball pitchers interval-training program.

Maxline Workout
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Baseball Rear View WUSP Swing-to-Ready Maxline Screwball: (bbrvwuspsrmscjk)
Baseball Front View WUSP Swing-to-Ready Maxline Screwball: (bbfvwuspsrmsczs)
Baseball Rear View WUSP Swing-to-Ready Maxline Fastball: (bbrvwuspsrmfzs)
Baseball Front View WUSP Swing-to-Ready Maxline Fastball: (bbfvwuspsrmfjl)
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(B22):   Torque Workout for the Second Twenty Days of my Eleven-Year-Old Baseball Pitchers Interval-Training Program graphic.

     This is my Torque workout for the second twenty days of my eleven year old baseball pitchers interval-training program.

Torque Workout
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Baseball Front View WUSP Swing-to-Ready Maxline Curve: (bbrvwuspsrmcjs)
Baseball Front View WUSP Swing-to-Ready Maxline Curve: (bbfvwuspsrmczs)
Baseball Rear View WUSP Swing-to-Ready Torque Fastball: (bbrvwuspsrtfjs)
Baseball Front View WUSP Swing-to-Ready Torque Fastball: (bbfvwuspsrtfjk)
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(B23):   Maxline Workout for the Third Twenty Days of my Eleven-Year-Old Baseball Pitchers Interval-Training Program graphic.

     This is my Maxline workout for the third twenty days of my eleven year old baseball pitchers interval-training program.

Maxline Workout
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Baseball Rear View WUSP Transition Maxline Screwball: (bbrvwusptmscdt)
Baseball Front View WUSP Transition Maxline Screwball: (bbfvwusptmscdt)
Baseball Rear View WUSP Transition Maxline Fastball: (bbrvwusptmfjk)
Baseball Front View WUSP Transition Maxline Fastball: (bbfvwusptmfjk)
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(B24):   Torque Workout for the Third Twenty Days of my Eleven-Year-Old Baseball Pitchers Interval-Training Program graphic.

     This is my Torque workout for the third twenty days of my eleven year old baseball pitchers interval-training program.

Torque Workout
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Baseball Front View WUSP Transition Maxline Curve: (bbrvwusptmccb)
Baseball Front View WUSP Transition Maxline Curve: (bbfvwusptmcjk)
Baseball Rear View WUSP Transitions Torque Fastball: (bbrvwuspttfzs)
Baseball Front View WUSP Transitions Torque Fastball: (bbfvwuspttfzs)
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(SceneB17):   Nineteen Year Old Baseball Pitchers Interval-Training Program graphic.

     At nineteen biological years old, pitchers are physiologically ready to maximally strengthen the bones, ligaments and tendons of their pitching arm with my 280-Day Adult Baseball Pitchers Interval-Training Program.   After they complete my wrist weight and iron ball training cycles, I introduce my Maxline Fastball Sinker and Torque Fastball Slider.

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(SceneB18):   Me standing with the Marshall Effect schematic.

     To grip my Maxline Fastball Sinker, pitchers direct the horseshoe toward home plate with the circle of friction on the glove-side.   They place their middle finger along the center stripe and ‘hook’ the seam with their fingertip.   They rest the baseball on their ring finger platform and use their thumb to push against their middle finger.   With their glove hand, they turn the baseball to the pitching arm side forty-five degrees.

     For my Maxline Fastball release, pitchers turn the anterior surface of their wrist slightly outward.   They keep their pitching forearm inside of vertical with their fingers vertical.   They powerfully pronate through release.

     My Maxline Fastball Sinker spirals to their glove side. The large circle-of-friction on the top, forward surface of the baseball collides with the on-rushing air molecules.   As a result, the baseball dives downward to the pitching arm-side.

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Baseball Front View WUSP Transition Maxline Fastball Sinker: (bbrvpssmfsijs)
Baseball Front View WUSP Transition Maxline Fastball Sinker: (bbfvpssmfsijs)
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BBFVWUSPTMFSi: JS
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(SceneB19):   Me standing with the Marshall Effect schematic.

     To grip my Torque Fastball Slider, pitchers direct the horseshoe toward home plate with the circle of friction on the pitching side.   They place their index and middle fingers on either side of the center stripe and ‘hook’ the seam with their fingertips.   They rest the baseball on their ring finger platform and use their thumb to push against their index and middle fingers.   With their glove hand, they turn the baseball to the glove side forty-five degrees.

     For my Torque Fastball Slider release, pitchers turn the anterior surface of their wrist slightly inward.   They keep their pitching forearm inside of vertical with their fingers horizontal.   They powerfully pronate through release.

     My Torque Fastball Slider spirals toward home plate.   The large circle-of-friction on the forward surface of the baseball collides with the on-rushing air molecules.   As a result, the baseball dives downward to the glove-side of home plate.

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Baseball Rear View WUSP Transition Torque Fastball Slider: (bbrvpsstfsljjst)
Baseball Front View WUSP Transition Torque Fastball Slider: (bbfvpsstfsljst)
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BBFVWUSPTTF: JSb
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(B25):   Pickoff Throws to First Base graphic

     With my Wind-Up Set Position, to pick base runners off first base, right-handed pitchers have five choices:
01.   They can pivot on their pitching foot and, with their glove foot, step toward first and throw.
02.   Like a second baseman making a double play, they can step forward off the pitching rubber with their pitching foot and, with their glove foot, step straight toward first base and throw.
03.   Like a second baseman making a double play, they can step backward off the pitching rubber with their pitching foot and, with their glove foot, step straight toward first base and throw or not throw.
04.   They can use my Wrong Foot body action and, with their pitching foot, step straight toward first base and throw.
05.   They can use my No-Stride body action and drive off their pitching foot straight toward first base and throw.

(B26):   Pickoff Throws to Second Base graphic

     With my Wind-Up Set Position, to pick base runners off second base, right-handed pitchers have two choices:
01.   They can pivot on their pitching foot to their glove side and, with their glove foot, step straight toward second base and throw or not throw.
02.   They can pivot on their glove foot to their pitching arm side and, with their pitching foot, step straight toward second base and throw or not throw.

(B27):   Pickoff Throws to Third Base graphic

     With my Wind-Up Set Position, to pick base runners off third base, right-handed pitchers have two choices:
01.   They can pivot on their pitching foot to their pitching arm side and, with their glove foot, step straight toward third base and throw or not throw.
02.   They can pivot on their glove foot to their pitching arm side and, with their pitching foot, step straight toward third base and throw or not throw.

     Rather than repeat these pickoff moves for left-handed pitchers, I recommend that parents, coaches and pitchers look into a mirror and again watch these right-handed pitchers pickoff moves.

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162.   My son is now a senior in high school.   He trained with you last summer. He had his first game today, he started.   He threw 121 pitches, 57 strikes and 64 balls.   He threw 69 Maxline Fastball, 39 for strikes.   He threw 2 Torque Fastballs, one for a strike.   He threw 33 curves, 9 for strikes.   He threw 15 sinkers, 7 for strikes.   He did not throw any screwballs.   Here is his line score: 5IP, 0ER, 4R, 0H, 9BB, 1HBP, 11Ks and 1SB.

     Although it was a no-hitter, and they won, he is not happy with the result.   Just too much adrenaline, new mechanics, no control, etc.   It was the 3rd inning before he threw a curve for a strike.   He was never able to get in a groove and go through any proper sequences, because he was almost always behind the hitters.

     Essentially, he was throwing the Maxline FB by the hitters.   Funny that, because there was no intensity.   At least not anything like he has been throwing in practice.   To start the game, the first guy got on by an error.   Then he walked the next two on ten pitches.   Confidence shot.   After that, it looked as if he was aiming every pitch, but they were still much faster than last year, and the other team could not catch up to them.   Only four balls were put in play.   Only one ball left the infield and it was caught.

     There were several mechanics problems, but I think it starts with the following:   I had noticed a while back, and got on to him about a big flaw.   He has been stepping to the throwing arm side of the batters box.   Not all the time, but a lot of the time.   Well, today he started doing that very early, like the first pitch, got a hole dug, and then continued to step in that hole.   Finally, I got him to move more toward the middle of the rubber so he could throw some strikes.

     But the damage was done.   Because of the closed step, he was not getting his hip around, was flying out, and finishing down, or across his body slightly.   He could have made a "what not to do" video.   I think the only thing that saved him was pronation and the other good mechanics you taught him.


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     You are right.   That was a horrible performance.   All his old bad habits reared their ugly heads.   He still mistakenly believes that he can get 'extra' from reverse rotating farther.   I have no doubts that, as viewed from home plate, he was taking his pitching hand more than a foot beyond second base.

     To get his pitching hip ahead of his glove foot, he has to step 'straight' forward.   It also sounds as though he is still 'grabbing' with his pitching forearm, especially with his curves.   Rather than put an obstacle in line with where he steps, I prefer to tell him to try to step forward at a forty-five degrees angle to his glove side and drive his pitching hip straight toward home plate.   As always, he has to delay the forward movement of his body until he gets his pitching arm to my 'Ready' position.

     With allot of work, maybe next time he can stop his opponents from getting any hits and scoring earned runs.   Even though he threw only twenty-seven percent curve strikes and forty-seven percent sinker strikes, they made his maxline fastball better.

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163.   You wrote:   "He still mistakenly believes that he can get 'extra' from reverse rotating farther.   I have no doubts that, as viewed from home plate, he was taking his pitching hand more than a foot beyond second base."

     He did not appear to be that bad concerning reverse rotation.   Actually, his entire delivery looked strange.   He was fairly calm while bringing the ball up, and did not seem to go behind his head.   Though I was watching from the side, so I cannot say for sure.   But then, the step just went awry toward the throwing arm side batters box.   He looked about like a fashion model looks walking down a runway.   You know how they walk, straight forward, but crossing their steps?   He would get all the way around on a pitch, but not until the pitch was already delivered.

     "As always, he has to delay the forward movement of his body until he gets his pitching arm to my 'Ready' position."

     At some point in the game, I told him to imagine the crow hop.   This seemed to help him get his arm up before starting forward.

     "With allot of work, maybe next time he can stop his opponents from getting any hits and scoring earned runs."

     Well, they scored no earned runs, and got no hits this time.   But the ten free passes were terrible.   The four unearned runs came on wild pitches and passed balls.   With limited practice time, this was the first time the catcher had seen Sam with the new mechanics.   The catcher did an OK job, but he had a tough time.

     "Even though he threw only twenty-seven percent curve strikes and forty-seven percent sinker strikes, they made his maxline fastball better."

     Yes, that was the case.   The coach was getting on to him about throwing strikes of course.   Since the Maxline was so effective, he almost had no chance to throw anything else.


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     I am pleased to read that Sam is not taking his pitching hand laterally behind his head.   However, it sounds as though he was not getting his pitching hand to driveline height before he started his body forward and, then, he did not take his body straight forward.   Your suggestion to focus on the 'crow-step' pitching rhythm was excellent.   I still think that the idea of a 'drop-stride' to get him to move his pitching leg straight forward ahead of his glove foot will help.

     We have a new saying, 'Pitchers are only as good as their ability to pitch with their pitching hip.'   This means that pitchers cannot 'finish' their pitches such that they are driving the baseball straight toward home plate when they leave their pitching hip behind their body.

     Coaches at all levels hate walks.   They will even say stupid things like, 'make them hit it.'   The truth is that all this does is prevent pitchers from developing.   That is why I would like to never have pitchers pitch in games until they master all pitches.   I agree that walks are boring, except to the pitchers and those rooting for them to master the pitches.   Nevertheless, I would much rather have batters walk ninety feet twice an inning with no hits than sprint to second from home and to home from first base.   The key to long-term success is never giving up extra base hits and much fewer than one single base hit per inning.

     I applaud your son when he threw tough pitches with base runners on third base.   This means that he has the courage to challenge himself and, as a result, he will become the best pitcher that he can be.   That was only his first game.   When I coached college baseball, I watched and permitted many pitchers face the challenge of throwing pitches that they did not know where they were going.   I watched them walk many batters.   They were not ready, but we had games scheduled.   I watched one young man go 0-10 and average over one walk per inning.   But, I never took away his courage.   Everybody questioned why I let his pitch.   Now, he throws my pitches better than anybody I have coached.   He made it all the way to the major leagues.

     If his coach or anybody else does not take his courage away, then he will continue to improve.   While most people do not like wild pitches that permit base runners on third base to score, I see them as courageous.   However, when pitchers cannot throw their pitches so that catchers can catch them, they need more practice without games.

     The fact that your son did not try to throw all pitches means that he has allot of work to do.   This should be his wake-up call for starting to work harder.

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164.   It will take some time for me to comb through it.   Give me a few days.

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     No hurry.   I have an out-of-town trip scheduled for this weekend.   I thought that I would be long finished with this project.   In any case, I will return Monday afternoon.

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165.   The following is an excerpt from USA Baseball Medical & Safety Advisory Committee's Position Statement on Youth Baseball Injuries.   I know what you think about this, but I thought I'd pass this along anyway.

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     The most common question asked to sports medicine professionals by parents of youth baseball players is:   "How many pitches should I allow my child to throw?"

Recommendation:   Based upon its expertise and review of existing studies, the USA Baseball Medical & Safety Advisory Committee makes the following recommendations for minimizing a pitcher's risk of future serious arm injury and maximizing his chance of success.

     "Coaches and parents should listen and react appropriately to a youth pitcher when he/she complains about arm pain.   A pitcher who complains or shows signs of arm pain during a game should be removed immediately from pitching.   Parents should seek medical attention if pain is not relieved within four days or if the pain recurs immediately the next time the player pitches.   League officials should inform parents about this consideration.

     Pitch counts should be monitored and regulated in youth baseball.   Recommended limits for youth pitchers are as follows:
1.   9-10 year old pitchers: 50 pitches per game, 75 pitches per week, 1000 pitches per season, 2000 pitches per year,
2.   11-12 year old pitchers: 75 pitches per game, 100 pitches per week, 1000 pitches per season, 3000 pitches per year and
3.   13-14 year old pitchers: 75 pitches per game, 125 pitches per week, 1000 pitches per season, 3000 pitches per year.

     Pitch count limits pertain to pitches thrown in games only.   These limits do not include throws from other positions, instructional pitching during practice sessions, and throwing drills, which are important for the development of technique and strength.   Backyard pitching practice after a pitched game is strongly discouraged.

     Pitchers should not throw breaking pitches (curveballs, sliders, etc.) in competition until their bones have matured (indicated by puberty) - typically about 13 years of age.   In order to succeed, a youth pitcher should focus on good mechanics, a fast fastball, a good change-up, and good control.

     Pitchers should develop proper mechanics as early as possible and include more year-round physical conditioning as their body develops.

     A Pitcher should be prohibited from returning to the mound in a game once he/she has been removed as the pitcher.

     Baseball players - especially pitchers - are discouraged from participating in showcases due to the risk of injury.   The importance of "showcases" should be de-emphasized, and at the least, pitchers should be permitted time to appropriately prepare.

     Baseball pitchers are discouraged from pitching for more than one team in a given season.

     Baseball pitchers should compete in baseball no more than nine months in any given year, as periodization is needed to give the pitcher's body time to rest and recover.   For at least three months a year, a baseball pitcher should not play any baseball, participate in throwing drills, or participate in other stressful overhead activities (javelin throwing, football quarterback, softball, competitive swimming, etc.)."


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     Now we determine what is the correct medical advice by opinion poll?   Sounds allot easier than research.   Be glad that they are not opining on the cure for HIV?

     They have absolutely no scientific basis anything that they recommend.   Did they take groups of nine and ten year olds and have them throw more than fifty pitches per game, seventy-five pitches per week, one thousand pitches per season and two thousand pitches per year?

     The following quote proves that they have no idea.   "Pitchers should not throw breaking pitches (curveballs, sliders, etc.) in competition until their bones have matured (indicated by puberty) - typically about 13 years of age."

     Have they never seen an X-ray of a biological thirteen year old pitching arm?   I understand that before I showed elbow X-rays of biological ten, eleven, twelve, thirteen, fourteen, fifteen and sixteen year olds, nobody had ever seen the growth and development progression.   However, numerous growth and development research reports have stated when the ossification centers in the pitching arm appear and mature.

     How do these people get on the USA Baseball Medical & Safety Advisory Committee?   What is the USA Baseball Medical & Safety Advisory Committee?   Who gave them the authority to advise anybody?   I do not have time to answer these questions.   I hope that somebody out there goes after these people.   Go ahead and use my name.   They already refuse to let me play in their reindeer games.

     By the way, you have been reading that someone wanted to get the 'pitching experts together for a debate.'   You knew that that would never happen, didn't you?   The editor of Collegiate Baseball News tried the get the American Baseball Coaches Association to do just that at their last annual national meeting.   Did not happen.

     Now, you know why I am trying to empower parents to take charge of how, how often, how much and how intensely their sons and daughters throw baseballs and softballs.

     I assume that you know that, even though I am not going to go through everything else they said, everything else that they said is similarly wrong.

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166.   I realize that you are not a medical doctor, but am sure that your educational background along with your extensive baseball experience more than qualify you to address my concerns.   My nine year old son broke both the radius and ulna of his right arm (he is right handed) this week.   I am certainly not qualified to ascertain this but by the looks of the x-rays I would say that the break is probably above the growth plates as it is about 1" to 1 1/2" above the wrist.   The breaks were clean with no bone fragments, and the orthopedic surgeon set them back through reduction.   He seemed to be pleased with the outcome of the process.   It was a very busy night in the OR, and my wife and I were far too fatigued to ask any questions.

     My concern regards the long term prognosis.   The estimation offered for time in the cast was six weeks.   Both of my sons (the older is 14) are avid sports enthusiast and play basketball, football and baseball.   I know my younger son will be "burning up" to rejoin his baseball team as soon as possible, especially given that he is now forced to sit and watch his older brother.   My son has pitched some, but mostly plays other positions.   Currently his coach had him at third base.

     I would like to know if:
1)   My son will be able to return to playing baseball as well as other sports without any lasting consequences of his injury, or should we expect that he have any restrictions on his development as a young athlete?
2)   Can he/should he practice any rehabilitation while the cast is in place over the next six weeks?
3)   Once the cast is removed what rehabilitation is best for him and how should we approach letting him return to baseball?
4)   Will his arm have atrophied extensively and will he have lost significant strength in his throwing motion?

     Of course, I want to think that he will have no on-going concerns and will be able to develop athletically as he would have had he not broken his throwing arm.   But if there is a chance that is not the case, I would like to prepare now.   I also do not want to chance any further injury by rushing him back on the playing field, but at the same time I want to allow him to be as active as possible as soon as possible.


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     Nine year olds are bone, ligament, tendon and muscle building machines.   Unless he does something to move the bones away from each other, they will heal fine.   You did not say, but it sounds like he fell and landed on his right wrist.   Do you have any skateboards?   He needs to learn how to tuck and roll.   Find him a tumbling class.

     Six to eight weeks of inactivity of the injured area typically would atrophy the bones, ligaments, tendons and muscles in the effected area.   But, nine year olds are bone, ligament, tendon and muscle building machines.

     He can practice anything he wants as long as it does not involve his right wrist, elbow and shoulder.

     After they remove the cast, he should gently and gradually increase the amount and intensity of the activity.   As my personal rule of thumb, for every day of inactivity, complete return to previous levels of amount and intensity requires one and one-half days.   Therefore, he should gently and gradually increase the amount and intensity of his activities over nine weeks.

     He will have lost significant strength and skill with his right wrist, elbow and shoulder.   But, nine year olds are bone, ligament, tendon and muscle building machines.   Keep him reined in a bit for awhile, but he will be fine.

     In six to eight weeks, you can start him on thirty days of my sixty day eight-year-old baseball pitchers interval-training program followed my thirty days of my sixty day nine-year-old baseball pitchers interval-training program.   However, I prefer that he practices my skills only during June and July.

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167.   Still trying to assemble a panel.   Any other suggestions?

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     As I have already said, I applaud your efforts to get a meaningful debate going with those who claim to know something about pitching.   However, when House, Mills, Thurston and others chicken out, everybody would be best served to read my Coaching Baseball Pitchers book and watch my Instructional Videotape.   I will have both upgraded soon.

     Yes, I would love to have any professional team pitching coaches.   Ask Directors of Player Development if they have anybody who would like to join.   I could email you the telephone numbers for all major league teams.

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168.   Why do you place the middle finger (3rd digit) directly on the loop as opposed to on either side of the loop?   To me, the ball seems more comfortable when my fingers are on either side of the loop.   Do your students find this finger positioning awkward in the early phases of your program?

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     To grip my four seam Maxline Fastball, I want pitchers to 'hook' the seam with the tip of their middle finger and I want their middle finger in the absolute middle of the baseball.   My Maxline Fastball leaves off the tip of the middle finger.   To grip my four seam Torque Fastball, I also want pitchers to 'hook' the seam, but with the tips of their index and middle fingers and I want their index and middle fingers on either side of the absolute middle of the baseball.

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169.   You wrote," I still think that the idea of a 'drop-stride' to get him to move his pitching leg straight forward ahead of his glove foot will help."   I do not know exactly what you mean by 'drop-stride'.   Could you please elaborate?

     "We have a new saying, 'Pitchers are only as good as their ability to pitch with their pitching hip.'   This means that pitchers cannot 'finish' their pitches such that they are driving the baseball straight toward home plate when they leave their pitching hip behind their body.   You have that right.   They also tear up the front of their shoulder, tear their bicep, and a few other things my son is suffering from now.

     He still had soreness today in the bicep, tricep, brachialis, and pronator teres.   The bicep was not just soreness, but pain.   Luckily, the mound had not been worked since his start, and I plotted the hole he dug while pitching.   It was about 8-10 inches toward the pitching arm side, from the line formed between the maxline side of the rubber to the glove side batters box.   He was REALLY throwing across his body.

     He got through wrist weights and iron balls today.   Then, he threw about 30 baseballs.   He stepped well to the glove arm side, and threw some beautiful pitches at very low intensity.   Nevertheless, his velocity and movement of the pitches was better than in the game!   Of course, he could not get it through his thick head that the pitches were that much better, even with his catcher telling him that was the case.   He knows he screwed up, and knows he has to permanently correct his step.   For health more than anything.   But he does not seem to realize how the correct step improves his pitches.   After 30 pitches, he was done.   The bicep pain was too much for him, even at low intensity.


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     When I tell pitchers to use a 'drop-strike,' instead of stepping straight forward, I want them to step to their glove side at a forty-five degree angle.   I want them to do this and still move their center of mass and pitching knee straight forward.   Usually, they think that they are stepping to their glove side at a forty-five degree angle when they actually step straight forward.   The important aspect is that they can move their pitching hip ahead of their glove hip and finish their pitches.

     The biceps, brachialis and pronator teres discomfort to which you refer resulted from these muscles working as hard as they could to stop the extreme forearm flyout that he was doing as a result of closing his stride and pulling his pitching forearm forward with his pitching elbow instead of driving his pitching hand straight forward.   That he continued to stress it with his thirty pitch workout indicates that he still pulls his pitching forearm forward.   He needs to return to my pickoff pronations and slingshots to remember how to drive the baseball inward toward his ear rather than circle outward.

     If you saw the recent Sports Illustrated article on Greg Maddox that contained side-by-side photographs of Mark Prior and Kerry Woods, you saw a great example of the extreme pitching forearm flyout.   That is what your son was fighting that unnecessarily stressed his brachialis and will enlarge his coronoid process and diminish his elbow flexion range of motion.

     He generated the force that over-worked these muscles.   Now, he has a great reminder of what he should not do.   When pitchers combine the greater force application of my pitching motion with the flaws in the 'traditional' pitching motion, this is what happens.   When he returns to my pitching motion, these problems will disappear.   In the meantime, lesson learned and he will be fine.

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170.   No skateboarding.   My son and his buddy learned the hard way that jumping off of a box to slam dunk a basketball on an 8' goal may not be the smartest way to spend an afternoon.   And a group of parents all learned not to underestimate the inventiveness of a couple of nine year olds when you turn your back for five minutes.   Oh well, I cringe when I remember some of the goofy things I did at that age.   Your heart goes out to your child when he is in pain and having to deal with an injury, but all in all this is a minor setback and we are blessed to have two healthy active boys.

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     In my youth, I did that and more and paid similar prices.   My best wishes for a speedy and full recovery.

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171.   I just received an email from Dr. Glenn Flesig, the Director of the American Sports Medicine Institute in Birmingham, AL.   He declined my offer to participate on a panel to discuss baseball pitching with you, me and Paul Nyman.

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     I am sorry to read that Glenn Flesig declined.   You co-wrote a book with Tom House, what about the biomechanist with whom he works?

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172.   You weren't using footballs when we visited so I am a little confused.   My understanding is that the grips you describe are of one of the narrow ends of the miniature footballs, not of the seams.

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     We do continue to learn and develop better ways for youngsters to learn how to apply force to their pitches.   I use the tips of the football to demonstrate the spin axis of the release.   It works much, much better than even baseballs with stripes painted on them.

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173.   I found your website while searching the Internet on Tommy John's Surgery.   Our 15 yr. old son was diagnosed yesterday with "torn ligament" in his pitching elbow.   The sports surgeon does not recommend surgery, he said that stats show that at his age, he wouldn't recommend surgery because it will not make him a better pitcher (high college or major league) he will be the same kind of pitcher he is now mid 80's.   Our son has been told that his pitching will take him somewhere in the future, our hopes are now diminished.   Thankfully he has plays all positions extremely well and is a good hitter too.

     In the research I understand that he will have to change his pitching mechanics if he does the surgery.   But what is your recommendation on surgery at this age, and what type of future could he have?   The information that I have found does not talk about the future of teenagers having this surgery only college and MLB pitchers.


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     At fifteen biological years old, the growth plate for the medial epicondyle should be open.   Therefore, if your son did not completely rupture his Ulnar Collateral Ligament, I would also wait until this growth plate matured.   But, even that places your son in-between.   His tear might or might not heal.   He may or may not have stretched his Ulnar Collateral Ligament.   Nevertheless, if he waited to the growth plate of his medial epicondyle matured and started on my one hundred and twenty day high school baseball pitchers interval-training program, then we would know whether he should have surgery.

     That he injured his Ulnar Collateral Ligament shows that how he applies force to his pitches unnecessarily stresses the inside of his elbow.   You are correct, he needs to learn my pitching motion.

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174.   I was at what I'd consider a fairly typical ball field today and tried out your new pitching motion.   The mound had a hole in it that all traditional pitchers make.   When I stood on the mound for (as I perceive) your motion it was uncomfortable because of the hole in the mound.   Do you teach having the heel on the mound or the toes?   If it is the heels, have you considered what to do about the hole on the pitching mound?

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     With my Wind-Up Set Position, pitchers should stand on the pitching rubber with their entire pitching foot and their glove foot a few inches to the side, but precisely parallel.   When I pitched, if I found a hole in the mound where I wanted to step with my glove foot, I would fill it with dirt.

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175.   I will try him.   If, at the end of the week, we have no else, then it will be you, me, and Nyman.

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     Just let me know when.

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176.   This past fall I pulled my deltoid muscle in my first appearance as a college pitcher.   Along with this I received notice from the doctors that I had bursitis.   I spent all of the fall rehabilitating my arm.   The spring came and everything was going fine.   I have pitched in 4 games so far and yesterday was my first time to pitch as a closer.

     We came back from our spring break trip which was 80+ degrees and yesterday we played a game back here, it was 40 degrees.   I was playing long toss and my arm just didn't feel right.   It felt as if I had pulled something in my front shoulder.   I suspect there is soreness from my bicep tendon.   I ended up closing the game out, but my arm took forever before it was loose.   Once it was loose things felt fine.

     Today my arm feels as if I just threw a 12 inning game.   Hurts to raise vertically, hurts to throw the ball.   Same thing as yesterday though.   The more I keep throwing the more loose my arm feels.


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     The Deltoid muscle has three parts.   The Anterior Deltoid runs across the front of your shoulder.   The Middle Deltoid runs down the side of your upper arm. The Posterior Deltoid runs across the back of your shoulder.   With your injury last fall, did you have discomfort in the front or back of your shoulder, or both?

     When you say that you suspect that your soreness is in the biceps tendon, do you mean in the front of your pitching elbow or do you mean in the front of your pitching shoulder at the coracoid process in your pitching elbow?

     When you said that it hurts to raise vertically, do you mean on the front, outside or back of your pitching shoulder?

     The true definition of warm-up is the redistribution of blood to the working muscles.   Therefore, when you say that the injured area feels better after you throw for awhile, that means that when the injured area receives additional blood flow, it functions better.   Because muscle tissue receives good blood flow all the time, whereas connective tissue receives good blood flow only when the body redistributes blood to the working muscles, I suspect connective tissue.   Without more information, I cannot determine whether the discomfort emanates from a ligament, tendon, hyaline cartilage or fascial tissue.   Hyaline cartilage can become inflamed and emit strong pain signals.   Therefore, you could have irritated the hyaline cartilage at the proximal end of the Humerus bone and/or the Glenoid Fossa.

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177.   Pronation arm action: How does one 'extend the pitching elbow'?   Also, please explain how to 'load the slingshot.'   I don’t understand outward and inward rotation of the upper arm.

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     With my Pronation pitching arm action, pitchers have their pitching hand next to their pitching ear, their pitching forearm horizontal and their pitching upper arm and shoulders tilted at about forty-five degrees to their glove side.   To initiate the throw, pitchers pull their horizontal glove forearm straight backward into their glove arm pit area.   This causes their acromial line to move forward toward their glove side from perpendicular to the driveline.   At the same time that their shoulders rotate forward, pitchers punch their pitching hand straight toward home plate with pitching elbow extension and pitching forearm pronation.

     From the starting position of my Pronation pitching arm action, to load the slingshot, pitchers horizontally move their pitching forearm backward as far as they can without altering the position of any other body part.   When their pitching forearm horizontally points as close to second base as possible, pitchers have achieved the position from which they will drive their pitching hand straight toward home plate.   They will have maximally outwardly rotated their shoulder joint, which refers to the movement of their Humerus bone.

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178.   You wrote, "The biceps, brachialis and pronator teres discomfort to which you refer resulted from these muscles working as hard as they could to stop the extreme forearm flyout that my son was doing as a result of closing his stride and pulling his pitching forearm forward with his pitching elbow instead of driving his pitching hand straight forward.   That he continued to stress it with his thirty pitch workout indicates that he still pulls his pitching forearm forward.   He needs to return to my pickoff pronations and slingshots to remember how to drive the baseball inward toward his ear rather than circle outward."

     Once again, you are absolutely correct.   Even after fixing the step, he still had pain for several days.   But today, I watched him bringing his elbow well past his acromial line during wrist weights.   I almost could not believe it.   He was not taking his elbow 'toward second base' because he was not turning his body that much.   He was taking away from the body turn, keeping the wrist weight behind, or just to the side of the head, but the elbow was definitely well behind the acromial line.   So, he corrected that, getting full body turn, but keeping his elbow forward, and went on to do a good job with the iron ball.

     Then, he went out and pitched six innings of a simulated game, at about 50-70 percent intensity, with no pain, and great effectiveness.   Not only was there no pain, but even with low intensity, he had great velocity and much better movement, and an order of magnitude more control.   He found the 'groove' again. Out of all his pitches, I saw one where he stepped across, and none where he took the elbow too far back.

     All the types of pitches were nasty.   Maxline FB hard and riding in on RH, outstanding, sharp curve that you have seen, great riding away Torque FB, a good, hard, late breaking sharp sinker, and a devastating screwball.

     Now, if he can just keep that groove.   He will pitch another simulated game on Wednesday, hopefully at progressively greater intensity, then a start on Saturday.   Many, many thanks.


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     Thanks for the report.   I also hope that, rather than pull his pitching forearm forward with his pitching upper arm, he drives his pitching hand straight forward.

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179.   What size football should my son use?   I FINALLY think I understand the curve and the Torque fastball.   I am able to throw both fairly well.   At least, well enough that I feel comfortable now showing my son.   I think he will pick up the curve fairly quickly.   He is having trouble conceptually and physically with the Torque FB.

     Don't put this on your web site (please), but he was so thrilled the other day when he discovered two little tufts of hair under each arm!


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     Youngsters should use the size of football that they can hold in their pitching hand.   It can be foam or whatever.   The only reason why I use footballs is so that they can easily recognize how they spin the ball at release.   The Torque fastball release is the same as a two-handed chest pass in basketball, except it is only one hand and from their pitching ear.

     If you remember my Sexual Maturation Indicator Value checklist, then you know that axillary hair is the first indicator of the beginnings of the maturation of the primary and secondary sexual characteristics.   Physiologically, your son is becoming a man.   It happened to all men, welcome to the fraternity of men and all the responsibilities therein.   I believe that, other than you and me, he will be the only person who knows to whom I am referring and it is a normal process followed by all young men.

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180.   I have been greatly enjoying reading your book.   I am a former minor league pitcher and wish that I had discovered this resource during my playing days.   I am now a physical education teacher who hopes to get a masters in exercise physiology.   I have a question about arm action (which may be the first of many as I am very interested in your work).   I understand your explanation of why you ask your pitcher to try and keep the forearm inside the vertical along the driveline.

     However, doesn't creating a larger arc with the path of the ball translate into more leverage (centrifugal force)?   In other words, keeping the angle between the forearm and the humerus greater than 90 degrees.   It also seems that being that if the path of the ball is longer, more time is allowed to apply force.   Does the greater use of the triceps more than compensate for the other factors?


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     The more questions that I get from those having or seeking Master and Doctoral degrees, the better I like it.

     When pitchers point their pitching arm at the opposite mid-infielder, lets say forty-five degrees beyond second base, they transcribe an arc that returns to the pitching arm side of their body and around the pitching arm side of their body to release.   You are asking whether this long arc generates greater release velocity.

1.   Newton's law of inertia tells us that the center of mass of the baseball wants to fly off in a straight line that is tangent to every moment along that arc.   This does not increase the force that pitchers apply to the baseball, it wastes force to fight this fly off and keep the baseball on the curved pathway.

2.   The curved driveline also makes it very difficult for pitchers to throw strikes when they apply force at their maximum intensity.   How can they perfect the precise moment when the line tangent to the arc will cross home plate in the strike zone?

3.   The never-ending stress of the constantly returning the mass at the end of the arm eventually wears out even the metal arm of the centrifuge.   When this arm is the growing tissue of human adolescent and adult baseball pitchers, it destroys the elbow and shoulder joints.

4.   High-speed film shows that 'traditional' pitchers release their pitches somewhere beside their pitching ear to the tip of their nose or approximately when their acromial line is perpendicular to the driveline to home plate.   High-speed film show that my pitchers release their pitches somewhere between one to one and one-half feet in front of their head or when they have moved their acromial line forward of perpendicular to the driveline to home plate.   This means that my pitchers accelerate the baseball through the same distance as 'traditional' pitchers.   The only difference is that my pitchers drive the baseball along a much more linear pathway that does not waste as much force redirecting the baseball.

5.   We can never forget that muscles attach to bones and the shortening of contractile units is the only way humans apply force.   This means that we have to account for the position of bones when we ask muscles to apply force.   What muscle applies the force that we need for baseball pitching when the angle of the elbow joint exceeds ninety degrees?   Is that muscle applying force to increase the release velocity of the baseball or trying to protect the bones of the pitching arm from injury?   Remember, pitchers apply the force that destroys their pitching arm.

6.   The inclusion of the Triceps Brachii muscle to the force application chain greatly increases the straight line force.   Because the curved pathway of the 'traditional' pitching motion wastes force and destroys the pitching arm, the Triceps Brachii has nothing for which to compensate.

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181.   My pain was received in the back of my shoulder, so the posterior deltoid.   My soreness now is in the front of my pitching shoulder.   When I raise my arm vertically it hurts on the front of my shoulder as well.

     When I say my arm feels better after throwing for awhile.   I mean this is a long time.   I have to continually throw for a long period of time.   Say before my arm would be good to go in 10-15 min.   Now it is up to 20-30 minutes before I feel ok.   I talked with our athletic trainer and they believe it is my bicep tendon on the front of my shoulder.   In the front of my shoulder there is inflammation as well.

     I have been doing ice massage therapy, stem.   I'd appreciate any input you have.   This is all the information I can conclude at this point.


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     Pain in the back of your shoulder indicates that you have extreme pitching forearm flyout that your tiny Teres Minor is trying to decelerate.   The pain in the front of your shoulder indicates that you take your pitching elbow behind your acromial line.   The only solution to these problems is to stop pulling your pitching forearm forward with your pitching upper arm.   That is what creates the centripetal force that slings your pitching forearm laterally outward.   You are destroying your pitching arm.   Ice, massage therapy, electric stimulation will not fix the problem.   You have to learn how to stop the flyout.

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182.   I was first wanting to know what type of success rate do you have with all the baseball players you teach how to pitch.

     Secondly, I play college ball.   I am 20 yrs old and this is my first year of playing collegiately.   It would be asking a lot of me to give up a year of college baseball to be apart of your 280 day program.   I was wanting to know what you thought of me being apart of the summer program that you teach.   I want to learn how to really pitch, not just throw.   You have had a lot of success and I see that you have definately done your research and still continue in that, I commend you for that.   Can you give me your thoughts on me being apart of your summer program?   I am very interested and would like some details on what would have to take place for this to happen.


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     We have a one hundred percent success rate.   All of the pitchers that I train find out how much work they have to do to become the best pitcher that they can be.

     I am not asking anything of you.   It is your life.   These are your choices.   I agree that for you to take a year off college and train with me for forty weeks is a big decision.   But, this is the time to make that decision.   You cannot do it when you are thirty years old and wondering how good of a pitcher you could have become.   However, I do know that, if you train with me, you will give up allot of pain and the destruction of your pitching arm.

     During my eight-week summer program for high school juniors and seniors, I only work with high school juniors and seniors.   After they graduate from high school, I will work with them for forty weeks starting the fourth Saturday in August.

     Your situation has made me aware of a class of pitchers that need my help that I have not previously considered.   When beginning college pitchers either do not have success during the fall tryouts at college, I do allow them to join me after January first for thirty-two weeks to prepare for their next fall tryout.   I can see where not starting until the fourth Saturday in August would waste valuable learning time for your situation.   Also, if you and others similarly situated started the second Saturday in June when I welcome my high school kids, you would complete my two hundred and eighty day program in time to go to spring tryouts with a number of colleges and increase your chances of finding the right program for you.   While it does further mess up my housing arrangements for when people arrive and leave, I will agree to work under these conditions.

     If you are interested in my forty-week program, please give me your address and I will send you my partnership agreement to notarize and return along with a deposit to reserve your space.

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183.   In question #138, 2004 you mentioned that you had talked previously about steroid use.   What year and question number was that?

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     With my apologies, I must confess that I am not sufficiently organized to answer that question without reading my entire question/answer file.   Just a minute, maybe I could do a keyword search.   I think that I will try an Alt/Edit/Find for the word, steroid.

     In my 2004 file, I only found #138.   In my 2003 file, I found #144 and #443.   In my 2002 file, I only found #251.   In my 2001 file, I did not find any reference to steroid.   In my 2000 file, I found #41 and #222.

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184.   How can I get your free book downloaded?   When can I get your video?

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     To get to my Coaching Baseball Pitchers book file, you need to click on my FREE BOOK!!! icon on my home page.   When you are in that file, you can click on each chapter and hit the print key at the top of your window.   This way, you can print only those chapters that you want.   Remember, after I complete my second Instructional Videotapes, I will re-edit my book.   Give me a few months and check back through those chapters.   I have a major over-haul in mind.

     You can get my second Instructional Videotape when I finish it.   Sorry.   Actually, I am not frustrated at all.   I love learning new things, especially things that over-whelm me.   In the first of probably four videotapes that I plan to produce, I will teach the parents of youth pitchers precisely what they should teach first, second, third and so on.   After reviewing the script that I recently shared with readers of this file, a fellow doctoral degree candidate of mine from thirty years ago said that I am giving away the keys to the kingdom of baseball pitching.   That is exactly what I want to do.   Please be patient with me.   I will do it and I will do it right.

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185.   The point you made about the force required to keep the ball on a curved pathway was something I did not consider.   My next question is are there any current big league pitchers who you feel have the mechanics that illustrate your technique?

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     Do not feel bad.   No other pitching coach wannabe considers it either.

     It is not a matter of 'if I feel that pitchers have my mechanics,' pitchers either drive their pitching hand straight toward home plate or they pull their pitching forearm forward with their pitching upper arm.   When they drive their pitching hand straight toward home plate, they do not have pitching forearm flyout.   When they pull their pitching forearm forward with their pitching upper arm, they generate the centripetal force that causes pitching forearm flyout and destroys their pitching arm.   It is a very easy movement to see.   No lateral movement of the baseball to the pitching arm side is pitching hand straight line drive.   Any lateral movement of the baseball toward the pitching arm side is flyout.

     Now, rather than me watching every pitcher and telling you, you can do it for yourself.   Please tell me what you find.

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186.   My 16 year old son is an all star quality shortstop and pitcher, since he is versatile player the coach asked him to help out and be the back-up catcher also.   This was looked on badly by the parents and teammates and bothered him also.   So it shook his confidence.

     Well, long story short, he started not to be able to have a simple throw and catch with me or his teammate without throwing it into the ground or over our heads occasionally.   Now this is a player who could knock a fly off your shoulder with a pitch and lived on accuracy.   Now he can't even soft toss.   its getting worse but he was able to pitch this week and actually played shortstop yesterday, although he did kinda muff an easy throw to second and only get one out and not a DP.

     Today he pitches and I am concerned that he will loose it out there.   He says the problems is worse daily.   I am at a loss what to do.


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     The simple statement, 'I want you to be our back-up catcher,' caused your son to lose his proprioceptive awareness of how to throw baseballs?   Did the coach try to tell him to abbreviate his throwing motion?

     He threw the baseball into the ground because he pulled his throwing elbow downward after he looped behind his head.   He threw the baseball over your head because he did not pull his throwing elbow downward after he looped behind his head.   The point is, your son has serious flaws in his throwing motion.   He has always had these flaws.   They are part of the 'traditional' throwing elbow pull the throwing forearm forward flaw that causes loops and flyouts.   Like the former Pirates pitcher, the former Dodger second baseman, the former Yankee second baseman, the former Cardinal pitcher and thousands more of whom we are unaware, he lost that 'lovin' feeling of how to counterbalance the flaws in the motion.   The keyword here is 'former.'

     My recommendation is to learn my straight-line driveline throwing motion.

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187.   Thank you, I'll keep my eyes open.

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     To make this a pseudo-scientific research project, you should list the pitchers' names, dates of observation and comment on whether they pull their pitching forearm laterally with their pitching upper arm and, if they do, to what extent.

