Questions/Answers 2005

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001.   I am a recent convert to baseball and live in England.   Having read Ball Four, I looked up your stats on the internet and came across your site.   I have had a great time reading through your files and I am interested, in the future, in buying your training video.

     Due to your 'discussions' with Richard Todd (2003 file) I went surfing through the other pitching coach instructors' websites.   I can't say that I am very impressed.

     However, something on Paul Nyman's site interested me.   He had an old link detailing his visit to your facility in 2003.   He said he spoke to Mr. X and was very impressed with how quickly Mr. X rehabbed from Tommy John surgery using your programme.   I know that you have said that you have worked with Mr. X for a number of years and that no pitcher who has worked with you has been injured or required surgery.   Therefore, I wonder if you could tell me the reasons for Mr. X's injury.   I hope you believe me when I say I ask this inquisitorially rather than accusatorially.   Indeed, I know you have alluded to Mr. X's problems with the Wall of Ignorance and can guess that the influence of others may have caused it.

     Even Nyman, while disputing what you do (quackishly! in my opinion) has never tried to use his knowledge of Mr. X's injury to criticise you, which further makes me believe the fault lies with others.   I would merely like to hear it from yourself as I am trying to be an aware buyer.


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     I was unaware that Mr. Nyman used the name of one of my pitchers.   I try very hard to protect their privacy and I would never exploit them for my benefit.   When I include your email on my web site, I will refer to this young man as Mr. X.

     I met Mr. X during the fall of 1993 in my office at West Texas A&M where I was their first head baseball coach.   Until then, they never had an intercollegiate baseball team or a baseball field.   Mr. X had transferred from another Texas college to train with me.   He had serious pitching elbow trouble.   He had injured it once in high school and once again in each of his first two years of college baseball.   At that time, he threw 83 miles per hour.

     Like I do with every pitcher with whom I work, I took his baseball pitching history and checked his pitching elbow flexion and extension ranges of motion and the side-to-side laxity.   He had a very unstable pitching elbow.   He admitted that he had had severe inside of the pitching elbow pain.   When I placed pressure on his Ulnar Collateral Ligament, he flinched and said that was where he always felt the pain.

     I told him what it was, what he does in his pitching motion that causes the unnecessary stress, what he had to do to stop unnecessarily stressing the area and advised him that he might need to have it surgically repaired.   He said that he did not have the money and hoped that my training program would fix it.

     Over the next several years, Mr. X trained with me.   He increased his release velocity to 96 miles per hour.   He made it to the major leagues where, after the team found out that I trained him, they released his despite his a 3.5 earned run average.

     Three years ago, an affiliated team invited him to spring training on a Triple-A roster.   After he pitched extremely well in a couple of Triple-A exhibition games, they invited him to pitch in a major league exhibition game.   After he pitched well in that game, they kept him with the major league team.

     Unfortunately, he injured his back performing some silly medicine ball torso rotation exercise and could not throw for a couple of weeks.   In his haste to return to form, he experienced some discomfort on the inside of his pitching elbow.   An MRI discovered that he had three calcium deposits in his Ulnar Collateral Ligament, one for each time that he had partially torn his UCL in high school and college, which significantly lengthen and weakened his UCL.   They released him.

     I told him that if he ever wanted to pitch in the major leagues again, because all teams now know that he has a damaged UCL, then he would have to have his UCL surgically repaired.   In June, he had it repaired.   In September, the doctor cleared him to train.   In January, he threw all pitches at full intensity.   That next professional baseball season, he joined an independent league team, where he pitched the full season with a 1.something earned run average.   He continues to pitch very well, albeit with independent league teams.   He continues to strike out ten to twelve batters per nine innings while giving up only five to seven hits per nine innings.   He has the ability to be a superior major league pitcher.

     During his visit, Mr. Nyman asked the same question and got the answer straight from Mr. X that he