     I look forward to your report.

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188.   I commend you for all the hard work and dedication you put into studying the way pitchers mechanics should be and all the other things that you do.

     There is not many people out there that know what they are talking about when it comes to mechanics and how to pitch.   They go off of what either worked for them or worked for someone else.   That doesn't always work because everyone has a different makeup.

     I was wanting to know if you happened to know anybody near where I live that teaches on the same philosophies that you do.   If you do I would love to contact them and get on a more personal note.   I appreciate what you are doing for the game of baseball and I wish there were more people out there like you.

     I have made a video of myself pitching.   I was wanting to know if you would take a look at it and give your input on things I need to work on, or anything for that matter.

     I have already made a couple changes from my wind up.   I now lift my leg to a lower degree, more to a 90 degree rather than higher.   This way I get more balance.   I also have stopped turning my knee and back so far back, now it is more parallel with the batter.   Also in my wind up my pitching foot (right foot that I use to push off of the rubber) I now have the front of my foot facing more towards the dugout rather than parallel with the rubber.   (My foot is at a diagonal, my heel is at the far left of the rubber and my front part of my foot is about 2 inches in front of the rubber.   I used to do just the opposite.   Have my heel 2 inches from the left side of the rubber and front of my foot against the rubber.   Hopefully I did a decent enough job to give you a description.


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     When I finish my second Instructional Videotape, you will know precisely what to learn step-by-step.   With the following drills, you will learn how to properly use your pitching arm to release my Maxline Screwball, Maxline Fastball, Maxline Curve and Torque Fastball.

01.   Pickoff Pronations
02.   Pickoff Slingshots
03.   Pickoff Slingshots with a Step
04.   Wrong Foot Slingshots
05.   Wrong Foot Swing-to-Ready
06.   Wrong Foot Transitions
07.   No-Stride Slingshots
08.   No-Stride Swing-to-Ready
09.   No-Stride Transitions
10.   Wind-Up Set Position Slingshots
11.   Wind-Up Set Position Swing-to-Ready
12.   Wind-Up Set Position Transitions

     If you concurrently increase the strength of your bones, ligaments and tendons with my 280-Day Adult Baseball Pitchers Interval-Training Program, then you will know what you have yet to do to become the best pitcher that you can be and without any pitching arm injuries.

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189.   "Pain in the back of your shoulder indicates that you have extreme pitching forearm flyout that your tiny Teres Minor is trying to decelerate.   The pain in the front of your shoulder indicates that you take your pitching elbow behind your acromial line.   The only solution to these problems is to stop pulling your pitching forearm forward with your pitching upper arm.   That is what creates the centripetal force that slings your pitching forearm laterally outward.   You are destroying your pitching arm.   Ice, massage therapy, electric stimulation will not fix the problem.   You have to learn how to stop the flyout."

     Is there any way you could better emphasize how I can accomplish this, if it is possible.   I am a pretty visual learner, if you can help me to visualize it in any way I would greatly appreciate it.


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     Rather than pull your pitching forearm forward with your pitching upper arm, you have to drive your pitching hand straight forward.   That is the only way that you can insure that the first forward force that you apply to the baseball is toward home plate.

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190.   Thanks for your advice.   I went to your website looking for the "straight-line driveline throwing motion," but could not find it.   Is this something we need to see you in person for and if so how do we go about it?   Its probably sounds crazy, but this is something he has loved since he could walk and now not being able to have a simple catch is devastating.   So, we will travel to you if necessary.

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     My pitching motion is in my Coaching Baseball Pitching book, but it does require people to dig for it.   I am presently working ten hours every day to complete my second Baseball Pitching Instructional Videotape.   In it, I will take parents, pitchers and coaches step-by-step through the twelve drills with which I teach my straight-line driveline throwing motion.   In a previous email answer that is now in my Question/Answer 2004 file, I list those twelve drills.   Unfortunately, with this video project, I have not had time to update my book.

     We welcome everybody to visit my Pitcher Research/Training Center.   We train from 9:00 to 11:00AM.

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191.   I'm very pleased to talk to someone of this caliber, that has been in the pros and has a doctorate.   Before I ask my question I would like to say thank you, to me and for your services everywhere else.   Ok, now to the question:

     My question is, does a windup add more velocity to the ball, if you originally just took a step and threw as far as you could or is it about the same?


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     You must be talking about the 'traditional' wind-up and set positions.   With my Wind-Up Set Position, I want pitchers to use the same pitching motion whether they have base runners or not.

     With the 'traditional' wind-up, pitchers can achieve higher release velocities than with the 'traditional' set position.   However, if they turn their pitching foot to parallel with the pitching rubber, reverse rotate their hips and shoulders and take their pitching arm as far toward the opposite mid-infielder as they do with the 'traditional' set position, then they do not achieve higher release velocities.   Therefore, the reason why 'traditional' pitchers can achieve higher release velocities with the 'traditional' wind-up relates to keeping their pitching foot pointing toward home plate, not reverse rotating their hips and shoulders as far and not taking their pitching arm as far toward the opposite mid-infielder.   This means, while that they still pull their pitching forearm forward with their pitching upper arm, they get closer to the straight line driveline toward home plate.   That is, the first forward force that they apply, while not directly at home plate as I want, is still more directly toward home plate than from the 'traditional' set position.

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192.   My mother and father live right down the road from you and I pass by your place quite a bit and have meant to stop in there to ask you a question about my son's arm, but thought I would try this method first.   My son pitches for a nearby high school (JV) and just turned 16.   He has been pitching since he was 6 or 7 and loves it.   Over the past couple of years his arm has started to hurt from his elbow to his hand on the inside of his forearm.   The pain has caused him to be pulled early several times this year.   He tried to pitch through it, but I discouraged him from doing it.   He does pitch a curve, but only recently started throwing it, over the last year or so.   I has always heard not to throw a curve too early as it could damage your arm.   I hope you can give me some ideas of what he could be doing to cause the arm to hurt or exercises that he could perform to help strengthen it.

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     Your son uses the 'traditional' pitching motion where he pulls his pitching forearm forward with his pitching upper arm.   This action generates centripetal force that slings his pitching forearm laterally outward.   As a result, he slams the olecranon process of his pitching forearm into the olecranon fossa of his pitching upper arm.   These repeated collisions along with the unnecessary stress of trying to fight this pitching forearm flyout and supinating (turning his thumb outward) for his curve release is destroying his pitching arm.

     At sixteen chronological years old, if your son is also sixteen biological years old, the growth plate of the medial epicondyle of your son's pitching elbow should be closed and, therefore, immune to further growth and development damage.   However, the 'traditional' pitching motion destroys even mature adult bones.

     With my pitching motion, eight year olds can safely learn how to properly release my Maxline Pronation Curve.

     I recommend that your son follow my twelve step program to learn how to correctly apply force to his pitches.   I am in the process of completing my second Baseball Pitching Instructional Videotape in which I carefully and thoroughly explain these twelve throwing drills.

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193.   Did you ever work with Angels pitcher Scot Shields?   I watched him warm-up in the Angels bullpen yesterday and he was using a lot of the methods you prescribe such as pointing his right foot at the target, striding to his glove side and pronating his breaking pitches.   Just curious if he is a former student or if he learned on his own?

     Also, I watched Jarrod Washburn warm up before his start and was surprised by the length of his stride (he was way out there) and, as a result, his landing hard on the heel of his stride foot.   What physical problems will this create for him down the road?


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     No sir, I do not know Scot Shields.   Nevertheless, if he points his pitching foot toward home plate, strides straight toward home plate and pronates his breaking pitches, then he will help himself to apply the first forward force to the baseball toward home plate.   However, if he does not also use my crow-step pitching rhythm where he does not even lift his glove foot until his pitching arm reaches driveline height, then he will still unnecessarily stress the front of his pitching shoulder and inside of his pitching elbow.

     When pitchers stride, rather than step forward, they lower their center of mass and they cannot continuously move their center of mass toward home plate throughout the pitching motion.   This means that the stop their center of mass before they release the baseball, which jerks their pitching shoulder to a stop and forces them to bend forward at their waist.   When they bend forward at their waist they cannot drive their pitching arm straight forward and end with their acromial line pointing toward home plate.

     Last year, Tom House taught Randy Johnson to stride farther in an attempt to release his pitches closer to home plate. As a result, he needed knee surgery.   Rick Peterson taught Mark Mulder and Tim Hudson to do the same and Mark fractured his hip and Tim strained his lower back.   Both of these guys work with Dr. Glenn Flesig, the Director of the American Sports Medicine Institute that Dr. James Andrews sponsors in Birmingham, AL.   When pitchers stride, rather than step, forward, they unnecessarily stress every body part.   They can all look forward to hip replacement surgery.

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194.   My son is 11 years old.   He is a pretty good pitcher. He does not have a real fast ball, but he has a lot of control and does really good.   BUT right now he is having a lot of pain in his elbow at this age.   I ran across your name on the internet and I like what I read.   Can you help explain what is causing this. It is really getting to him.

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     At eleven biological years old, the ossification center for your son's olecranon process should appear.   He does not yet have an ossification center for his lateral epicondyle.   All other growth plates are wide open.   Because he is using the 'traditional' pitching motion, the first forward force that he applies to the baseball is not toward home plate.   As a result, he unnecessarily stresses his pitching arm, especially those open growth plates.   If he does not stop, he will permanently damage the bones, ligaments and tendons of his pitching arm.

     At eleven years old, he should only be doing my eleven year old baseball pitchers interval-training program.   That assumes that he has mastered the skills in my eight, nine and ten year old baseball pitchers interval-training program.   Until he is biologically thirteen years old, he should not pitch competitively and, then, no more than one inning twice a week.

     I prefer that youth pitchers throw baseballs only during June and July.   I plan to have my second Baseball Pitchers Instructional Videotape ready by then and I will also update my interval-training programs.

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195.   My son is turning 15 next week.   He broke his scaphoid bone in his pitching hand last August, and had surgery to place a screw in the bone to aid in recovery.   The screw is permanent.   Kenny Anderson of the Nets had the same surgery some years ago.   After about 7 months, my son has about 80% of his flexibility back. I saw him pitch at a camp last week.

     My question is the following:   Do you believe that there is a range of motion that should be achieved before going back into a pitching rotation?   Because of his inability to fully snap his wrist, I am concerned that he will put too much pressure on the bone, change his rhythm, have an artificial release point, etc.

     He is a good hitter (and at 6'6" a good first baseman as well) so he will be able to contribute to his team in other ways.   Basically, I'm curious as to what your experience has been regarding scaphoid surgery recovery time and the issues to focus upon.


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     The Scaphoid bone rests on the distal end of the Radius bone, which is on the thumb side of the forearm.   The Trapezium bone lies between the first metacarpal (thumb) and the Scaphoid bone.   The Trapezoid bone lies between the second metacarpal (index finger) and the Scaphoid bone.   The large Capitate bone lies between the third metacarpal (middle finger) and the Scaphoid bone.   There is no doubt that the Scaphoid is in the middle of allot of action.

     I recommend that pitchers pronate the release of all pitches.   This means that I want them to rotate the thumb side of their pitching hand toward the little finger side.   This will greatly reduce the stress on the Scaphoid bone in the wrist.   With my forearm, wrist, hand and finger pronation action, I know of no reason why he cannot return to full capabilities.

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196.   Thanks for all the great info on youth pitching.   You probably saved my son’s arm by making me aware of the risks of too much pitching.

     My son, who is 13, is throwing an off-speed pitch that I have never seen before.   He throws it like he’s throwing a football, or like he’s throwing a curve ball without breaking the wrist downward.   It does not roll off his fingers, he simply releases his thumb and fingers off the ball at the release point, which imparts spin around a vertical axis.   The ball is about 15 mph slower than his fastball and it has a little break to it.   Have you ever heard of this kind of pitch?   If yes, what is it and will it hurt his arm?


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     Whether this pitch will injure his pitching arm depends on how powerfully he pronates his pitching forearm, wrist, hand and fingers through release and whether the first forward force that he applies to the baseball is toward home plate.

   A vertical spin axis indicates that his pitching hand goes around the outside of the baseball.   This means that he is supinating his pitching forearm, wrist, hand and fingers.   I suspect that he is using the 'traditional' pitching motion and generates significant centripetal force that causes his pitching forearm to fly laterally outward.   This action will destroy his pitching arm.   He must learn how to drive his pitching arm forward inside, rather than outside, of vertical.   He must learn how to drive his pitching hand straight toward home plate, rather than use his pitching upper arm to pull his pitching forearm forward.

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197.   Do you have any diagrams of what you are talking about, "forward inside of vertical" and "driving his pitching hand straight to home plate"?

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     The twelve throwing drills with which I teach my pitching motion demonstrate how my pitchers drive their pitching hand straight toward home plate with their pitching forearm horizontally inside of vertical.   These drills are the basis of my second Baseball Pitching Instructional Videotape.   To talk you through these action, try this.
1.   Stand with both feet beside each other pointing toward home plate.
2.   Keep your hips and shoulder perpendicular to the line toward home plate.
3.   Raise both arms to shoulder height pointing toward home plate.
4.   Turn the thumb of your glove arm to point downward.
5.   With your pitching hand, pretend that you are throwing a specific type of pitch.
6.   Move your pitching hand straight backward until your hand is touching your ear.
7.   Lean your body to your glove side until you pitching forearm is horizontal to the ground.

     This is the 'Leverage Position' of my pitching motion.   This is the position from which my pitchers extend their pitching elbow and pronate their pitching forearm straight toward home plate with a 'punching' action.   I call this my 'Pronation' pitching arm action.   This is the drill I use to teach pitchers how to drive their pitching hand straight toward home plate.   This is the drill I use to teach pitchers how to keep their pitching forearm inside of vertical.

     To initiate this pitching arm action, pitchers pull their glove forearm straight backward into their armpit while they supinate their forearm (turn their thumb outward).   The backward force of the glove forearm forwardly rotates the shoulders.   At the same time that their shoulders start to forwardly rotate, pitchers drive their pitching hand straight toward home plate.   The glove forearm moves straight backward.   The pitching hand moves straight forward.   The shoulders forwardly rotate ninety degrees.

     After pitchers master this technique and how to properly release my Maxline Screwball, Maxline Fastball, Maxline Curve and Torque Fastball, I tell pitchers, without moving any other body part, to continue to take the pitching hand straight backward as far as possible.   I call this, my 'Slingshot Position.   It not only lengthens my driveline backward, but it also trains the pitching arm the proper way to take advantage of what other call plyometrics, but I call 'plioanglos training.'

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198.   I'm in my 30's and I am just beginning to learn what it means to pitch.   Not throw, mind you, but to pitch.

     Here recently after studying pitching motions and mechanics, watching other pitchers closely, and figuring out the mind game that goes with it, I'm starting to think that as long as my control is there, I could be a more effective pitcher than many of the guys I see in the majors.   I mean, hell, I can almost watch a guy during a game and tell you what's coming next before I even see the catcher flash the sign.   Seems to me the hitter should know too.   It's stupid the way they stick to some formula that tells them what they should throw on a given count, especially if your fastball isn't that great.

     You're an educated guy, so let me ask you this in all seriousness.   Am I being full of crap?   Or do you think it's possible that a guy my age with no pro experience, but that has ability and understands what pitching and not just throwing is, and is willing to work as much as it takes (if I could even get anyone to look at me) could still ever get into pro ball?


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     Are you full of crap?   Probably.   Does that mean that you should not see whether you can do it?   No.   If you can throw a variety of pitches with sufficient quality and velocity for strikes that major league hitters could not hit them, then you could find somewhere to pitch.   Independent League teams hold open tryouts.   If you amaze them, they will let you pitch.   Please let me know how things work out.

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199.   I have 3 very important things to say to you.

     One is you have been saying for years that stretching does nothing to prevent injury and muscles don't stretch anyways.   Well guess what?   The news came out that stretching does not prevent injury.   It's all over newspapers and magazines today.   Why are the "experts" always the last to find out?

     Also the pitcher with the best mechanics in the Major Leagues according to the baseball authorities Mark Prior, has a sore right elbow and he is trained by Tom House.   You have said in past emails that his mechanics were wrong and once again you proved everyone wrong.   He is out for a while now.

     Lastly on the front page of USA Today's sport section they had the Rick Peterson, former pitching coach of the Oakland A's and now of the Mets.   The article on him was about his biomechanical analyses of pitchers and how it is working.   I can't say anything bad about him because I am sure he is passionate about his work and I am sure he is feeling what he is doing he is doing right.   But is freeze framing and using computers the best way to go?   Does it work using 3 motion analysis?   He did say that he wants to prevent injury but I don't think his way is the way to prevent injury because he also said he works with the mechanics the pitchers already have and uses that to prevent injury as much as possible.


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     You are my eyes and ears on the world.   My head is stuck in my video computer.

     Before I rejoice that about someone writing an article that says that 'stretching' does nothing to prevent injuries and that muscles do not stretch, I want to read how they came to these conclusions.   I want to know whether they conducted a verifiable study or like me, theorized from scientific fact and verified from observations.

     A March issue of Sports Illustrated provided side-by-side pictures of Kerry Wood and Mark Prior.   They both showed extreme pitching forearm flyout.   Unfortunately, they did not show his huge pitching forearm loop that precedes his pitching forearm flyout.   I have seen other pictures of him where, after he releases his pitches, his pitching arm wraps around his waist on the glove side.   This proves that he has extreme pitching forearm flyout that also unnecessarily stresses the tiny Teres Minor muscle behind his pitching shoulder.   With every pitch where the first forward force that they apply to the baseball is back toward their pitching arm side, they are destroying their pitching arm a little bit more.

     Rick Peterson is working with Glenn Flesig at the American Sports Medicine Institute in Birmingham, AL that Dr. James Andrews operates.   They use videotape that takes about two hundred and fifty frames per second.   I believe that the use the Ariel analysis software.   Gideon Ariel is an interesting man.   He once recommended that, to increase their distance, discus throwers raise their throwing upper arm above shoulder height.   Unfortunately, humans do not have a muscle that can do that.   It would have to run from our ears to our shoulder tips and not be antagonistic to the Pectoralis Major muscle.   Glenn Flesig once reported that, when pitchers throw ninety mile per hour fastballs, they pitching hands only need to go fifty miles per hour.   He based this finding on the Ariel software.

     I prefer five hundred frames per second sixteen millimeter film that video professionals transfer frame to frame to Mini-DV.   If I thought that it was necessary to know the velocity of the hand independent of the average velocity of the baseball after release over the first five-hundreds of a second, I would frame-by-frame analyze its path with known measures and one-thousandth of a second timer.   However, since the baseball can never go any faster than the pitching hand, I have a pretty good idea how fast the pitching hand is moving before release when radar guns determine that the average release velocity over the first five hundredths of a second.

     In 1971, I high-speed filmed myself throwing my then fastball, slider and screwball.   I filmed from the side view, the rear view and the overhead view.   I triangulated every displacement measurement three different ways.   I accounted for the vertical, horizontal and toward home plate vectors for every hundredths of a second.   From this experience, I learned that the only vector that mattered was the toward home plate vector.   Therefore, to precisely measure the force that pitchers apply to the baseball that accounts for their release velocity, researchers only need to measure from the side view.   However, to precisely measure the force that pitchers apply to the baseball that accounts for the destruction of their pitching arm, researchers also need to measure from the front, rear or overhead view.

     Mr. Peterson can say that he wants to eliminate pitching arm injuries all he wants, but he does not understand what causes them, and, as a result, he cannot eliminate them.   What he teaches pitchers to do causes pitching arm injuries.   I know what causes every type of pitching arm injury.   Therefore, I do not say that I want to eliminate pitching arm injuries, I say that I know how to eliminate pitching arm injuries.

     Tom House taught Randy Johnson what to do to release the baseball closer to home plate.   As a result, Mr. Johnson needed knee surgery.   Rick Peterson taught Mark Mulder and Tim Hudson the same technique and one fractured his pitching hip and the other injured his lower back.   Now, Mark Prior has pitching elbow problems.   These are three of the most powerful baseball pitchers in the world.   They pitch major league baseball.   What do you think that the pitching motion that Mr. House and Mr. Peterson teach does to the open growth plates of the youth pitchers around the world?

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200.   I thought you might be interested in this short article.   I remember when I first read in your Q&A section that stretching was useless as a warm up, I was quite surprised.   It seems the CDC has done some research on the subject.   Guess what conclusion they reached?

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Mar 28, 6:01 PM (ET)

By IRA DREYFUSS

WASHINGTON (AP):   Stretching does not live up to its reputation as an injury preventer, a study has found.   "We could not find a benefit," said Stephen B. Thacker, director of the epidemiology program office at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Athletes who stretch might feel more limber, but they shouldn't count on stretching to keep them healthy, he said.

     Thacker and four CDC colleagues combed research databases for studies that had compared stretching with other ways to prevent training injuries.   They combined data from five studies so they could look more closely for any benefits that might emerge as a pattern.   Their report is in the March issue of the American College of Sports Medicine journal, Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise.

     People who stretched were no more or less likely to suffer injuries such as pulled muscles, which the increased flexibility that results from stretching is supposed to prevent, researchers found.   And the injuries found in the study typically happened within the muscle's normal range of motion, so stretching them would not have made a difference, Thacker said.

     Other research has found that warm-ups, which increase blood flow through the muscle and make it more ready to respond to exercise, can reduce the risk of injury, Thacker said.   Being in good shape also helps.   Strength and balance training reduced injuries as well, he said.

     People such as gymnasts and dancers might be exceptions, because their activities require great flexibility, so stretching might improve their performance, Thacker said.

     In case future research does find a benefit, Thacker has no problem with athletes continuing to do gentle stretching.   That's not the case with stretches that include sudden fast movements, called "ballistic stretches," which have been found in other studies to raise injury risks.

     The study's findings make sense, said Mike Bracko, director of the Institute for Hockey Research in Calgary, Alberta.   "We have done some work with hockey players showing flexibility is not an important variable," he said.

     A strain typically happens when a muscle has to react suddenly to control an athlete's movement, Bracko said.   An example would be a tear in a muscle in the back of a sprinter's leg as it contracts to keep the muscles in the front of the leg from moving the knee too far forward, he said.

     Two other researchers said, however, that there may still be value in the stretches that coaches require, and athletes do.   Lynn Millar, a professor of physical therapy at Andrews University in Berrien Springs, Mich., said her experience in treating people with injuries tells her that those who don't stretch may find they can't move their arms and legs as far as they used to, and this could set them up for injury.   "Unfortunately, a lot of us don't have a normal range of motion," Millar said.   Stephen Rice, director of the sports medicine center at Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune, N.J., said he values the experience of trainers and athletes.   Flexibility is an element of fitness, and stretching ought to make a person more flexible, Rice said. "I would say the conventional wisdom has a certain amount of wisdom to it," he added.

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     Thacker et al have it close to right.   Millar is lost.   Rice falls back on 'conventional wisdom,' which means he knows nothing.

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201.   It looks like you were the only two up for the challenge of a debate.   Do you still want to do it?

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     More important to me than the number of persons willing to withstand the scrutiny of a real debate of ideas is, in addition to the moderators questions, can the parties and the audience demand that all participants answer their questions?   I would also like to know how the audience will learn of and attend the debate.

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202.   I have followed your teachings for the last year.   I know that other pitching coaches don't follow your methods and was wondering how flawed their teachings must be.   At first I laughed at what I saw other pitching coaches web sites and then I was shocked when realized that they weren't trying to be funny, they were serious.   The following are a few examples.

     Mr. Mills has a list of news articles that he supports including an article in USA Today (7/29/2003), "Tommy John surgery: Pitcher's best friend."   I thought that is was a funny headline but they are totally serious.

     On Mr. Mills homepage, he is the saying "A Gold Mine Of Million Dollar Big League Secrets That Could Make Your Pitching Dreams Come True!"   There is a picture of a $1,000,000 bill, I imagine the million dollars is a down payment for Tommy John surgery.

     Somewhere I read an article where pitching coaches and doctors agreed that using a 2 pound weighted ball could destroy pitching arms.   I imagine it would with the traditional pitching motion.   Near the end of your 280-day program you suggest using 12 iron balls for 4 sets of 24 throws equaling 96 repetitions.   I cringe to think of pitchers trying to throw a 12 pound ball for 96 pitches with forearm flyout.   No wonder they don't like weighted balls.

     I have told my baseball friends about you and they don't seem to care.   They will not let go of the idea that if they want to be good, they have to use the same mechanics as the pros.   The point has been driven home by MLB players that injury is part of the game and that it happens to many the best players.   That is all they think they need to know.

     I am a Civil Engineer with a graduate degree and I realize that research and scientific fact the should be the basis for giving sound advice.   In my profession, when I ask a senior engineer. "Why do you do it that way?"   About 95% of the time, they say "We have always done it that way."

     What can we do to get people to realize that what they believe to be true is really based on nothing?   Maybe, by admitting that they are not right, then they will also have to realize and accept the FACT that they also know nothing.


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     It is hard to believe that a pitching coach would tell pitchers get Ulnar Collateral Ligament replacement surgery so that they can throw harder.   What they fail to understand is that unless they change how they apply force, they will injure the pitching arm again.   Ask John Smoltz.

     It is also hard to believe that pitchers would knowingly use the 'traditional' pitching motion even though they know that they will destroy their pitching arm.   Maybe if they realized that they not only could throw harder with a wider variety of pitches and better control, but they without injury.   I tell my pitchers to tell those who disagree with how they throw the baseball to get a bat.   If my pitchers master my pitches, they will humiliate batters.   As a result, they will get to pitch somewhere, just not in the rookie and lower minor leagues where the earth-is-flat thinkers reside.

     Actually, my strategy is to teach the parents of eight year olds how to teach their youth pitchers how to master my twelve pitching drills.   In ten years, we will rule the baseball world.   I hope that I live to see it.

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203.   I've been reading your site a bit, but I certainly can't say that I've gotten through anywhere near all of it, so forgive me if this is answered somewhere and I've just missed it.   You recommend against competitive pitching before the age of 13, but the fact is that the kids want to play, and the leagues aren't about to change their rules.   Short of telling my son that little league is bad for him, what can I realistically do to protect his growth plates?

     My son is nine, and he has done some pitching.   He's somewhat tall for his age, but I do not think he's particularly developmentally advanced.   I've tried to teach him a relatively simple throwing motion, and to concentrate on accuracy rather than velocity.   I could be way off base, but I honestly believe that he doesn't ever throw a pitch with what most people would call maximum effort.   I keep him on a very strict pitch count, and try to never let him throw when he's tried.   I'm reluctant to take on the league honchos, and face it, they're never going to adopt the kind of rules changes that you suggest.   So, should he really quit playing baseball and just train to play when he's older?   Or should I tell his coaches that he's not pitching, period, even though he's probably the best control pitcher in his league?

     I'm not trying to be confrontational.   As I said, I haven't read all that you've written, but much of what I have read makes an awful lot of sense.   The thing that I've noticed about my son's pitching is that he's much more effective throwing at 3/4 speed than a lot of his peers are throwing as hard as they can.   The reason is simple, he throws strikes while they walk and hit batters at least as often as they get them out.   So I guess my basic question for you is this:   do young athletes damage their arms simply by throwing?   Or is it a result of throwing with maximum effort?   Or is it from throwing with bad mechanics?   Now that I've written that, I suspect your answer will be that it's a combination of all of the above.

     One last question if I may:   you say that you know what causes pitching injuries, and that it's inherent in the traditional pitching mechanics that most coaches teach.   If this is true, and the pitching motion you teach really does eliminate the mechanisms of all of the common pitching injuries, then why couldn't a young pitcher who learns and uses your pitching motion pitch competitively at an earlier age without risking injury?


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     I agree that kids want to play.   Decades ago, motor skill acquisitionists asked kids whether they would prefer to play on a team that lost or sit on the bench on a team that won.   Ninty-five percent answered that they wanted to play, that winning was not that important.   Therefore, kids like my youth baseball game where everybody played, everybody bats every inning, everybody plays every position.   Kids just want to have fun.

     It is the adults who cannot just play.   My recommendation is to form a kids play league where they all play and they all learn the skills.   Let the accelerated maturers have their own league and win championships.   In the end, they will destroy their pitching arms and the kids who just played from eight years old to sixteen years old will be the high school champions.   Since only 8.3% of twelve year olds are two or more biologically accelerated, that leaves 91.7% to make up the kids first league.

     I have no way of knowing what level of pitching stress prematurely closes growth plates in eight year olds.   I do know that the present system is destroying hundreds of thousands of throwing arms of youth baseball players and I cannot think of a single thing that these youngsters gain from the experience that we cannot give them better with my recommendations.   I agree that if all were to use my pitching motion, then we would greatly reduce the unnecessary stress.   However, without the pain that the 'traditional' pitching motion causes, youth pitchers would want to pitch more often and with greater intensity and growth plates are growth plates, which means that even too much appropriate stress will alter their growth and development pattern.

     The idea of throwing at reduced intensity certainly reduces the stress and, with less intensity, pitchers can more easily corrects for the flaws in their force application technique and probably with greater release consistency.   However, with my twelve throwing drills program at eight, nine, ten and eleven years old and not pitching competitively until they are biologically thirteen years old, they can throw with maximum intensity without having to balance one flaw with another to throw with consistency.

     I am putting my trust in the parents.   Do not hand your son over to some untrained baseball coach wannabe whose self-image is tied to winning youth baseball games.   Teach your son yourself.   Let him play, but do not let him pitch competitively until he is biologically thirteen years old.   Then, do not let him pitch more than one inning twice a week.   Limit his baseball throwing to two months per year.   Go camping.   Go fishing.   Go swimming.   Go golfing.   Play soccer.   Learn tumbling.   Read a book.   There are hundreds of other activities with which to fill the other ten months each year.   Do not destroy his pitching arm.

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204.   I am a pitcher at the junior college level I am a freshman, and my fastball ranges from 78 to 81 mph.   I have a split finger and a good curve ball that I live on.   Those are the only to things that keeps me from getting rocked.   I have to work the batter backwards to get the batter to ground out or fly out.   What I want is to gain about 5 to 10 mph on my fastball is there anyway I can do this or is it impossible.

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     I also lived on a variety of pitches rather than velocity.   That is what I teach my pitchers to do.   However, all pitchers should achieve their maximum genetic release velocity.   That is also what I teach my pitchers to do.   I wanted to be six foot three inches tall.   I am not.   We can only achieve what our genetics permit.   That does not mean that you cannot increase your release velocity five to ten miles per hour.   My pitchers have.

     What you need is an interval-training program that maximally strengthens the bones, ligaments, tendons and muscles that you use to pitch precisely in the manner that you need to apply the maximum force to the baseball.   I call that program my 280-Day Adult Baseball Pitchers Interval-Training Program.   Recently, at the request of college pitchers who do not want to waste an entire summer after their spring semester, I have agreed to let them start training with me on the second Saturday in June.   Rather than waiting until the summer after they complete my forty-week program, this permits me to include my ten-week recoil training program with my base forty-week program.   In effect, I am now offering a fifty-week program to college pitchers that ends on the last Saturday in May just as my forty-week program does.

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205.   My son is interested in training with you, he is a 10th grader at present.   I know its late in the game to get in this summer but we thought it was worth a try.   So please let me know if you have any room for this summer, if not we'll try to get in early for summer 05.

     At present he uses the traditional mechanics with slight modifications to try and protect the pitching arm.   I am planning to try to fully implement your motion soon.   I'm waiting for the new video.   I hate to whip a dead horse but I have to ask, any projection on a completion date?   Also a question from my son.   What do the kids do for meals?   Like most young teens he eats like a small horse.


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     To reserve a space for my high school juniors and seniors eight-week summer program, I need to mail my materials to you, then you have to notarize my agreement and send it with a non-refundable three hundred dollar deposit and, if I have not already filled, I will reserve a space for your son.   Of course, if I have already filled, I will return the deposit or put your son's name on my list for next summer, whichever you want.   I do not cook for the kids.   It is about time that they learn how to properly feed themselves.

     As I put this video together, I am learning Adobe Premiere 6.   Nobody wants to hear about the labor pains, they just want to see the baby.   Therefore, rather than explain, which always sounds like excuses, I will continue to work as hard as I can to overcome all obstacles and I will complete this project and it will be the best that I can do.   I am much farther ahead than I was two months ago, but, without seeing the future, I cannot predict a completion date.   I am far more anxious to complete it than any are to see it.

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206.   I am 19 years old and I am currently a freshman in college.   I am a pitcher and I have been experiencing what I think is an unusual arm problem.   Ever since I started college in the fall my arm has not felt right, as I throw it feels as if I cannot accelerate my arm fast enough.   It feels like when I'm trying to throw a fastball and I can't throw it like I normally can.   It is very hard to explain and it is extremely frustrating for me to go through this.   Over the summer I was being consistently clocked at 85-86 and now I'm at about 82-83.   I also heard from someone that 1 out of every 5 years pitchers experience having a dead arm or tired arm, I'm not so sure how true that is.   I have tried ice and stim and it hasn't worked at all.   If you would be kind enough to let me know if you have heard of this problem before and if you have any solutions to it I would be extremely grateful.   This problem is making pitching very frustrating for me and I don't know what to do.

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     Whenever athletes attempt to increase their sport fitness, they always experience a training regression where their performances decrease before the muscles physiologically adjust to increase their performances.   I plan time in my training programs for this adjustment to occur.   However, I do not believe that is your problem.

     It sounds to me that you are trying to throw harder.   However, with the 'traditional' pitching motion, trying harder only makes the flaws larger, which forces you to work harder to overcome these flaws, which decreases your release velocity.   It is like stomping on the brakes of your car while you put the accelerator to the floor.   You are working harder and getting less.

     You need a force application technique where when you try harder, rather than increase the flaws, you increase the force to the baseball.   That is my straight line force application technique.

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207.   Thank you very much for your advice.   I am going to read up on that technique and try to apply it to myself.

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     I last revised Chapters Thirty-Six and Thirty-Seven two years ago.   In those two years, While the basic principles remain the same, we have designed better drills with which to learn the pitching arm action and the body action.   The first force that pitchers apply to the baseball is toward home plate.   Pitchers apply that straight-line force over as great a distance as possible.   With their pitching foot, their glove arm and their glove foot, pitchers apply straight-line force toward second base.

     As soon as I complete my second Baseball Pitchers Instructional Videotape, I will start revising my entire Baseball Pitchers Coaching book, some of which I have not even reread in over twenty years.

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208.   We have a kid here who has triceps tendonitis.   When his landing foot touches the ground his pitching forearm is almost parallel with the ground with his elbow slightly higher than his pitching hand.   Is there a correlation here?   I'm guessing he has forearm flyout as his arm finishes above his glove side waist and he probably bends at the waist too much.   Are any or all of these flaws contributing to his triceps problem?

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     Pitching coaches have to learn to never watch the baseball.   Instead, they should focus only on what the pitching arm does throughout the pitching motion.   What the pitching arm does after pitchers release the baseball tells us what it did when it applied force to the baseball.

     In this case, you say that his pitching arm finished above his glove side waist.   This means that he pulled his pitching arm horizontally across the front of his body.   This means that he has extreme pitching forearm flyout.   The scientific concept is called, centripetal imperative.   That is, the direction in which pitchers apply force determines where the pitching arm goes after release.   Since I want my pitchers to drive the baseball from start to finish straight toward home plate with a powerful pitching forearm pronation, after release, their pitching arm goes straight toward home plate with their pitching hand thumb turned downward.

     That the pitching arm of this pitcher finished above his glove side waist demonstrates that his pitching upper arm pulls his pitching forearm forward, which generates considerable centripetal force that slings his pitching forearm outward.   This means that he slams his pitching olecranon process into its fossa.   Therefore, the discomfort that he is reporting is an inflamed olecranon fossa, not distal triceps attachment.   Because his pitching elbow is working very hard to prevent the olecranon process from slamming into its fossa, he has to contract the muscles that flex the pitching elbow, not the muscles that extend the elbow.   As a result, he does not even contract his Triceps Brachii muscle.   Therefore, he could not have injured it.

     If you want to see pictures of this terrible 'traditional' pitching motion flaw, you should get the March issue of Sports Illustrated and look for the article on Greg Maddox.   The article has side-by-side photographs of Mark Prior and Kerry Wood with their pitching arms just before release.   They have locked their pitching elbows out straight and their Triceps Brachii muscles are completely shut down.   This young man is doing the same thing.   Like they already have and will continue, he will lose elbow extension range of motion.

     You also wrote that he bends at his waist.   This means that he reverse rotates too far, closes his glove foot stride, keeps his pitching leg well behind his glove foot and many other things that will further destroy his pitching arm.   I suppose that you already know what the remedy is.   Stop using the 'traditional' pitching motion!

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209.   My coach is constantly preaching to us to break your hands "on time" to allow sufficient time to get your arm into it's proper "L".   He claims that because my break is late, my arm doesn't get to an optimal launch height and thus causes problems in the transition.   He believes that my break and arm path are very slow and deliberate, and I try to use a strong finish to compensate for the rhythm and break faults of my delivery.

1.   By my arm not reaching its optimal launch position at foot strike, is this causing compensatory problems?

2.   What thoughts do you have regarding whether this is a correct, and easy way for me to seek improvement (in conjunction with your graph paper method)?


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     If pitcher use the 'balance position' pitching rhythm of the 'traditional' pitching motion, then they use their pitching upper arm to pull their pitching forearm forward.   This generates centripetal force that slings the pitching forearm laterally outward and leads to the destruction of their pitching arm.

     To enable their throwing arm to reach throwing height before they start their body forward, infielders and outfielders use a crow-hop. Pitchers should also use this same rhythm to enable their pitching arm to reach driveline height before they start their body forward.   Instead of the 'balance position' pitching rhythm of the 'traditional' pitching motion, I teach my 'crow-step' pitching rhythm.   As a result, pitchers can drive their pitching hand straight toward home plate without generating any centripetal force.

01.   Whether in the wind-up or set positions, I have my pitchers stand with both feet close together side-by-side pointing toward home plate with their pitching hand in their glove in the middle of their waist.

02.   To trigger their pitching motion, I have my pitchers raise both hands and cross their pitching hand under their glove hand.

03.   Next, I have pitchers simultaneously pendulum swing their glove arm downward, forward and upward to shoulder height to point thumb down at the glove side hitter and pendulum swing their pitching arm downward, backward and upward to ear height to palm upward.

04.   Next, I have pitchers simultaneously step straight forward with their glove foot to land on their heel and turn their foot forty-five degrees outward and inwardly rotate their pitching forearm until their pitching hand grabs their pitching driveline, which is slightly above their pitching ear and slightly behind their head.

05.   Next, with their pitching foot, I have pitchers powerfully push off the pitching rubber and move their pitching foot straight toward home plate ahead of their glove foot.

06.   Next, when their acromial line is perpendicular to the driveline to home plate, I have my pitchers powerfully pull their glove forearm straight backward into their armpit and powerfully punch their pitching arm straight forward toward home plate.   I tell my pitchers to extend the distance over which they straight-line 'punch' their pitching arm toward home plate.

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210.   My son and I would like to make plans to visit your complex at Zephyrhills.   My questions are as follows: Since he is in school currently, a Saturday will be our first choice.   Are you typically there on Saturdays?   Would there be any activity on a Saturday therefore allowing us to see some of your young men in action?   Would it be possible to have a brief discussion with you concerning a possible partnership in your forty week program?   He has at least 3 years of eligibility left and maybe even four if he red shirts this year.   He is currently nineteen years old and will be 20 in November.   We would like to visit within the next month or so if possible.

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     We train from 9:00 to 11:00AM every day from the third Saturday in August through the fourth Saturday in May.   Every day includes Saturday and Sunday.   I am typically present every day.   However, I sometimes videotape or high-speed film pitchers.   If you arrive at 9:00AM, then we will have two hours in which to discuss whatever you want.

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211.   I think it's time to open the next can of worms.   In the past few months I have exchanged opinions with some of you on some specific aspects of pitching instruction.   Others I have been aware of through their articles in other media.   What I'd like to do now is once again open the pages of WebBall for you to present your own unexpurgated opinions on a couple of topics.

1.   The use of weighted baseballs.
2.   The use of flat-ground, long-toss or other non-mound training components.

     The articles can be pro or con as I know there are those of you on both sides of the debate and little if any middle ground.   The reason I have narrowed the topic from pitching in general is so the readers have an opportunity to make a focused decision.   I would hope for a guideline length of 500-1000 words.   And I would hope that your own writing is about why you believe what you do rather than why you don't agree with someone else.

     If I get enough expression of interest in the next week we will set up a target date for article completion and launch.   I am hoping for May 1.

     By the way, for those of you not involved in the first Pitching Challenge 3 years ago, the overriding principle will be the same, it will be a blind taste-test.   Readers will read and vote and only after votes are in will we reveal the author of each piece.   (It wouldn't be nearly as much fun otherwise.)


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     I have repeatedly discussed these topics in my Question/Answer files.   If I were not working ten hours a day to complete my second Baseball Pitching Instructional Videotape, I might take the time to explain the flaws in these two training procedures to you and your readers.   When I finish my video, I will start upgrading my Coaching Baseball Pitchers book.   When I finish my book, I will start responding to the parents who sent me X-rays of their son's arms to evaluate.

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212.   I was wanting to know about when did you think you would be finished with your new pitching video?

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     Just as soon as I can.

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213.   What do you think about what Nolan Ryan wrote in his book?

     "Although I came into pro ball with a lot of talent, it took me almost four years to approach my potential as a power pitcher.   In my first season with the Angels, I was 19-16 with 39 starts, 20 complete games, an ERA of 2.28, 9 shutouts and 329 strikeouts in 284 innings.   I had 17 games in which I struck out 10 or more batters.   But something more important happened that year that would affect my performance for the next 23 years, I discovered the weight room in Anaheim.   It hadn't been installed for the Angels, because back then it was believed that weight training made you muscle bound.   I started slipping in there and working out, being careful not to overdo it and letting my body tell me how it was responding.   I learned how to work different areas of my body for balance and flexibility, taking a day off now and then to recover.   I also discovered that even if I was somewhat stiff from lifting, it really had no effect on my ability to pitch.   And after I began using the weights consistently, my arm would bounce back more quickly from one start to the next.

     A key to my success with the Angels was that my velocity increased in the later innings.   Now, this could be attributed to establishing a rhythm, finding a good groove and improving my mechanics as the game went on.   But the conditioning program made this possible by increasing my stamina.   Once you fatigue, it affects your mechanics and you can't pitch with the precise timing required for a smooth, compact motion.   I was so pleased with my results that I bought a Universal Gym for my home, and it paid dividends.   During my first 3 years in the AL, I pitched more than 900 innings.   There's no way I could have recovered quickly, or been as durable, without a firm base of strength from lifting.   Lifting helped me be more consistent."


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     Are we talking about Mr. Ryan who knows nothing about the Physiology of Exercise?   It is an interesting story with no verifiable research.   Because he knows nothing about scientific methodology, only fools would care what he has to say about training?   Its all unsubstantiated drivel.

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214.   We have exchanged several emails concerning my now 13 yr. old and he is developing just fine.   This email concerns my oldest son (22 yrs. old) who is wanting to take part in your college program.   After high school he joined the military and completed his tour and now is in his second semester at university and doing well academically.   Currently he is not playing baseball due to the timing of his return from the military and also I have been advising him to learn the new mechanics his younger brother (13 yr. old) is using that he developed from your program.   Anyway do you have any room for him in your college program?

     Also, I plan on visiting you with my 13 yr. old next week (for the second time) so he can watch and learn again.   Is there a day next week that would be a good day (Except Easter Sunday) for us to visit?


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     I look forward to your visit next week.   Every day next week looks clear.

     With regard to your college son, I will need to send my cover letter and partnership agreement.   When I receive a six hundred deposit and notarized agreement, I will know whether I have any openings remaining.   At this moment, I do.

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215.   We have exchanged several emails concerning my now 13 yr. old and he is developing just fine.   This email concerns my oldest son (22 yrs. old) who is wanting to take part in your college program.   After high school he joined the military and completed his tour and now is in his second semester at college and doing well academically.   Currently he is not playing baseball due to the timing of his return from the military and also I have been advising him to learn the new mechanics his younger brother (13 yr. old) is using that he developed from your program.   Anyway do you have any room for him in your college program?

     Also, I plan on visiting you with my 13 yr. old next week (for the second time) so he can watch and learn again.   Is there a day next week that would be a good day (Except Easter Sunday) for us to visit?


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     I look forward to your visit next week.   Every day next week looks clear.

     With regard to your college son, I will need to send my cover letter and partnership agreement.   When I receive the deposit and notarized agreement, I will know whether I have any openings remaining.   At this moment, I do.

     I recently decided to permit college pitchers to start their program on the second Saturday of June instead of the fourth Saturday of August.   This permits me to include my ten-week Recoil Training Cycle.   We are having great results with increased pitching forearm pronation strength that is adding release velocity.   If pitchers start on the fourth Saturday of August, to get my Recoil Training Cycle, they need to return the following summer.

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216.   Today, during the Cubs and Reds opening game, announcers Jon Miller and Joe Morgan discussed you.   Miller said that he heard you have, "some sort of pitching clinic", and have been working with Mark Prior of the Cubs.   The conversation started when it was mentioned that reliever Farnsworth had appeared in 77 games last year, which had exhausted him for the playoffs.   Jon Miller noted that, "kinesiologist Mike Marshall", appeared in 106.   Joe Morgan went on to say how you could pitch every day, and with your variety of screwballs you were your own left-handed and right-handed set up man as well as the closer.   It was also mentioned that when Dennis Eckersley won the Cy Young he only pitched 70 innings compared to your 200 plus innings in 1974.

     I would guess you are not working with Mr. Prior.   I hope, however, that I am wrong.   If you retrained him he'd probably win 400 games for his career.   At any rate I suppose it is nice to know your accomplishments are still remembered and respected.


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     I am pleased to learn that Mr. Miller has heard that I have 'some sort of pitching clinic' and to read Mr. Morgan's comments.   Joe was the best hitter I faced.   However, as you correctly stated, I do not work with Mr. Prior.   Tom House takes credit for Mr. Prior's successes.   He writes that Mr. Prior has the 'perfect pitching motion.'   On the other hand, last year, I wrote that Mr. Prior has a 'loop' behind his head that leads to extreme pitching forearm flyout.   I wrote that, if he continues with Tom House's pitching motion, then he would destroy his pitching arm.   I would very much like to know how Mr. Miller became so confused as to the truth of this situation.

UPDATE:

     I telephoned ESPN Enterprises at (212)916-9200 and asked for Mr. Jon Miller.   They said that he did not have a telephone number.   I asked to speak with anybody connected with Baseball Tonight.   They connected me with Peter Gammons.   I left a message for Mr. Gammons to ask Mr. Miller to telephone me.   Then, I went to the ESPN website and searched for an email address for Mr. Miller.   I found none.   I did find an email address for Mr. Gammons.   With only ninety-two characters, I again asked Mr. Gammons to have Mr. Miller telephone me.   Then, I found where I could send an email to the Baseball Tonight show.   I explained the situation and asked them to have Mr. Miller either telephone or email me.   I received a response that I could join some email club.   As yet, nothing personal from either Mr. Gammons or Mr. Miller.

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217.   It was my understanding that you are very much a proponent of weighted throwing as you show it in your first video.   So I assume by flaws you mean technique and not merely the use of weighted balls.   So far we have 3 committed participants, hope to have 2 more.   Your different point of view would have been insightful.   The door remains open (again).

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     In general, when baseball coaches speak of weighted balls, they mean weighted baseball.   I use six, eight, ten and twelve pound iron balls.   That is entirely different.   Biological nineteen year olds and older with my force application techniques greatly benefit from iron ball interval-training program.   Under any other circumstances, the use of weighted iron balls or baseballs harms the participants.   Unfortunately, I still have other far more important work that I must do at this time and will not take the time, other than to say, read my Question/Answer files.   Do a search for weighted balls.

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218.   But his unsubstantiated drivel gave him 7 no hitters-numerous awards and records and very little injury!   He played until his mid 40's.   How can you say this?   Maybe his mechanics weren't perfect, but he did something right didn't he?

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     Research requires experimental design, which includes meticulous record keeping and the isolation of the experimental variable.   Without scientific safeguards, how can we know that it was only the training program that accounted for the alleged improvements?   If we cannot replicate the study with others and achieve the same results, then what he says is without merit.   His is the earth-is-flat thinking.   He should ask some qualified exercise physiology researcher to implement his training program with matched pairs in control and experimental groups and see how many major league no-hitters they throw.   I can say this because I am a qualified exercise physiology researcher.

     I have always said that Mr. Ryan had the best throwing arm I have ever seen.   Nevertheless, under these circumstances, I would never advise anybody to use whatever weight training program he recommends.

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219.   I'm not at all blaming you.   I think a combination of my preconceived notions, and my difficulty with some of the medical vocabulary worked together such that I missed the main point of your approach.   In other words, I think I missed the forest because I was trying to comprehend the detail of the trees.   Now that I understand (visually) the general approach, I think I can begin to take on and integrate the details.

     Different folks have different learning styles, and certainly at least visual learners will have a bit of difficulty picking up your written materials.   I guess all I'm saying a picture is worth a thousand words.   I very much believe some brief video clips would help more people create a better frame of reference in which to try understand and synthesize what you write.

     I'm not at all suggesting to eliminate the need for your complete video.   Instead, just a brief introduction to the overall technique, properly executed.   As for me, I plan to re-read your materials now that I have that visual point of reference.

     Again, if the point is to communicate your techniques and approach, I think some brief web-based videos would greatly augment the impact of your already extensive written material.   And again, I would be happy to volunteer my time to help put that together for you.   I'd like as many people as possible to more fully understand what you are teaching, since not everyone can make the trip that I did to your facility.   I know that I am 1000% better off having made that trip.


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     After I complete my second Baseball Pitching Instructional Videotape and edit my Coaching Baseball Pitchers book, I will see what I can do.

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220.   Four years ago, my son was diagnosed with Ulnar Collateral Ligament tear in his throwing elbow.    He is now 16.5 years old and plays elite baseball and is hoping for a college scholarship.    A good friend spoke very highly of you and referred me to your website.

        We've tried various treatments over the last 4 years and are at the stage of critical exposure to pro and college scouts and need to be at the best this season.    Still not 100%.   Can you reply, I really need suggestions?    Basic question is, can a stretched elbow ligament be repaired?


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        Your son injured his Ulnar Collateral Ligament because he used the ‘traditional’ pitching motion with its’ extreme pitching forearm flyout that unnecessarily stresses the ligament.    Unless he changes how he applies force to his pitches, he will never be able to throw as hard or often as is required to pitch in college.    Even with my pitching motion, we cannot be certain that his already loose pitching elbow joint will permit him to maximally apply force without asking too much of the muscles that also hold the joint together.    However, we would learn the answer to this question and act accordingly.

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221.   I should have stated in the e-mail that my son is no longer a pitcher as of 2 years ago.   He is a right fielder.   His elbow has never felt 100% since the original injury.   He is trying to salvage his baseball opportunities by playing being a position player.   He has done many forms of treatment short of surgery to try to strengthen the elbow.   He does stretching, strengthening exercises, ices it down.   When he throws for the last 3 weeks, the elbow feels stiff.   He has full range of motion though.   He is only throwing 1 time a week to reduce it's use to try to get ready for the season which starts in 2 weeks.   Do you have any suggestions on trying to deal with this.

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     Your son injured his Ulnar Collateral Ligament because he used and still uses the ‘traditional’ throwing motion with its pitching elbow lead extreme forearm flyout that unnecessarily stresses this ligament.   Unless he changes how he applies force to his throws, he will never be able to throw as hard as required to play college, let alone professional baseball.   He must stop throwing this way.   He must learn how to throw correctly.   He must train, not only to throws correctly, but to get stronger throwing correctly.   This is how he must deal with this.   Rest causes atrophy, which causes further injury.

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222.   Do you have any references or examples of a similar case in Canada that you have helped?   Also when you say forearm flyout, do you mean throwing across your body such as the sidearm motion?

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     Living as I do in Florida, I am replete with pitchers from Canada.   Nevertheless, unless they have their arms attached to the asses, I think I can show them how to properly apply force to their pitches.

     Pitching forearm flyout refers to what happens to the pitching arm when the first force that pitchers apply to the baseball is to their pitching arm side rather than straight toward home plate.   As a result of pulling their pitching forearm forward with their pitching upper arm, these pitchers generate a centripetal force that slings their pitching forearm laterally outward.   This not only unnecessarily stresses the muscles that contract to protect their olecranon process from slamming into its fossa, but also the muscles that have to pull the pitching forearm back toward their body to counteract the lateral movement in hopes of throwing the baseball somewhere near home plate. As a continuation of the centripetal force, after these pitchers release the baseball, their pitching arm does continue across the front of their body, though not necessarily horizontally.

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223.   Do you have anything less than tha eight week course for high school juniors.   Our son plays for a local team and would like to attend one of your clinics, but the eight weeks course doesn't work out with his schedule.

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     If I wanted to steal your money and do your son absolutely no good, then I would have one week courses throughout the summer.   However, I am only interested in helping your son become the best pitcher that he can be.   I cannot do that in eight weeks, much less a shorter time.   Your choice is do you want him to continue with the ‘traditional’ pitching motion slowly but surely destroying his pitching arm or learning what he needs to become the best pitcher he can?   Who is more important, his local team or your son?   We start on the second Saturday of June and go for eight weeks.

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224.   I would like to learn how to coach your method.   Have you ever given any thought to having a training class, seminar or whatever you felt was necessary to teach coaches how to coach using your methods?   Possibly even having a certification program for coaches.   If that turns out to be something you would be interested in I would love to be one of your first students.   I have been coaching baseball since the late 70’s on the youth level and can honestly say that my primary goals have been teaching learning to love baseball, baseball skills, life skills, team play, learning how to win and lose as a team and definitely last winning.

     One of the things I have learned from coaches who put winning first is that they are not interested in the development of the children entrusted to their care.   They are only interested in winning, sometimes by recruiting outside talent to complete their teams instead of teaching the children within their recreation councils.   Look I love to win and hate to lose, I am as competitive and maybe more so than the next guy or gal, BUT, youth baseball is or rather should be about teaching many skills not winning.   If you can win and do all those other things first then fine, just be sure that every child entrusted to you gets the same exposure to the game no matter what their skills and abilities are, they all deserve to be treated equally and it is up to the adult to be sure that they are and that they have fun.   I have read the statistic you quoted about participation and losing, but slightly differently, I read it as given the choice of being on a winning team and not playing or playing on a losing team, they almost always choose playing over winning.   But essentially it is the same conclusion, Kids just want to play.

     Rather long winded, but back to my original question would you consider training and “certifying” coaches?

     By the way I began to think of this after receiving your video and even with it finding it difficult to get and then teach the principles to my son.   He and I have watched the video many times and are working hard on the principles, but as I said are having difficulty “getting” them.

     If I could do anything to help you get the “word” out to many more baseball people I would welcome the opportunity.


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     With my second Baseball Pitching Instructional Videotape, I am trying to so clearly demonstrate the twelve sequential steps in teaching my pitching motion that everybody can teach and/or learn these skills without me.   However, I do welcome everybody to visit my Baseball Pitchers Research/Training Center at any time and stay for as long as they like.   Nevertheless, if sufficient numbers would like me to conduct a clinic, I would certainly be glad to do so without charge.

     With regard to winning: I think winning happens when youngsters learn motor skills that enable them to find joy in activity now and throughout life.   Throw away the score sheets.

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225.   My 13 year old son thinks he can throw a screwball.   I am not sure.   What age can a pitcher learn a screwball?   I am not sure if I should encourage him or discourage him until he is older.

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     With my second Baseball Pitching Instructional Videotape, I recommend that parents use my Pickoff Pronation pitching drill to teach their eight year old pitchers how to properly grip and release my Maxline Screwball, Maxline Fastball, Maxline Pronation Curve and Torque Fastball.   The critical element is that youngsters use my pitching motion precisely with my throwing drills.   If they try this with the ‘traditional’ pitching motion, they will destroy their pitching arm.

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226.   I recently came across your web site while doing a search for range of motion exercises for strengthening your elbow.   My son is 10 and I want him to do some exercises to strengthen his elbow.   Could you please send me a link or advise me on what he should be doing?

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     Biological ten year old males do not have an Olecranon Process or a Lateral Epicondyle ossification center.   The growth plates for their Medial Epicondyle, Capitulum, Trochlea and Radial Head are wide open.   Therefore, I do not recommend any stressful physical training.   Instead, ten year old males need to learn the proper force application techniques for their skills, including baseball pitching.   I am currently working on my second Baseball Pitching Instructional Videotape, which defines and demonstrates the drills that youth pitchers should master before they pitch competitively.

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227.   Last week there were over 200 messages.   This week there are 63.   Have you been pressing buttons again?

     I am now able to throw the Torque Fastball.   This is a GREAT pitch.   My son was hitting and I threw it to him and he looked at me and said: “What was that!” then chastised me because “no kid my age will throw me a torque fastball.”   I agreed.   I also asked if he could see a reason to learn the pitch.   He will.


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     Between deciding to go DSL and receiving more viruses than Norton could handle, I have had a rough week getting on-line and getting to my web site.   What do you mean that last week there were over 200 messages and this week there were only 63?

     I agree with your evaluation of my new Torque Fastball.   I wish that I had had it when I pitched in the show. I could not get in on left-handed hitters.   I had to stay away with my Maxline Fastball, Sinker and Screwball.   I could get them to hit overtop of my slider, but I could not handcuff them.

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228.   Could you explain the acromonial line in relation to the throwing motion?

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     The lateral-most tips of your shoulders are called, the acromial processes.   If we draw a line through both acromial processes and on outwardly, that would be your acromial line.   In my pitching motion, I want pitchers to square their acromial line with their driveline to home plate before they pull their glove forearm straight backward toward second base and powerfully punch their pitching forearm straight toward home plate.

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229.   I mean simply that last week in 2004 Q & A you had 200 Q’s and A’s.   Last night, there were 63.

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     After I answered your email, I went to my web site and recognized what you meant.   In the process of moving to DSL, my video guy, who is also my computer guy, built me a new computer.   He is a big backup guy.   A few months ago, he backed up my document files, including my web site files.   Then, when I went to add last weeks questions and answers to my 2004 file, I failed to realize that I was in his backup file of a few months ago.   As a result, you got last week’s questions and answers on the end of the backup file.   I have restored my file from before last week.   Now, I need to find the damn file where I added last week’s questions and answers.   It is always something.

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230.   Aren't computers great!   Any chance of an early preview of the first video?   Why don't you hire Ken Burns to complete this for you?!

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     Computers work wonderfully, I am the weak link.   While I have learned to never promise anything, I believe that I have the correct Question/Answer file for 2004.   I hope that I can remember how to do it again next week.

     I have all video clips digitized into the computer.   I have most of them appropriately placed in the timeline.   I have started the editing and graphics.   When I finish that process, I will only have my voice over work to do.   I will continue to work from 5:30AM until 10:30PM every day with breaks only to coach the sixteen kids I have with me, eat and attend my usual three movies per week.   Mr. Burns would only be in my way.   I will do my very, very best to have it ready before June, in time for the summer sixty day programs that parents should conduct with their youth pitchers.

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231.   If a pitcher is stepping to his pitching arm side what kind of stress is he putting on his arm?   I'm guessing it takes away from straight line force but if you say it, it has more status than if I say it.

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     You are absolutely correct.   When pitchers step 'closed,' they move their center of mass to their pitching arm side.   To counter this lateral force, they have to 'pull' the baseball back toward their glove side.   If they also reverse rotated to their glove side behind their body and use their pitching upper arm to 'pull' their pitching forearm forward, then they generate centripetal force that adds to the lateral movement of their center of mass.   As a result, they not only generate a greater lateral force that they have to overcome to redirect the baseball toward home plate, but they also slam their olecranon process into its fossa to lose elbow extension range of motion and enlarge the coronoid process to lose elbow flexion range of motion.

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232.   Attached you will find an x-ray that is comparable to my 13 year old son’s latest x-ray (the difference is the “fleck” is not nearly as large or as far removed).   My son has never complained of any arm problems or had any swelling whatsoever.   Last Thursday, he threw 10 pitches in the first game of our season and immediately stopped, he called me out and said “something doesn’t feel right.”   We took him out and rested him.   When we got home, we iced his arm and have had him on a steady (every 8 hours) diet of ibuprofin.   The next day the elbow region was swollen considerably and he was unable to extend his arm (straighten it) fully.

     Well, Monday we took him to a local orthopedic surgeon who took the x-rays, diagnosed him with a strained UCL and put us on complete rest until 4-30-04.   I have since scoured the internet looking for anything that has to do with a strained UCL.   I just want your input as to how you would go about treating this.   He insists it has never hurt and he says it feels normal; it just still will not straighten out fully.   It’s been almost 6 days since the injury occurred and his mother and I are concerned.   His is 13, 5’5” and 137 lbs.

     Thank you for your input, we just want him to regain a full range of motion, and then take it from there.


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     You might be the greatest guy in the world, but I do not know that.   Therefore, I do not open attachments.   Did the doctor attach a name to the 'fleck?'   Is that 'fleck' that is not nearly as large of as far removed the ossification center for the olecranon process?   While none of that makes any sense, I do not believe that I need to see an X-ray to understand what happened to your son.

     The ‘traditional’ pitching motion, the normal growth and development of the growth plates in his pitching elbow and the mistaken belief that youth baseball is harmless fun happened to your son.

     If your son is biologically thirteen years old, then you should see a large ossification center for his olecranon process.   That is what he injured, not his Ulnar Collateral Ligament.   With the extreme pitching forearm flyout that the ‘traditional’ pitching motion teaches, he slammed that ossification center into its fossa.   The swelling is from the hyaline cartilage of the olecranon fossa.   He might also have separated the ossification center from the shaft of the Ulna bone to some degree.

     Whereas rest means atrophy, such that these tissues will get weaker rather than stronger, when it comes to bone injuries, he has to rest.   With time, he will get back most of his elbow extension range of motion, but not all.   Even adult pitchers with completely mature growth plates lose the elbow extension range of motion when they use the ‘traditional’ pitching motion.

     When he returns to pitching, the first thing that he has to do is stop using the ‘traditional’ pitching motion.   The second thing is to not throw baseballs for more than two months per year and, if he is biologically thirteen years old, not pitch more than one inning per game twice a week.   When the growth plate for the Humeral Capitulum completely matures, he is biologically thirteen years old.

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233.   My son is enrolled in the 280 day program scheduled to start Aug 21 2004.   In reading your 2004 Q&A, I came upon this partial response to question 215.   Am I interpreting your response to mean that first time enrollee's can now start in June rather than August or must they have already completed the 280 day program and return the following year for recoil training?   If they may start in June how would I go about having my son enrolled?

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     A father of a son already in college convinced me that his son would waste valuable learning time this summer.   Therefore, I decided to offer a more comprehensive program the college pitchers.

     If young men graduate from high school this June, then they should arrive on the fourth Saturday in August to start their training.   However, if young men have already graduated from high school, then I am giving them the option to start on the second Saturday in June.   The June start enables me to include my eight pound iron ball ten-week recoil program with my forty-week basic adult baseball pitchers interval-training program.   This makes it a fifty-week training program and they end on the last Saturday in May, just like the recent high school graduates do.

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234.   After looking up what the olecranon process is, I do not believe that to be the case.   It is the medial epicondyle that has a “fleck” that is not completely attached to the rest of it.   With that, does that change anything?

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     The ossification center for the medial epicondyle appears at biological five years old.   By thirteen years old, its growth plate is well established.   At biological sixteen years old, the growth plate for the medial epicondyle closes and no more bone growth can occur.

     If there is a ‘fleck’ near the medial epicondyle, it might mean that your son pulled a piece of the ossification center of his medial epicondyle away from the bone.   Five very powerful muscles attach to the medial epicondyle, such that with the ‘traditional’ pitching motion, they can rip the ossification center away from the bone.

     In your first email, you said that your son could not straighten his elbow.   While it is possible that an inflamed Ulnar Collateral Ligament would make complete elbow extension uncomfortable, the only way that he could not completely extend his elbow is if the hyaline cartilage of the olecranon fossa is inflamed.   Damage the olecranon process could also prevent complete elbow extension.

     If you have heard of or had any experience with ‘Osgood Schlatter’s Disease’ of the tibial tuberosity of the Tibia bone of the lower leg, then you know that the ‘cure’ is to stop applying stress to its growth plate until it completely matures.   That is also the best ‘cure’ for your son’s problem.   Without the stress of baseball pitching with the ‘traditional’ pitching motion, the growth plates with grow and develop as they should.

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235.   I know you are sleep challenged with all you have on your plate these days.   My question is how much importance you give to sleep in the development of adolescents.   I told my son (13) to get to bed recently and he told me that a Japanese researcher claimed that more than 7 hours of sleep was bad for him.   He went to bed and, quite frankly, I see a change for the worse in his personality when he does not get more than 8 hours of sleep a night.   I'd also be interested if you advise your students on the amount of sleep they should get per night.

     Thank you for your response and I like the idea of the 1st Annual Mike Marshall Promation clinic for parents and coaches.   I suggest we have it one month after you finish your second video.


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     I have not researched sleep in many years.   The best book that I found on the topic is, 'Some Must Sleep While Others Watch.'   Researchers found that we sleep in ninety minute cycles.   They found that we require specific amounts of delta brain wave sleep.   Some research did indicate that, for adults, four and one-half to six hours worked better than longer sleep periods.   I do not recall whether they researched non-adults.   Off the top of my head, I would expect that, with all the growth and development going on, from babies until adult, we need gradually less sleep to replenish the body.

     Oh good, when I finish the first of the three videotapes I expect from the material I have, I get to plan an annual clinic.   I have a book to edit.   I have X-rays to assess.   I have apartments to renovate.   You know that we love visitors.   However, for the time being, let's leave it to spontaneity.

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236.   I live out west. My son is complaining about his elbow.   He is 14 years old and I went to an orhopedist.   I would really like to find someone knowledgeable in pitching injuries.   Do you know of anyone out here?

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     Just me.

     Pitching arm injuries in youth baseball pitchers are not like pitching arm injuries in adult baseball pitchers.   Youth baseball pitchers have growth plates.   Youth baseball pitchers have growing ligaments and tendons.   Their growing bones, ligaments and tendons cannot withstand the stress of too much, too hard and for too long baseball pitching.

     Even when adult pitchers use the ‘traditional’ pitching motion, it is not a question of whether they will destroy their pitching arm, it is only a question of how soon and how badly.   When youth baseball pitchers use the ‘traditional’ pitching motion, their tender growing and developing bones prematurely close or worse and their tender growing and developing ligaments stretch to leave unstable adult joints.

     My recommendation is for you to have him spend the growing years learning the skills of baseball pitching, not actually pitching.   If you want your son to not have a stunted pitching arm, then, until the growth plates in his pitching elbow completely mature when he is biologically sixteen years old, he should not throw baseballs for more than two months per year and, if he is biologically thirteen years old, he should not pitch more than one inning per game twice a week.

     While you did not tell me precisely where in his pitching elbow he feels pain, I suspect the inside of his elbow.   That means that part of his pitching arm received more stress than it could withstand.   The part of the ‘traditional’ pitching motion that caused this problem is the excessive reverse body and pitching arm rotation, the pitching upper arm pulling the pitching forearm back to his pitching arm side and forward and the excessive pitching forearm flyout.   The cure is to stop throwing with the 'traditional' pitching motion, learn my pitching motion and follow my recommendations for how much, how hard and for how long he throws baseballs at each biological age.

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237.   At what age groups do you start working with ballplayers?   From what I read it looked like you start with juniors and seniors in high school, but I just wanted to check.   My son is a seventh grader a lefty, around 6'2 and loves the game.

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     You read correctly and, I annually reassess whether I will continue to work with high school juniors and seniors.   The question I have to answer is, whether I can train someone for only eight weeks and help them or just confuse them.   The jury is still out.

     I recommend that you teach your son how to pitch.   The safety of your son’s pitching arm is way too important to leave to anybody other than me and I do not have the time or energy to personally teach all youth baseball pitchers.   It is my job to show you how.   I do a pretty good job with my second Baseball Pitching Instructional Videotape.   I am at the voice-over stage.   All that is left is the dry run to look for continuity and errors, fix those problems and get it to the folks that make videotapes and CDs.

     Then, every morning at about 5:30AM, I will sit here and read the emails from fathers such as you and, together, we will teach your son how to become the best baseball pitcher he can be and without any pitching arm injuries.

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238.   Thanks so much for responding so quickly.   My son goes to high school next year so we want to be very cautious.   His pain is in his elbow by the two bones on the inside and outside of the elbow.   The pain generates not from the bone, but inside each moving towards the center.   In between the center elbow bone and the two outside.

     He has not been pitching much this year.   Two innings at the most with maybe 25 pitches total.   Last year he complained and we immediately pulled him so he did not pitch last year.   He has been playing on 2 teams so he is throwing alot and he has also been catching the same day he is pitching.   His pain 1st started when he played on a field with a home base that was crooked and he had to cross his arm to get the ball across the plate.

     Any help you can be would be greatly appreciated.   He loves baseball and is looking forward to playing in high school.   He is very disappointed right now.   Having some answers would help immensely.


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     You correctly diagnosed the problem when you said that he had to cross his arm to get the ball across the plate.   Whenever pitchers pull their pitching arm across the front of their body, they will injure their pitching elbow.   The proper technique is to drive the baseball straight toward home plate.   This requires pitchers to drive their pitching arm straight toward home plate.   That is how I train my pitchers.

     I will shortly complete my second Baseball Pitching Instructional Videotape.   It carefully and clearly outlines the twelve throwing drill steps that pitchers should master to become the highest skilled pitcher that they can be.   To find out when I have it ready, you should check my web site at www.drmikemarshall.com and click on my Instructional Videotape icon.   Together, we will fix his pitching arm and show your son how he should throw baseballs.

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239.   Thanks.   He is still going to see Dr. Jobe here in Los Angeles next week.   We'll look into your book and show your book to his pitching coach.

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     Frank Jobe is a great guy.   However, like every orthopedic surgeon, he does not understand the pitching motion and nobody can see growth plate damage unless the ossification center is pulled loose from the Humerus bone or fractured.   The chances are slim that your son suffered either.   In any case, be sure to say hi to him for me.

     I doubt very much that any pitching coach that I have not trained will be able to teach my pitching motion.   He will teach the ‘traditional’ pitching motion that injured his pitching arm.   The answer is for you to get my Baseball Pitching Instructional Videotape and you and your son to become his pitching coaches.

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240.   My daughter is 11 ½ years old.   She is in great shape as she plays some sport all year long.   She just finished up indoor soccer but she did not do any activity or exercises over the winter specifically for her arms or shoulders, just the usual kid activity.

     She has now started softball and is pitching after warming up properly.   She is very strong but needs work on her accuracy.   Last season she struck out almost every batter up unless, on occasion, she hit them first!   Once she got the umpire in the chest pretty good.

     She realizes that she needs to improve her accuracy first and foremost.   She really wants to pitch windmill and actually seems more consistent when doing so.   However, my questions are these: wouldn't her pitch be much faster windmill, and, therefore, more deadly if she hit someone and secondly, what ill effects does windmill pitching have on her shoulder.   My exhusband said that kids aren't suppose to windmill until halfway into the season to make sure their shoulders are properly stretched and warmed up.

     Neither of her couches are "professional" softball coaches.   They are dedicated dads who do a great job but don't truly know the fundamentals of windmill pitching.


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     I teach baseball pitching.   I will refer you to a doctoral degree colleague of mine who is the softball coach at Keene State College in New Hampshire.   He had high-speed filmed softball pitching and can give you much more qualified information than I can.   His name is, Dr. Charles Beach.   His email address is cbeach@keene.edu.

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241.   I have a couple of questions on hitting.   I am wondering if these ideas make sense in terms of Newton's three laws of motion (actually 2 of the 3):

     If we call the ready position the position of the hands after the batter has done some sort of trigger, would you agree that the first motion of the hands would be directly toward the approaching baseball?   I assume this would satisfy Newton's straight line force requirement.   My big problem is applying the requirement of applying force over as long a distance as possible.   The ball contacts the bat for the blink of an eye so I don't think one could apply force after the ball contacts the bat.   Therefore, would it be correct to say that the hitter can only apply force from the ready position until the moment he strikes the ball?


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     The trigger action for baseball batting would parallel the raising both arms and crossing the wrists in preparation for the double arm pendulum swing in my pitching motion.

     The next action for baseball batting would parallel my double arm pendulum swing action in my pitching motion in that it would lengthen the muscles that hitter will use to accelerate the center of mass of the baseball bat to contact.

     The next action for baseball batting would parallel my straight toward home plate force application to the baseball, except in baseball batting the center of mass of concern is the center of mass of the baseball bat.   Nevertheless, the force application of the rear and front arms must apply parallel and oppositely-directed forces when the center of mass of the baseball bat enters the contact zone.

     Similar to my baseball pitching motion, my baseball batting motion would have two acceleration phases:

     With baseball pitching, I have the pitching upper arm acceleration phase, where the pitching upper arm and body move the baseball from my 'Ready' position to my 'Leverage' position where the acromial line, the hip line, the pitching upper arm line and the pitching forearm line are all perpendicular to the driveline to home plate.

     With baseball batting, the acromial line and hip line are also perpendicular to the driveline, except that the hitting driveline depends on the location of the pitch.   That is, when the baseball pitching is on the inside corner of home plate, the hitters must position their acromial and hip lines perpendicular to the driveline to the pull infield opening, when the baseball pitching is in the middle of home plate, the hitters must position their acromial and hip lines perpendicular to the driveline to the middle infield opening and when the baseball pitching is on the outside corner of home plate, the hitters must position their acromial and hip lines perpendicular to the driveline to the opposite infield opening.

     With baseball pitching, I have the pitching forearm acceleration phase, where the pitching elbow and forearm punch the baseball straight toward home plate with a powerful force coupling action through release.   Force coupling means parallel and oppositely-directed forces.   For baseball pitching, this means that pitchers pull their glove forearm straight backward while they punch their pitching forearm straight forward.

     With baseball batting, I also have a forearm acceleration phase, where the rear elbow and forearm punch the baseball bat straight toward the appropriate infield opening with a powerful force coupling action through release.   For baseball batting, this means that batters pull their front forearm straight backward while they punch their rear forearm straight forward.

     The length of the driveline is also important for baseball batting, but it has nothing to do with how long the baseball bat stays in contact with the baseball.   It has to do with the distance over which batters apply force to the center of mass of the baseball bat.   Similar to baseball pitching, long strides do not increase the distance over which batters apply force.   Like with my pitching motion where pitchers 'step' forward and move the center of mass of their body and pitching leg ahead of their glove foot, baseball batters need to 'step' forward with their front leg and move the center of mass of their body and rear leg ahead of their front foot.

     When pitchers start the their double arm force coupling phase, they need to stop moving their head, that is, they have to keep their eyes still.

     When I finish my present projects, I do plan on attacking baseball batting, but without an ongoing training group, I will have difficulty showing demonstrations of my drills.

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242.   I wanted to get your consent on a matter with my arm if you had the time.   I know you are extremely busy and any time of yours I would greatly appreciate.

     I am a college pitcher, 20 yrs old.   I have had this sharp pain in my shoulder now for almost a year now.   I have gone through rehab 3 times.   I have been pitching through this pain all season now.   Ibuprofen has gotten me through many games, but now it is to the point where I cannot ignore the pain anymore.   I went to the doctor and at first glance he thought that I had a tear in my rotator cuff.   After getting an MRI the results showed that there was tearing.   Instead there was mass inflamation and the doctor said that when I am pitching, there comes a point in my rotation where the rotator cuff meets my tendon and pinches it down, (Impingement Tendinitis).

     He says surgery is not necessary and a scope would not be necessary either.   Only time will be able to heal what I have.   If I continue to pitch is there a good possibility that I will tear a tendon in my arm or even damage it to greater links than what it already is?   I do not plan on pitching anymore in college.   I just don't want to harm my arm anymore than it has been already.   The pain is too great; therefore I do not pitch anymore.

     Is there any advice you would be able to give on this matter that concerns me.   Like is the doctor correct in his findings, will time heal it to where I can at least play catch?


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     When pitchers use the ‘traditional’ pitching motion, it is not a matter of whether or not they will injure their pitching arm; it is only a matter of how soon and how badly.   You must stop throwing with the ‘traditional’ pitching motion.   You must learn my pitching motion.   To do so, you can get my second Baseball Pitching Instructional Videotape and learn on your own, or, if you have two years of eligibility remaining, you could attend my fifty-week program that starts the second Saturday in June.

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243.   I was a fan of yours in the 70s when you pitched for LA.   To what do you attribute the lack of screwball pitchers in the major leagues today?

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     I taught myself how to throw my screwball.   I suppose nobody else knows how to teach it.

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244.   I've been exchanging e-mails with a writer who made the following comments in a Q&A.   Mind you, this guy is the author of a book called "Saving the Pitcher," subtitled "A Revolutionary Analysis of Pitching Injuries and How to Prevent Them - based upon the research of Tom House and Dr. James Andrews.

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Q:   Will, I was wondering what you think about Freddy Garcia's mechanics.   I'm not a pitching coach or expert on the subject, by any means, but his mechanics seem a little unorthodox to me and I am interested to see if you think they will lead to injury.   Instead of his right arm starting down by his thigh and making a 270 degree rotation, he just shoots his arm straight back and makes a 180 degree rotation.   Does this put extra stress on his arm?   Thanks Will, keep up the great work, I can't wait for the book!

Will Carroll:   The move directly to the "Flex-T" position doesn't add stress to the arm.   It's not common, but getting to that point from the windup or the set position is really one of habit, comfort, and personal preference.   I can't say I'm a big fan of his elbow flexion once he gets it back there, but the initial move isn't something to worry about.

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Q:   Any idea's on how a shoulder injury affects a submariner like BH Kim?   Has there ever been a precedent for an injury like this on this type of pitcher?

Will Carroll:   I'm sure there have been injured sidewinders before, but I can't name one.   Oh - Mike Koplove!   He had his shoulder scoped by Craig Morgan last season and has come back pretty well.   Submarine, side-arm deliveries really aren't significantly different than any other delivery when it comes to the kinetic forces placed on the arm.   I think we'll have Glenn Fleisig doing a chat soon, so save that question for him.

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     Doc, I know you've heard this before, but you've GOT to get a book (with illustrations) into the mainstream press and you've GOT to somehow get your video available to a wider audience.   This stuff others are writing is ruining still another generation of arms!


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     I send pitchers who come to me with surgical needs to Dr. Andrews.   I first met him at an Olympic Committee conference in the late 1980’s.   I have talked with him on the telephone numerous times.   I respect and like him.   However, with regard to the forces that injure pitchers, he has no idea what he is talking about.   Neither does his research director of his American Sports Medicine Institute, Dr. Flesig.

     I have talked at length with Will Carroll from way back when he had his own web site.   Will also has no idea what he is talking about.   What the hell is a flexed-T?   'Getting to that point (flexed-T) is a matter of habit, comfort and personal preference?   That is just plain stupid.

     During the playoffs last fall, Will telephoned me to talk about the perfect pitching motion of Mark Prior.   I told him that Mr. Prior had a terrible loop behind his head that lead into an extreme pitching forearm flyout.   I told him that it was just a matter of time before he seriously injured his pitching arm.   He said that he would call me after the season to talk more about this.   He never called.

     I don't see Tom House, Dr. Andrews, Dr. Flesig, Will Carroll or anybody else owning up to the pitching arm problems that Mark Prior is having.   In fact, I hear that Jon Miller said on Sunday Night Baseball that I trained him.   I am also getting tired of Tim whats-his-name on ESPN constantly saying that Tom House knows more about baseball pitching than anybody.

     Tom House does not know anything about baseball pitching.   He is afraid to be on a discussion panel with me, but then, so are Dr. Andrews, Glenn Flesig and anybody else.   I am told that Dr. Andrews physical therapist dismissed me with "doesn't he train pitchers in his back yard."   Yes, I do and, unlike your rehabilitation program, my pitchers return to better than they were before and never reinjure their pitching arms.   Does he think that a fancy facility means more than the right idea?

     What is with the Cubs?   Mr. Prior injured himself in spring training.   They have him rest.   Don't they understand that rest means further atrophy?   Mr. Prior just keep getting weaker and weaker.   The injury becomes more and more difficult to overcome.   Now, Rothchild says that he just needs a couple of simulated games and he will be ready.   The reason he injured his pitching arm is because he uses the 'traditional' pitching motion that Tom House taught him.   If he tries to throw as hard as he was before the injury, he will continue to injure his pitching arm.   He needs to change how he applies force.   He needs to properly strengthen his pitching arm.   Simulated games will not help.

     When pitchers use the pitching motion that Tom House recommends, that is, the ‘traditional’ pitching motion, the question is not whether they will injure their pitching arm, the questions are how soon will they injure it and how badly.   If Mr. Prior ever wants to achieve his genetic limits, he will have to stop working with Mr. House, Dr. Andrews, Dr. Flesig, Will Carroll, Rick Peterson and anybody else who does not understand why the ‘traditional’ pitching motion destroys pitching arms.

     I understand what caused pitching arm injuries.   I know how pitchers have to apply force to achieve their maximum release velocities without injuring their pitching arms.   I also know how to teach them the proper releases for fastballs that move to the pitching arm side and glove side of home plate, sinkers, sliders, curves and screwballs.   They will never again have any pitching arm pain and they will be able to throw hard every day.   I seem to remember someone who did that.   On the days after I did not pitch, I threw batting practice.   That was over thirty years ago.   Was nobody watching?

     I am working as hard as I can to finish my second Baseball Pitching Instructional Videotape.   I have finished putting the video clips in the Timeline.   I have finished creating all the graphics.   I am starting to do the voice-overs.   When I complete them, then my video guy will make a rough draft that we will carefully review for last second adjustments.   After I make those adjustments, my video guy will make the final draft and we will send it out to the guys who make the videotapes.   When we send it out to the guys who make the videotapes, I will let everybody know.

     When parents of youth pitchers see this videotape and teach their sons and daughters how to throw this way, we will no longer need Tommy John surgeries.

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245.   My son is 13 yrs old.   10 days ago his elbow popped while throwing.   He was goofing around bringing his arm low behind his back and then slinging his arm out.   He immediately experienced pain on the inside of his elbow.   He has pain when extending or pulling his arm up.

     We went to a Sports Medicine Dr.   We were told he fractured the medial epicondyle.   His arm was splint and we were sent to an Orthopedic Surgeon.   The Orthopedic Surgeon said it was irritated growth plates that there was no break.   I pointed to the medial epicondyle on the x-ray and said that's where the previous Dr. said the problem was.   This is the site of his pain.   However, the Orthopedic said the issue was in the lower growth plates by the Ulna.   Everything is lined up, but he said there was too much space.   He's not requiring a splint or anything, only rest.   Which diagnosis should I believe or should I seek a 3rd opinion?


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     I am so sorry that you have to go through the agony of your son’s injury.   We have to warn parents that youth throwing is not simple, harmless fun.   When your son imitated the throwing motion of some side-arming professional baseball pitcher, he had no idea that he was risking the growth and development of his pitching arm.

     When your son reverse rotated his body and pitching arm way beyond where second base would be, he created a situation where he had to bring his pitching arm back to the pitching arm side of his body before he could apply force toward home plate.   This generated a centripetal force that caused his pitching forearm to continue outward to his pitching arm side at the same time that he was trying to redirect the baseball toward home plate.   As a result, he excessively stressed the inside of his pitching elbow.

     The Pronator Teres, Flexor Carpi Radialis, Palmaris Longus, Flexor Carpi Ulnaris and a portion of the Flexor Digitorum Superficialis muscles attach to the ossification center of his medial epicondyle, which weakly attaches to the shaft of his Humerus bone with a cartilaginous growth plate.   It is far too common for the ossification center of the medial epicondyle to pull away slightly, pull away completely or break into pieces.

     He could have also ruptured the Ulnar Collateral Ligament that tries to hold the Ulna bone tightly with the Humerus bone on the inside of the elbow.   The injury is also far too common for youth pitchers.

     He could have also slammed the ossification center of his olecranon process into its fossa and pulled it slightly away from the shaft of the Ulna bone, pulled it completely away or fractured it.

     Only the rupture of the Ulnar Collateral Ligament requires surgery.   Unless the ossification center has pulled completely away to a position from which it could never reattach to the shaft of the bone, doctors can do nothing.

     I find the diagnosis of the growth plate of the distal Ulna bone difficult to believe.   True, baseball pitching does stress this growth plate, but not near as much as the growth plates for the medial epicondyle and olecranon process.   Also, whereas the growth plate for the olecranon process matures at biological fifteen years old and the growth plate for the medial epicondyle matures at biological sixteen years old, the growth plates at the distal Ulna and Radius bones do not mature until biological nineteen years old.   I just do not see how your son would have injured this growth plate before he injured the other.

     Nevertheless, I do not disagree with the treatment.   With growth plate and bone injuries of all types, we have to wait for the normal growth and development processes to completely mature the bones.   The injury will have some permanent effect on the normal growth and development of his pitching arm.   However, he should be able to return to nearly normal use.   After all, the majority of major league pitchers altered the normal growth and development of the bones in their pitching arms to some extent.   I just wonder how much better they could be with unaltered bones in their pitching arms.

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246.   Thank you for your response.   It confirms my concerns.   We knew what he was doing was dangerous and asked him to throw properly.   He didn't listen.   My concern is that the 1st Dr. who diagnosed a fracture of the medial epicondyle was going to immobilize the arm with a cast.   All his pain comes from this area.   The doctor pointed out a horizontal line running through the medial epocondyle as the site of the fracture.   However, the Orthopedic said that was normal.

     My main concern is that the Orthopedic is not immobilizing the arm, he said not to use it, but my son is young and will continue to use the arm for normal activities.   Why wouldn't they immobilize the arm to help the healing process.   The orthopedic pointed out space from the humerus and the ulna as the site of the problem with the growth plates, but there is no pain there.   He only has pain in the medial epicondyle.

     I want to make sure that we do everything right in order to help the healing process.   There are no rechecks ordered or anything.   Just rest, no ice or anti-inflammatory and no recheck to make sure that it is alright to resume activities.   I will be downloading your free booklet as I'm concerned about his future development.   Also, however I want to limit the damage already done by properly treating his current problem.   I'm afraid that in the course of his normal daily activities he may cause further damage or at least delay or hinder the proper development of the injured growth plates.   Do you recommend complete immobilization for these types of injuries?


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     The doctor pointed out a horizontal line running through the ossification center of the medial epicondyle and did not recognize that as not supposed to be there?   The growth plate for the medial epicondyle is vertical.   Therefore, the horizontal line is a fracture.   In my second Baseball Pitching Instructional Videotape, I have that very injury example that Dr. Joel Adams gave me in 1976.   Almost thirty years later and doctors still do not know what it is?

     When doctors do recognize a fractured bone, they do immobilize it for approximately six weeks.   That is what I recommend happens here.   In a sling.   Restricted activities.   Everything the same as though he broke any bone in his arm.   Six weeks minimum.

     The problem is that doctors do not seem to understand growth plates.   They should learn to treat them as though they are places in bones on the verge of breaking.   They should recommend that youngsters limit the amount and intensity of the stress they place on all growth plates.   Kids can learn skills without long term, high intensity stress.

     After this fracture heals, get him on my twelve step to maximum pitching skills program.   He must master each step before he advances to the next.   They are tough skills, but if he is truly interested in finding out how good of a high school and adult pitcher he can be, then he will persevere.   Still, until the growth plate of his medial epicondyle completely matures, he should practice for no more that two months per year.

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247.   I have a game in which I am pitching in tomorrow.   I need some release help.   Every time I throw my velocity is good, but the ball tails to the right.   Do you why that is?   Also, I can't seem to get a good grip on the ball for some reason.   Which fingers do I apply the pressure on?   And, this sounds funny, but I can't seem to throw correctly.

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     Could you be more general and vague?   If you are a right-handed pitcher, then the reason that the baseball, I assume that you are throwing a fastball, moves to the pitching arm side is because the last force that you applied to the baseball was to the pitching arm side and/or your spin axis creates pressures with the seam colliding with the on-rushing air molecules to move the baseball to the pitching arm side.

     With regard to getting a good grip, with which fingers to apply force and why you can't seem to throw correctly, I recommend that you get my second Baseball Pitching Instructional Videotape.

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248.   I was just wondering, what is the limit to throwing a fastball?   Or what is the fastest possible velocity to throw a fastball?

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     Anatomically and physiologically, we are not all created equal.   With regard to having the anatomy and physiology with which to maximally accelerate their pitching arm, major league pitchers are the genetic cream of the crop.   They have higher percentages of fast-twitch muscle fibers.   They have faster nerve conduction velocities.   Their critical baseball pitching muscles have advantageous attachment locations.   And so on.

     However, before we all start mentally slapping our parents for not having given us better baseball pitching genes, we can make up for these shortcomings with proper force application techniques, with a superior training program, with a wider assortment of velocities and movement on our pitches and an analytical application of pitch sequences specific to the four general types of baseball batters.   That is how I competed.

     With my forty-week adult baseball pitchers interval-training program, my pitchers not only have never injured their pitching arm, but they have also increased their release velocity.   If they continue to improve how they apply force and train to apply greater force, I believe that they can continue to increase their release velocity.   Many mid-eighty mile per hour pitchers now throw ninety.   I believe that they can achieve higher release velocities. Many high-eighty mile per hour pitchers now throw in the mid-nineties.   I believe that they can achieve higher release velocities.   When I start training pitchers who throw in the low nineties, I expect that they will throw in the high nineties.   I believe that they can achieve higher release velocities.   And so on.

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249.   As a teenager growing up during the 70's in Cincinnati, I loved the Reds-Dodgers rivalry.    I confess that I always hated when you came in, because it seemed that you were invincible.    Now, I'm a 44-year old broken-down shortstop playing beer league softball twice a week.    I know that you are primarily concerned with young guys, but I believe that your advice in some way, shape or form could apply to anyone who throws.

     What is your opinion on "long tossing"?    I like to warm up a lot before games, which I believe has kept me from avoiding serious pain throughout my playing days.    I have incorporated long tossing into my warm up for years.    I think it helps.    Granted, the throw from short is different than from the mound, but would your principles apply to any position other than pitcher?    How much pre-game warm up is too much?    I usually annoy my teammates by wanting to throw all the time.

PS--How accurate was Bouton's book?    Or have you even read it?


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     If you pull your throwing forearm forward with your throwing upper arm, then no amount of long tossing or anything else is going to keep you from unnecessarily stressing your throwing arm.   You must learn how to apply the first force to the baseball straight toward home plate.   You must learn how to powerfully pronate your throwing forearm.   All position players should do my forty-week adult baseball pitchers interval-training program for my maxline and torque fastballs.   I will have my second Baseball Pitching Instructional Videotape ready soon.   Then, I will get to work on another videotape in which I will include my wrist weight and iron ball training programs, high-speed film and how to receive my 'Ready For Competition' certification.   You should do my wrist weight and iron ball programs.

     If you read Mr. Bouton's second book, 'I'm Glad That You Didn't Take It Seriously,' then you would know that I edited 'Ball Four.'   Therefore, you know that it was all true.   I did not edit his second book.

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250.   What actually happens when a growth plate prematurely closes?   Do the bones end up being shorter than God intended?   Do the bones end up being thinner and thus weaker?   I am not disputing that premature growth plate closure is bad.   I'd just like to know what actually happens as a result of the closure.   Would the result apply to premature closure of the elbow as well as the shoulder growth plates in the same way?

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     When growth plates close, the bones stop growing.   Therefore, when bones prematurely close, they do not achieve the full size that they could have had they not closed prematurely.   I think that is bad.   I think that qualifies as bone deformation.

     Growth plates are growth plates throughout the body.   When too much physical stress causes growth plates anywhere in the body to close prematurely, those growth plate have stopped growing.

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251.   Oh, I didn't know you had a second video out already.   I bought your first one.   How can I pay for it?   Do you accept pay pal?

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     At 6:00PM, Sunday, April 25, 2004, I finished Volume 01 of my 2004 Baseball Pitching Instructional Videotape trilogy.   Pitchers of all ages need this volume.   I am very proud of Volume 01.   It is the culmination of nearly forty years of research.   Only pitchers biologically sixteen years old and older will need Volume 02.   And, because Volume 03 will show twenty-four flaws in the 'traditional' pitching motion and how I recommend that we solve those flaws, only the serious baseball pitching students need apply.

     My video guy has to retrieve the files from my videotape computer.   Then, he has to have the DVDs and VHSs made.   It might be a couple of weeks before they are ready to ship.   I called him last night and left a message.   I have not heard back.   He is a very busy man with over-whelming familial responsibilities, but a fabulous guy, who does a great job.

     I have heard of pay pal, but I am one little guy in the small town of Zephyrhills, FL.   I accept money orders, cashiers checks and carefully disguised cash.   Because you purchased my original video, I will give you a seventy-five percent discount on Volume 01 and all other videotapes that I make.   Everybody else has to pay one hundred dollars ($100.00) for their first tape before they also get my seventy-five percent discount.   Therefore, send me twenty-five dollars ($25.00) with your name, address, telephone number, email address and first-born child.   Be sure to remind me that you purchased my original video.   You also need to tell me whether you want a DVD or a VHS tape.

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252.   I will send the payment out today.    As far as first born child goes, I am 28 with no kids.    The video is actually for me.    I can't wait to get the DVD in the mail and learn off it.

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     OK, you don't need to send your first-born now.   I talked with me video guy and he says that he does not yet know how long it will be until we get the DVDs and VHSs produced.   Nevertheless, when I receive them, I will send them out on a first come, first serve basis.   I appreciate your interest.

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253.   I always preferred a five finger fastball when pitching (not choked and held with the tip creases on the seams; the thumb on the thumb underside seam rather than the underside middle of the ball).   I understand that this grip is often reserved for young players.   Adair, in the "Physics of Baseball", talks about the correlation between increased rotation and increased velocity.   I'm wondering whether you have seen any research or have any thoughts about the relationship between a five finger fastball grip, velocity and control.   One thing that occurs to me is that the wrist appears to have greater range when the thumb stays on the sinker side and the extra two fingers stay extended over the ball.

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     I have heard of the 'five finger discount,' but not a five finger fastball.   I recommend that pitchers use the middle phalange of the index and middle fingers to drive their fastballs.

     Dr. Adair said that increased rotation correlated with increased velocity?   I assume that he was discussing fastballs.   Nevertheless, that has nothing to do with five finger versus two finger grips and releases.

     Because the thumb leaves the baseball before the baseball leaves the tips of the fingers, unless the baseball slips from their grip, I don't think that where pitchers place their thumb influences release velocity.

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254.   One of my guys had Tommy John surgery last August.   He seems to think he can pitch competitively in early June.   I know his rehab has been of the traditional nature.   Does this timetable seem realistic to you?

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     He had to wait nine weeks before he could start with minimal training.   That means that he could not start until nearly November.   If he is using the American Sports Medicine Institute rehabilitation program, then he is not getting either sufficient strength training or the change in his force application technique that he needs.   Odds are that he will use the same bad technique that ruptured the UCL.

     Most surgeons consider the rehabilitation from UCL replacement surgery to take from twelve to eighteen months.   With my program, they could be physically recovered in nine months after the doctor clears him to train, but then, they would need more time for skill development.

     One of my guys recently told me that when you visited my Pitcher Research/Training Center this last time, that you were only interested in learning how to teach the release of my Maxline Pronation Curve.   While that is a worthy goal, you cannot put whipped cream and a cherry on top of a road apple and expect it to taste good.   You need to learn how to teach your pitchers how to drive their pitching hand in a straight line with no pitching elbow pull and no centripetal force.   Then, your pitchers will not rupture their Ulnar Collateral Ligament.

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255.   Have you had any word back from your video guy on how much more I need to include on the money order to have the CD shipped to Australia?    It appears from your question & answers section that your 2nd video is complete.    Is it better to purchase both the 1st and 2nd or would just the second suffice?    If it is an advantage to have both could you please let us know the shipping charges for both so I can complete and send over the money order.    I'd prefer the CD or DVD format as I'm not sure my video can support American Video format.

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     I made my first Baseball Pitching Instructional Videotape in response to my readers wanting to see pictures of what I was writing.   I was not ready.   My kids were not ready.   I did the best that I could to give them the most information I could with inferior performers of my pitching motion.   While I still do not have perfect performers of my pitching motion, my second Baseball Pitching Instructional Videotape is far superior.   Therefore, unless you want my first video for historical purposes or maybe the cute introduction wherein you see me as a fourteen year old base runner, high school pitcher, every baseball card picture I could find and pitching an inning to Molitor, Yount and Cooper, you do not need my first video.

     I emailed a copy of your previous email inquiry to my video guy.   He is incredibly busy and never responded to me.   I think that you should be able to check on your end.   As I understand it, UPS delivers to Australia.

     My video guy says that we can put my second video out on both DVD and VHS.   He does not know how long that it will take to get the copies made.   When I know, I will let everybody else know.   I anticipate a couple of weeks.   The moment that they are ready, I will start mailing them out to those who have sent me their money orders, cashiers checks or disguised cash.

     Against my better judgment, I accepted personal checks for my first video and, even after waiting for a week, three bounced.   The bank told me that they cannot be responsible for the time that it takes for them to learn that a check is bad.   Nevertheless, I paid my video guy his share.   If I receive personal checks this time, I will not spend the cost for an envelope and a stamp, I will tear them up without response.

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256.   UPS is that the United States Postal Service like our Australia Post?    Last time I enquired my Post Office told me that they were able to give me the cost for shipping from Australia to US, but not the reverse.    Can I use that figure (Australia to US) as a starting point and if the actual cost is different then we can settle the difference later?

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     UPS stands for United Postal Service.   It is a private package delivery company.   USPS stands for United States Postal Service.   They have web sites that might help.

     With regard to settling the difference later: I have no problem with it as long as I am the guy responsible for returning the overage.

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257.   I am writing to you to ask for some information on exercises for the pitching arm and how to increase the pitch count.   My son has been playing ball for 8 years now he played 2 years of t-ball, 3 years of minor league and this is his 4th year in little league.   He has been pitching off and on for the last 6 years.

     I guess my question is; what are some of the exercises to make the arm stronger and increase the number of pitches he can throw.   He loves to pitch and the reason I'm writing is because last week he was pitching in a game on Wednesday and he had pitched 3 innings, and by the end of the 2nd inning on Fri.    I could tell that his arm was sore and I suggested to the coach to take him out and he didn't he let him pitch the 3rd and now my sons shoulder and elbow are still sore 5 days later.

      I have told my son that he needs to let the coach know when the arm is sore.   He told his coach he felt fine so the coach left him in.   I  explained to him that is why his arm is so sore if you could in your response make mention of how important it is to let the coach know when your arm is sore, I would greatly appreciate it.


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     You say that your son has played baseball for the past eight years, during the last six years of which, he has pitched.   If he started at eight years old, then he would be sixteen years old.   If this is correct and he is also biologically sixteen years old, then the growth plates in his pitching elbow have closed.   However, the growth plates in his pitching shoulder and wrist are still open.   They will not mature until he is biologically nineteen years old.   Therefore, his soreness could relate to damage to the growth plates in his shoulder.   To confirm his biological age, we would need X-rays.

     He should not pitch competitively with irritated growth plates or soreness from lack of proper training and the wrong force application technique.   If he uses the 'traditional' pitching motion, then, even if he were biologically nineteen years old, the question is not whether he will destroy his pitching arm, the questions are how soon and how badly.   Your son and every other baseball pitcher in the world needs to immediately start on my twelve step baseball pitching program.   If he and they master each of the throwing drill skills in succession, when they complete the twelve steps, they will be highly skilled baseball pitchers.   Then, if they complete my two hundred and eighty day adult baseball pitchers interval-training program, they will have the physical fitness with which to become the best pitchers that they can be.

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258.   What is your favorite memory when you pitched in Texas?

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     In January 1977, I had a ruptured disc removed between my fifth Lumbar vertebrae and first Sacral vertebrae.   The doctor said that I would never pitch again.   Instead, I was jogging in the hospital corridors the day after the surgery.   I went home that next day.   The next two months were the toughest training I ever did.   Because I was not ready when March 01 arrived, I went to spring training with the Atlanta Braves late.   The manager, Dave Bristol, and I have been together with the Montreal Expos.   He did not like that I was late and he also did not understand my relationship with Gene Mauch, the Expos manager, and disagreed that I had my own training program.   So, he decided to make me do what he told me to do.   In short, he did everything he could to keep me from succeeding.   As a result, only a few weeks into the season, I walked away from the Atlanta Braves.

     Shortly thereafter, the Braves traded me to Texas.   What I remember most about my short stint with the Texas Rangers was the professionalism of their general manager, whose name escapes me at this moment, Robinson, I believe.   I remember that Frank Luchessi was the manager, but quit or got fired and Stanky replaced him for a day.   After that, I do not recall who managed.   I remember the heat was so incredible that I had to jog before sunrise.   Lastly, I remember starting.   I remember how much fun it was, especially with my back still weak.   Starting gave my back four days recovery time.   I remember trying to field a swinging bunt during a night game in Oakland with the perpetually wet grass, my cleats sliding, my back giving way and tearing the medial meniscus of my pitching knee.   I remember that I needed arthroscopic surgery to remove the loose cartilage.

     It was a tough year and I always felt that, while I gave all I had at the time, I never gave the team a typical Dr. Mike Marshall season.   The next year, I stayed in school to finish my doctoral degree.   After my doctoral committee approved my dissertation, as a free agent, I signed with Gene Mauch, who was then with the Minnesota Twins and earned my first save on the day that I arrived without any spring training on May 15, 1978.   I finished seventh in the American League Cy Young balloting that year.

     I am sorry that I did not do more for the Rangers.

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259.   I always enjoyed you as a player, and appreciate the service you do here on your website.   I have two questions.

  1) Split Finger fastball:   How does it drop/roll off the end of the table.   I have seen on other sights that the pitch is thrown with (mild?) backspin.    It seems to me that the physics of this pitch are impossible.   I can understand a tremendously spinning ball like an overhand curve having real downward snap.   Also a pitch that has a little spin like a forkball or a Knuckler, I can (sort of) understand how it drops.   Can you explain the splitter please?

2) Change-ups:   I am the knot hole pitching coach for a team in Cincinnati.   One of my pitchers asked about slowing his motion down for a change up.   I told him that 1) stopping his follow through was hard on his arm and 2) could be read by a good hitter.

     By reading your website, we have put our pitchers on a pitch count.   This amounts to about one "standard" inning per game (in other words no 40 pitch innings).   It has a bonus of a lot of guys that want to pitch get to pitch.

     I also agree that the mental pressure on young pitcher's is immense.   They not only have to worry about throwing strikes but base runners and baseball situations.   Anything you can correct or give guidance to is very much appreciated.

  P.S.:    There are a number of carnivals that have a JUGS machine that invites kids to see how hard they can throw.   I told our pitchers to never do this A kid without any warm up on maybe poor footing is going to take a sometimes weighted ball and run it up there for everything he's got for a bottle of Pepsi or a stuffed animal.   No way!   If I am wrong, I will recant.


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     With regard to the 'split finger fastball:'   You are correct, the spin axis does vary from pitcher to pitcher.   Actually, the 'split finger fastball' is a poorly throw 'forkball.'   With the 'forkball,' pitchers jammed the baseball between their index and middle fingers and tried to throw the fastball straight back spin.   The hope was that because pitchers did not release the baseball with their fingertips, the baseball would not spin and become a sort of knuckleball.   Diego Segue threw the best true 'fork ball' I ever saw.   That's right, the father of the first baseman playing today.

     Then, along came Bruce Sutter.   Bruce tried to learn the 'forkball.'   However, he had such excessive pitching forearm flyout that, instead of coming out with no spin, it came out of his hand on the middle finger side and he accidentally got close to my maxline fastball sinker spin axis.   I even did a segment before one of the World Series games between St. Louis and Milwaukee, where I explained how he did this.   Through work that I did with a Phillies pitcher, Christenson, I also had high-speed film of his release that the guy who does those NFL highlight films did.

     Because it puts tremendous stress on the index finger, I think that the Sutter 'split finger fastball' is a dangerous pitch.   That is why I teach my Maxline Fastball Sinker with the index and ring fingers locking the baseball on either sides of the baseball and the middle finger applying the spin axis skill.   In this way, the index and middle finger work together.

     With regard to change-ups: In 1973, I was with the Montreal Expos. A young pitcher, Ernie McAnally, asked me to help him sequence his pitches.   Therefore, we worked out a signal system, where I called his pitches from the dugout.   The manager, Gene Mauch noticed and, so he could also know what Ernie was going to throw, he asked me to explain what my signals meant.   After a couple of batters, Gene asked me how I could have Ernie throw first pitch change-ups.   He said that because the batter had not seen Ernie's fastball, how could a change-up fool him?   I told him that a change-up does not relate to fastballs, it relates to arm speed.   Therefore, when pitchers slow their pitching arms to throw change-ups, they are not throwing change-ups.   However, throwing more slowly does not stress the pitching arm more, it stresses the pitching arm less.   Training the muscles that stop the pitching arm is a good idea.   It will lead to being able to accelerate the baseball faster.   I call it, Plioanglos Training, and I do it with my wrist weight exercises for biologically sixteen year old pitchers and older.

     As long as your biologically thirteen year old pitchers do not pitch more than one inning with the forty pitch maximum, do not pitch more than one inning twice a week and do not throw baseballs for more than two months counted consecutively, I have no problem with your maximum pitch count idea.   I also like to see some of the non-accelerated maturation kids get a chance to learn how to pitch.   Because they are more likely to be the delayed maturers, they will grow for many years after the accelerated kids stop growing and should become the superior athletes.

     With regard to the mental pressure of youth pitching:   I would not permit them to pitch until they have mastered my Maxline Fastball, Maxline True Screwball, Maxline Pronation Curve and Torque Fastball.   Because they have the variety of pitches that the need to succeed and the skills with which to throw them well and for strikes, they will not feel any pressure.   It will simply be fun humiliating the batters.   Pre-mature competition, that is competition before the athletes have the skills with which to meaningfully participate, prevents learning, not helps it.   Just like youth basketball players cannot meaningfully participate if they can only dribble the basketball with their dominate hand, baseball pitchers cannot meaningfully participate if they cannot throw my four basic pitches.   I prefer that youth pitchers learn skills.

     Since the pitch velocity stations that I have seen do not give prizes for throwing hard, I doubt that they rig their baseballs.   Nevertheless, without proper preparation, I would not have them throw.

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260.   My son is almost 14 and entered puberty within the past 6-9 months.   He pitches and has played quarterback for the past 3 years so he throws virtually year round.   He complains of no pain, but his velocity on his pitches is down some from last year.   He recently complained of some soreness in his heals which he thinks are growing pains and says his arm does not feel 100%.   He has worked some with 2 pitching coaches who pitched at LSU and in the majors Chad Ogea (Cleveland Indians) and Trey Hodges (Braves).   Chad says his mechanics are excellent.   Any advice you can give on a course of action is much appreciated.

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     Youth pitchers have ways to permanently injure their pitching arms without complaining of pain.   They can stretch their Ulnar Collateral and Gleno-Humeral ligaments.   They can prematurely close their growth plates.

     With the 'traditional' pitching motion, because pitchers generate lateral force that they have to overcome, the harder they try, the slower they get.   That is why they can throw with greater intensity, but reduce their release velocity.   In addition, with every high-intensity pitch, they systematically destroy their pitching arms.

     With whatever respect due to people who have no idea what they are doing, I have to tell you that his two pitching coaches are destroying his pitching arm.   They have no idea what the perfect pitching motion looks like.

     Your son needs to learn my pitching motion.

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261.   I am writing to ask about the total cost for the Volume 01 of your 2004 Baseball Pitching Instructional Videotape trilogy.   I ordered your first video about this time last year.    When I send you a cashier’s check for $25.00, should I add anything to that for shipping?    I will specify with the check that I want to get the DVD format.

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     I decided not to have a volume one of my 2004 Baseball Pitching Instructional Videotape.   Instead, I will have part one and part two.   That way, you pay for one and you get two one-hour DVDs.   I will make the third part of the three videotapes that I am making as its own and charge as such.   All these videotapes are seventy-five percent off to you and all others who purchased my first video.   The twenty-five dollars includes shipping and handling.   You can figure out how much I get after I pay my video guy to have someone produce the videos and he packages and ships them.

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262.   I didn't realize you had finished tape one.   I am eager to get it on DVD.   I'll send a money order soon.

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     I have completed parts 01 and 02.   However, it will take awhile for my video guy to get the copies produced, packaged and ready to ship.   Nevertheless, when they are ready, I will mail them in the order that I receive the requests.   I am proud of this one.   It is perfectly imperfect.

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263.   Wow!   Thanks so much for answering my e-mail.   That brightened my day, and I appreciate it very much. The General Manager's name was Eddie Robinson, by the way.   I am a lifelong Rangers fan, so to hear from you really made my day.   After Stanky was manager in '77, it was Connie Ryan and then Billy Hunter.   I collect memorabilia from former Rangers for a hobby, and you are the one player from 1977 I don't have an autograph of.   I understand your feelings toward them, and I respect your opinion.   I feel that you are tremendously underrated today, and I wish more people would realize how important you were as a relief pitcher.

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     Last year, I signed five hundred baseballs, baseball cards and photographs for one hundred dollars each for a baseball memorabilia guy.   You can telephone him at (813)972-8175 to inquire as to their availability.

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264.   Thank you for the interesting and informative interview Wednesday evening.    Two areas that I'm interested in eliciting your opinion are that of the growing obesity problem and my personal training techniques as an ultramarathon runner.    First, what are your ideas as to how the growing epidemic of obesity in this country can be curbed?    Second, I am a fifty-three year old who has run two fifty-mile in the last three years and average 25-50 miles a week.    My mileage and times have decreased with age, which is a natural process, but I'm wondering if running four or five times a week and substituting another activity on the off-days might actually improve my overall fitness.

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     The only way to solve the epidemic of baseball pitching arm injuries and deformations is for people like you to help me get the message to as many parents as possible.   I thank you for your help.

     With regard to obesity:   You are what you eat.   If you eat animal fat, you will add animal fat to your body.   Twenty-five percent of our diet should be fat, I recommend plant fat.   Our body metabolizes three substances for the resynthesis of adenosine-tri-phosphate; glucose, lipid (fat) and, to a very minor degree, protein.   We need glucose for proper central nervous system function.   We produce the hormone, Glucagon, which, to make certain that we have enough glucose to keep our central nervous system operating, prevents glucose molecules from entering muscle cells.   We use glucose and lipid molecules in our slow-twitch oxidative muscle cells for the resynthesis of adenosine-tri-phosphate.   We only use only glucose molecules in our fast-twitch glycolytic muscle cells.   Sixty percent of our diet should be glucose.   When we eat glucose, we do not add fat to our body.   Atkins is wrong.

     If you are running for good health, then you need to train every day.   However, like any form of training, there are intensity and duration limits to what is good and what becomes harmful.   While it does diminish with age, in general, a little stress is good, too much can be very bad.   When tissues start to break down, that intensity and duration is too much.   Listen to your body and adjust accordingly.

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265.   Recently while reviewing your 2004 Q/A, I noticed in number 29 that you have increased the maximum wrist weight poundage to 40, and the iron ball weight to 15.   I did not notice exercises for these weights in your 280 day program.   Is this for the post 280 day advanced students, or will you be updating the 280 day program?   I'm not pushing you to do so, as I know you're swamped with work, but I was rather surprised at the amount of weight.   I thought 25 pounds was too much for a shoulder to take until I got there myself.   And while I am up to a 10 pound iron ball I still find in amazing that those things can actually be thrown.

     How much weight is enough?   Should each pitcher continue to add more weight until they reach their individual peak?   Do you have guys using even more than 40 and 15?

     Thanks for all the help the last couple of years.   While I still don't have your mechanics down, and can't, at least at this point, minimize the stress on my arm, I never get sore or injured.   Hopefully after I view your next video, I'll be able to do it right for the 2005 season.   It feels so good to still be able to get out on a baseball field in my forties.


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     I used thirty pounds throughout my major league career and for many years thereafter.   I have had pitchers who trained with forty pounds.   However, there is always a point in training of diminishing returns both physically and mentally, where the effort does not match the reward.   After observing some of my students struggling, I decided to top out my two hundred and eighty day adult baseball pitchers interval-training program at twenty-five pound wrist weights and twelve-pound iron balls.   However, with my serious students, I recommend that they complete my Sixty-Day Recoil Interval-Training Program during every succeeding off-season.

01.   During their first off-season, they do ninety-six repetitions with their eight-pound iron ball and stay at ten pounds for maintenance.

02.   During their second off-season, they do ninety-six repetitions with their fifteen-pound wrist weight and stay at twenty pounds for maintenance.

03.   During third off-season, they do ninety-six repetitions with their ten-pound iron ball and stay at twelve pounds for maintenance.

04.   During their fourth off-season, they do ninety-six repetitions with their twenty-pound wrist weights and stay at twenty-five pounds for maintenance.

05.   During their fifth off-season, they do ninety-six repetitions with their twelve-pound iron ball and stay at fifteen pounds for maintenance.

06.   During their sixth off-season, they do ninety-six repetitions with their twenty-five-pound wrist weights and stay at thirty pounds for maintenance.

     And so on.   To rest or not increase your training intensity leads to atrophy.   Of course, to minimize unnecessary stress, perfect force application technique is critical.

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266.   I'm a sportswriter/columnist.   After reading a Q-and-A you did on Baseball Prospectus, not to mention your portrayal in "Ball Four," it piqued my interest in your pitching theories.   Recently, I tried to absorb Chapter 29 of your online book.   While I wasn't the most brilliant student in physics and geometry, it explains why I'm a sportswriter, I do believe I have somewhat of a grasp of what you're saying.

     Not only does it explain why my 36-year-old shoulder aches when I play softball today, too much Little League and stickball pitching, but I'm wondering if you can explain why Mark Prior has elbow problems today.   He's reputed to have the perfect mechanics, but I thought I read somewhere that you've detected a few flaws in his delivery.   Is it the "reverse rotate the acromial line beyond home plate"?   Is it the reverse forearm bounce associated with the "high guard position?"   Am I anywhere in the ballpark?

     To make a long request short, I'd like to discuss Prior with you, as well as your youth-league pitching guidelines that seem more restrictive than any I've read and far more restrictive than youth-league coaches would prefer.


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     You may telephone me at (813)783-1357 any time every day after 11:00AM.   If I am not here, please leave your telephone number and a good time to call you and I will do so.

     Tom House and his cohorts think that Mr. Prior has the perfect pitching motion.   They said so in an issue of the Collegiate Baseball News earlier this year and, in another article in the same periodical last summer.   Unfortunately for Mr. Prior and hundreds of thousands of youth pitchers, they have no idea what they are talking about.   Actually, Mr. Prior is the poster child for everything that is wrong with the 'traditional' pitching motion.   He reverse rotates too far.   He bends his pitching elbow way too far before he uses his pitching upper arm to pull his pitching elbow laterally back to his pitching arm side.   He has a very large loop behind his head, which causes a reverse pitching forearm bounce.   This loop combined with the nearly forty-five degree lateral angle at which he pulls his pitching forearm back to his pitching arm side generates a very powerful centripetal force that slings his pitching forearm outward from his body.   Let me take high-speed film of him and everybody will know better.

     The centripetal force that he generates causes his olecranon process to slam into its fossa.   As a result, he is gradually and surely losing elbow extension range of motion.   To prevent his pitching elbow from slamming his olecranon process into its fossa, he has to powerfully contract his Brachialis muscle.   As a result, he is gradually and surely losing elbow flexion range of motion.   Like the character in Fight Game, he is beating himself up.

     If you want to see a picture of this, find the April Sports Illustrated article on Greg Maddox.   Side-by-side, you will see the extreme pitching forearm flyouts of Mark Prior and Kerry Wood.   Both are irreparably destroying their pitching arms, pitch by pitch.

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267.   I recently went to the ball field and threw with a friend of mine.    Not really inclined to spend the money to buy a radar gun, I actually recorded with digital camera pitching and then timed in seconds from release to the plate.    It took .46 seconds from the mound to the plate.    How fast is that in mph?    What is a gauge I could use to determine other speeds?   Maybe that looks like this?

Based on 60 feet distance:
.50 = 75 mph
.55 = 70 mph
.60 = 65 mph

     You know?    Something like that?    Is there any way you could provide that for me?


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     To determine the average velocity over any time interval, you divide the displacement, which is the distance the object of interest traveled during the time interval by the time that it took to travel that distance.   Radar guns send signals at regular time intervals.   Therefore, to achieve their average velocity, they fix the time interval and measure the displacement.

     In your example, you determined the time interval for the baseball to travel from your throwing hand to home plate to be 0.46 seconds and the displacement that the baseball traveled to be 60 feet.   Now, if you measured the time interval and displacement correctly, you divide 60 by 0.46, which equals 130.43 feet per second.   To convert to miles per hour, you divide by 1.467 and you get 88.91 miles per hour.

     Unfortunately, I question your calculations.   Pitchers release the baseball several feet in front of the pitching rubber and catchers catch pitches several feet behind home plate.   Also, to be precise to one-hundredth of a second require far more sophisticated instrumentation than you have.

     Nevertheless, you should have learned the basics of determining average velocities.   Of course, if you indeed had an average velocity of eighty-eight miles per hour over the entire distance to home plate, you would have to have a release velocity approaching one hundred miles per hour.

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268.   A physical education major once told me many years ago that I would burn just as many calories if I walked a mile as I would if I ran a mile.   I recall telling him he was crazy.   Was he?

     Also, would you recommend that outfielders throw with your new wind-up set position motion?   To me, this means that outfielders would not square their feet to the target they were thowing to.


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     To walk for one hour metabolizes about six hundred fat calories. To jog slightly below your anaerobic threshold for one hour metabolizes about six hundred fat calories.   When you jog above your anaerobic threshold, rather than metabolizing fat calories, you start to metabolizing glucose calories.   The key is what substrate you metabolize at what exercise intensity.   As a result, with regard to metabolizing fat calories, whether you walk or jog makes very little difference.

     However, whether you walk or jog does make a big difference with regard to strengthening the involved bones, ligaments and tendons and your cardiovascular system.   I prefer to jog two miles every day. Since one pound of body fat contains about three thousand five hundred calories, you can either walk or jog for six hours or not eat the pound of fat.   I prefer not eat that pound of fat.   To get the twenty-five percent of my diet that should be fat calories, as much as possible, I prefer to eat plant fat.

     When position players use the maxline and torque fastball techniques of my baseball pitchers interval-training programs, because their throwing foot is not umpire bound to the pitching rubber, I would have them use the crow-hop body action that permits them to get their throwing arms to driveline height before they start their body forward.

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269.   In your answer to my latest e-mail your answer on your website was slightly different than the direct e-mail you sent me.   On your website you said you heard that the only reason I came down was to learn the release of the pronator curve.   Though this was an important part of my visit by no means was I uninterested in all other aspects of Marshall mechanics, philosophy, etc. You have received poor or partial information.

     I'm hoping that your next video can help fill in the gaps as far as my knowledge goes.   Have you ever thought of a clinic for coaches?   How and when you'd find the time I don't know.   As you've written no one is qualified to teach your mechanics except I guess for your assistant coach.

     With this being the case maybe it's just as important to teach the people who can reach so many kids.   Twenty coaches can reach two hundred pitchers,at least in college.   I know I feel there is too much I don't know.   With one of your kids coming here this summer to pitch and living in the home of the Tommy John surgery recipient, maybe he can educate us.

     If some of my guys see the things he can do with a baseball maybe it will open some eyes and ears.


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     Because I rarely identify email writers, I frequently discuss other aspects of their questions for my on-line Question/Answer section that I do not discuss with them.   I mean no disrespect.

     With my new video, I do believe that parents and coaches will be able to teach my pitching motion.   I have twelve steps that pitchers must master to apply force the way that I recommend.   Nevertheless, I would be open to holding a coaches clinic.

     The one-of-my-kids information is news to me.   I am always the last to know.   While he still has allot to master, he is a fine young man who works very hard.   I think that my video will show your young men what my pitching motion will permit them to do.

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270.   Will you be allowing visitors to your facility to buy the new video while they are there?

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     My video guy is in charge of the videos.   I have never had any copies.   How else would he get paid for packaging, handling and shipping?   That means that I will continue to send him emails of to whom to send my video.   That way, we both keep good records of our sales and the IRS remains happy.

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271.   Is there any reason that a pitcher could not start with his glove foot forward?   I find my son looks awkward with both feet either on or in front of the mound because he keeps his feet very close together.   He is not comfortable spreading them.   And if he starts with the left foot forward (RHP) he will be less inclined to take a long stride with his left foot.   What say you?

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     I want pitchers to 'load' the pitching hip with the reverse rotation of their torso, but I do not want them to take the baseball laterally behind their head.   Therefore, I tell my guys to 'toe-in' their pitching foot and 'toe-out' their glove foot with them close together side-by-side.   The 'toe-in' of the pitching foot helps them to remember to not reverse rotate too far and the 'toe-out' of the glove foot helps them to remember to step forward with their glove toe pointing somewhat outwardly.

     The key to getting the pitching leg ahead of the glove foot and, thereby, not only releasing the baseball as close to home plate as possible, but also forwardly rotating their acromial line to a position from which they can 'finish' their pitches with a strong pitching forearm pronation through release.   I call my new drill, 'Glove foot jump.'

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272.   Is your videotape available as a DVD yet?

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     My video guy will make a master copy from the computer.   He will take that copy and have professionals make VHS and DVD copies.   He told me yesterday that he will have the VHS copies ready first.   Apparently, we have no local DVD producers that do what he wants.   While he cautiously did not give me a precise time schedule, I have hopes for within a couple of weeks.   When we receive the finished product, we will mail them out in the order that we received the requests.

     Yesterday, by changing my home page to say, '2004 Baseball Pitching Instructional Videotape,' I made an official announcement of the availability of my 2004 Baseball Pitching Instructional Videotape.   It will be two hours long, either the full two hours on VHS or two one-hour DVDs.   I appreciate your interest.

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273.   It would be of great help if you share your thoughts on this.   I am LHP who just started to pitch again (after 5yrs).   I had nice 12-6 curve, never had arm problems.   Now, when I pitch, I (sometimes) feel pain in my shoulder(front part).   When that happens, I noticed that my curve hangs too, which is strange since I always had a sharp break on it.   My guess is that my arm is behind my body, but what would you say?   Please, if you can, give me some tip on how to corect this problem.   I know it's in your book, but I am foreigner, and I have problems finding/reading it.

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     I agree with your analysis.   You are taking your pitching arm laterally behind your head.   You should not take your pitching arm beyond second base.   Until you get your pitching arm to driveline height, you need to delay the forward movement of your body.   Before you release your pitches, you need to move your center of mass ahead of your glove foot.

     I recommend that you follow the precise twelve-step baseball pitching program that I discuss and demonstrate in my 2004 Baseball Pitchers Instructional Videotape.

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274.   Several questions:

1)   What's your upgrade policy?   I bought the tape last year.

2)   From what I've been able to glean from re-reading your pitching motion chapter I get the sense that your pitching motion will not generate the same pitching speed as a traditional motion.   What's your experience with it?

3)   I think that chapter would be greatly improved by a 2 page summary of your complete pitching motion.   It's pretty hard to follow it as a 'compare and contrast' essay.


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     For those who purchased my first Baseball Pitching Instructional Videotape, I give a seventy-five percent (discount) on all succeeding videotapes that I produce, upgrades and otherwise.

     Where did you get such a silly idea that my pitching motion does not generate as much release velocity as the 'traditional' pitching motion?   With straight line drive over a much greater distance, my pitching motion generates considerably greater release velocity.   What it does not generate is pitching arm injuries.

     I understand that readers do not want to hear about the labor pains, that they just want to see the baby.   However, I do not want blind followers of my methods, I want informed followers.   That is why I explain how the 'traditional' pitching motion violates Newton's three laws of motion and how my pitching motion satisfies it.   Nevertheless, in my 2004 Baseball Pitching Instructional Videotape, you will get a step-by-step explanation of my pitching motion.

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275.   My son is 22 years.   He plays 2B and has had pain in his shoulder for the past 2 years after a spring trip with his college team to Florida when he hurt his arm throwing.   Because the pain has persisted, he went to an Orthopedic sports center and was diagnosed as having rotator tendenitis.   When he stretches his throwing arm across the front of his chest he can hear a cracking sound in the shoulder.   He will play amateur baseball this summer and would like to minimize the pain in the shoulder.   I would appreciate any advice you would have.   I realize the information that I have provided is minimal.

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     I recommend that he do my two hundred and eighty day adult pitchers interval-training program, but only my Maxline and Torque Fastball drills.   He needs to learn how to drive the baseball in a straight line toward his target.

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276.   Thanks for the very quick answer.   Since you are so quick I am going to ask you few more q's.   (I feel bad because I am reading your Q&A files and I bet you have a headache from all this Q's).

1.   I know that the best stride is the perfect stride, but if you have to choose, is it better to have to short, or to long stride?

2.   I know that it's not good to see the ball behind Pitcher's back (front view), but is it the same case if you see just elbow behind the back (front view), while the ball stays in front of the body.   Is the latter a pitching fault too?

3.   If I got it correctly your 2sFB is held across the 2 seams (not along).   If the ball is held right in the center, then the thumb is on the leather not on the seam (if the thumb goes right between index and middle).   Wouldn't I lose the grip on the ball, if I don't put the thumb on the seam?

4.   Last, but not least: is it true that the 4sfb is slower than the 2sfb (I think you wrote that in one of your Q&A files)?


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     The proper length of the forward step that pitchers take with their glove foot depends on the step length that pitchers can take without lowering their center or mass and their ability to move their center of mass in front of their glove foot.   It is closer to a walking length than a stride.

     Neither the baseball nor any part of the pitching arm should show laterally behind the pitchers body.   The head should hide the baseball from view with the pitching similarly aligned.

     To achieve the proper location for the circle of friction and to 'lock' the tips of the index and middle fingers across the seam, I recommend that pitchers grip my two-seam pitches across the short seams.

     Because four-seam pitches have four seams that collide with the air molecules to decelerate them, two-seam fastballs that pitchers throw exactly like they throw four-seam pitches decelerate at a slower rate.   As a result, they reach home plate at higher velocities.

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277.   "Where did you get such a silly idea that my pitching motion does not generate as much release velocity as the 'traditional' pitching motion?"

     Well, in your book you state:   "I teach my pitchers to delay their pitching forearm acceleration phase until they point their acromial line at home plate."   I read this as saying that your elbow's velocity component vector toward home plate has dropped to nearly zero before you begin the forearm acceleration phase (ignoring whatever small velocity component it derives from the translational movement of the pitcher's entire body).   Essentially throwing the baseball like a dart.   Of course I'm probably wrong, but it's really hard to argue with my interpretation.

     I think there are many such examples scattered throughout the chapter.   Here's another:   "I teach my pitchers to first simultaneously shift their body weight to their pitching leg and double pendulum swing their glove and pitching arms.   Therefore: To trigger my set position pitching motion, I recommend that pitchers slightly shift their body weight to their glove foot and cross their wrists."   I've really gone through a lot of mental gymnastics trying to figure out how to shift my body weight to my pitching leg while at the same time shifting it to my glove foot.

     Here's another:   "The Transition Phase begins when pitchers take the baseball out of their glove and ends when the baseball stops moving backwards.   I teach my pitchers to step straight forward as far as they can and still move their center of mass ahead of their glove foot.   Therefore: To anteriorly lengthen their driveline, I recommend that pitchers step as far forward as they can and still move their center of mass ahead of their glove foot."   I still haven't figured out how my pitching foot moves ahead of my glove foot before the ball stops moving backwards.   Obviously the second statement has no place in section 4. Transition Phase but that's where it sits.

     To be blunt, I think the entire 36th chapter of your book should be replaced with a series of 40 digital photos of a model pitcher.   I can understand why you would want informed followers over blind followers, which is why I've watched your video several times and read chapter 36 about 5 times but I'm still so confused that I haven't dared try to move my son to your method for fear of ruining his arm or shoulder.   I would be much better informed if your video came with a laser printed series of still photos.   Hopefully your 2004 videotape will resolve my questions.

     Speaking of which, you wrote:   " For those who purchased my first Baseball Pitching Instructional Videotape, I give a seventy-five percent on all succeeding videotapes that I produce, upgrades and otherwise."   You give a seventy-five percent what?, a discount?


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     The 'traditional' pitching motion does not have a pitching forearm acceleration phase.   Because of its excessive pitching forearm flyout, it cannot use the pitching forearm to help accelerate the baseball.

     My pitching motion does have a pitching forearm acceleration phase that adds to the pitching upper arm acceleration phase.   Therefore, like the booster rocket that launches the shuttle, it is a good idea to wait until the completion of the pitching upper arm acceleration phase to initiate the pitching forearm acceleration phase.   As a result, pitchers achieve far more release velocity, not less.

     Every human movement requires a trigger action.   Trigger actions precede the actual activity.   For baseball pitching, I recommend that pitchers slightly shift their body weight to their glove foot and cross their wrists.   Then, to start the actual pitching activity, I recommend that pitchers simultaneously shift their body weight back to the pitching foot while they double arm pendulum swing their glove and pitching arms to their appropriate positions.   These are sequential events.

     After the Transition Phase ends, pitchers enter the Pitching Upper Arm Acceleration Phase.   The Pitching Upper Arm Acceleration Phase starts with the glove foot step.   I do not read where I say anything close to where I recommend that the 'pitching foot moves ahead of the glove foot before the ball stops moving backwards.'

     I call that series of digital photos, my 2004 Baseball Pitching Instructional Videotape.   I have finished it.   My video guy is making the arrangements to have it copied to VHS and DVD.

     I do plan to take a few months and revisit every chapter in my Coaching Baseball Pitchers book, some of which I have not read in nearly twenty years.   Also, because I continue to learn, I will need to update with my latest stuff.   I just finished my 2004 Baseball Pitching Instructional Videotape and already have a couple of adjustments that I would recommend.   That is how research goes.   Publications are just a snapshot of the moment.   I continue to move on.

     You are correct, I do need an editor.   I am one person without any support staff giving free advice and giving my Coaching Baseball Pitchers book away for free.   Perhaps if I charged, I could hire someone to edit my materials.   Nevertheless, I know that I have written several times in my 2004 Question/Answer file that I give a seventy-five percent discount on all future videos that I produce.

     In any event, I still say, "Where did you get such a silly idea that my pitching motion does not generate as much release velocity as the 'traditional' pitching motion?"   And, as I said before, with straight line drive and by applying force over a greater distance, my pitchers achieve significantly higher release velocities and without injury.

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278.   I just received your notarized agreement returned to me from my older son in college.   As I mentioned to you on my last visit with my younger son 3 weeks ago, my college son has his apartment lease expire in August and would like to begin your program at that time.   So before I drop this in the mail with a $600 deposit I was wondering if you would have a DVD (vol. 1 ) available for me to purchase (I purchased your first instructional video tape).

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     The matter is in the hands of my video guy.   He is in charge of finalizing the videotape and getting the copies made.   With his son critically ill and recently returning to the hospital, he has other priorities.   They have been fighting a three year battle for his life and my needs are appropriately well down his list of concerns.   Whenever he gets copies made, I will have him send them to the persons who have paid for them in the order that I receive the requests.

     By the way, I decided not to have volume one and volume two.   Now, I will have part one and part two and those of you who purchased my first videotape will get two one-hour videos for the price of one at a seventy-five percent discount.   That is twelve dollars and fifty cents per video, which includes a free book and advice.   After I pay my video guy for his work, the production costs, the packaging materials costs, the mailing costs and the advertising costs, it’s a good thing that I belong to a union that negotiated a pension for broken-down former employees.

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279.   I appreciate everything you said.   But is there any reason not to start with the glove foot forward assuming everything you said in your response still happens?

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     You said, 'I find my son looks awkward with both feet either on or in front of the mound because he keeps his feet very close together.'   So what?   Are you concerned with how he looks or how he pitches?   Are you giving in to the 'traditionalists?'   That is what I did for years.   It is not possible to have the glove foot ahead of the pitching foot and have everything that I said in my email still happen.

     You also said, 'He is not comfortable spreading them.'   Good.   That will help him step straight forward with his glove foot and not reverse rotate his hips.   That is exactly what I recommend.

     When you see my 2004 Baseball Pitchers Instructional Videotape, you will see precisely what you describe that your son is doing.

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280.   I have read some of your online book, and I must say this should be required reading for coaches everywhere.    I do have a question though.    I used to pitch competitively in my later years of little league and final years of high school.    I have recently decided to join another baseball team just to kind of get back in the groove.    I have been conditioning/practicing for about three months now, and occasionally I have soreness in my shoulder.    This soreness actually prevents me from throwing a baseball.    I can move my arm back, but not enough to throw the baseball.    I was wondering what kind of conditioning programs would you suggest using to strengthen my arm, or do you think there could be a larger problem that lies ahead?

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     As long as you use the 'traditional' pitching motion, you will have much larger problems.   For the adult baseball pitchers interval-training program that you want, you should read the rest of my Coaching Baseball Pitchers book or get my 2004 Baseball Pitchers Instructional Videotape.

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281.   You said, "In any event, I still say, "Where did you get such a silly idea that my pitching motion does not generate as much release velocity as the 'traditional' pitching motion?"   And, I still say that in your book you state:   "I teach my pitchers to delay their pitching forearm acceleration phase until they point their acromial line at home plate."   If your acromial line is pointing toward home plate then so is your pitching elbow.   If you wait until your pitching elbow is pointed toward home plate before you begin accelerating your forearm you've essentially lost your ability to sum the velocities of the upper and lower arms.   You're basically throwing the ball like a dart.

     In your reply you state:   "My pitching motion does have a pitching forearm acceleration phase that adds to the pitching upper arm acceleration phase."   I cannot comprehend how these two statements can be reconciled.   If you delay forearm acceleration until the pitching elbow points toward home plate then the upper arm acceleration phase has ended.   In fact, the upper arm deceleration phase has ended.   The two accelerations cannot be summed as they're temporally split.   Again, I'm sure this reflects my confusion, but I can't reconcile these perspectives.


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     I think that the best thing that we can do is wait for my 2004 Baseball Pitching Instructional Videotape.

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282.   It has been determined that my son has a SLAP Lesion in the shoulder.   He is a pitcher.   What is known about recovery from something like this and still pitch?   Do you any good web site that can detail this injury?

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     Somewhere in my Coaching Baseball Pitchers book, I explain what a lesion is.   It is not a big deal, just an irritation.   Boy, don't they have interesting names.   How did they determine this injury?   Did you ask the doctor what SLAP stands for?   Did you ask what structure is involved?   Those guys make up dreadful sounding names for things that they do not understand why they happened.   If your son uses the 'traditional' pitching motion, he will never recovery from this and all future injuries.   Hard to believe, but, the answer is my pitching motion and my interval-training programs.   I know that sounds self-serving, but it is not.

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283.   In 228 in your 2004 Q & A you say that the pitcher should start pulling their glove arm when they are "squared" to the driveline.   Does this mean they should start pulling their glove arm at ready or at leverage?

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     Squared means when the acromial line is perpendicular to the driveline to home plate.   That would have the pitching arm at leverage.   I want pitchers to pull their glove arm straight back toward second base, push back toward second base with their glove foot and, then, punch straight toward home plate with their pitching arm.   I want the forward rotation of the acromial line be a result of the punch action of the pitching arm.

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284.   I'm a high school student whose number one passion is baseball.   I'm a pitcher, but I'm not a very good one.   Do you know of any good drills that may help me out?   I'm looking to throw harder, and get my control down pat.   Anything you can provide me with would be greatly appreciated!

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     I do know good drills that will help you to throw harder and get your control down.   I wrote my Coaching Baseball Pitchers book made my soon-to-be-released 2004 Baseball Pitching Instructional Videotape to explain how to do these drills.   On the home page of my web site, you can download my Coaching Baseball Pitchers book for free, my Interval-Training programs for free and click on 2004 Baseball Instructional Videotape to learn how to get my video.

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285.   My son has a teammate (17 yr old non pitcher) that has shoulder pain in his throwing shoulder.   He had an MRI and was told that he has torn cartilage.   They said if it got any worse that he would have to have surgery.   They are sending him to a physical therapist.

1.   Will torn cartilage heal on its own?
2.   If surgery was performed, what would they have to do and how long would it take to heal?
3.   Is there anything that a physical therapist can do that will help?   This family really doesn't have money to waste.
4.   Is there anything that you would suggest?   Obviously, he needs to start your throwing program as soon as the season is over.
5.   Can he start your throwing program if he still having pain?


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     Torn cartilage in the shoulder.   That's a new one.   If the problem is in the front of his shoulder, then he has strained the attachment of his Subscapularis muscle.   If the problem is in the back of his shoulder, then he has strained the attachment of his Teres Minor muscle.   Both are a result of taking his throwing arm too far laterally behind his body and using his throwing upper arm to pull his throwing forearm forward.

     He needs to immediately start my one hundred and twenty day high school baseball pitchers interval-training program and perform only my Maxline and Torque Fastball drills.   Physical therapy wastes his time and money.   He should get my 2004 Baseball Pitchers Instructional Videotape and use it as his physical therapy.

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286.   We purchased your first video last summer.   Is the 2004 video your second edition?   If so, what is the cost?

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     In 2002, at the insistence of my readers, I produced a Baseball Pitching Instructional Videotape.   I was not ready.   My pitchers were not ready.   Nevertheless, we did the best that we could to show what it is that we do.   This time, I was ready and my players were much better, though not perfect.   My 2002 video was fifty minutes long.   This one is two hours long.   I am proud of this one.

     This time, purchasers get two one-hour videos for the price of one, continue to get my Coaching Baseball Pitchers book that I will update soon for free and my advice for free.   For those who purchased my 2002 video, I give a seventy-five percent discount on the second.   Do you think that I want everybody to have a copy?

     My 2004 Baseball Pitching Instructional Videotape:
1.   Fits all ages from eight to eighty.
2.   Teaches my twelve steps to pitching skill mastery.
3.   Eliminates pitching arm injuries.
4.   Maximizes fastball release velocity.
5.   Makes throwing strikes simple.
6.   Shows the grips and releases for pitches that move to both sides of home plate at the three speed differentials.

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287.   In your answer to question #266, you said Mark Prior " bends his pitching elbow way too far before he uses his pitching upper arm to pull his pitching elbow laterally back to his pitching arm side".   This struck a nerve with me as one of my guys who has had arm problems probably bends his elbow too much.   My question is what degree angle should the pitching elbow be at?

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     I recommend that pitchers pendulum swing their pitching hand up to my 'Ready' position, which is slightly above the height of their pitching ear and about ten degrees short of pointing toward second base.   I want their pitching elbow comfortably and passively extended.   This means that it is essentially lying back at a minor angle.

     I want pitchers to wait until their pitching hand reaches 'Ready' before they step forward with their glove foot.   While pitchers step forward, I want them to move their pitching hand from 'Ready' to 'Leverage,' such that when they have their acromial line and transverse hip line perpendicular to the driveline to home plate and their center of mass over their glove foot, they are poised for a powerful glove forearm pullback, followed by a powerful forward hip rotation, followed by a powerful glove foot pushback that straight forwardly accelerates their center of mass and followed by a powerful straight line punch of the pitching elbow and pronation of their pitching forearm.

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288.   Thank you for responding to my e-mail, it's great to see a former Cy Young Award winner do that.   I'm definitely going to pick up your video.

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     Far more important than being a still-living Cy Young Award winner is the fact that I earned a doctoral degree and committed my life to research and education.   I take much greater pride in the Dr. Mike Marshall title than I ever do with the Cy Young Award winner Mike Marshall.

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289.   For the first time ever, my son asked to come out of a game after about 25 pitches.   He is a multi-sport kid that only pitches 6 innings a week at the most and does not play in the summer.    He is complaining of shoulder pain (not severe) and a type of popping.    What are your recommendations for the last two weeks of the season?

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     At thirteen biological years old, the growth plate for the capitulum closes.   This is the growth plate at the distal end of the Humerus bone.   This means that the Humerus bone will not grow any longer at its distal end.   All other growth plates in the elbow remain open and susceptible to insult that will cause premature closure or worse.   The growth plates in the shoulder remain open until biological nineteen years old.   If the discomfort is on the inside of the front of the pitching shoulder, then it could come from the growth plate for the lesser tuberosity to which the Subscapularis muscle attaches.

     If your son reverse rotates his shoulders and pitching upper arm such that it point beyond second base, then he will unnecessarily stress the Subscapularis muscle and the growth plate to which it attaches.   Like Osgood Schlatter's Disease, where the quadriceps muscle group stresses the growth plate on the anterior surface of the Tibia bone, the cure is to permit the normal growth and development process to close the growth plate.   In other words, for the time being, stop stressing it.

     After six months or so, he should start learning how not to unnecessarily stress his pitching arm at all.   That means that he has to learn my pitching motion.   I have twelve simple steps to pitching perfection.   When he masters the first step, then he can work on the second step and so on.   I recommend that until the growth plate for his medial epicondyle matures at sixteen biological years old, he does not practice even my twelve steps for more than two months per year.

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290.   I am ready to send my money for the 2004 video.   Is there any documentation that I need to show that I purchased the original version?

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     I just opened my Customer list and did a search for Hostetler.   It shows that, on September 24, 2003, I received your order for my first video.   That tells me to give you a seventy-five percent discount.   Now, if, in your order, you told me whether you want VHS or DVD and your present return address, then, as soon as he has some free time from his son in the hospital to get my video to the VHS and DVD producers and we get them back, I will have my video guy send it to you.

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291.   My son is eager to join you and get started on June 12, 2004!   It seems he will need a car to get to school and work.   Is there someone in Zephyrhills or the surrounding area that you can recommend for a decent used car?   I am guessing it will be more cost effective to buy something there than drive a vehicle out from home.   Any information is much appreciated!   I am also eager to see your newest video.   Are copies available yet?

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     Zephyrhills, FL is a snow bird retirement town that expands from thirty thousand to one hundred thousand every winter.   I do not mean to sound crass, but old people lose their need for cars.   Therefore, we have a booming business in used cars.   We also have several used car places, many of which repair cars.   With some car knowledge and careful searching, I am sure that he can find a good one.

     I have finished my 2004 Baseball Pitching Instructional Videotape.   When my video guy has some free time from visiting his recently hospitalized son to copy the video from my computer and send it to the VHS and DVD production guys and we receive the finished product, I will give him the names of the persons from whom I have received requests and he will send them out.

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292.   Our son was a star baseball pitcher in high school, he is now completing his second year at the junior college in our community.   He won all of the county and state awards and was being scouted by many schools and professional teams.   He had a tragedy in his life near the end of his freshman year in college and has had difficulty overcoming it and took last year off from baseball.   He also was overused his freshman year and had arm and back pain, which lead to his wanting to take some time off.   He is now healthy and interested in making an attempt to be seen again.   He hasn't thrown more than once a week for fun in over a year.   Do you have a program to help him?   Do you think that it is too late for him?   We would greatly value your advice.

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     Like self-fulfilling prophesies of all kinds, it is only too late when he believes it is too late.   However, if he wants to try again, he has to discard the throwing motion that injured his pitching arm.   He has to learn my pitching motion.   He should read my Coaching Baseball Pitchers book that is free on my web site.   And, if he is interested, he should get my 2004 Baseball Pitching Instructional Videotape and start mastering my twelve steps to baseball pitching perfection.

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293.   Did you see the ESPN piece about the epidemic of pulled hamstrings?   The doctor for the Cincinnati Reds said players do not stretch enough?   Don't you say stretching is bad?

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------      Yes, I saw it.   With all the problems Ken Griffey, Jr. has had with pulled muscles, I wonder how he fits into the situation.   I know that I have discussed this problem before, but here goes again.

     We do not have a 'hamstrings' muscle.   The muscles to which people refer when they say, 'hamstrings,' are the Semimembranosis, Semitendonosis, long head of the Biceps Femoris and the short head of the Biceps Femoris.   The first three muscles attach to the tuberosity of the Ishial bone of the hip triad of bones.   We sit on our Ishial Tuberosity.   The short head of the Biceps Femoris attaches to the posterior surface of the Femur bone.   All four muscles distally attach to the lower leg.   Therefore, the first three muscles are two-joint muscles, while the short head of the Biceps Femoris muscle is a one-joint muscle.

     The tibial portion of the Sciatic Nerve innervates the Semimembranosis, Semitendonosis and long head of the Biceps Femoris muscles.   The peroneal portion of the Sciatic Nerve innervates the short head of the Biceps Femoris.   When muscles powerfully contract, their antagonist or opposite muscles must completely relax.   When antagonist muscles are still contracting, the powerful contraction of their opposite muscles tear the antagonist muscles.   Only muscles can tear muscles!   With a glitch in the motor unit contraction and relaxation sequence, the short head of the Biceps Femoris muscle does not get its 'reciprocal inhibition' signal in time.   That is what causes the 'hamstrings pull.'

     The answer has nothing to do with stretching.   I believe that stretching contributes to the problem.   The answer is to regularly re-inintialize the motor unit contraction and relaxation sequence.   I have my position players practice my speed-ups base running drill.   The idea is to jog comfortably for one-third of the distance, then gradually speed-up the pace for the next one-third of the distance and then, kick it for the final one third.   I recommend that position players start at home plate and run to first base and walk back to home plate three times, then start at home plate and run to second base and walk back to home plate twice, then start at first base and run to second base and walk back to first base three times, then start at first base and run to third base and walk back to first base twice, then start at second base and run to third base and walk back to second base three times and then start at second base and run to home plate twice.   While not a scientific study, in my seven years as a head baseball coach in college, no players ever pulled their 'hamstring' and my teams hold the NCAA Division II and NAIA stolen base records.

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294.   Through a Google search, I found your informative page on maximum velocity of a falling baseball.   Since you've studied the physics of baseballs traveling through air, I'd appreciate your help with a related velocity question.   My calculus skills are a little out of practice;   I'd like to determine the velocity of a baseball when it impacts the ground, after being dropped from a known height, with Vo = zero.   The "known height" would vary from ca. 10 to 100 ft.   It would be helpful to allow for different air densities in the calculation.

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     What you want to know is how far do baseballs have to fall before it reaches its maximum falling velocity.   Once they reach their maximum falling velocity, they will never exceed that velocity.   As I recall my calculations, I assumed a constant for air density and determined that the maximum falling velocity for baseballs is about forty miles per hour.   Of course, the actual value varies as the constants vary, but not by much.

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295.   I have a 9 year old who is one of the pitchers on our baseball team and he is throwing side arm.   We are trying to figure out a way to get him out of throwing side arm and throwing correctly.   Do you have any suggestions that would be helpful.

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     Because I adamantly oppose any youngster who is not thirteen biological years old pitching competitively, I am not inclined to answer your question.   However, I do recommend that parents use my Sixty Day Eight Year Old Baseball Pitchers Interval-Training Program to teach their eight year old or older beginning pitchers how to properly use their pitching arm to throw my Maxline True Screwball, Maxline Fastball, Maxline Pronation Curve and Torque Fastball.   Then, the following year, they can use my Sixty Day Nine Year Old Baseball Pitchers Interval-Training Program and so on.   In that way, when they become biologically thirteen years old, they will have the skills with which to pitch.   Then, until they are biologically sixteen years old with complete elbow skeletal development, they should pitch only one inning per game no more than twice a week for no more than two months per year.

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296.   An MRI was conducted and we obtained a second opinion and it was confirmed.   He was told that there is a 75 % chance that he will pitch again.

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     I know what orthopedic surgeons mean when they say SLAP lesion.   SLAP is short for Superior Labrum Anterior Posterior.   The glenoid fossa is a cup-shaped piece of bone.   Anatomists call the cartilagenous rim of the glenoid fossa, the Labrum.   The ball-shaped head of the Humerus bone fits into the glenoid fossa socket.   The superior aspect part of the Labrum anchors the long head of the biceps brachii muscle.

     Orthopedic surgeons argue that the tendon of the long head of the Biceps Brachii muscle hooks over the head of the Humerus.   Therefore, they believe that, when pitchers forcefully inwardly rotate their Humerus bone, the Humeral head tears the tendon of the long head of the Biceps Brachii and the Labrum cartilage.

     However, I am not sure that they know what tissue is actually irritated.   Is it the hyaline cartilage of the glenoid fossa that they call the Labrum?   Is it the connective tissue sheathing that surrounds the shoulder joint that they call the Anterior Capsule?   Is it the tendon of the short head of the biceps brachii that runs through the bicipital groove between the lesser and greater tuberosities on the head of the Humerus bone?

     I do not believe that the head of the Humerus bone acts as a lever and tears the tendon or Labrum.   The gleno-humeral ligaments hold the head of the Humerus bone against the glenoid fossa.   Unless some traumatic event causes the head of the Humerus bone to dislocate from the glenoid fossa, I doubt that it ever effects the Labrum.

     I suspect that your son reverse rotates his shoulders such that he points his pitching upper arm toward the opposite mid-infielder.   Therefore, the first force that he applies to the baseball is back to his pitching arm side.   Then, because his body moved forward before his pitching arm reached driveline height, his pitching arm has to try to catch up with his body.   As a result, he unnecessarily stresses the front of his shoulder, notably, the attachment of his Subscapularis muscle.

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297.   No, I'm not interested in how far a ball travels to reach its terminal velocity;   I assume it approaches max velocity asymptotically.   I have an experiment I'd like to conduct which requires knowledge of what velocity (< max velocity) a baseball attains after falling a specific distance.   For example, taking into account air density, how fast will a baseball be traveling after falling 30 ft, 100 ft, etc.

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     Once falling baseballs reach their terminal or maximum falling velocity, they do not fall any faster thereafter.   What you want to know is how far do baseballs have to fall before they achieve their maximum falling velocity.   When baseballs start with a zero falling velocity, gravity accelerates them downward at thirty-two feet per second per second.   At some point, air molecules colliding with the surface area of the baseballs equalize with gravity's force and they fall no faster.   Using accepted constants, I determined the maximum falling velocity of baseballs to be about forty miles per hour.

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298.   This response is the same as your earlier one.   You missed the point of my question.   I am NOT asking about terminal velocity.   Here is my question again:   A student stands on top of a tall building.   He drops a baseball.   After falling 30 ft through air, how fast will the baseball be going?   How fast after dropping 100 ft?

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     At thirty feet, one hundred feet, one thousand feet, ten thousand feet and son on, falling baseballs will be traveling at about forty miles, which is their terminal velocity.

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299.   Thanks for your answer, but there's an error in your assumption.

     Using V = (2gh)^0.5 where g = gravitational acceleration and h = height from which the ball was dropped.   Substituting g = 32 ft/sec^2 and h = 30 ft, into the equation:   V = (2*32*30)^0.5 = 43.8 ft/sec.   This equates to 29.9 MPH, not 40 MPH as you guessed.

     And this calculation is for a falling object in vacuum, not air; in air, the velocity would be less than 29.9 MPH.   I can do the calculation in vacuum, but not in air; I was hoping you could help.   Thanks for trying; I'll look further.

     I think it's a nice service you offer, to players who wish to learn more about the technology of pitching a baseball.   I vaguely recall there was an article on baseballs and the effect of spin in Scientific American some years ago; this could be of interest to you.   Sorry, I don't have specifics on how to find the article.

     In what field did you get your doctorate?

From: Ron Paitich [mailto:rpaitich@terranovascientific.com]


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     As I show in my Academic Credentials file, to earn my doctoral degree, I majored in the Physiology of Exercise with my cognate degree in Physiological Psychology with specialties in Motor Skill Acquisition and Biomechanics.

     When I wrote Chapter Twenty-Two many, many years ago, I wanted to demonstrate the powerful effect that air molecules have on decelerating baseballs on their flight to home plate.   I used that Drag formula as written in my Physics book.   Because the formula contains an Air Density component, I assumed that the formula worked for non-vacuum situations.

     I was surprised to learn that, even with the constant acceleration due to gravity of thirty-two feet per second per second, the maximum falling velocity that baseballs achieve is about forty miles per hour.   Now, with your calculations, I am even more surprised to learn that the maximum falling velocity of baseballs is about thirty miles per hour.   Makes me wonder how baseballs ever get from the pitchers hand to home plate.

     I am sure that my readers will join me in thanking you for contributing to our knowledge of the effects of air molecules on the flight of baseballs.

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300.   What is circle of friction and what does it do?

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     The 'circle of friction' describes the spin axis that I invented where one loop of baseballs spins in a circle.   When pitchers release their pitches such that this circle spins on different parts of baseballs, the collision of air molecules with the spinning seams cause baseballs to move away from the increased pressure.

     In my 2004 Baseball Pitching Instructional Videotape, I show high-speed film of the circle of friction.   To make it easier to see, we color in the circle.

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301.   I was wondering how useful you thought your DVD is for teaching pure throwing mechanics for players who are not pitchers.   My 12 year old son is a catcher (as was I thru high school) and realizing the high frequency of his throws in a game I thought it might be helpful.   I have read large sections of your book but am still confused by some of the descriptions due to the absence of visuals, thus my interest in your DVD.

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     When I coached college baseball, except for my non-fastball pitches, I had all position players do the same program as my pitchers.   We had great accuracy, great velocity and no throwing injuries.   I taught my catchers a two-step release that decreased the time from catch to release by one-third.

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302.   My calculation was was not for MAXIMUM velocity.   It was for 30 feet in VACUUM.   If you apply the same equation for 100 feet (in VACUUM) you get V = (2*32*80)^0.5 = 80 ft/sec, or 54.5 MPH; for 1000 ft (in VACUUM) you get 252 ft/sec, or 172 MPH. 10,000 feet gives 800 ft/sec or 545 mph but only in a VACUUM.

     The formula from your physics book, which includes an air density component should work for vacuum, if you plug in that air density is zero in vacuum.   Then there will be no limit to the maximum velocity, because in vacuum there are no air molecules to slow the ball.

     I suspect your calculation of 40 MPH in AIR may be correct.   And of course, pitchers routinely throw balls much faster, but that is not free falling.

     I find many references to maximum velocity in air, and I can calculate velocity in vacuum, but I have not found a method to calculate velocity for a ball dropped from an arbitrary height in AIR, that results in less than max velocity.


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     I and my readers appreciate the further clarification.

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303.   My Dad is "Sir."   I'm just a student of the game hoping to teach my players and my own kids a better way.   Could you review with me all the current particulars I need to get the DVD?   Since the season has already started for us here in Connecticut, let me know how to best expedite the process.   Also, I assume your two-step release for catchers is not on the video.   If you get a break in the action and could provide a description, it would be most appreciated.

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     I will call your son, Sir.   It is the respect that I feel for the person, not their age.

     Because, with my pitching motion, players do not reverse rotate either their shoulders or their pitching arms, we get to 'Ready' faster.   Therefore, when we are about to catch the baseball, we step forward with our throwing foot.   Therefore, with our throwing foot ahead of our glove foot, we can pendulum swing our glove and throwing arms into proper position before our glove foot moves forward ahead of our throwing foot.   Then, we take a very short forward step with our glove foot, move our throwing arm into 'Leverage,' move our center of mass ahead of our glove foot such that we can powerfully jump forward off our glove foot and powerfully 'punch' our throwing forearm toward the target with either my Maxline Fastball release to first and second base, or my Torque Fastball release to third base.

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304.   This is an excerpt from an email I got from the other local guy who wrote you about a year ago:   "I called you earlier today to tell you that my son blew out his arm throwing a curve ball.   Get this, he shattered his growth plate and rumor is he won’t throw for 2 years.   I guess they figure he needs to finish growing."

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     Because I could not convince them, I told you so is not a victory, but a defeat.   Now, a promising youth pitcher has permanently destroyed his pitching arm.   Maybe, my 2004 Baseball Pitching Instructional Videotape would have convinced them.

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305.   My son is 16 years old and is just completing his sophomore year high school baseball season.   He is currently 6' 4 1/2" and about 185 pounds and so far has been a very successful high school pitcher.   He is still growing and has not yet reached his full physical maturity like most of the other boys on his team.    I also believe with the right training he has the potential to play at the next level.    Next year will be his junior year in high school, and as you know, this will be a very important year for him.

     He has been working with a well respected pitching coach in Jacksonville for the last 2 years that you may know.   He is also the pitching coach at my son's high school.    Do you know anything about his pitching/training philosophy?    My dilemma is what training regimen should my son have over the summer?    He is a great guy and my son really enjoys working with him but I am not sure my son's skills are being maximized.    Like most pitching coaches, he is very protective of the kids he works with and would probably discourage my son from working with someone else.

     I have visited your website many times and I am intrigued by the training methods you talk about and your approach to pitching.    Your 8 week summer program for high school pitchers sounds great, but because of other commitments, we wouldn't be able to commit to this session.   What recommendations do you have?    Could we visit one of your training sessions?    Could you evaluate my son and make recommendations?


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     What other commitments are more important than your son learning how to pitch so that he does not continue to destroy his pitching arm with every pitch that he throws?   I have never heard of tis gentleman, but, if he teaches your son to lift his glove foot off the ground first, then I know that he has no idea what he is talking about.   Of course, you can visit.   Bring the pitching coach along.   But, my forty-week group ends on Saturday, May 21, 2004.   My summer group begins on Saturday, June 12, 2004.   You would have to get here before then.   With regard to evaluating your son:   If he raises his glove foot off the ground first, then he reverse rotates too far, has pitching forearm flyout and, with every pitch, he is destroying his pitching arm.

     My recommendation is that your son spend eight weeks this summer learning the basics of my program.   Then, next year, he spend another eight weeks learning more.   Then, the next year, he spend forty weeks getting as strong as he needs to be and learn more.   After a couple of more years of daily hard work, he might become the best pitcher that he can be with no pitching arm injuries, his maximum fastball release velocity and the variety of pitches that he needs to succeed at the highest level.

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306.   My money order is on the way.   While waiting for the second tape I have been working with drills from the first tape.   When I use the wrong foot drills I am able to throw the ball with accuracy.   When I try to throw the complete motion I always want to throw after my glove foot hits the ground.   If I wait until my pitching foot lands the ball is in the dirt or way off target.   Any ideas on what I am doing wrong would be great.   If my above explanation is too vague then don't waste your time with an answer.   I hope the new tape shows the complete set position and wind up motion from the mound.   I'm looking forward to a detailed view of the double pendulum swing and crow-step start.

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     I guarantee that my 2004 Baseball Pitching Instructional Videotape will show every throwing drill that I use to teach pitchers how to correctly use their pitching arm and body.

     My Wrong Foot body action teaches pitchers how to position their shoulders for a straight line release of their pitches.   Because pitchers have to wait until their pitching foot contacts the ground in front of their glove foot, they have their shoulders forwardly rotated beyond perpendicular to the driveline to home plate.   This position helps pitchers fight pitching forearm flyout that slings their pitching forearm laterally outward and forces them to pull their pitching forearm back toward home plate, which greatly reduces release consistency.

     I look forward to your critique of my video.

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307.   I have been reading your website and I find it quite interesting.   My son will turn 16 on July 20, 04.   He is 6'5, 195 lbs.   How do I know if he still has open growth plates?

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     The only way to know is to examine X-rays of his glove and pitching elbow.   However, you should do this within one week of his birthday.   You will need anterior and lateral views of both arms from mid-forearm to mid-upper arm.   If he is biologically sixteen years old, then all elbow growth plates will be completely closed, including for his medial epicondyle and radial head.   However, he will still have open growth plates in his shoulders and wrists.

     At his height and weight, I would suspect that they are closed.   However, a better indicator than height and weight is facial hair development.   While facial hair has some genetic background differences, if he has considerable facial hair, it does indicate advanced biological maturation.

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308.   Each object has its own terminal velocity due to its mass, volume, and aerodynamics.   Try visualizing two skydivers who weigh the same but are shaped differently.   Also think of one skydiver rolled up like a cannonball and the other diving head first.   All baseballs uniformly manufactured and dropped from 1000' or whatever, will achieve a terminal velocity of about 40 mph whether shot down out of a cannon or merely rolled out of an airplane.

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     You are correct, Sir.   It is comforting to know that despite my mass and volume, my short, pudgy aerodynamics will slow my terminal velocity.   I and my readers thank you for your contribution to this subject.

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309.   What kind of increase in velocity can an 18 year old high school player expect from completing your 120 day training program?   Is a 10 to 15 mph increase unreasonable?

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     How much high school pitchers can increase their release velocity as a result of my one hundred and twenty day interval training program depends on several factors.

01.   If he had considerable pitching forearm flyout before he started my program and he greatly minimized his centripetal force, then he should not only increase his release velocity, but also increase his release consistency.

02.   If he greatly increased the ability of his decelerator muscles, then he could free his accelerator muscles to apply greater straight toward home plate force.

03.   If he masters my crow-step pitching rhythm and does not raise his glove foot off the ground until he gets his pitching arm to driveline height, then he will be better able to drive behind the baseball and apply greater straight line force.

04.   If he masters my glove foot drive technique where he moves his center of mass ahead of his glove foot and drives his body forward off his glove foot while he simultaneously 'punches' his pitching arm straight toward home plate, then he will use 'force-coupling' to further accelerate the baseball through release.

     I could go on, but I think that you get the idea.   It all depends on how well he masters my force application technique and 'feels' the rhythm.

     Of course, my three hundred and fifty day college and professional interval-training program much more greatly strengthens the bone, ligaments and tendons of the pitching muscles and greatly increases the uniform force that pitchers can apply.

     As a non-scientific anecdote, recently, a young man that came to me after one year of junior college where he exhibited little release consistency and threw eighty-six to eighty-eight miles per hour threw ninety-seven mile per hour fastballs in a professional game.   And, I believe that, when he learns how to lengthen and straighten his driveline, he will achieve more.

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310.   Do most of the young men I met leave this month?   I was very impressed with several of them and although the one guy took up most of my film.   I was still able to see others that were on their way to success.   That guy was really awesome, but I did see that his glove would drop to his hip instead of pulling hard to his armpit and second base.   Actually, my thirteen year old pointed that out right away and I'm sure you have seen the same thing.   The visit to your training facility has really paid off for my son.

     Seeing the "wind-up set position" in person has made a huge difference for him.   At first, he was stepping forward too early, but after seeing the film I took at the training camp in slow motion, he made the adjustment and his command of the strike zone is much better.   Baseball is winding down now and I would like to know if he should continue the throwing drills into a net from thirty feet or so until next Spring or should he just rest the arm?


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     I do not have anybody who performs my pitching motion perfectly.   Nevertheless, with varying degrees of flaws, everybody has dramatically improved their performances.   I await perfection.   However, I am very pleased when other start to see the flaws that I see.   Now, you understand why I cannot stand watching a professional baseball game.   Their pitching techniques are terrible.

     When pitchers start minimizing the strength of their lateral centripetal force, they find it much easier to redirect the baseball toward home plate.   When they stop using the pitching upper arm to pull their pitching forearm forward, they will have no lateral centripetal force with which to contend and apply all force toward home plate.

     I recommend that, until the medial epicondyle growth plate mature, youth pitchers do not throw baseballs for more than two months per year.   You get to choose the two months.   Hard to believe, but there are many other activities that your son should enjoy.   Every now and then, he can practice my pickoff and wrong foot body action drills with the pitching arm actions, especially my 'slingshot' pitching arm action.

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311.   I purchased your first video and saw that you possessed pretty good wheels (and, of course, slightly different aerodynamics) back in the proverbial good old days.   I really admired your stroke on that high fastball.   I'd like to see the seasonal home run totals of today's major leaguers if they had to swing at the big strike zone of past years.   If you can, I would appreciate a description of your efficient catcher release technique which you taught to your college catchers.

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     In my much younger days, I could run, jump, throw, kick and strike pretty well.   However, I did have much better aerodynamics in those days.   I guess I could blame my loss of skills to my change in aerodynamics.

     Whether hitters can hit the high fastball depends on which arm dominates their swing.   Rear arm dominant hitters hit the high fastball.

     As I recall, I did explain my two-step catcher release in another email.   However, if you do not find it, please let me know and I will try it again.

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312.   You're exactly right about different objects having their own max falling velocity, based on the factors you list.   You're correct that baseballs "... achieve a terminal velocity of about 40 mph whether shot down out of a cannon or merely rolled out of an airplane," with some added explanation:

     A competent pitcher can throw a baseball at velocities around 90 MPH, and a cannon achieves 2000-3000 ft/sec (1400 to 2000 MPH).   If the pitcher throws the ball straight down at 90 MPH, it will start at 90 MPH and gradually slow to its terminal velocity of about 40 mph as air resistance causes it to slow down.   Similarly, a cannon shot will start out at, e.g. 1400 MPH and slow to its terminal velocity.


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     Great discussion, gentlemen.   I am sure that my readers are starting to understand the dramatic influence that air molecules have on the velocity and movement of their pitches.   In 1971, I calculated that when pitchers release their fastballs at ninety miles per hour, air molecules decelerated them to about seventy-eight miles per hour when they cross home plate.   Therefore, the notion the some pitchers have fastballs that accelerate through the hitting zone is nonsense.

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313.   OK.   Now I understand your inquiry about maximum velocity at a certain short distance.   Dr. Marshall was correct when he was talking about terminal velocity.   However, Dr. Marshall does not conduct a math class for his readers for we want to know how to play baseball more effectively and injury free.   I just don't see what a baseball player gains by knowing what a baseball travels when dropped overhead.

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     When pitchers understand the dramatic influence of air molecules on the velocity and movement of their pitches, they understand that, when pitchers release fastballs at ninety miles per hour, the velocity at which these pitches cross home plate is severely reduced.   In 1971, I calculated that these pitches cross home plate at seventy-eight miles per hour.   It puts to rest the myth that some pitchers throw fastballs that jump or accelerate through the hitting zone.

     I prefer to think of air molecules as our friends and learn how to use them to make baseballs move dramatically in several directions rather than always trying to blast them through the endless wall of air molecules.   I call it, 'pitching.'

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314.   I went for an overdue physical this week.   I told the doctor I agree with you that we can't stretch ligaments, bones and muscles.   I then told him that I have pain in the bottom of my heal up into the area where the foot or ankle flexes.   This bothers me when I get up in the morning and after I sit for long periods.   He told me I had plantar fasciitis.

     You mention in previous letters that the plantar area is important in pushing off the rubber.   The doctor told me that the cure for plantar fasciitis is stretching.   He showed me several stretching excercises that he claimed I had to do to elongate the heal cord.   Knowing my feelings on stretching he said that this was to get the heel cord back to its original length.

     Since you don't feel we can stretch muscles I am wondering how you would treat this condition.   I have high levels of uric acid but he said this did not have anything to do with plantar fasciitis.


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     Do not try to stretch this or any other ligament or tendon ever!   Get a good arch support, even to the point that you slightly elevate your heel off the shoe.   Lose some weight.

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315.   Hopefully, this e-mail is the last on this subject so we can return to baseball.   Terminal velocity, maximum velocity, acceleration are different terms for different actions.

     If I understand you correctly, you want to know the speed of a falling, not throw, baseball at 30' in atmosphere, not a vacuum.   The law of acceleration governs that action, and that law was first discovered by Galileo Galilei, not Newton who may have first formulated the equation of ft/secsec.   I don't remember the history of the math.   The rate of acceleration differs according to latitude.   Such as:   Miami, at 26 degrees, is 32.11966'/secsec (on this computer I don't know how to write squared or degrees so kindly bear with me);   in Atlanta, at 34 degrees is 32.14034;   in New York, at 41 degrees is 32.16034;   in Detroit, at 42 degrees is 32.16329; and in Minneapolis, at 45 degrees is 32.17218.   Calculate your question with that information.


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     I want pitchers to understand that air molecules significantly decelerate baseballs in flight.   Therefore, pitchers should use air molecules to improve the movement of their pitches.   My two-seam circle-of-friction pitches become more valuable than ninety-five mile per hour fastballs.   My four-seam Maxline and Torque Fastballs and four-seam Maxline True Screwballs and Maxline Pronation Curves move dramatically.   Therefore, rather than velocity or location, I recommend that pitchers focus on movement.   To accomplish movement, pitchers have to precisely control the location of my circle-of-friction.   Remember, pitchers are only as good as the strength and skill of the tip of their middle finger.   Strength to maximally transfer force for release and spin velocity and skill to impart the perfect spin axis with which all pitches move maximally on their way to home plate.

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316.   My son and I would like to come down and learn more about your system a have you evaluate my son.   Which weekend would be better 5/21, 5/29 or 6/5?   Would there be a cost involved?

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     My fifty and forty-week training groups complete their programs May 21st.   However, some are considering staying for the summer for extra work.   Some college kids with whom I have worked return on June 01st.   My next fifty-week training group starts on June 12th as do my eight-week summer program for high school juniors and seniors.   This is a time of transition.   Of the choices that you gave me, I would recommend May 21st.

     You and your son can see what we do and ask as many questions as you want, but I do not evaluate pitchers with whom I do not have a partnership agreement.   I do not charge for visitors.

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317.   Are your pitching mechanics and techniques a result of your study and therefore your pitching success or your pitching success and subsequent study of why you were successful?

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     In 1967, I took my first high-speed film of me pitching with a side view and a behind-the-catcher view.   I learned the value of actively pronating the releases of my pitches.   In 1969, I took my second high-speed film of me pitching with a side view and a behind-the-pitcher view.   I learned the value of force-coupling.   In 1971, I tool my third high-speed film of me pitching with a side view, a behind-the-pitcher view and an overhead view.   I learned how to better satisfy Sir Isaac Newton's three laws of motion.

     In 1971, I had a 4.58 earned run average.   After my 1971 filming, I made some adjustments and my 1972 earned run average decreased to 1.78.   I believe that my research helped me.   However, if I had known everything that I know today, I would have been much, much better.

     In your search for the proper way to apply force, I recommend that you spend more time examining the science involved.   Pitchers have no idea what they are doing and success does not mean that they know the dangers involved.

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318.   Thanks for your participation in all this.   I think the gentleman who emailed me got a little annoyed that I was spending your time on an issue that's only loosely related to baseball.   As I explained to him, I have a trajectory problem to solve, that approximates that of a baseball, traveling at less than maximum velocity.

     You're right, air resistance has a dramatic effect.   I recall studying in one of my mechanical engineering classes, that a round wire or rod has six time the resistance of a rod with aerodynamic cross section (sort of a teardrop in cross section).   And a baseball has many of the same characteristics as a rod.

     You're quite right, it is nonsense (and defies laws of physics) that a ball would accelerate through the hitting zone.   More likely, the ball was a curve or knuckle ball that took a break, making the batter think it was accelerating.   Hmm, 1971; that's around the time I was immersed in some of my first technical jobs.

     Nice to talk to you; it's a nice service you provide to up and coming pitchers.


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     The pleasure was all mine.

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319.   I remember watching you and was amazed at how you were able to compete what seemed like almost every day.

     My question is:   My son is 16 years old, 5' 11 155lbs (very small in the shoulders, back and chest but long arms) is just finishing his sophomore year.   He has been successful, pitching 3-1 to this point for the JV program.   He has a great 12-6 curve ball but his two seam fastball tops off at 70 and that just psychologically blows him away.   He throws from over the top more than 3/4.   The fastball has great movement but all the "local experts" expect 85MPH.   Any advice?   If we lived closer I'd have him enrolled in your program.

   I have been talking to him about you since he was little and I just decided to search you on the web.   Now that he believes you exist what can we do to get the velocity up.   He has never had a sore arm and his GPA is 3.4.


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     With the 'traditional' pitching motion, pitchers instinctively know that if they generate more centripetal force, then they will injure themselves.   They know that the more lateral force that they apply, the more force that they have overcome and it will hurt.

     I recommend that he learn how to apply his first forward force toward home plate with my pitching motion.   My Coaching Baseball Pitchers book is a good place to start.   My 2004 Baseball Pitching Instructional Video is an excellent place to finish.

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320.   The following question was asked on a public forum:

     "Ok I know this will get a lot of responses but I'd like some good honest opinions and FACTS.   Everyone realizes that when a pitcher throws the ball either Fastball, curve whatever he pronates his arm naturally.   What about over pronation on these pitches to make the ball back up?   There is an instructor here who teaches the over pronation for movement but over 1/2 his students can't throw now do to elbow injuries.   Joe Kerrigan, the Phillies Pitching coach addressed this recently at a coaching clinic as being a terrible and harmful practice.   What are your thoughts?"


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     It is impossible to over-pronate, you either pronate or not.   However, I have no idea what pronation has to do with making 'the ball back up.'   Pronation prevents elbow injuries, it does not cause them.   My thought is that Kerrigan is a moron.

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321.   I bought your video 2 years ago and have watched it many times since then.    I have studied it and made notes.    I am a keen student of the game as coach of my two sons (10 and 13 years old) although I never played organized ball myself.    I have taught myself a great deal by purchasing your video and others.    I also have hired a local pitching coach.   Is it worth while to purchase this new video?    You have some great stuff in the first video, however I found it somewhat confusing as to how to teach your pitches to my kids.

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     I made my first video at the insistence of my readers.   I was not ready.   My pitchers were not ready.   This time, I was ready and my kids were ready.   I am very proud of this one.   I would prefer that everyone who bought my first video would burn it.   With production, packaging, handling and mailing expenses, I am basically giving my second video to those who bought my first.   With this video, you will know exactly how to teach my pitches to your kids and more.

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322.   I know that you are a pitching coach, but you have mentioned that you have a love for hitting.   Hopefully, you can provide some advice on a hitting problem that we can't seem to resolve.

     My son is a 17 yr old high school player.   He has been swinging early the past few weeks.   He is not striking out, but he has been hitting alot of weak groundballs to short and third.   At the beginning of the season, he was hitting the ball with power (multiple homeruns).   I know that he is starting early and then slowing his bat down to make contact.   What I don't know, is how to help him correct the problem.

     We both know that he needs to let the ball get on him more, but he is having trouble with executing that.   Obviously he has more trouble with slower pitching, but he does the same thing with harder throwers.   I take him to a batting cage that has an "Iron Mike" and he does fine waiting on the ball, but he can't seem to carry it over into the games.   Do you have any drills or suggestions that might help?


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     I played professional shortstop for four full years before I started pitching.   In 1965, I took my first high-speed film of me batting.   I have an outstanding series of hitting drills.   My problem with putting out a video for hitting is that I am not currently training any hitters.   Therefore, I have nobody with whom to show the drills.

     When batters correctly anticipate the pitch, they hit home runs.   When batters do not correctly anticipate the pitches and they still try to hit home runs, they hit weak ground balls.

     However, when batters master their ability to hit low line drives to the opposite side of the infield, they increase their ability to hit the baseball hard.   To hit low line drives to the opposite side of the infield, batters have to drive their rear arm toward the opposite field overtop of their front arm with force coupling.

     It sounds as though your son wants to hit home runs with an upper cut swing to the pull side of the field with the throw-the-bat-at-the-ball technique.   With that long swing, he has no way to adjust to changes in pitch speed.

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323.   What are the most common faults you have observed among pupils performing your pickoff position leverage throws?   Your instructions are precise.   I also want to account for possible misinterpretation on my part.

     We position players appreciate that you devote ample time to answering our questions too.   For the benefit of others, I would like to add that your training program cannot be cut short.   I am an adult and tried to start with the 280-day training plan.   It doesn't work.   I spent weeks muddled up in poor technique the children's program would have already taught me.   The dividends are enormous.   Thanks for the work and we all look forward to the new video.


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     The major flaw common to all is, instead of driving the pitching hand straight forward, pitchers use their pitching upper arm to pull their pitching forearm forward.   As a result, instead of their first forward force being toward home plate, their pitching hand swings laterally outward to their pitching arm side.

     To eliminate this problem, pitchers have to totally reverse their concept of throwing.   Instead of their pitching arm swinging outward to their pitching arm side, they have to drive their pitching forearm inward toward their head.   That is why my Pickoff Leverage throws start with the pitching forearm horizontally inside of vertical with the pitching hand almost touching the ear.   Pitchers must learn how to 'punch' their pitching hand straight toward home plate with their pitching forearm horizontally inside of vertical.   We have to eliminate all outward centripetal force.

     You are correct, Sir.   If pitchers do not master how to perform my Pickoff Leverage throws, then they will never master any later throwing drill, certainly not my wind-up set position throws.

     My video guy has completed the DVDs.   We are waiting for the two-DVD packaging that we ordered to arrive and we will start mailing them out.   This video will teach pitchers how to pitch without pitching arm injuries with their best fastball release velocity and highest quality of non-fastballs.

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324.   My concern is my sixteen year old son's elbow.   He is left handed.   He pitched a lot in little league.   Then when he was about 13 years old, he played for a traveling all-star team.   Usually, he would only pitch the last three innings or the first four innings of a seven inning game.   He has excellant control, a natural curve ball, but not very much speed.   Consequently, his coach had him pitch all curve balls.   I did not realize that his coach would only signal him to throw a fast ball about twice a game.

     My concern is that he hasn't pitched much since that time, but his high school coach found out he had pitching experience and used him at the end of the season about twice a week for the last three innings of each game.   After each game, he had a very sore elbow.   Is this because his arm is not used to pitching. He is a good coach and has my son mix things up with his pitches.   My son says that his arm is only good for three or four innings.   Is this normal?


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     The growth plates in the pitching elbow of biological sixteen year old males have closed.   Therefore, unless he is a delayed maturer, then the problem is not with his growth plates.   Nevertheless, the 'traditional' pitching motion destroys completely mature adult pitching elbows.

     If the soreness is on the inside of his pitching elbow, then he is looping and reverse forearm bouncing his pitching elbow.   If the soreness is on the back of his pitching elbow, then he has extreme pitching forearm flyout and he is banging his olecranon process into its fossa.   Both injuries are serious and will eventually destroy his pitching arm.

     He needs to learn how drive his pitches straight toward home plate with a strong pitching forearm pronation release.   He should read my Coaching Baseball Pitchers book and watch my 2004 Baseball Pitching Instructional Video.

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325.   How is your video guy's son doing?   Why was he hospitalized?   I hope the condition of his son is not serious.   What is the ETA on the DVD?   I am eager to see it.   We can't do anything outdoors because we are in the midst of 40 days and nights of rain.

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     My video guy's son is in very serious condition.   That my video guy can function at all amazes me.   He tells me that he expects to mail the VHS and DVD videos within a week.   I appreciate your interest and patience.   I am proud of this one.   I believe that it is imperfectly perfect.   I want your critique.

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326.   I have been on a mission to read everything I can about young pitchers.   My boy is the "ace" pitcher on his 12 year old baseball team.   Due to overuseage, his right shoulder growth plate has separated.

     I have read in your questions that you do not recommend youth pitching in a "competitive" fashion.   What determines a "competitive" way?   If I told our coach, he isn't pitching until say high school, how do I keep up his pitching skills?   Is is safe to say, youth shouldn't pitch in games, but can go ahead and take pitching lessons or pitch with dad in the backyard?   Could a 12 year old play 3rd base even with a separated growth plate?   After being diagnosed with "little league shoulder" how long must a player rest until he can get back into the game as a 3rd baseman?   Pitcher?


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     By competitive pitching, I mean in games against opposing batters where pitchers try to throw as hard as they can.   With my pitching program, parents can take two summer months and teach their youth pitchers the proper pitching arm action for my Maxline True Screwball, Maxline Fastball, Maxline Pronation Curve and Torque Fastball at eight years old.

     When youth pitchers are older than eight years old when they start my program, they still follow the two month limit on baseball throwing, but they can move to the next step in my twelve step program as soon as they master the previous skills.

     The growth plates in the shoulder do not completely mature until young men at biologically nineteen years old.   However, within a year, they should strengthen sufficiently to permit practice skills, such as my twelve step program.   I would not chance him playing a position that might require a maximum effort throw.   When he is biologically sixteen years old, the growth plates in his pitching elbow mature and he should be ready for some hard throwing.

     I recommend that, until the shoulder discomfort goes permanently away, he only practices the proper pitching arm action with reduced intensity.   He should read my Coaching Baseball Pitchers book and watch my 2004 Baseball Pitching Instructional Video.

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327.   I was asked last night at our baseball game, "why doesn't this happen to all our boys, they all throw hard."   Is it mechanical, wouldn't bad mechanics display bad stats?   My son's pitching stats are very good.   Why is it that other teams pitch their pitchers so much more than our coach does and they are still healthy?   I just don't understand why this is happening to my son only on our team.   Our coaches really watch the pitch count.   However, in late February (chilly 45 degree weather) they started my son out with 68 pitches, next game 69, next game 70.   Remember my son is 12.   Personally, I should have spoken up when my gut told me he was pitching too many pitches too soon.

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     Why doesn't it happen to all youth pitchers?   Biological age and chronological age differ.   Over eight percent of twelve chronological year old males are biologically fourteen and older.   This means that they can withstand more stress before injury occurs.

     They all throw hard.   Throwing hard is only one of many variables that stress the growth plates.   How far laterally behind their body that youth pitchers take their throwing arm terribly stresses the pitching arm.   So does reverse pitching forearm bounce.   So does late pitching forearm turnover.   So does pulling the curve down like a window shade.   And many other flaws in the 'traditional' pitching motion.

     Pitch counts are not the answer.   Even my pitching motion that minimizes the unnecessary stress on the pitching arm does not totally prevent injuries.   That is why I recommend that, until they are biologically sixteen years old, youth pitchers do not throw baseballs for more than two months per year, do not pitch competitively until they are biologically thirteen years old and do not pitch more than one inning per game twice a week.

     If this injury causes your son and you to be more cautious about his pitching and he learns how to properly throw the pitches that I teach, then, when he becomes a junior in high school, he has a chance to pitch with skill and without injury.

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328.   I was watching a post game show interview with Randy Johnson last night.   He had his shoulder and elbow all iced and wrapped.   Did you do that?   It made me even more eager to view your work.

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     I never ever iced my pitching arm.   During my 13 consecutive game appearances of my 106 game, 208 closing innings 1974 season, a reporter asked me what I did to take care of my pitching arm after games.   I told him that I wash it and took it home with me.   Even though my pitching motion was not as well-defined as I have it today, with my interval-training program, I never ever had any soreness of any kind.

     Mr. Johnson needs the ice to try to recover from the damage that he does to his pitching arm every time that he pitches.   I guarantee you that he will not pitch competitively after his professional career.   After my professional career, I started two games per week from the first of February through the middle of November from 1983, when I was forty years old, until 1999, when I was fifty-six years old.   And, except for the beginnings of familial arthritis, I still never had any soreness.

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329.   Thank you for responding.   We live hundreds of miles away.   How will my son be instructed on the proper motion?   Are there video tapes or personalized trainers in our area?   He is anxious to get started.

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     On my web site, I offer my Coaching Baseball Pitchers book for free.   I also just completed my 2004 Baseball Pitching Instructional Video that you can get in either VHS or DVD.   For more information, click on my Instructional Videotape icon.   You and he working together will be the best pitching coach he will ever have.

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330.   It sounds like you have a lot of pitchers on your hands.   Do you need/have anyone to catch them?

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     When learning to throw new pitches, catchers add a negative variable.   They do not like pitches that bounce.   Therefore, we throw into nets with strike zones.   During the thirty-six pitch sequence days, it would be nice to have catchers.   But, we have other pitchers sit behind the net and simulate catchers.   It works fine.

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331.   I could not locate the email with your description of how catchers should throw.   Would you kindly try explain it again?

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     Question 303.

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332.   You're right.   Catchers aren't wild about pitches that bounce, but pitches can, do, and should occasionally bounce, and we deal with it.   There are some of us who can manage not to flinch, hurt a pitcher's rhythm, or dent his confidence.   I think having an actual catcher would probably be helpful, but you're the doctor.   Let me know if you change your mind, I would be interested in hearing about ways in which I could help.

     I have no way of knowing until my doctor appointment, but I believe I've torn or damaged my supraspinatus.   I was struck by your entry in chapter fourteen, stating that catchers and quarterbacks are more likely to injure that muscle.   You mention that "Baseball coaches have the idea catchers release throws faster if they bring baseballs straight to throwing side ears.   These actions add additional steps to catcher throwing motions."   Is there a quicker, more compact, throwing motion for catchers that you are aware of?


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     Are you volunteering to catch?   I know that, during the last thirty-six days of my forty-week program, my pitchers would love to beat up catchers.

     The Supraspinatus muscle attaches to the top of the head of the Humerus bone.   In the 'traditional' catchers throwing technique, catchers raise the baseball to their throwing ear with their throwing forearm pointing toward home plate.   Then, when catchers start their throwing elbow forward, their throwing forearm moves backward to point at second base.   As a result, before they can drive their throwing forearm toward home plate, they have to stop the backward movement of their throwing forearm.   All this bouncing back and forth unnecessarily stresses the Supraspinatus attachment.

     In question 303 of my 2004 Question/Answer file, I explain how catchers should catch and throw.

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333.   I've thought about your description of the stresses a traditional catcher's release puts on his arm, and it applies in my case, despite my recent efforts to refine my release.   My shoulder gets extremely tight, sore, and weak in the area of the Supraspinatus only when I throw at intensities above 65%, give or take.   While it feels like something is terribly wrong, I had to play through it last season, and it did not heal with rest this offseason.   One benefit of these facts is that I arrived at a new motion that is something like what you describe in your Q&A.

     I would volunteer to catch your pitchers, as I'm always interested in learning new practices and theories from baseball men who can give me articulate reasons why they teach what they teach.   However, in my case there are practical limitations. I'm 25, I need to work, I live in way up north, not in Florida, and I don't know exactly how many hours I can catch in 36 days.   If you can find a way to work around those limitations I'm all ears.   In addition, if somehow I do end up working for you, and you can find some young catchers to mold, I would be happy to help instruct them on catching and hitting principles if that would create more interest.

     Do you teach your pitchers hitting mechanics?   You can spot a weakness in an opponents swing/approach, but can your students?


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     I discuss the general characteristics of the four types of hitters and give them three pitch sequences to determine what pitches work best for them against each type of hitter.   You can read all about it in Chapters 23 through 28 in my Coaching Baseball Pitchers book.

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334.   Why are the wrist weights and iron balls used at the beginning of the workouts, instead of at the end?

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     When pitchers are not doing an interval-training cycle, the wrist weight exercises and iron ball throws are the warm-up activities to the baseball pitches.   Remember, warm-up means to redistribute blood flow to the working muscles.   When pitchers are doing an interval-training cycle, the wrist weight exercises and iron ball throws are the focus of the training.

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335.   As a baseball fan, I was aware of your athletic accomplishments, but not your academic accomplishments.    In review, I'm more impressed with the academics than the baseball records.    As a father and a coach, I want my kids to have all the possible tools, regardless of athletic ability, to succeed and enjoy the game of baseball, but I really want them to understand the importance of an education.    Very few people will play professional sports, but everyone will need a job some day.

     My dilemma involves my 15-year old son (freshman) whose pitching season has been shut down prematurely (twice in the last three years) due to pain the front right shoulder, probably related to a rotor cuff injury.    (We will be seeking medical attention this week).    After reviewing your book, it has become painfully obvious to me that the main cause of his injury is a series of well-meaning, but misguided coaches (including me!) that have taught him to throw in the traditional manner.    The problem has been compounded by the fact that he is a good athlete and a good pitcher that coaches (including me!) can rely on to throw strikes and get batters out.

     After reviewing the Q&A archives, I believe you feel that, if any damage has been done, it can be remedied and he can be taught to pitch correctly, but may operate at a level below what he would have been able to physically achieve had he not damaged his shoulder.    That is not necessarily my concern as he is very coachable, wants to learn and will be able to learn once his shoulder has healed.

     My concern is that after reading your book, I'm still not sure I understand your technique enough to teach it.    I would like very much to purchase your video as I believe that would answer my questions, but with a wife, three kids and a mortgage, it is simply not possible to afford it at this point.     Is it possible to publish a series of pictures on your website 5 or 6 that demonstrate the salient points of your technique to help us volunteer coaches really understand the mechanics of your technique?

     For example, I'm not sure what you mean by crossing the wrists during the trigger motion.    Is the glove hand over the pitching hand?   In addition, my son has been taught to break his hands, reach his pitching arm down, up and back so that the fingers are on top of the ball, and the ball hand points to centerfield at the top of his transition, an obvious flaw now that I realize the strain his motion puts on his shoulder.    When you say the palm faces the body during the break, does that mean the pitching forearm goes back essentially horizontal to the ground rather than down, back and up?

     I apologize for being so obtuse, but even a couple of visuals would help me to better understand the proper way to teach kids to throw a baseball.


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     Every sport action requires a trigger action, especially during the early learning stages.   Because pitchers need to pendulum swing both arms, I want them to trigger the vertically downward and backward pendulum swing of the pitching arm with a slight forward and upward start and I want them to trigger the vertically downward and forward pendulum swing of the glove arm with a slight backward and upward start.   When their wrists cross, the pitching arm is below the glove arm.

     When, during the transition stage, pitchers take the baseball back with their fingers on top of the baseball, at some point, they have to move their fingers to behind the baseball.   This causes pitchers to have to turn their pitching forearm over.   Late pitching forearm turnover causes pitchers to loop their pitching forearm behind their head, use their pitching upper arm to pull their pitching elbow forward and, as a result, have pitching forearm flyout that destroys their pitching elbow.

     When I say pendulum swing, I mean vertically pointing downward, like the pendulum on a grandfather's clock.

     Your best bet is to watch my 2004 Baseball Pitching Instructional Video, either VHS or DVD.

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336.   I have been talking with a father who has his son involved in your program.    I have also read quite a lot of your website and am quite impressed with your academic training and professional records.    I believe that a great coach not only teaches the player about how to improve their game but also teaches them about life.    I share your thoughts 100% on the work ethic value both on and off the field as my undergrad degree is in physical education and I am now a physician practicing anesthesia.

     My son has just turned 14 on May 9th.    He is a left handed pitcher and has been playing baseball since age 5 beginning with T-ball.    He is currently working with a local pitching coach and he also plays school and AAU baseball.    I have been told by many individuals that he has the God given talent to go far in regards to his pitching.    He is currently on the slow growing scale as he is 5'2", but, according to the pediatric endocrinologist he should hit about 5'10 or 5'11 when he is 16 or 17.    Currently his fastball is in the upper 60's to 70 and he has several breaking balls (Cutter, Slider, and knuckle curve) that he has excellent movement and control over.

     I am curious at what age you would be interested in evaluating his skills?    Is there a program that you have for kids in his age group?    If there is not a program, do you do any type of individual one-on-one work during the summer?    Do you know anyone in our area that could work with him in addition to working with his present pitching coach?


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     The best pitching coach that you son could ever have lives with him.   You.   All the two of you need is my 2004 Baseball Pitching Instructional Video, either VHS or DVD.   If you have any questions, you can email me.   During the summer before his Junior year in high school, he can train with me for eight weeks.

     At fourteen biological years old, the growth plate for his lateral epicondyle matures.   At fifteen biological years old, the growth plate for this olecranon process matures.   At sixteen biological years old, the growth plates for his radial head and medial epicondyle mature.   If, as you predict, he is a delayed maturer, then you have to wait even longer for the growth plates in his pitching elbow to mature.

     Until the growth plate for the medial epicondyle completely matures, I recommend that youth pitchers do not throw baseballs for more that two consecutive months each year, do not pitch competitively until they are biologically thirteen years old and do not pitch more than one inning per game twice a week.

     I do not like hearing that he throws a slider and cutter.   Both pitches are very dangerous to his olecranon process and fossa.   A knuckle curve is a waste of time, he should be working on my Maxline Pronation Curve.   Obviously, I also disagree with the amount of pitching and throwing he is doing.   Even if he does not suffer a painful injury, he can premature close growth plates and stretch the Ulnar Collateral Ligament and the Gleno-Humeral Ligaments, such that he will never achieve his full growth, development and strength.

     Youth baseball pitching in NOT harmless fun.

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337.   Your analysis of how to pitch to certain types of hitters is a tremendous tool to help your pitchers figure out what to throw and when to throw it.   However, good professional hitters should have access to charts of their at bats.   Shouldn't they notice a pattern, or is it unnecessary to give hitters more credit than that?

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     I put every at bat during my 1973 and 1974 seasons on computer cards and did a cross-tabulation.   You can read all about it in Chapter Twenty-Three of my Coaching Baseball Pitchers book.   If hitters did the same thing, then they would know that I know that they know that I know that they know ... .   Wouldn't that be fun?   My favorite board game is chess.   My favorite sport game is baseball.   Done correctly, they are the same.

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338.   I have read chapter twenty-three.   There are hitters that pull because they'll wait for an inside pitch and there are hitters that pull because they bale out.   Now you wouldn't want to pitch them both the same, would you?   I've never seen a rook guess correctly on a 2-0 change-up and deposit it on the checkers board.

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     I am sorry that you did not appreciate my chess analogy.   I labeled hitters pull hitters because they hit the majority of their baseballs to the pull side of the field.   When pitchers pitch to hitters for the first time, they should treat them as pull hitters.   When hitters show the ability to hit the baseball to the opposite field with ease, pitchers should treat them as spray hitters.   When they show that they can do both with equal ease, pitchers have to work a lot harder.   Then, the chess match is on.

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339.   I was browsing a website looking for information on growth plates.    My son, who is now 15, pitched for his Varsity team as a Freshman this year, but had his season ended with a Grade 1 fracture in the growth plate in the right arm/shoulder.    He had a similar injury 3 years ago when he was pitching.    He clearly still has a large space in the growth plate and has more growing to do.    He is already 6'4" and I am trying to figure out what makes sense.    You talk about various programs you would recommend based on biological age which I suspect in my son's case is less than his chronological age.    How do you determine biological age?

       I haven't gotten too far with the Orthopedic Surgeons to answer that question.    Would the 8 week course make sense for him?    Should I focus on the 60 day or 120 day per year program?    How do you integrate a high school coach into the program where they have a tendency to pitch players as long as they can go?


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     To determine the biological age of youth baseball pitchers, within one week of their birthdates, you take X-rays of both arms from mid-forearm to mid-upper arm from both the lateral and anterior views.

01.   The ossification center for the olecranon process appears in the biological eleven year old male.
02.   The ossification center for the lateral epicondyle appears in the biological twelve year old male.
03.   The growth plate for the Capitular end of the distal Humerus bone closes in the biological thirteen year old male.
04.   The growth plate for the lateral epicondyle closes in the biological fourteen year old male.
05.   The growth plate for the olecranon process closes in the biological fifteen year old male.
06.   The growth plates for the radial head and the medial epicondyle close in the biological sixteen year old male.
07.   The growth plates for the humeral head, greater tuberosity, distal radius and distal ulna close in the biological nineteen year old male.

     I recommend that until the growth plate for the medial epicondyle closes, youth pitchers should not throw baseballs for more than two consecutive months each year, do not pitch competitively until they are biologically thirteen years old and do not pitch more than one inning per game twice a week.

     Your son should take the remainder of this baseball season off.   Then, within in one week of his next birthdate, you should have X-rays taken.   If you want, you could send a copy to me or you can get my 2004 Baseball Pitching Instructional Video and learn how to read the X-ray yourself.   You and your son will also learn how to minimize the unnecessary stress on his pitching arm.

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340.   I was reading an article that stated that for improving your running speed, you should only run at maximum intensity every other day.   The off day, you should run at only moderate speeds.   The article stated that your legs need 48 hours to recover from the high intensity training day.   Do you agree with this?

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     No.

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341.   Your eight-year old training program mentions an exercise called "pickoff position pronation throws" and references Chapter 37 of your Free Online Pitching Book as the source of the drill's explanation.   I scoured Chapter 37 and couldn't find it.   I saw pickoff leverage throws and pickoff slingshot throws, but no pickoff pronation throws.   I am trying to follow the eight-year old program.

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     I use the terms, pickoff pronation and pickoff leverage interchangeably.   I need to stop. Pickoff leverage is a better description, but I want to make sure that pitchers understand that the key to protecting their pitching elbow is that they powerfully pronate their pitching forearm with every type of pitch.

     My 2004 Baseball Pitching Instructional Video shows my drills.   I have not updated my Coaching Baseball Pitchers book to match.   I recently re-wrote my eight, nine, ten and eleven year old interval-training programs and plan to do the same with my high school and adult programs soon.

     I apologize for the temporary overlap between my new video and my old book.   When you see Copyright 2004 on anything I write, then you know that I recently updated that material.

     With my summer group and my next fifty and forty-week training groups soon to arrive, I am again a carpenter remodeling apartments.   After expending energy all day in the hot Florida sun, I find that I have little left to sit at my computer in the evening.   Please be patient with me.   Together, we will show your son how to become the best pitcher that he can be.

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342.   I fully appreciated your chess analogy, and as comparable games go, it's perhaps the best game to use as an analogy for many of baseball's confrontations, and even for a game or season as a whole.   I deleted a sentence that I mistakenly did not put back in, and I apologize if I came across rudely.   What I meant to say is that baseball has a greater number of possible outcomes that can come from one move than chess does, because its results can come across a continuous spectrum, rather than a discrete one.

     In chess you can move here, you can move there, it's a wonderful game I'm told.   In baseball, a righty can throw a cut fastball to long-armed Shawn Green and break his bat, but that same pitch ends up in some guy's kayak if he throws it to Barry Bonds, despite the fact that they're both pull hitters, in general.   It's just another reason why our game is so much fun.

     I imagine you are a very busy man, but I really enjoy these emails.   I doubt I will have the manners to stop writing you if you don't tell me not to.   In the event that you should continue to respond, you don't need to call me Sir any longer.   I understand you hear that a lot, but in this case you have established that you are respectful, and I appreciate that, though I obviously have no control over it.


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     I enjoy all emails.   In this case, your attempt to analyze pitch sequencing is very interesting to me.   If I were a major league manager, I would know what percent of each type of pitch every pitcher threw in the numerous situations that baseball presents.   Like every other team sport, baseball is a game of match-ups, but I see major league managers content to sit and watch.

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343.   Thanks for the reply.   No hurries, we know you are working hard.   Also, if you are teaching my son, please advise when and where I can meet him because I have no children of which I am aware.

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     My bad.   I assumed that you were interested in my eight year old baseball pitchers interval-training program because you have an eight year old.   I hope that you get one sometime.   It will be the most exciting and worthwhile thing that you do.

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344.   I have written you regarding my son in the past and stopped by your camp this spring.    He is a 13 year old lefthander who started experiencing some elbow pain last season.    I'm not a doctor but I was hoping it was fatigue and would clear up during our long, cold winter.    It has not.

       Once we began throwing in the spring he immediately complained of elbow pain again.    He is no longer pitching but he has this pain even during our long toss warm-up at the start of practice.    He says it hurts on the bottom of his elbow and along the elbow on the inside of the arm.

       I take him to our family doctor who tells me its tendonitis and recommends rest and performs no real tests.    Should I be concerned?    Do I need more specialized tests such as an X-ray or MRI?    As a concerned parent, I could sure use your help.    Maybe I'm overreacting.


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     The pain on the bottom of his pitching elbow indicates the olecranon process.   The ossification center for the olecranon process first appears in the biological twelve year old males.   I suspect that he is banging his olecranon process against its fossa.   The pain on the inside of his pitching elbow indicates the growth plate for the medial epicondyle.   I suspect that he has extreme pitching forearm flyout.

     I recommend that your son stop pitching competitively and spend two months learning the first three of my twelve step pitching drill program.   He will learn how to stop banging his olecranon process and generating pitching forearm flyout.

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345.   Have you ever stopped to think of the reasons why managers make the decisions they make?   They have a million reasons for what they do, and almost all of them are no reason at all:

1.   Because that's the way it's always been done.
2.   Because if I don't call for 'x' to happen here the GM will be ticked.
3.   Because I like this guy.
4.   Because the press will never let me live it down.
5.   Because I'll get fired.

     It's as if scoring runs for yourself and preventing the other team from doing likewise is the last thing on their minds.

     Speaking of counts, I have recently corrected a flaw in my approach as a hitter.   I was previously a very patient hitter, because getting on base seems to me to be the building block of scoring runs.   What I realized was that I was "waiting" myself into terrible counts, going two strikes in almost all the time.   The motivation for my change was a look through the hitting statistics of major leaguers by count.   From this I picked up a few very important points:

1.   Continue to swing only at strikes.
2.   Your odds of getting on base are much better in 3 ball counts, and much worse in 2 strike counts.
3.   With no strikes, swing only at pitches you can hit hard.
4.   With one strike, hit any pitch you can get the barrel on.

     ESPN.com has great numbers to go with these particular splits.   Using them, I would suggest that you could determine exactly what pitch the pitcher should throw in any given situation.   You just need to know a few things, which you have already researched in your own case:

1.   Percentage of strikes thrown by pitch.
2.   Probably damage by pitch. Pick a good single evaluation of hitting, like equivalent average or runs created per 27 outs.

     An example:   Say Mark Pitcher is facing Barry Batter.   Mark Pitcher throws the following pitches:

1.   Fastball, 60% strikes, .250 equivalent average.
2.   Curveball, 55% strikes, .225 equivalent average.
3.   Slider, 45% strikes, .200 equivalent average.

     Now, say the batter's count by count numbers look like this:

0-0 on, .300 eqa
0-1 on, .250 eqa
0-2 on, .150 eqa
1-0 on, .350 eqa
1-1 on, .285 eqa
1-2 on, .155 eqa
2-0 on, .400 eqa
2-1 on, .375 eqa
2-2 on, .200 eqa
3-0 on, .500 eqa
3-1 on, .450 eqa
3-2 on, .250 eqa

     Say the count is 1-1.   What should the pitcher throw (assuming batter and pitcher affect the outcome equally, which is debatable, and that the batter only swings at strikes, but you get the idea, I hope?

Fastball = (% strikes) * (positive pitcher expectation) * (positive batter expectation) = (0.60) * (1-.250) * (1-.285) = 0.32 Curveball = (0.55) * (1-.225) * (1-.285) = 0.30 Slider = (0.45) * (1-.200) * (1-.285) = 0.26

     The pitcher should throw a fastball.   Obviously there are millions more variables you could chuck in there to make it more accurate, but as a general idea, what do you think?


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     I like that you are attempting to bring order to what you do.   And, I really like your analysis of why managers make the moves that they do or don't.   Aren't you glad that medical researchers don't follow the same reasons; doctors would still be blood-letting.

     I look at offensive baseball in a different way.   The object is to score runs.   If teams can score runs without having to get hits, then when they score runs as a result of getting hits, all the better.   To score runs without getting hits, we need to get base runners to third base with less than two outs.   Then, we have to learn how to get those base runners to home plate.

     I believe that the entire batting lineup has to work together.   That means that hitters do not do what they want to do, but what the team needs them to do.   If that means take two strikes to wear the starting pitcher down or to permit a fast base stealer to steal a free ninety feet, then that is what they do.   If that means hitting the baseball on the ground to advance a base runner, then that is what they do.   Without the coordination of all nine hitters, the team suffers.

     With regard to what pitch to throw when:   The residual effect of the previous pitch has a reflexive influence on how batters react to the next pitch.   I don't know how your batter got to his one ball, one strike count, but I doubt that fastball is the best pitch selection.   In addition, curves and sliders are parts of the breaking ball category of pitches.   You need fastballs, breaking balls and reverse breaking balls.   Your pitcher needs to at least add my Maxline Fastball Sinker to his game.

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346.   My 10 year old son suffered an AC separation of the right shoulder from a fall during a soccer game.    He also fractured the growth plate on the upper right Humerus.    His doctor has ordered him to wear a sling 24 hours a day as the only treatment for both injuries for 4 to 6 weeks.    Additional X-rays will be taken in 2 weeks.    Is there any other treatment that should be considered in his condition, especially for the fractured growth plate?    After treatment, he would like to play second season baseball and swimming, should he have physical therapy before he starts playing sports again?

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     Did he say whether the injured growth plate was the Humeral Head or the Greater Tuberosity?   Did he say fractured or avulsed?   Because the Subscapularis muscle attaches to the greater tuberosity, I question whether the ossification center for the greater tuberosity fractured or pulled away.

     In any event, the remedy is restrained rest.   He has to allow the bones to continue to grow and develop.   The stretching of the ligaments between the acromion process of the Scapula bone and the lateral end of the Clavicle bone could have lasting effects on the laxity of that joint and possibly interfering with maximum throwing velocity.

     However, because at ten years old, he has open growth plates everywhere and does not even have some ossification centers where bone with eventually develop, I do not believe that physical therapy other than normal activities will do much.   I do like the swimming activity.   I recommend that baseball pitchers swim every day.   The floating effect permits the anti-gravitational muscles to relax and the gentle crawl or breast stroke action is great to bring blood flow to the pitching muscles.

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347.   I found your website during my quest for current information on pitching mechanics and treatment schemes for returning ballplayers to form after injuring their throwing arms.    I am a physical therapist and was pleased to see the volume of data and information that your site provided to back up what I learned the hard way 29 years ago.

       I made it to the college level pitching before my elbow gave up the ghost from 6 years (age 14 through 20) of breaking balls that I had fallen in love with.    First sore arm at 14, twinge at the elbow at 17 and toast by 20 even after having skipped throwing for 2 years between 18 and 20.    Anyway I stayed away from baseball until getting roped into coaching my youngest 2 years ago, he is now 13.

     I sought out info on the web last year and was amazed at how much was around.    But just as in most of the medical issues I deal with on a daily basis there was a lot of controversy as to "correct mechanics" of throwing.    Being a PT, I wanted to find biomechanically based information and therefore actually found your site last season and read your book online.    I found your information helpful, but I am one of those "show me" kind, a kinesthetic learner, and thus will be sending for your video.

     I am anxious to see your approach and look forward to coming up with questions regarding the information.    I am saddened by the number of young pitchers that I have seen with medial elbow pain, one is too many.    I have been a major advocate of no curve balls until skeletal maturity but I am definitely in the minority.


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     I look forward to your critique.   Nothing advances knowledge better than two professionals debating.

     Eight year olds can safely learn to throw my Maxline Pronation Curve with my Pickoff Leverage, Slingshot and Slingshot with Step throwing drill.   It is not the pitch, it is the force application technique.   Keep in mind that pitchers apply the force that destroys their pitching arm.   The problem is how they apply force.   With my force application technique, they will stop applying force that destroys their pitching arm.   It is simple.   It is obvious.   It works.

     Contrary to my critics, I did not pitch in 106 games, 208 closing innings and 13 consecutive games because I am a physical freak, I did it because I did not apply force that destroyed my pitching arm.

     I wish that I knew then what I know now.   With my latest techniques and pitch releases, I could have done much better.   My kids throw higher quality pitches than I did.

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348.   What are your thoughts about this article that Tom House wrote for his National Pitching Association magazine?

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Fast Forward Pitching Why It's Better to Move Forward Too Soon Than To Stay Back Too Long!
by NPA Co-Founders Tom House and Gary Heil

     "Stay back", "stop at the top", "find your balance point", "don't start forward until your leg lift reaches its highest point", "don't rush"…As a pitcher and/or as a pitching coach, we've all heard and/or taught "stay back" or "don't rush" as gospel.   Well, believe it or not, the games' best pitchers don't stay back.   In effect, they actually rush.

     The ongoing collaboration between our National Pitching Association Board of Advisors and the Children's Hospital (San Diego) Motion Analysis Lab is yielding interesting new research about what a pitcher's body actually does to initiate movement and efficiently time the delivery of a baseball.

     It turns out that the best and healthiest pitchers start their bodies forward either just before, or at the same time, they lift their front leg.   This early weight shift can be subtle or pronounced, but the head, spine, center of gravity and the critical (body) mass of these athletes has committed to moving forward before legs or arms have entered into the equation.   They actually reach what we, at the NPA, are calling their "inertia point" or that point where its impossible for the total body to do anything but go toward the plate.

     Believe it or not, this is exactly what human beings do naturally when they walk.   A persons' total body commits to a weight shift before his leg lifts his foot to take a step.   Nobody lifts their leg and then leans to walk.

     We figured we would try teaching this same natural sequencing to pitchers when trying to throw a baseball on flat ground and the mound.   Guess what happened? Over the last three months with over 100 pitchers in academies, clinics and professional spring training camps throughout the United States and Japan, pitchers improved their deliveries and put less stress on their arms.

     The physically weak and mechanically unskilled pitchers had the most dramatic gains in mechanical efficiency, but even our elite professional pitchers released the ball quicker, with fewer flaws and closer to home plate.   I'm sure you are asking "Why"? Our conclusions are as follows:

1.   Getting to and through inertia point, pretty much assures the leg lift and strides into foot contract will be natural and on line, like walking, the leg is reacting to the direction created by shifting critical mass toward home plate.

2.   Arms will also react naturally.   A pitcher's hand break, into equal and opposite arms, will facilitate balance and subconsciously sequence the timing of energy from legs into torso and eventually out into the baseball.   Think of it this way, nobody has to tell a shortstop when to break his hands or what to do with his arms to throw a runner out.   He doesn't stay back so he doesn't have the time for his extremities to misdirect or mistime the sequencing of energy, which are a primary cause of bad mechanics.

3.   Moving forward first, decreased the time for things to go wrong early in a delivery and this helped overall mechanical efficiency.   However, when pitchers didn't have the useable strength, or, with pitch totals, were too fatigued to maintain balance, posture and/or a stable glove into release point, their mechanical inefficiencies showed up late in the delivery.   So functional strength and counting pitches is still as important to health and performance as it has ever been.

     Finally, I'll bet you are wondering what "the teach" is for a pitcher to find his "inertia point" before lifting the front leg into stride.   We have come up with a drill the NPA calls "the Dennis Banks Drill" (Dennis is on our board and is an NPA certified pitching coach.   He thought of this drill).

     The teach for the Dennis Bank Drill is as follows:

1.   When playing catch, on flat ground or pitching on the mound, start with front foot crossed over and behind posting foot.   This automatically has the critical mass of total body wanting to fall toward the target.

2.   Keep balance and posture with posting knee flexed, head upright over spine and center of gravity and chin in line with front shoulder.

3.   Let the body imitate a fall.   When total body is under way, lift leg normally, break hands normally, torque normally, square up normally and throw/pitch the ball normally.

4.   In the beginning, most pitchers say they feel in a hurry and like they are going to fall on their face.   Don't worry, they aren't and they won't!   In fact, after about 5-10 throws/pitches, they'll find their natural timing.   This drill usually causes pitchers to deliver the ball faster, more efficiently and closer to home plate.

     Okay, that's the new stuff, give it a try. If you have questions, or would like to give us feedback, please contact the NPA at www.nationalpitching.com.
© 2004 by NPA
All Rights Reserved


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     Once again, Mr. House and his biomechanist fail to understand the difference between research and reporting.   He can write as many reports on what 'traditional' pitchers do, whether he believes that they are healthy or otherwise.   Nothing they say has any scientific merit.   They draw unsubstantiateable conclusions.   They have to get it through their thick skulls that the 'traditional' pitching motion has destroyed pitching arms for one hundred and thirty years.   It is broken.   We have to get rid of it.

     Until Mr. House and his biomechanist can explain why their 'perfect' pitching motion boy is injured and cannot pitch and why Randy Johnson missed a season after Mr. House tried to teach him how to release his pitches closer to home plate (A blatant intellectual thief of what I say my pitchers can do with my pitching motion), I don't think anybody should listen to what they have to say.   They have already uncaringly destroyed thousands of pitching arms, do not let them continue.

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349.   I am a high school baseball coach who has the opportunity to have some of my high school pitchers to begin your 120 day interval training program this summer.   I want to know if they can perform the 120 day interval training in the morning and still pitch legion baseball in the evening if they are following your guidelines for pitching appearances during the week.

     Also, I called the phone number that you listed for the wrist weights; it is most likely an incorrect number because they had no awareness of what I was requesting. If you have that phone number for the wrist weights, I would greatly appreciate it.   Again, I would like to thank you for the information that you have shared, and your genuine concern for young baseball players.


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     I just posted my new 120-Day High School Baseball Pitchers Interval-Training Program.   With the stress of my ten pound wrist weight, my six pound iron ball and learning a new way to apply force and release their pitches, I would not want them to also try to pitch competitively.

     I just checked my Equipment Vendors file.   The telephone number that I have in my records is (800)251-6040.   I hope that one works.

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350.   My son’s HS season just ended so we’re really ready to begin work with your pitching motion.   After reading your book several times and reviewing your video more times than I’d like to admit, it think I have a pretty strong grasp of what your pitching system is all about.   I eagerly await delivery of the 2004 video/DVD.

     I think the Forearm Acceleration Phase (FAP) of your delivery system will be the most difficult and challenging aspect of your pitching system to teach to my son because it is a phase of the delivery that simply does not exist within traditional pitching mechanics.   While every phase your system is important, I see FAP as the place where it all comes together; extended driveline, pronation, impartment of rotations for your wide variety of pitches, etc.

     In the traditional system, the baseball is long gone when the pitching leg leaves the rubber.   In your system, the pitching leg and pitching arm move in concert out in front of the glove foot to position the shoulders and pitching arm in place for forearm acceleration and for the pitching leg’s final push back towards second base (this is a very crude description of events but believe me, I got it).   This phase of the delivery will be entirely new for my son and will be extremely challenging for me to teach.

     I’m sure it would be much easier to teach your system to a kid with a blank slate who has not learned the traditional pitching method.   Unfortunately many of us out here need to make radical changes to our kid’s deliveries.   I’m not sure if your new video addresses this issue but it would be nice to have a section of your teaching materials devoted to “The Challenges of Transitioning from Traditional Pitching Mechanics to The Marshall Method”.   You’ve been through the challenge that awaits all of us who have sons that have been using the traditional method for some time.   I’d love to know what your specific approach is to working with kids that fall into this category.

     How do you initially address a kid who has come to you to be trained?   Even the most cooperative kid will offer up some resistance to radical change.   What key terms and/or phrases do you use when you’re working with these kids?   You see Dr. Marshall, you have a wealth of experience not only as a scientist but as a teacher!   It’s not only what you teach but HOW you teach it.   We have all spoken extensively here about WHAT it is that you teach.   I have found that discussion fascinating but I think you have much more to offer us…and I want it all!!   I also want to know HOW you coach and HOW you teach.


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     I am surprised to read that you have not already received my video.   Unless we made a mistake, my video guy sent it out first class last weekend.   Please let me know when you receive it and give me your review.   I believe that you will see precisely what I say and do when I work with young men.   We start at Step One and proceed until they master Step Twelve.   With biological sixteen year olds and older, I combine my wrist weight, iron ball and baseball drills.   With younger pitchers, I use only my baseball drills.

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351.   Got in the videos this week, and they are really, really good.    I like the fact that you showed the flaws, along with the good stuff.    Someone new to your mechanics will have to really study the videos to learn, and also use the book to get the workouts, but that is what it is all about.    If you want to do something right, it is not usually easy.

     A little update on my young son, who worked with you for eight weeks last summer and my older son, who recently completed forty weeks with you:

     As you know, my younger son had a tough time converting what he was doing into the net to a game situation.    All during his senior season, he simply could not "let it go" and use the mechanics to full effect.    It was always a bastardization of your mechanics, a cross between his old bad habits with some of your good stuff thrown in.

     He could be almost perfect in the bullpen, and look like a completely different pitcher in a game.    The entire problem is/was mental.    Needless to say, he did not have success.

     Cut to the first game of his summer season.    He is on a team with my older son's old coach, and we have a close relationship with him.    He knows what all the problems are.    My younger son had a break between his last HS game, and this first summer game, so I and my older son had time to get his mechanics close to flawless.

     The situation follows:    Last inning, home team, Score 3-1, he comes in to close!    The coach's thought was, he was on a team with strangers, a high school kid facing college, and former pro batters, he had to get his feet wet sometime, see what the added pressure would do for him.

     Well, it started off just like the high school season.    He was very tentative and went 3-0 on the first batter.    Then 3-1.    The next pitch, the batter hit a Texas leaguer over SS.    The next batter hit the first pitch, pop-up behind 1st that fell for a hit.    1st and 3rd, nobody out, score 3-1.   Very exciting.

     Then, something came over him.    Nothing from nothing leaves nothing.    The next pitch was a strike, but the guy on first stole second.   The next pitch was a curve in the dirt that got by the catcher.    The runner on third scored, and the other runner moved to third.    Score 3-2, tying run on third.

     At that point, he started hosing the ball.    The fastballs, both Maxline and Torque crackled, and were hard to see from the stands.     He threw sinkers, sliders and curves, and at least one great screwball.    He struck out the next three batters in order.

     I believe he went 3-2 on the first K, the guy fouled off several good strikes before he blew a fastball by him.    The next one he struck out on three pitches.    The last one took four pitches.    His teammates think he is some kind of ringer.    hehe.   Perhaps he has turned the corner, and will let it go from now on.    But he has not had the opportunity to get in another game as a pitcher.

     My older son has gone through the same type of mental block.   He has only been in a couple of games.    One was in a closing position, and he blew the save.   But he was also not using your mechanics.    He has worked diligently to lengthen his driveline in the pen, with great success.    He is supposed to start on Saturday, and hopefully he can translate his good bullpen work to the game.

     It appears that it requires a great leap of faith when these guys get into a game.    Game situations appear to trigger something that makes them revert back to their old mechanics.    Hopefully, my younger son is all right now, and my older son is probably disciplined enough to do it right.    We shall see.


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     When pitchers throw one way for ten to fifteen years, it is not surprising that they return to old habits.   Maybe I should only permit eight year olds to practice my pitching motion.   I share your hope that your sons relax and permit their bull pen pitching into the game.   Now, you know why I do not work with youngsters for less than eight weeks.   Even eight weeks is too short.   I am also bothered that I do not get to help my forty-week kids when they start pitching in games.   My perfect scenerio would be to have total control over their reentry into game situations, like in extended spring training intrasquad games.

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352.   Thank you for allowing me to spend some time at your training center yesterday.   You have a great group of young men working with you.   I have no doubt that your system of pitching will win out eventually.

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     You and everybody else are welcome to visit at any time.   I am not interested in winning, I know how to eliminate pitching arm injuries and want everybody else to know as well.

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353.   Why does a baseball have 108 stitches?    Is there some legend behind it?    Did a Buddhist monk make the first baseball with 108 stitches, because his string of prayer beads had that number of beads?

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     It probably has something to do with the circumference of baseballs and the number of stitches two figure eight-shaped pieces of cowhide require to remain in close contact.

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354.   I have read your book and am interested in the pitching mechanics that you teach.    I’m 29 so most of my organized competitive years are behind me.    I still pitch in an adult hardball league.    About 5 years ago I started doing my own study on pitching mechanics and find the subject very fascinating.    I’ve reviewed several of the “experts” information in depth and have attempted putting into practical use what they teach at different times.    During this time I stumbled on your information and feel that I have learned much reading your book/QA files.    About a year ago I also visited your facility and saw your troops in action.    You were very gracious and answered many of my questions.

     I have always pitched with the traditional pitching motion and have topped out in the high 80’s.    I grew up throwing a football and have always had a stronger arm throwing a football than a baseball.    I can throw a football 65+ yards.    I have come to conclude that my pitching motion and football motion are different and that I naturally do more things right throwing a football.    My arm is locked to my shoulder, my forearm travels in a straighter driveline, and I use my trunk more to throw.

       When I look at all the information out there I believe what I do when I throw a football is closest to what you teach for throwing a baseball.    When I throw a baseball the results are very different.    I have forearm bounce, my forearm does not travel in a straight line, and the recovery soreness feels much different (very little soreness with a football, with a baseball sore in back of shoulder, biceps, and forearm right above the elbow).    I have never had arm problems that have limited me from throwing.    My quest is to maximize my release velocity and pitching ability even if it is relegated to city leagues.    My next step is to purchase your video tape and implement your program.   What are your thoughts on your pitching motion and throwing a football (arm injuries are much less common among Quarterbacks than Pitchers)?

     If someone with a traditional pitching motion starts your program what is the typical learning curve.    What I mean by that is whether there velocity is adversely affected until they master the new motion/    I’m confident the release velocity would be higher once the new mechanics were mastered.    I realize every individual is different in their work ethic, etc. but you have worked with many traditional motion pitchers and I wonder on average what the learning curve is (for a pitcher not coming to you with an injury).


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     When you see pitchers or quarterbacks use their pitching or throwing upper arm to pull their pitching or throwing forearm forward, then they are using the 'traditional' pitching or throwing motion.   When you see my 2004 Baseball Pitching Instructional Video, you will see how baseball pitchers can benefit from throwing footballs.

     The reason why you do not have the same discomfort after throwing footballs as after throwing baseballs relates to the different masses not generating the same centripetal force, not a better technique.

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355.   My older son started today.    Pitched a complete game, 7 innings, and got the win, 9-3.   104 pitches, 61 strikes, 43 balls.   3 runs, all earned.   6 hits, 5 BB, 1 HBP, 6 Ks, 10 ground ball outs and 5 fly ball outs.

     Two of the walks came in the last inning when he was out of gas.    Three of the hits were infield hits.    Only three balls were hit solid, and one of those was an out.   Sliders and curves were great.    Both fastballs way above previous game speed with good movement.    Pretty good sinkers.    Most of the strikeouts were on fastballs.    He got around on most of his pitches much better today, and it showed in increased velocity.    Release point was much closer to the plate.    Much better force coupling.    No arm problems whatsoever.   The HBP came on a screwball.    He only threw three screwballs, and they were not good.    But he is really making progress with them in the pen.   Not bad for the first start in about a year.


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     I am always interested on follow-up information.   It is the one area of my training over which I have no control.   Both of your sons worked hard while they was here.   They has to continue to work just as hard.   Competition will bring out his true release velocity.   I have had pitchers gain ten miles per hour in the year after they complete my forty-week program.

     As I count up the hits, walks, strikeouts, ground outs and fly outs, I see where he faced thirty-three batters.   I prefer that pitchers go no more than three times through the lineup.   He went six batters into the fourth time through the lineup.   I do not permit pitchers to start an inning unless I believe that he can pitch strongly to five batters.   That means that I will not permit pitchers to start an inning when they have pitched twice through the lineup and would face the sixth hitter to start the next inning.   Therefore, were I managing this game, he probably would not have started the sixth inning.

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356.   My older son is working very hard every day.    He is concentrating on increasing his driveline length and getting the proper rhythm to get maximum velocity.    He has made great strides lately.    The reported game was good in that he somewhat "let it go," and consistently used your mechanics, rather than partially using them.    He still did not throw as hard as in most bullpen work though.

     Well, you would have a hard time getting the ball from him when he is going well.    It might take a few guys to remove him from a game where he is effective.    He once told one of his college coaches to "get the hell off his mound."   Plus, the intent in his starting this game, both for him and his coach, was to get comfortable using the new mechanics in a game.    Doing that for an extended period should really help his confidence.    I do not think he will have any problem reverting back to his old mechanics now.

     My younger son has not had any innings since his thrilling save.    But, he has continued to improve his rhythm and velocity.    Little brother is throwing MUCH harder than big brother.    He now has 'scary' velocity with both fastballs, with no arm problems whatsoever.    He is throwing harder than any of the college guys or former pros currently in their league that I have seen.    But, many of the D1 players have not come back yet.    I believe you will be very happy with him when he gets to Florida in August.


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     I understand not wanting to leave the mound.   However, the game is not about the pitcher, it is about the team.   Three times through the lineup when they have fastballs, breaking balls and reverse breaking balls permits pitchers to start batters off with three difference pitches.   He can pitch well three times through the lineup.   After that, let his brother finish.   Then, the same goes the other way.

     I know that eight weeks is not long enough for high school kids to meaningfully use what I teach.   That is why I question offering the eight-week program.   But then, I hear how, after struggling through high school baseball, he is starting to put a game together, he is starting to get it and I think, okay, I will try another group.

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357.   This game was solely meant for my older son to "get it together".    The coach was willing to take a loss in order for him to get his mechanics right in a game situation.   My sons are on two different teams.    My olders son is on a team with former pro and former college guys.    My younger son is on a team with young college guys.

     I think your high school program was great.    Different guys make react differently, but my younger son has really worked hard to get it together.    Along with the video and book, guys should be able to make progress away from Florida.   He has remained steadfast in reaching his goal.    The only problem was in not having anyone looking at him for an extended time during the fall and winter.   So, he got off track.    That could hurt other high school guys, unless they use video to record their workouts.

     Right now, he is really clicking.    He has more than a game.    He is becoming a .    I usually watch from behind a net which is behind the catcher.    It is the first time I can remember being a little concerned with the strength of the net.    He throws as hard as he wants, with no arm problems.


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     I understand that the coach wanted to help your older son get comfortable, but four times through the lineup this early in the season with as many base runners as he had means that he did not have much left with which to work.   I doubt that he could meaningfully keep command of his pitches.

     I appreciate that you say that your younger son benefited from my eight-week program.   I had no doubts that he would. The problem is that, with only eight weeks, he gets just enough to change what he does, but not enough to master the new technique.   As a result, he ends up between two techniques and frustrated.   Thank goodness he had you to help.

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358.   My son is complaining of discomfort around the origin point his Subscapularis.   The discomfort is right in the subscapular area.   He feels no discomfort in or around the shoulder.   He just completed his HS season and I was all set to begin training him in your pitching method.   He used the traditional pitching motion this past season.   What specific aspect of his mechanics do believe caused the injury?   Should I take him to an orthepedic doctor?   Do you recommend any exercises or remedial action?   How should I proceed with my plan to begin training him in your methods?

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     Anatomists would say that the Subscapularis muscle originates in the Subscapular fossa and inserts on the Lesser Tuberosity of the head of the Humerus bone.   The Lesser Tuberosity is on the inside, front of the shoulder.   The Subscapular fossa is on the anterior surface of the Scapula.   I doubt that your son could distinguish discomfort from that area from his posterior intercostal muscles.

     If his discomfort is in his back underneath his Scapula, I would suspect the Latissimus Dorsi muscle.   That would make his discomfort a result of decelerating his pitching arm as he pulls it across the front of his body.   If his discomfort is in the inside, front of his shoulder, then the discomfort is a result of taking his pitching elbow behind his acromial line.

     In either case, he should learn how to properly use his pitching arm.   He should start learning how to drive his pitching hand straight toward home plate and powerfully pronating his pitching forearm with my Pickoff Pronation/Leverage throws.   He has to stop using his pitching upper arm to pull his pitching forearm forward.

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359.   I have the new videos and I have watched bits and pieces.   We have been crazy busy, so I have not had time to study it.   I will do so and I will critique.   My off the cuff reaction is to agree that it is vastly superior to the first one.   But, I also hear too much criticism and see too many demonstrations of what NOT to do and not enough demonstration of what TO do.   I may be wrong. I see lots of baseballs going behind lots of heads and NO ONE rotates their pitching leg as you preach.

     I was glad to read what was said by one of the fathers of two boys who trained with you.   His boys can use your motion well in the bullpen but have trouble translating it to games.   This is my son.   We threw the other day and he blew me away with screwballs and Maxline fastballs and sinkers.   He pitched this weekend and although not bad, not nearly as sharp as he was in the back yard.


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     Well, my personal demonstrations were perfect.   Kidding aside, I thought about making certain that every example was perfect, but decided that showing viewers how flaws in the 'traditional' pitching motion linger was better.   I feel that sufficient examples were close enough to correct for viewers to know what their sons should do.   If I waited for complete perfection on everything, some viewers might criticize me for waiting until I got complete perfection to put out my video.

     When I show my kids what they should do and they do not do it, I am never sure whether they cannot do it or, for whatever reason, do not want to do it.   They are paying me to teach them.   I have no control over whether they learn or not.   If I were their head coach and they did not get to pitch if they did not do it as I wanted, then I would know that they cannot do it.   But, I am someone they pay.   They know that their future coaches will not understand and, probably, not like what they are doing.

     Old habits die hard.   When kids learn to use their pitching upper arm to pull their pitching forearm forward, it feels strong, it feels right.   However, it also destroys their pitching arm, decreases their release velocity and decreases their release consistency.   But, it feels normal because that is what they have always done.   That is why I want parents to teach their young pitchers with my force application techniques first.

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360.   I am currently debating today's use of pitch counts at the Major League level, and would love to hear your thoughts about the use of them.   I would also like to give you space on my forum to discuss pitching, throwing, and training at the major league level. And will provide links for your site from it.   I hope you have time to field some questions or add to the discussions. If you are able with time constraints, etc, I will move topics to this forum for you to address.

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     I am always happy to answer any pitching-related questions from any source.

     When teams use pitch counts to determine when to remove pitchers from games, they do so because they do not understand why pitchers injure themselves.   They assume that it is because they throw too many pitches.   They are wrong.   Pitchers injure themselves because they use the 'traditional' pitching motion that generates centripetal force that causes the injuries.   The idea that training less makes pitchers stronger is physiologically ignorant.   Rest leads to atrophy, which leads to injury, which leads to rest, which leads to atrophy, which leads to injury and so on, and so on and so on.

     The answer is to change how pitchers apply force.   Fortunately, I have done the research.   When pitchers learn how to apply force with my 2004 Baseball Pitching Instructional Video, they will stop injuring their pitching arm and, like I did, and all pitchers that I train do, they will be able to train every day and get stronger and stronger and stronger and so on, and so on and so on.

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361.   I spent hours reading your site and found it very informational.   I also noticed you were a bit of a novice 'webmaster'.   I plan to point a few links your way from my sites to help with promoting of your site.   I applaud your efforts with the youngsters.   Having played the game for many years with some success and now into the web site design and promotion, if I can offer any assistance with the site, please ask.

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     You will also notice that, except for my 2004 Baseball Pitching Instructional Video, which is still a long way from breaking even, everything I do is for free.   That means I pay all costs.   I would love to let everybody who needs to know how to pitch without injury about my web site, but, without income, I cannot afford more than what I am presently spending.

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362.   I, too, wonder if it is possible to do as you teach.   You show a bunch of kids who are working with you every day and they can't do it.   Bringing the pitching leg around is not a new concept of yours, yet none of your guy high speed film guys do it.   I can't believe that most of your guys "don't want" to do it.   Some of them, I believe.   Not all or most of them.

     I certainly wouldn't want you to show ONLY proper form.   The critiques are helpful.   But go back and count how many times you say: "nicely done" v. the times you find more than minor flaws and the ratio is very lopsided.   There are very view demonstrations that we can watch and say: "OK. That's how it's done."

     My son's comment while watching was what I thought it would be: "Dad, all he's doing is fussing at these kids.   I don't know what I'm supposed to do."   I told him to watch your demonstrations and listen to your critiques.   I do feel that I am much better able to instruct him after having seen these videos.   That was your purpose; therefore, it is a success.

     Your DVD assumes that those who purchase it are very familiar with your book and the vocabulary you use.   If I had not been emailing and talking to you for three years now, I would not understand many parts of the presentation.   If you wanted to sell only to your loyal followers, you succeeded; if you wanted to inform the masses, you may have come up a little short, although adding a few explanations would be easy to do.

     For example, in this video, you don't explain the pitching arm flaws, you just use the terminology.   What is forearm flyout?   What is reverse forearm bounce?   You demonstrated and explained in the old video, but not in this one.   I know what they are, but a new viewer will be confused.

     I love the titles and subtitles.   And the comical titles are very funny.   Some of them are too small to read without stopping the tape and staring, but they are funny.   I thought your sense of humor was not as prevalent in this production as the other and that's a shame because you have a great sense of humor.

     The Torque fastball high speed video does not appear to be of a Torque fastball.

     My son and I recognized his X-ray.   You digitally blocked out his name on one view, but we could read part of his name in the last name on the second view.


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     I wondered whether pitchers could achieve true straight-line drive.   That is why I use to say that my pitchers 'fight the flyout.'   Then, I took high-speed film of one of my pitchers throwing fifteen pound wrist weights.   While he reverse rotated too far, he did drive the fifteen pound wrist weight in a true straight line and achieved ninety degrees of pitching forearm separation from his pitching upper arm.   The question becomes can pitchers also drive five and one-quarter ounce baseballs in straight lines.

     As I said near the end of my video, I believe that our next jump up in velocity and pitch quality will come from delaying their glove leg, moving their pitching leg ahead of their glove foot and powerfully pushing off their glove foot.   These actions should help pitchers to straight-line drive their pitches.

     These young men come to me because they did not receive scholarship offers, did not make their college teams and/or they are injured.   They might want to get better, but they also know that they have to satisfy their college coaches.   When I show them my 'wind-up set position,' they start arguing that their coaches will not let them do that.   Like I used to do, they start compromising my pitching motion, which always results in pitching forearm flyout.   When they go to tryouts, the coaches always tell them to reverse rotate, turn your feet or something else equally harmful.   That is why I believe that they could drive in straight lines.

     I used the twenty minutes of high-speed film to show pitching forearm flyout, late forearm turnover and so on.   Possibly, I could have written graphics on them as well.   How did you like the high-speed films of the six different pitches?   I held the fingertip release position for five seconds.   You could see the pitching forearm pronation before, during and after release.   You could see the degrees of separation between the pitching forearm and upper arm.

     I agree that, with the pitching forearm flyout, the Torque Fastball release does have the horizontal finger position that I teach, but that is what they feel that they are doing.   If you ask each one, were your index and middle fingers pointing inwardly toward your head when you released your Torque Fastball, they would all say, yes.

     I still have my Flaws and Corrections video to make where I show twenty-four flaws in the 'traditional' pitching motion and how my pitching motion corrects these flaws.

     I appreciate critiques, blow-by-blow and otherwise.   Tell your son that I would prefer to not have to tell viewers when my kids do not perfectly perform my drills, but, at this time, that is not possible.   Maybe when I see him again, I could have him perform them perfectly for my next video.   I had to put his X-ray in my video, he is my kind of kiddo.

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363.   We all learn the hard way!   I got your new video and felt my soon to be 14 yr old son was old enough to view it with me.   He watched about 3 of your steps and ran outside and started practicing it.   I don't let him pitch but told him if he did it your way I'd let him.

     We went over to the park and he immediately went to the last step.   Needless to say he couldn't come close to moving his pitching foot ahead of his glove foot with any degree of fluidity.   He walked off the mound very discouraged.

     So let this be a lesson to the fathers out there.   Take it one step at a time.   There are no short cuts.   I'm pretty mad at myself because last week you specifically warned me about doing what I did.


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     For the past six or seven years, he has used his pitching upper arm to pull his pitching forearm forward.   That is what feels natural.   He needs two months with my Pickoff and Wrong Foot body actions to learn how to properly use his pitching arm.

     Next year, after he masters the proper use of his pitching arm, then, with my No-Stride body action, he can learn how to move his pitching leg ahead of his glove foot.   Then and only then, he will be ready to learn my wind-up set position.   If he never learns how to properly use his pitching arm, then he will never drive his pitches in straight lines toward home plate.

     Now, you know why I want to get this information to parents before their pitchers start pulling their pitching forearms.

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364.   I understand completely the costs of doing such a service. I certainly do not expect any pay.   I only offered my assistance when I ran upon a guestion to you regarding linking to a new browser window.   My assistance is free.   Actually your site works.   That's the main thing.   I checked it out and you have the necessary things in place to make it work.   Getting it 'linked' or added to other sites will gain it in popularity.   I provided a link to your site in the discussions for more people to 'learn' about your process.   I also added it to one of my sites, which are about baseball.

     Being such a huge fan of the game, and considering myself slightly above average when it comes to the understanding of the game, I am just happy having someone such as yourself that is so close to the game there and answering questions when one must be answered by someone knowledgeable.

     During the pitch count debate, I suggested the MLB needs a sort of certification or test, for their Pitching Coaches, which possibly certifies them for distributing advice to the young arms, or old arms for that matter.   A test made up by people with the expertise in pitching mechanics, such as you.

     Good luck with your work! And when the question of pitch counts comes up again in the future and questions arise, I will drop you an email.

     Oh, PS, I am a Cleveland Fan, for what its worth.   With so many young arms being introduced into our system of rebuilding a team, pitching is quite a popular topic of discussion.


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     My purpose is to reach all interested in understanding baseball pitching.   I will gladly accept and greatly appreciate any help I can get.

     I also tire of the uninformed buffoons who present themselves as pitching coaches and not only steal money for worthless and dangerous information, but also do not care that they destroy thousands of pitching arms.   Before I told them how what they teach is wrong and injurious, they may have had the excuse of ignorance, but they continue with reckless disregard for the safety of the pitchers.

     I will happily answer any and all questions that you and/or your readers have.   However, I frequently have to raise the knowledge level of the audience before I can show them that what they think is right is not.   That irritates some, but before they can know that two plus two is not five, they need to know how to determine that it is four.

     I like the idea of certifying pitching coach wannabes.

01.   They need to be able to list with origin and insertion the thirty-six primary pitching muscles, explain how each functions during the baseball pitching motion and what pitching flaws cause pain in each of them.

02.   They need to be able to list with origin and insertion the critical ligaments of the pitching arm, explain how each functions during the baseball pitching motion and what pitching flaws cause pain in each of them.

03.   They need to be able to list Sir Isaac Newton's three laws of motion and explain how they apply to the baseball pitching motion.

     I could go on, but I think that it is obvious that I am the only baseball pitching coach who could pass my test.   For some reason, laypeople believe that if someone pitched baseball, then they can teach others how to do it.   But, would they stop the next person they see driving a car and ask them to fix their carburetor?

     If you watch my 2004 Baseball Pitching Instructional Video, you will see that I think that we need to certify pitchers before we permit them to compete at the various levels.   I showed the skills that I would require of professional pitchers.   Perhaps the Indians would like someone capable of teaching those skills to their pitchers.   But then, why would they want injury-proofed pitchers with the variety of pitches required to pitch equally well to all types of hitters at their maximum release velocity and consistency?

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365.   It seems from reading the questions that have come before that the new DVD is ready.   Can you confirm?   Also, what is your turnaround time to ship once you get a U.S. Postal money order?

     I also solicit your thoughts on how the Marshall Motion is adapted for a third baseman throwing to second base on a double play, a situation in which coaches have long advised using a sidearm delivery to save time.

     Finally, on the interval running program you described in an answer on these pages some time ago:   are you concerned that the slow-faster-fastest interval means that runners never get to practice rounding the bases at full speed?   Also, how does the running intensity progress? With the wrist weights, you control it by increasing the weight.   How do we increase loads on runners, and at what rate of progression over what period of time?


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     Yes, the DVD version of my 2004 Baseball Pitching Instructional Video is ready.   When I receive your request, I immediately email my video guy.   He packages, addresses and takes it to the Post Office, where he first-class mails it to you.

     When third basemen have to throw to second base, I recommend my Torque Fastball throwing motion.   I would disagree that throwing sidearm would ever be preferable.   I know, I know, you also think that third basemen should throw sidearm to first on bunts and slow rollers.   My research shows otherwise.

     My speed-ups running drill is to prevent pulled short head of the biceps femoris and rectus femoris, hamstrings and quads to laypeople.   After the base runners have trained for several weeks with straight line running and I feel confident that they will not have any motor unit contraction and relaxation sequence firing glitches, I teach them how to properly turn the bases.

     When training sprinters, the variable to control is the numbers of high-intensity leg repetitions.   However, before sprinters can use their maximum intensity even for two strides, they need to gradually build up to their maximum intensity for several days or more depending on their fitness levels.   For example, to start, I would ask they to run at one-quarter intensity for five yards, one-half intensity for five yards and three quarter intensity for five yards.   I would repeat these fifteen yards sprints ten times with a six to one work to recovery interval.   After I assess whether, how much and where they have stiffness and soreness each day, I would adjust their intensity, duration and number of repetitions.   The key is to know precisely how each base runner is responding to the work that you are asking all to do.

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366.   Early in your new video you show one of your veteran students throwing a torque fastball.   As I understand the motion from the ready position to release, the ball should travel right past the ear with the fingers horizontal.   While the pitch looked good enough, the ball traveled (in my view) nowhere near the ear and the forearm was outside of vertical at release with the fingers vertical.

     I know you say what we think we are doing is not always what we are actually doing but it seems to me that someone would realize the difference between fingers being vertical at release rather than horizontal.   Was the pitch in the video how you visualize a torque fastball being thrown?


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     You are correct, Sir.   However, if you asked him where his pitching hand went, he would say right beside my pitching ear with my fingers horizontal.   Imagine how bad the 'traditional' pitchers look who don't even try to drive their pitching hand close to their pitching ear.

     For years now, I have said that these pitching coach wannabes have no idea what is going on with the pitching arms of their pitchers.   I do.   I know that they cannot do what I say that they should do.   Nevertheless, they try as hard as they can to do it.

     Back when Mark Wohler closed for the Atlanta Braves, I saw a ten minute interview with the Director of Research of the American Sports Medicine Institute.   They showed high-speed film of Mr. Wohler.   The Director praised his perfect pitching motion.   I watched his palm-down transition, his late pitching forearm turnover, his reverse pitching forearm bounce, his extreme pitching forearm flyout, his pitching elbow pull and so on and not only did I know that he would destroy his pitching arm, but I also knew that ASMI had no idea what they were doing.

     In other words, if you think that what my kids do is bad, you should see what the best major league pitchers do.

     The closer that pitchers get to what I tell them to do, the better their pitches get.   Nevertheless, they still throw higher quality pitches than with the 'traditional' pitching motion.

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367.   I would like to thank you for your generosity in making your materials available for free to the general public, and tireless efforts in answering questions.   I always look forward to reading your latest answers in the Question/Answer files.

     I have played competitive cricket from the age of seven and still do, at age nineteen.   You might be interested to hear that even the amount of throwing involved in playing youth cricket, for approximately five months of the year, from the ages of seven to sixteen, was enough to reduce my elbow extension range of motion by approximately five to ten degrees.

     I first watched a game of baseball on television during the 2001 World Series and was struck by the battle between pitcher and hitter, the amazing ability of pitchers to move balls dramatically and the general proficiency of baseballers at throwing, a proficiency which I now know is despite, rather than due to, their throwing technique.

     I became hooked on baseball and joined the school baseball when I began my undergraduate degree.   I spent some time pitching and some time in the outfield, however, I was far more interested in pitching.   Therefore, I began to read all that I could on pitching, trusting the comments made by commentators on television, the various "experts" who publish limited materials on the internet, and my coaches.   However, once I stumbled across your website, I realised that I had been duped.

     I must say that I have rarely come across a sport coach who knew Newton's laws of motion, much less one who was able to apply them to coaching.   I enjoy learning about human anatomy and the physiology of exercise by reading your Question/Answer files.

     Now, my arm soreness is largely gone, as I pronate my forearm on my pitches, delay the forward motion of my body until my arm is at driveline height and attempt to apply force to the ball in a straight line.   I encourage my teammates to do the same and to visit your website and read your materials.   However, as I am a newcomer to baseball I am not treated very seriously.   It is a shame, particularly given the amount of injuries and pain that people, particularly pitchers, seem to suffer.

     However, they believe it is part and parcel of pitching: "Pitchers get sore arms; if you don't get sore, you're not doing it right", I was told.   I tell them that it doesn't have to be.   I get some slight soreness in the front of my shoulder, which I believe indicates that the inertia of my pitching arm is causing it to drag behind my body, as a result of moving my centre of mass forward too early.   I am sure I will correct this flaw once I complete your program.

     My questions are:

1. It seems that the residual effect of a starting pitcher would have a reflexive effect on the hitters when they face the relieving pitcher.   That is, it would seem to be more in favour of the relieving pitcher the more he or she contrasts with the starting pitcher.   Do you agree with this, and if so, in what ways would pitchers who are all using your methodology contrast with each other?

2.   I assume you would have mentioned this, but is there any possibility for an alternate driveline?   For example, could a pitcher lean excessively to the pitching arm side and still drive the ball in a straight line to home plate, with forearm pronation, thereby being the equivalent of a traditional "submarine" or "sidewinder"?

     I apologize for the length of this email, however, I feel that it is important for you to realise how far-reaching your influence is and I hope I never see repeated in your Question/Answer files the sentiment that:   "Maybe I should only permit eight year olds to practice my pitching motion."


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     As I understand the cricket motion, pitchers lock their throwing arm straight, lean dramatically to their glove side and swing their straight arm vertically overhead.   While I do not see the tremendous centripetal force that slings their pitching forearm laterally outward like the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion does, I can see where the 'locked straight' throwing elbow could irritate the olecranon fossa and cause a loss of elbow extension range of motion.

     I agree with your analysis of your Subscapularis discomfort, that is, the front of your shoulder.   When your pitching hand reaches driveline height, you should 'lock' your pitching upper arm with your body.   As a result, if you unintentionally allow your pitching arm to drift laterally behind your acromial line, when you start your body forward, your pitching arm will not remain behind.

01.   I do not agree with the popular notion that relief pitchers should have an unusual motion or pitch with which to differentiate them from the starting pitchers.   To the contrary, if starting pitchers do their job, they will have sequences their pitches so as to expose the weaknesses in the batters game.   Therefore, it should be easy for the relief pitchers to attack those weaknesses.   Just like every pitch leads to the correct next pitch, every at bat leads to the correct pitch sequence for the next at bat.

02.   Because it permits horizontal spin axes for my Maxline Fastball, Torque Fastball, Maxline True Screwball and Maxline Pronation Curve, I prefer the straight line drive with the vertically upward pitching forearm.   Nevertheless, you are correct, pitchers could also have a straight line drive with a vertically downward pitching forearm.   Unfortunately, these pitchers do not get the benefit of gravity helping non-fastballs move downward.

     I made my comment about eight years olds because it appears that trying to unlearn the 'tradititionl' pitching motion's reverse body rotation that takes the pitching arm beyond second base and the resulting sideways force application that leads to pitching forearm flyout is like an addiction, almost impossible to remove.   I hope that my Twelve-Step Program helps.

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368.   We had been talking about my shoulder, and the probability that I had a suprapinatus injury caused by shoulder bounce while throwing (I'm a catcher).   My mom finally convinced me to see her chiropractor.   He did and told me about some interesting things, and I wanted to run them by you, as I'm afraid I'm a bit short on qualified people whose opinions I trust.

     First, he said that when a muscle gets injured, that the body will sometimes turn it off, and other muscles will compensate for it to create the relevant motions.   He said when the body heals that muscle it turns the muscle back on, however, on occasion the body fails to reactivate the healed muscles.   He said that was probably the case with my shoulder.   He did some pressure point massage on my shoulder, and claimed that that has begun to reactivate the healed muscle.

     I haven't been able to throw yet to test it out.   Is there any scientific basis for any of that, or is he a well-meaning quack?   Even if I can throw pain free, is that necessarily an indication that my shoulder is healed, or could it be merely temporary relief from the symptoms of a problem that's much worse than mere pain and discomfort?


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     I know of no scientific basis for his comments.   Inflamed tissue can temporarily respond to deep muscle massage, but, without correcting the throwing motion flaw, the problem will return.   You need to learn how to smoothly move your throwing arm to driveline height with your throwing forearm forty-five degrees behind vertical toward second base and enter the acceleration phase with a positive velocity.

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369.   I think, when you have the time, you really ought to give the discussion forums a shot.   I have noted how you enjoy the email correspondence.   This is much better and as easy as writing an email.   When time permits, I am sure you're busy, visit mine, and see how you like it.   But, I warn you, they are extremely addictive.   I currently frequent two.   If you like it, I will set you up with your own.   Free.

     I love this stuff, and I love baseball.   But I hate being pushy.   I just see some ways that can help you 'get out there' more.   Meanwhile, I will concentrate on pitching questions.   If I see a good one, I'll 'toss' it by you.   I do get a lot posted from time to time.


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     I set aside a couple of early morning hours to answer questions.   I fill the remainder of my day with many other activities.   I have no interest in discussion forums.   However, I do like to explain how research and scientific methodology would investigate and/or answer the questions.

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370.   I have an athletic training student friend and believes that my right shoulder has adhesions that result in crepitus in AC joint during horizontal ab and adduction.   I feel discomfort when doing my weight training even though I take special care not to over extend my range of motions.   What do you think is the cause of the pain?   Is my friend right?   What caused the pain, besides no longer doing your iron ball exercises?   Is there any way to fix it besides having arthroscopic surgery?

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     What is crepitus?   Researchers call tissue growths that occur at injury sites that do not follow the proper alignment, adhesions.   Over time with rehabilitative activities, these non-functional adhesions resorb.   The acromioclavicular joint has strong ligaments that hold the acromion process of the Scapula tightly to the lateral end of the Clavicle bone.   Did you apply more downward stress to the adjoining upper arm than these ligaments could withstand, like landing on your shoulder or colliding with something?

     There is no such thing as horizontal abduction and adduction.   There is shoulder joint abduction, which means that you start with your arm hanging at your side and laterally raise it to shoulder height.   Any movement above shoulder height would become shoulder girdle upward rotation.   Shoulder joint adduction would mean that you start with your upper arm at shoulder height and pull it down to your side, such as doing an iron cross on still rings.

     Discomfort occurs when athletes do any action for which they are not trained to perform.   I do not know the action that you want to perform or whether you are trained to perform it.   When I understand what it is that you want to do, I could recommend a training program to gain that fitness.   Then, unless you have some physiological abnormality, such as a bone spur, you will gain the ability to perform that activity.   Surgery is almost never the answer.

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371.   Which side of the pitching rubber should a pitcher throw from, first base side or third base side?    For example, should your location on the pitching rubber change if the opposing lineup was all right handed hitters vs. all left handed hitters?

     For a right handed pitcher, pitching from the third base side of the rubber makes it more difficult for opposing right handed hitters to see the ball clearly with both eyes because of the ball is released more behind their back.   Different pitches might be more effective thrown from one side of the rubber than the other depending on which side the batter is hitting from.   Batting lineups are always a mixture of right and left handed batters, would you move from one location on the rubber to another based on the hitter?

     Changing location on the pitching rubber for maxline vs. torque pitches while throwing to the same hitter might make pitches more effective, supposing the batter didn't notice what you were doing.


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     Pitching arm side pull hitters prefer pitches that move in on them.   Therefore, pitchers should stand on the pitching arm side of the pitching rubber and throw pitches that move to the glove side of home plate.

     Glove side pull hitters prefer pitches that move in on them.   Therefore, pitchers should stand on the glove side of the pitching rubber and throw pitches that move to the pitching arm side of home plate.

     Pitching arm side spray hitters prefer pitches that move away from them.   Therefore, pitchers should stand on the glove side of the pitching rubber and throw pitches that move to the pitching arm side of home plate.

     Glove side spray hitters prefer pitches that move away from them.   Therefore, pitchers should stand on the pitching arm side of the pitching rubber and throw pitches that move to the glove side of home plate.

     I teach my pitchers several pitches that they can throw from either side of the pitching rubber to either side of home plate.   I also recommend sequences that pitchers should use for the first, second and third at bats against hitters.   Until hitters show otherwise, pitchers should consider all hitters to be pull hitters.   Chapters Twenty-Three through Twenty-Eight of my Coaching Baseball Pitchers book explain my thoughts more completely than I will write here.

     I disagree with your statement, "For a right handed pitcher, pitching from the third base side of the rubber makes it more difficult for opposing right handed hitters to see the ball clearly with both eyes because of the ball is released more behind their back."   With the 'traditional' pitching motion, when pitching to pitching arm side batters, pitchers have to pull their pitching arm inwardly more than usual and make more mistakes.   With my pitching motion, pitchers can throw my Torque pitches without having to pull their pitching arm inwardly at all.

     Pitchers want hitters to notice what they are doing.   When pitchers think about what they have to do, they react more slowly.   Of course, that assumes the pitchers can throw all pitches that I teach for strikes.

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372.   I have noticed that pitchers have a different range of motion with the throwing shoulder than the non-throwing shoulder when the throwing upper arm is held away from the body horizontally with the elbow at a ninety degree angle.    The throwing arm can reverse rotate farther than the non-throwing arm and the non-throwing arm can forward rotate farther than the throwing arm.    It seems that the total degrees of rotation of both arms are similar, but the throwing arms range of motion is twisted backward when compared to the non-throwing arm.

     Is this a normal effect from throwing?    I have read your thoughts on elbow range of motion and that you discourage bone deformation even if it doesn't cause pain or injury.

     A few years ago when I pitched in college, some doctors come in to give everyone a physical.    They were amazed at the difference in shoulder rotation of all of our pitchers.    Also, I have a friend who saw a doctor yesterday to check his rotator cuff and the doctor said it was fine and said that he had to increase the forward rotation range of his shoulder to match that of his non-throwing arm.


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     When I talk about range of motion, I am talking about elbow flexion and extension range of motion, not how far pitchers can inwardly and outwardly rotate their shoulder joint, that is, their Humerus bone.   The muscles that attach to the head of the Humerus bone that inwardly and outwardly rotate the Humerus bone are; Subscapularis, Supraspinatus, Infraspinatus and Teres Minor.

     With my pitching motion, I recommend that pitchers drive their pitches and, hence, their pitching arm in straight lines toward home plate.   This means that I want their pitching arm to point toward home plate after release.   This minimizes the inward rotation of the Humerus bone.

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373.   In looking at recovery on both an intra and intergame basis, do we have a good picture of how much energy a pitcher expends in a theoretical average inning?   It's stuck in my mind that it's equivalent to running a 400m race, but I honestly have no idea where that comes from.   In addition to the things that most pitching coaches don't know, they seem to completely lack any understanding of rest and recovery.

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     To calculate energy expenditure, researchers have to determine the energy system that the athletes use to resynthesize the adenosine-triphosphate.   While I am sure that you want some simple, quick answer, I prefer to show the complexity of the question and, hence, the wide variety of answers I could provide.

     Heavy exercise increases total energy expenditure of the body fifteen to twenty-five times and energy utilization two hundred times over resting levels.

     From rest to moderate exercise, athletes rapidly increase oxygen consumption to steady states within one to four minutes.   The ATP-PC system is the first active bioenergetic pathway, but it is almost immediately followed by the Glycolysis system.   When athletes achieve steady-state, the Oxidative Phosphorylation system takes over.

     Oxygen deficit occurs when athletes experience a lag in oxygen uptake at the beginning of exercise.   Trained athletes have lower oxygen deficits and produce less lactic acid because they activate their aerobic system earlier.

     Metabolism remains elevated for several minutes after athletes stop exercising.   The greater the intensity of the exercise, the longer that metabolism remains elevated.   Researchers relate elevated metabolism to oxygen consumption. For two to three minutes, athlete consumed high levels of oxygen.   For thirty or more minutes thereafter, athletes consumed lower steady-state amounts of oxygen above their resting levels.

     Until about twenty years ago, researchers said that athletes were paying an ‘oxygen debt’.   However, because recent research shows that that the elevated oxygen consumption following exercise is not entirely related to borrowing oxygen from oxygen stores in the body, they now call the process ‘Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption’ (EPOC).

     Researchers estimate that cells convert seventy percent of lactic acid to pyruvic acid, twenty percent to glucose and ten percent to amino acids.   The heart and skeletal muscle oxidize the pyruvic acid and cells store the glucose and amino acids.

     Because only twenty percent of the elevated oxygen consumption following exercise converts the lactic acid that the exercise produced to glucose, researchers speculate that we use the other eighty percent to restore: phosphocreatine, blood and tissues oxygen, body temperature and epinephrine and norepinephrine.

     When high-intensity exercise produces lactic acid during the work phase of interval training, athletes should accelerate the lactic acid removal process with low-intensity exercise during the recovery phase of interval training.   Researchers recommend that athletes train at thirty to forty percent of their maximal level during recovery phases following high-intensity work phases.

     The length of time that athletes exercise determines the degree to which the ATP-PC system, the Glycolysis and the Aerobic system resynthesize the ATP required to return to pre-exercise levels.

     For five seconds, the ATP-PC system resynthesizes the ATP.   After five seconds, glycolysis resynthesizes the ATP.   After forty-five seconds, the Aerobic system starts helping the glycolysis system to resynthesize the required ATP.

     With two exceptions, athletes can generally maintain their steady-state oxygen uptake during sub-maximal exercise of moderate duration.   Hot/humid environments gradually increase body temperature, which causes oxygen uptake to ‘drift’ upward.   Exercise intensities greater than seventy-five percent of maximum oxygen volume also causes oxygen uptake to ‘drift’ upward.

     To determine cardiovascular fitness, researchers measure the maximal capacity of athletes to transport and utilize oxygen during exercise.   After a brief warm-up, researchers have athletes exercise at incremental or graded levels.   By varying the speed and/or incline of treadmills, they increase the work rate every one to three minutes until athletes can no longer linearly increase their oxygen uptake.   VO2 max is the ‘physiological ceiling’ of the ability of the cardiovascular system to deliver oxygen and the ability of muscles to utilize the oxygen to aerobically resynthesize ATP.

     Whereas blood levels of lactic acid begin to rise in untrained subjects at about fifty to sixty percent of their physiological ceiling, it does not begin in trained athletes until sixty-five to eighty percent.   Researchers argue that an increasing reliance on anaerobic metabolism causes the sudden increase in blood lactic acid levels.   Because whether the end product of glycolysis is pyruvic or lactic acid depends on a variety of factor other than hypoxia, researchers prefer Lactate Threshold to Anaerobic Threshold.

     During glycolysis, muscle cells have a shuttle system that transports hydrogen molecules from their sarcoplasm to their mitochondria for NADH production.   However, at rapid rates of glycolysis, pyruvic acid uses some ‘unshuttled’ hydrogen molecules to produce lactic acid.   The following four situations explain how lactic acid formation could occur independent of whether the muscle cell had sufficient oxygen for aerobic ATP production.

1.   Epinephrine and norepinephrine increase the rate of glycolysis.   Blood levels of epinephrine and norepinephrine begin to rise at fifty to sixty-five percent of VO2 max.

2.   Lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) catalyzes the conversion of pyruvic acid to lactic acid.   The fast muscle fiber LDH isozyme readily attaches to pyruvic acid molecules.

3.   At low exercise intensities, slow muscle fibers contract.   At higher exercise intensities, fast muscle fibers start contracting.   The onset of fast muscle fiber involvement increases lactic acid production.

4.   The liver, heart, skeletal muscle and so on remove lactic acid from the blood.   Therefore, the blood lactic acid level depends not only on the production rate, but also the removal rate.   At some point, the lactic acid production rate exceeds the capacity of these tissues to remove lactic acid.

     Athletes with lactate thresholds at higher percentages of their maximum oxygen uptake level perform better in anaerobic events.   Coaches need to design specific interval training programs relative to the lactate thresholds of each of their athletes.

     How many oxygen (O2) molecules does palmitic acid (C16H32O2) need to produce carbon dioxide (CO2) and water (H2O)?   The sixteen carbon molecules need sixteen oxygen (O2) molecules to form sixteen carbon dioxide (CO2) molecules.   The thirty-two hydrogen (H) molecules need eight oxygen (O2) molecules.   Because palmitic acid already has one oxygen (O2) molecule, it requires twenty-three more oxygen (O2) molecules.   Therefore, for fat metabolism, the sixteen CO2 molecules divided by the twenty-three O2 molecules equals 0.6956 or .70.   Consequently, the Respiratory Exchange Ratio for fat is .70.

     How many oxygen (O2) molecules does glucose (C6H12O6) need to produce carbon dioxide (CO2) and water (H2O)?   The six carbon molecules need six oxygen (O2) molecules to form six carbon dioxide (CO2) molecules.   The twelve hydrogen (H) molecules need six oxygen (O2) molecules.   Because glucose already has six oxygen (O2) molecules, it requires six more oxygen (O2) molecules.   Therefore, for carbohydrate metabolism, the six CO2 molecules divided by the six O2 molecules equals 1.0. Consequently, the Respiratory Exchange Ratio for carbohydrates is 1.0.

     Respiratory Exchange Ratios between 0.70 and 1.0 indicate combinations of fat and carbohydrate metabolism.   The closer the number to 0.70, the more fat contributed to metabolism.   The closer the number to 1.0, the more carbohydrates contributed to metabolism. At 0.85, fat and carbohydrates contribute equally.

     Proteins contribute less than two percent to metabolism for exercise that less than one hour.   For three to five hours of exercise, proteins contribute five to fifteen percent of the fuel for metabolism.

     Diet and exercise duration determine which substrate contributes to metabolism.   Whereas high-fat, low-carbohydrate diets promote fat metabolism, low-fat, high-carbohydrate diets promote carbohydrate metabolism.   Whereas low-intensity exercise promotes fat metabolism, high-intensity exercise promotes carbohydrate metabolism.   During low-intensity prolonged exercise, the percent of fat metabolized progressively increases as the exercise continues.

     As the intensity of exercises increases to higher percentages of maximal oxygen utilization, the proportions that fat and carbohydrates contribute to metabolism changes.   At low-intensity, fat contributes much more than carbohydrates.   At high-intensity, carbohydrates contribute much more than fat.   As exercise intensity moves from low to high, while fat contribute less and less, carbohydrates contribute more and more.   The cross-over point occurs at around thirty-five percent of maximal oxygen utilization.

     Fast muscle fibers and epinephrine cause the shift from fat to carbohydrate metabolism.   Because fast muscle fibers have abundant glycolytic enzymes, but few mitochondria and lypolytic enzymes, they metabolize carbohydrates.   Blood epinephrine levels increase as intensity increases and high blood epinephrine levels increase muscle glycogen breakdown.   Then, the high lactate levels reduce the availability of fat as a substrate, which inhibits fat metabolism.

     When low-intensity exercise lasts longer than thirty minutes, the contribution of carbohydrates to metabolism gradually shifts to a reliance on fat as the substrate.   Lipases break down triglycerides into fatty acids (FFA).   Lipolysis is a slow process that takes several minutes of exercise to start.   During prolonged low-intensity exercise, blood epinephrine levels increase.   Epinephrine, norepinephrine and glucogen stimulate lipase activity.   However, insulin and high blood lactic acid levels inhibit fatty acid mobilization.   Consuming high-carbohydrate meals or drinks within thirty minutes of exercise increases blood glucose levels, which increases blood insulin levels.

     Fat oxidation is greater at higher exercise intensities that are below the lactate threshold.   At twenty percent of maximal oxygen utilization, fat contributes to sixty percent of metabolism.   At fifty percent, fat contributes only forty percent.   However, because the total energy expenditure is two and one-half times greater at fifty percent, the absolute amount of fat that the body metabolizes is thirty-three percent greater.   Therefore, to reduce fat stores, we have to consider both the rate of energy expenditure and the percentage of energy metabolism to which fat contributes.

     If athletes exercise for more than two hours, they can reduce their muscle and liver glycogen stores to very low levels.   Glycolysis converts glycogen to pyruvic acid.   Pyruvic acid is a precursor for Krebs Cycle intermediates such as oxaloacetate amd malate.   Through a series of actions, low muscle and liver stores causes muscle fatigue.

     Low muscle and liver carbohydrate levels reduce the rate of glycolysis, which reduces pyruvic acid concentration in muscle, which reduces the Krebs Cycle intermediates, which reduce the rate of Krebs Cycle activity.

     In muscle with adequate glycogen stores, exercising at seventy percent of maximal oxygen utilization increases the amount of Krebs Cycle intermediates nine-fold.   Elevated levels of Krebs Cycle intermediates speeds up the ATP production by Krebs Cycle activity.

     When low amounts of Krebs Cycle intermediates reduces Krebs Cycle activity, the Krebs Cycle cannot metabolize fat.   This means that the Krebs Cycle can only metabolize fat when it has plenty of carbohydrate intermediates already metabolizing.   Therefore, for athletes to perform prolonged low-intensity exercise, they must have high levels of carbohydrate intermediates.   Thirty to sixty grams of carbohydrates per hour enhance prolonged exercise performances.

     Whereas muscle glycogen directly contributes to muscle energy metabolism, liver glycogen indirectly contributes.   During prolonged exercise, low blood glucose levels stimulate liver glycogenolyis to release glucose into the blood.   Muscle uses this glucose as fuel for metabolism to resynthesize ATP. Therefore, both muscle glycogen and blood glucose contribute to exercise.

     How much muscle glycogen and blood glucose contribute to ATP resynthesis depends on the intensity and duration of the exercise.   Whereas, during low-intensity exercise, blood glucose contributes more, during high-intensity exercise, muscle glycogen contributes more.   During the first hour of prolonged low-intensity exercise, muscle glycogen contributes more.   However, as muscle glycogen levels decrease, blood glucose gradually increases its contribution.

     One pound of fat contains 3,500 kilocalories.   When athletes consume more fat than they expend, they store fat in adipocytes.   The availability to muscle cells determines the role of fat as a substrate for exercise.   Triglycerides must degrade to free fatty acids and glycerol.   To enter the Krebs Cycle, free fatty acids must convert to acetyl-CoA.

     Whereas plasma free fatty acids contribute to low-intensity exercise, muscle triglycerides contribute to high-intensity exercise.   Between sixty-five and eighty-five percent of maximal oxygen utilization, plasma free fatty acids and muscle triglycerides equally contribute to ATP resynthesis.   As the duration of exercise increases, plasma free fatty acids gradually increases its contribution.

     Muscle protein metabolism depends on the presence of branch-chained amino acids such as valine, leucine, isoleucine and alanine.   The liver converts alanine to glucose.   Amino acid pools in muscle and in blood provide these amino acids.   Two or more hours of exercise activate proteases that degrade proteins to useable amino acids.   Increased muscle and liver amino acid pools enhance protein metabolism.

     Via gluconeogensis, the liver converts lactate to glucose.   This glucose moves to fast fiber for fuel.   Slow muscle fibers and the heart converts lactate to pyruvate, which transforms to acetyl-CoA and enters the Krebs Cycle.   The ‘lactate shuttle’ refers to fast fibers producing lactate, blood transporting lactate to slow fibers and the heart and slow fibers and the heart using lactate as a fuel.

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374.   The extent of my athletic endeavors are intramural flag football and dodgeball.   I would really like to develop my fast twitch fibers, like a martial artist or a sprinter.   Do you have any ideas or exercises for fast twitch recruitment?   For sprinting, jumping etc.?

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     At this point in the research, humans have three types of muscle fibers.   The slow-twitch oxidative muscle fibers perform the aerobic activities.   The fast-twitch glycolytic muscle fibers perform the first couple of minutes of aerobic activities and the first ten to fifteen seconds of high-intensity activities, like sprinting.   The fast-twitch phosphagenic muscle fibers perform during moments of extreme stress, like when mothers lift cars off their sons when the jack fails.

     Basically, what I am telling you is that all this fast-twitch muscle fiber recruitment and plyometrics is nonsense.   If you want to perform skills faster, then you need to learn the proper motor unit contraction and relaxation sequence and decrease the time periods between.   Strength is the amount of resistance athletes can overcome through specific ranges of motion.   Power is the time period that they require. You are looking for the power.

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375.   Thanks for the VERY detailed information.   That helps, but still doesn't answer the question on a useable basis.

     I forgot about calling you after the World Series last year to discuss Mark Prior's pitching motion.   But, I would love to discuss pitching in general with you soon.   Mark doesn't have an arm injury.   The elbow soreness was a bone bruise that occurred in January, Mark doesn't know what happened, but he wasn't throwing in the week it happened.   MRIs and advanced ultrasounds showed only normal wear on his UCL.


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     You asked, 'how much energy do pitchers expend in an average inning?'

     We have to first determine which energy system pitchers use.   Is pitching aerobic or anaerobic?   If it is aerobic, then pitchers use slow-twitch muscle fibers and operate below their anaerobic threshold, which does not produce lactic acid.   If it is anaerobic, then pitchers use fast-twitch muscle fibers and operate above their anaerobic threshold, which does produce lactic acid.

     Because pitchers move their pitching arm very fast, pitchers would appear to use their fast-twitch muscle fibers.   It would seem to operate above their anaerobic threshold.   However, the pitching motion takes only about two-hundredths of a second to perform, which appears to not produce lactic acid.   Pitchers have twenty seconds in which to throw their next pitch.   That means that they have a one hundred to one rest to work interval.   It would appear that pitchers would metabolize muscle glycogen to resynthesize adenosine-triphosphate.   However, they do not produce lactic acid.

     I do know that only my pitchers receive appropriate training.   My pitchers can throw every day without injury.   Recovery is not a problem.

     Let me get this straight:   'The elbow soreness was a bone bruise that occurred in January.'   Where is this bone bruise?   Did someone hit him with a sledge hammer?   'He doesn't have an arm injury.'   It is his pitching arm and he cannot use it.   'Mark doesn't know what happened, but he wasn't throwing in the week it happened.'   Are you and he on first name basis with day-to-day communications?

     Mr. Prior generated the force that injured his pitching arm.   Mr. Prior has a terrible loop behind his head with reverse pitching forearm bounce that injured the inside of his pitching elbow and that leads to excessive pitching forearm flyout that slams his olecranon process into its fossa that bruised the hyaline cartilage of his olecranon fossa.

     Kerry Wood also injured his olecranon fossa, not the distal attachment of his Triceps Brachii.   For pictures of their extreme pitching forearm flyout and olecranon process slamming into its fossa, look at the April issue of Sports Illustrated.

     Pitchers have to stop using the 'traditional' pitching motion.

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376.   Are we on a first name base, yes.   Is we talk every day, no.   I worked with him on my book.   He was kind enough to talk with me and pose for the pictures.   I agree with your assessment on Wood.   I completely, completely agree about the traditional pitching motion.   Now, how do we get the message out better?   How do we prove your methods are better, knowing that results, not science, are all that the Lords of Baseball care about?

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     How about talking Mr. Prior into letting me take high-speed film of him?   Then, you, he and I will see how he applies force.   We can do it any day he can come to Tampa.   With regard to the 'Lords of Baseball,' they do not care about pitchers, they can always buy more.   It will be up to the pitchers to change.   I hope that they do so before they completely destroy their pitching arms.   With my pitchers interval-training programs, they do not injure themselves, they achieve higher release velocities and throw higher quality, wider variety of pitches.   They should want that.   However, they will also have to battle the professional pitching coaches' Wall of Ignorance.

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377.   I received the DVD and I think you did a good job.   I liked the before and after with the high school kids who couldn't hit the zone before and were a lot more accurate after their training cycle.   My only complaint is you had a speed gun on the before and not on the after.   When I got to the after I really wanted to see the speed with the accuracy.   For consistency, both cases should have speed or neither should have speed.

     I also liked to see the high speed film of the young men throwing and the critique of their motion.   In almost all cases, the pitchers brought the ball behind or beyond their head which you commented on every time they did it saying that they have to swing the ball back around creating lateral forces in their motion toward home plate.   I assume from your comments that this is a crucial flaw in their delivery toward home plate.

     I was watching Clemmons highlights against the Cubs.   The view was from behind and the first thing I noticed was that the ball never seemed to go behind his head during his delivery.   I know he uses a traditional motion, but as he was throwing strikes the ball looked like it never went behind his head.   Can you comment on the importance of not bringing the ball behind the head during the pitching motion?


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     When the kids arrive, they are not in a training regression and have pitched competitively with their technique for ten or more years.   Therefore, the radar reading that they show means something.   However, after my forty-week program, they have learned a new way to apply force, are still in a training regression and have not pitched competitively at all.   To make any comparisons meaningful, these young men need to work with their new motion longer, come out of the regression and pitch competitively for at least a few months.

     While I do not have the type of scientific follow-up to the three young men in my video, I do have some information I can share with you.   The father of the high school pitcher who trained with me for eight weeks last summer wrote that his son is now a monster who throws harder than even the college pitchers in his summer league.   See Question 357.   The young man who had trouble throwing strikes in his first year of Junior College baseball started training with me three years ago.   This year in professional baseball, they clocked him at ninety-seven miles per hour.   This is non-scientific antecdotal information, but I think it demonstrates what I said.

     When pitchers take the baseball laterally behind their head, the first force that they apply to the baseball must be back to their pitching arm side rather than to be toward home plate.   As a result, they have to apply lateral force toward their pitching arm side, which forces them to apply a counter force to prevent their olecranon process from powerfully slamming into its fossa.   Consequently, they cannot even start to meaningfully apply force toward home plate.   All this decreases their driveline toward home plate.

     I am not sure that we can trust the camera angle to determine whether Mr. Clemons takes the baseball laterally behind his head.   With high-speed film, we could clearly determine everything that he does with his pitching arm.   Any time that Mr. Clemons is in the Tampa, FL area, I would be glad to do it for free and give him a copy.

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378.   An article was in our local newspaper today.   The gentleman that is providing the advise is a local physical therapist.   The people in this town will accept this information as gospel.   I am bothered by the following statements:

1.   Pitching is not rocket science.   Often it just involves a phone call.

2.   9-12 year old pitchers can throw 90 to 100 pitches by the end of the season.

3.   The only way to develop arm strength is by a lot of long toss.

     I know this gentleman has good intentions and some of his information may be correct.   I was hoping that you would be willing to repond to the sports editor with some comments of your own.   With your experience and expertise, I think the editor would be willing to print you advise.


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     Ignorance may be bliss, but it is often also dangerous.   Unfortunately, youth pitching is not harmless fun.   I would like to ask this gentleman to explain how baseball pitching influences the growth plates in the pitching elbow.   At what biological age does the growth plate for the medial epicondyle mature?   What muscles attach to the medial epicondyle?   Do these muscles participate in the pitching motion?   I do not believe that it is as easy as a telephone call.   If he really wants to learn, then he should read my Coaching Baseball Pitchers book that is free for all to read on my web site at www.drmikemarshall.com and/or watch my just released 2004 Baseball Pitching Instructional Video.

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379.   I think I understand about the difference between power and strength.   But, how do I develop the power, in general which types of exercises?   I know you believe that if you want to excel at jumping jacks then do jumping jacks.   But, generally speaking, what types of movements should I focus on in the gym?

     They say that Bruce Lee could split open a 100 lb. heavy bad with one kick and do 20 one arm push ups with only his thumb and index finger, and he only weighed 135lbs.   Is it all genetic?   How does one develop that kind of power?   I would also like to know why the world record in 100 meter sprinting keeps getting broken, if the plyometric philosophy is wrong, why do these guys keep getting so much faster than the sprinters of a generation ago?


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     You are correct.   All training is specific.   If you want to become a sprinter, then you have to train as a sprinter.   If I weighed one hundred and thirty-five pounds, then I might be able to do pushups.   Kidding aside, he had to start with one pushup with all fingers and trained every day.   Genetics certainly help, but commitment and the proper interval-training program contributes even more.   World records improve for many reasons, such as; better force application techniques, better training methodologies, improved nutrition, superior genetics and so on.

     Improperly applied plioanglos training snaps ligaments and tendons.   I recommend that you stay away from them.

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380.   Tom House has some high speed on Mark that I'm sure he'd share.   The problem would be getting the Cubs to allow Mark down to Florida, but I'll mention it.   Good point on pitchers.   Now, we need to get the message to them and I know we're both trying to do that.

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     I would be very interested in any high-speed sixteen millimeter film that Mr. House has taken of Mr. Prior.   However, I suspect that they took two hundred and fifty frames per second videotape.   They need five hundred frames per second with a pin-registered sixteen millimeter camera.   Also, videotape does not have the clarity and insufficient number of frames per second.

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381.   This is one of your high school students from last summer.    I just want to tell you of the success that I have been having lately.    I pitched in the playoff game for my school and we lost 3-2.    However, I ended up for the year a total of 55 1/3 innings pitched, 7 complete games, and an ERA of 2.78.    Although my record showed that I was 3-4, I thought that I had a terrific season.

      Also, at the sports banquet for all of sports, I got the Most Improved Player Award Trophy based on my pitching from this year as compared to last.    And so far in legion ball, I am 1-0 with 13 innings pitched, 20 K's, and only 3 earned runs.    Also, I am pitching for a Men's League when my legion ball team doesn't need me.    So far in that, I pitched one complete, 9-inning game, gave up 5 hits and 2 runs.

       So I am also looking forward this summer to more of pitching for that team.    Baseball is going pretty good for me since I have been down in Zephyrhills.    Also, I am in the process of getting a job to help my parents pay for some of the initial costs of the fees from coaching and living down in Z-hills this fall.

        I have been pitching pretty consistently over the past few months, with very few breaks (which is no big deal, since you taught me pronation!), but I have been having some pain in my lower back.    Is there a reason that I am having this pain?    Is it from pulling my arm across, or not pronating enough?


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     All discomfort results from the involved tissue receiving more stress than it can withstand.   Without more information, I could not diagnose what you are doing that exceeds the capabilities of your lower back.   However, have someone watch your pitching arm and see whether you are pulling your pitching elbow down and across your body and bending forward at your waist.   I want you to stand tall and rotate your body forward.

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382.   Paul Reddick of the American Baseball Coaches Association sent this to me.   Thought I would pass it on.

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     Who is the best pitching guru?   It does not take long for someone who is interested in pitching to search the web and find the feuds going on between today's pitching guru's.   Last year Webball.com and Collegiate Baseball News each held pitching challenges and let the subscribers decide who was best.   I have looked closely at every major pitching guru and like and dislike something about all of their "teaches."

     What do you think?   Who is the best?   Cast your vote but, please tell me what you like about each guru you are voting for and feel free to add in what you dislike.   You can vote by replying to this email.   Who is the best and why?

A.   Tom House
B.   Mike Marshall
C.   Dick Mills
D.   Rick Peterson
E.   Bill Thurston

P.S.   PitchingStore.com is now open and features a wide range of Pitching Guru products.


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     It seems like Mr. Reddick, who co-authored a baseball pitching book with Mr. House, believes that the scientific method for determining who knows how to teach baseball pitching is the same as the American Sports Medicine Institute.   They both think that they can determine fact with opinion polls.

     The post script tells what Mr. Reddick is all about.   He wants to make money off the members of the ABCA.

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383.   As a representative of the newspaper that published the comments of the physical therapist on youth baseball pitching, I don't believe that he was saying that a phone call is all that is needed to learn how to pitch.   He doesn't say that pitching isn't rocket science.   He said that learning how to care for your arm and how to treat it isn't rocket science.   That a little information can go a long way in protecting an arm.   The gentleman involved has spent 24 years involved with youth baseball and as a physical therapist.

     I don't think that the gentleman who asked you to respond understood the article.   The physical therapist was NOT saying that pitching is easy or simple.   To the contrary, he was offering advice about how great care is needed when dealing with young pitchers.


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     Was my reader mistaken about these two statements?

01.   Nine to twelve year old pitchers can throw 90 to 100 pitches by the end of the season.

02.   The only way to develop arm strength is by a lot of long toss.

     If so, I stand by my comments.

     "Ignorance may be bliss, but it is often also dangerous.   Unfortunately, youth pitching is not harmless fun.   I would like to ask this gentleman to explain how baseball pitching influences the growth plates in the pitching elbow.   At what biological age does the growth plate for the medial epicondyle mature?   What muscles attach to the medial epicondyle? Do these muscles participate in the pitching motion?"

     If the physical therapist cannot answer these questions, then he does not have sufficient information with which to comment on youth pitching.

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384.   Here are the results from yesterday's pitching guru poll:

1.   Tom House had 68 votes.
2.   Bill Thurston had 27 votes.
3.   Rick Peterson had 1 vote.
4.   Mike Marshall had 4 votes. 5.   Dick Mills had 0 votes.

     One guy said he didn't care and voted for no one and then proceeded to write several paragraphs about how did not care?   There were a few write in votes for Ron Wolforth, Paul Nyman, Dick Pole and a few others.   Since House was the winner and your comments were awesome, I would like to know your thoughts on this quote from Tom House.

     "Pitchers pitch too much and don't throw enough."   What do you guys think?   And what do you propose as a solution to this problem.   Also, are there any tips that you would share with other coaches on this list?   I will email all responses tomorrow.

P.S.   There are very rare Tom House videos available at pitchingstore.com


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     Everything Paul Reddick and Tom House do has to do with stealing money under false pretensions.   Once again, I say that since they do not know how to analyze pitching scientifically, they do opinion polls and call the trumped-up results, facts.   I hope that members of the American Baseball Coaches Association can see through this nonsence.

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385.   Have you read the Will Carroll article on the MLB.com web site?   Do you agree?    Apparently, Mr. Carroll believes that pitch counts are the only way to protect pitchers.   I think you have started to get people thinking with the amount of information I have posted you sent to me, and that was just one.   I don't plan on letting anything go by without your input.

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     The best way to protect pitchers is to teach them how to apply force to their pitches in a manner that does not also destroy their pitching arm and to design the appropriate interval-training program to give them the physical fitness with which to withstand throwing the appropriate number, quality and variety of pitches that they need to throw per game.

     Mr. Carroll fails to address these issues.   Instead, he credits Mr. Woolner, who contributed to the article, with a more reliable method for determining pitcher fatigue.   I would like to know how they measure when the Ulnar Collateral Ligament is ready to rupture.

     With regard to when pitchers 'are done,' the batters are our best researchers.   If by done, we mean that pitchers cannot get batters out, then some are done before they start.   If by done, we mean that pitchers can no longer get batters out, then we have other factors to consider.   Do pitchers still have the ability to throw fastballs with sufficient quality, movement and location?   Do pitchers still have the ability to throw their non-fastballs with sufficient quality, movement and location?   Have pitchers sufficiently analyzed batters to know what on base percentages and batting averages they have against specific pitch sequences?

     If pitchers have quality fastballs, breaking pitches and reverse breaking pitches, then they can start three at bats off with three different types of pitches.   This means that they do not have to try to force one type of pitch.   Then, if pitchers understand which pitch sequences give specific batter types more difficulty, they will have the advantage for three at bats.   Therefore, I recommend that these pitchers pitch three times through the lineup.

     With properly skilled and trained pitchers, we do not have any worry about injury.   As a result, we can focus on what pitchers should do to give the team the best opportunity to win.   If starters go three times through lineups in six innings, then they permitted nine base runners.   That means that they are having a bad day.   In this situation, they probably should not have pitched the third time through the lineup.

     I attended the opening game in Dodger Stadium this year.   Hideo Nomo struggled through the first four innings.   He faced five batters each inning.   He battled hard, but just did not have it.   I would have taken him out after three innings.   However, he went out for the fifth inning.   He gave up six runs.   What did pitch count have to do with it?   Nothing.   What did fatigue have to do with it?   Nothing.

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386.   I have just received your 2004 video, and had a chance to watch it a several times.   Overall, it is much better than the first, and well organized.   I have been looking forward to seeing it for many months and hoped it would clear up some problems I had with your mechanics.

     My major difficulty with performing your pitching motion has been getting to proper release position before releasing the ball.   What I really wanted to see on the video was how your pitchers do it.   Apparently, that also seems to be the problem with most of your pitchers in the video.

     As you have noted in your Q/A section and video, your young men seem to have correct form with wrist weights and iron balls, but don't do as well with baseballs.   In the video, your pitchers release the ball with their acromial lines perpendicular, rather than parallel to the drive line.   The ball is well on the way to the plate when their momentum finally spins their pitching leg in front of their glove leg.   Most of them draw their arms across their body on follow through.   Their glove arm flops uselessly at their sides.

     About a week before your video arrived, I managed to make some corrections in my technique that allowed me to release the ball when my body was very close to the correct position.   I discovered, (more like stumbled on), nothing new, I merely finally applied what you have repeatedly emphasized in your Q/A section.   (Do you ever feel like no one is listening?)   The changes I made were to drastically decrease my stride and powerfully pull back with my glove hand.   (Sound familiar?)

     Your video pitchers still stride as traditional pitchers do:   well past normal walking length.   Their glove knees are bent and their thighs are almost parallel to the ground.   Only Monty Python's John Cleese could continue to "walk forward" with a stride like that.   They are also passive with their glove hand. In the traditional pitching motion, the glove hand is used passively, more as a counter weight, not as a net force producer and integral part of the pitching motion.   I'm not sure that the body, (or at least mine), can rotate into proper release position unless there is a powerful glove arm pullback.

     I now only take perhaps a half step forward with my glove foot.   My glove heel is no more than and inch or too in front of my pitching foot toe, if that.   Only then do I pull back with my glove arm, as if I'm pulling myself forward with a rope, to overcome the inertia of my body, and rotate into release position.   Maybe a younger, stronger, and better coodinated pitcher could manage this with a longer stride, but I have had to trade off some driveline length to obtain the proper release position.

     I am still far from perfect, but I am more consistant, and closer to the proper position.   More importantly, I believe I am closer to being able to use Marshall mechanics in a game.   I used a rope analogy earlier.   Maybe an actual exercise where the student must pull himself forward with a real rope may help some with getting the proper feel of the glove pull back.   Just speculating here.

     A baseball with a taught rope run through its middle might be able to be developed into an exercise where students could learn the feel of the arm action necessary to drive a ball as straight as possible.   Or, a pitcher could practice with a five pound wrist weight on his glove arm while throwing a baseball.   The extra weight, properly pulled back, may help get him fully rotated.   Again, just a bit of idle creative thinking.

     Why does the torque fastball pick off exercise need a separate stance?   Since you eliminated your old torque body action a while back, the only difference between the maxline and torque fastballs (besides where you stand on the mound) is the grip and hand action.   The third base pickoff position has the pitching arm perpendicular to the body, just like your old torque position.   Am I misreading your entire torque concept?

     Why do you initiate the pitching motion by crossing the hands with the ball and grip exposed to the batter, as opposed to raising the hands together and hiding the baseball?   Are you concerned about tipping pitches?   This may not be a concern below the pro level, but I know it would be a problem there.

     You said that you want your pitchers to get to two strikes using two-seam pitches, then finish the batters off with four-seam pitches.   Why?   I know there is a different amount of movement between two and four seam pitches, but that is also true between the various two seam pitches.   Also, wouldn't you want a lot of movement on a two strike pitch since the batter will probably swing at anything close?

     I enjoyed watching the student go through certification.   I noticed something I thought was quirky in his footwork.   In the maxline position, he begins with his pitching arm foot on the drive line, in your usual wind-up/set position.   He then walks the drive line like a tight-rope, the glove foot stepping across his body to land on the drive line, followed by his pitching side foot which had to step around his glove foot to end up in front on the drive line.   I thought the step pattern was simply straight forward, just like a normal walk.   Is this correct?

     What is the purpose of the ready position?   To me it seems somewhat awkward.   Wouldn't it be easier to swing directly to leverage?   I find it difficult to apply force continuouly from ready to leverage.   It feels like two discreet activities, and does not seem to lend itself to applying force in as straight a line as possible.   Of course, it could just be my lack of skill!

     Overall, I think the video is a great effort.   I enjoyed watching it and learned a lot. Despite the questions I just raised, I believe it is just what I need to teach myself you mechanics, and apply them in a ballgame.   I liked how you had many different students demonstrate each pitch and exercise.   I don't have a child to teach, but from my perspective the tape looks like it would be a valuble resource to parents.

     One last critique I just thought of:   While you did explain some of your terms such as "flyout", I would have liked a small section where all of the terms were gone over a little more explicitly.   But thats just my study preference.   Great job, and I eagerly anticipate the hitting video!


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     My kids always perfect my technique with my wrist weight exercises first.   Then, they perfect my technique with my iron ball throws.   Unfortunately, they have yet to perfect my technique with their baseball pitches.   I blame the intoxication of the pitching upper arm pulling the pitching forearm forward.   The extra weight of the wrist weights and iron ball reminds them to drive their pitching hand toward home plate first.   In addition to better understanding of the proper spin axes, that is another reason why I introduced my football throwing exercises.   I wanted something closer to baseball weight that they could relate to throwing baseballs.

     I designed my Pickoff Leverage, Slingshot and Slingshot with Step throwing drills to force pitchers to drive their pitching hand toward home plate first without the pitching upper arm pulling the pitching forearm forward.

     I designed my Wrong Foot Slingshot, Swing-to-Ready and Transition throwing drills to force pitchers to move their pitching leg ahead of their glove foot.

     Unless pitchers move their pitching leg ahead of their glove foot, they cannot 'finish' their pitches.   When pitchers achieve 'leverage,' where their acromial line is perpendicular to the driveline toward home plate and their pitching upper arm and pitching forearm are similarly perpendicular, I want pitchers to 'punch' their pitching forearm straight toward home plate and, as a result, forwardly rotate their acromial line to straight toward home plate.

     I also designed my No-Stride Slingshot, Swing-to-Ready and Transition throwing drills to force pitchers to move their pitching leg ahead, but, this time, with their glove foot stepping forward.   After some trial and error, we recently made the same adjustment that you independently made.   Nice going.   We also shorten the start position of my No-Stride drill to one-half of a step length.   Now, instead of focusing on pushing off the pitching rubber with the pitching foot, we focus on moving our center of mass ahead of our glove foot and powerfully jumping straight forward off our glove foot.

     It took me several years to finally do what I had to do with the 'traditional' set position.   I eliminated it.   It always caused huge pitching forearm flyout problems.   With my new Wind-Up Set Position, we keep our feet pointed toward home plate.   This helps pitchers to keep their pitching hand on the pitching arm side of their body.   With my 'Crow-Step' pitching rhythm, pitchers can learn to wait until their pitching hand reaches driveline height before they lift their glove foot off the ground.

     Unfortunately, old habits die hard.   New rhythms are difficult to learn.   And, even when my pitchers do not perfect my pitching motion, they throw harder, throw better quality pitches and never have any pitching arm problems.   As a result, they tend to settle for less than perfection.   That is what you see.   I will continue to harass them, but without a line-up card or a pay check with which to threaten them, they can decide whether they want perfection or a way to compromise with the Wall of Ignorance that they encounter with college and professional pitching coaches.

     I am working my returning players hard on my new No-Stride drill, where I have them 'jump' forward as far as possible.   With this drill, I hope to get them to shorted their glove foot step and drive their center of mass ahead of their glove foot.   We will see.   Nevertheless, if we compared even those guys that I high-speed filmed last February, we would see how much farther forward their move their body than any 'traditional' pitcher.

     I agree totally with the value of the glove arm pull-back.   I explain how the parallel and oppositely directed forces of the glove arm and the pitching arm generate a force-coupling effect that greatly accelerates the pitching hand.   To get them to understand just how pathetically their use their glove arm, I show them their high-speed film.   However, at a dollar per foot, I do not have the resources to take more than one hundred feet per pitcher per forty-week interval-training program.   If I had the money, I would take high-speed film on arrival and even month and a half thereafter.

     Personally, rather than your rope concept, I used to think of a pole that I would reach for with my glove hand and, after I grabbed it, I would pull my body forward like I was pole-vaulting past it.   Nevertheless, we are trying for the same result.

     We need a different starting position for my Torque pitches because pitchers have to turn the driveline from straight forward toward the pitching arm side of home plate to the glove side of home plate.

     I use the wrist crossing trigger to help pitchers to get the rhythm of the double arm pendulum swing action.   Because pitchers can easily change their grip during their pendulum swing, I do not worry about batters seeing the baseball in front of the body.   However, with base runners, rather than cross their wrists, I want pitchers to simply drop their pitching hand backward.   With no base runners, pitchers could extend their cross their wrist trigger higher and they could hide the baseball behind their glove forearm.   We could play with that some more.

     Two-seam pitches have more horizontal movement than four-seam pitches.   Four-seam pitches have more vertical movement than two-seam pitches.   I prefer horizontal movement to get two strikes and vertical movement when we have two strikes.   Try it.

     I was hoping that you would marvel at the quality and consistency of his six two-seam pitches and four four-seam pitches.   I agree that he could perform my pitching motion better, but if I could train ten pitchers to throw those pitches that well without tiring or discomfort every three days, I could show them how to dominate major league baseball.   By the way, he throws from ninety-three to ninety-six miles per hour.   With my instruction on the proper pitch sequences for the batters these ten guys would face, the hitters would not know what happened.

     The quirkiness in his footwork was his own invention for not reverse rotating beyond second base.   It was an interesting idea and I welcome experimentation.

     At the end of my pitching arm pendulum swings, pitching arms stop moving backward and upward and start moving forward.   I call that moment, the 'Ready' position.   I want pitchers to be aware of that moment and learn to move their pitching arm from that position to my 'Leverage' position.   Unbeknownst to pitchers, when they 'lock' their pitching upper arm with their thorax, they actually first move through my 'Slingshot' position.

     When I found that I already had two hours of video, I decided to take out my Flaws and Solutions section, where I discuss the twenty-four worse flaws of the 'traditional' pitching motion and demonstrate the solutions that I incorporate in my pitching motion.   When I finish remodeling my apartments for the next forty-week group to arrive next Saturday and on the third Saturday of August, I will return to that video and when I finish that one, I hope to put something together on baseball batting.   Stay tuned.

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387.   I think your website is awesome.   Earlier in your career you were a consultant for professional football teams.   Do you have any suggestions in weight training a QB or throwing motion of a QB?

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     Basically, I taught the quarterbacks how to do my wrist weight exercises and iron ball throwing drills for my four-seam Maxline Pronation Curve and two-seam Torque Pronation Curve.   They need to pronate their releases.

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388.   I thoroughly enjoyed your new video/DVD.   It was extremely well structured, clear, and thorough.   I do however have some observations I hope you will be kind enough to consider and, where applicable, address.

1.   Using breakdown drills is a great way to teach and your video does a great job of describing and illustrating the drills you use to teach your pitching method.   However, I have found in my own experiences as a collegiate basketball coach that starting with the “whole”, working down to component parts, then going back to the “whole” is an effective way of teaching.

     For example, in teaching shooting I will demonstrate and describe to my students the entire sequence of physical events that make up a complete shot before proceeding to breakdown drills and concepts.   This gives them a solid frame of reference when they are performing the breakdown drills; they understand how the pieces fit together.   If I had produced your video I would have started with a segment describing and illustrating the entire crow-hop delivery method.

     In this section I may have explained the primary differences between the crow–hop method and traditional pitching methods as they relate to force application and safety.   Following this section, I would have used your x-rays to illustrate the effects of the traditional pitching motion and youth pitching to your audience.

2.   While most of your pitcher’s perform your drills with great efficiency, they seem to have great difficulty carrying over to the pitching mound some of the critical aspects of your methods.   For example, in spite of your insistence that they not reverse rotate, many of your pitchers appear to continue to bring the ball behind their acromial line after getting to the Ready position.   In addition, none of them are able to keep their pitching forearm inside of vertical during the forearm acceleration phase of their deliveries.

     When I slowed down the section of the DVD illustrating your certification process, I noted that your pitcher appeared to display both of these defects.   In addition, it appears that all of your pitchers cut the forearm acceleration phase of your delivery short, their release points appear to be similar to those of traditional pitchers.   I did not see 180 degree rotation of the shoulders followed by an acceleration of the forearm.

3.   If my observations in item 2 are accurate, I wonder how much of the strength they gain during your drill work they are actually able to apply during their deliveries.   If I understand things correctly, the drills really place emphasis on working the muscles, ligaments, and tendons utilized during forearm acceleration.   Most of the drills start with the forearm well inside of vertical.   If your pitchers never get to this position and cut the forearm acceleration phase of their deliveries short, how are they able to exploit/utilize, the strength and quickness gains achieved during their training?

     So while I remain fully convinced that your methods and concepts are right on the money, through my review of this new video I have gained a more thorough understanding of the challenges you face everyday working with your pitchers.   Again, congratulations on producing a fine piece of work.   I hope my comments are helpful to you.   You’ve been so honest and generous with everyone you’ve dealt with on this site.

     After looking at the DVD I felt as if I had ripped you off!   The 25 bucks I paid you might have covered the neat packaging and shipping costs of the DVD!   The amount of research, thought, and experience that went into the production is incalculable!   Pardon me for being a bit patronizing here, but you are truly a remarkable man.


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     Several years ago, I used to show pitchers my entire pitching motion while I explained how to satisfy Sir Isaac Newton's three laws of motion.   The result was that they all wanted to do the entire motion without properly learning the parts.   The critical element that they have to learn before they can put the whole together is how to properly use their pitching arm.

     With my pitching motion, pitchers pitch with their pitching forearm.   With the 'traditional' pitching motion, pitchers pitch with their pitching upper arm.   Therefore, I have to make sure that they know how to separate their pitching forearm action from their pitching upper arm action.   I first introduce them to the entire pitching arm action with my Wrong Foot Transition drill.   This body action helps them to properly position their acromial line before they release their pitches.

     Unfortunately, the ten to twelve years of 'traditional' pitching leaves flaws that they have great difficulty overcoming.   That is why I believe that eight year olds learning my drills will have better success.

     I understand that I do not have anybody who yet does what I recommend that they do.   Nevertheless, they are greatly superior to the best of the 'traditional' pitchers in doing what I want them to do.   I wish that I had high-speed film of the best 'traditional' pitchers.   Then, you would see how far they take the baseball beyond second base, how late they prepare their pitching forearm, how much they reverse bounce their pitching forearm, how badly they loop their pitching forearm behind their head, how much centripetal force they generate, how terribly their pitching forearm flys outward from their pitching arm side and how very, very little force they separately generate with their pitching forearm.

     Compared with those guys, my guys are doing very well.   Nevertheless, I want perfection.   I want them to get everything that they can get.   While my guys do not suffer injuries, can throw every day, can throw higher quality non-fastballs, can throw harder than they could with the 'traditional' pitching motion, they can do better.

     I agree with your assessment of the profit margin of my second video for those who purchased my first video.   But remember, my goal is the elimination of pitching arm injuries, not monetary gain.

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389.   The comment about long toss came from USA Baseball, not the physical therapist.   As far as the other, he was saying that young pitchers, and I think he meant 11-12 yr olds mostly, can th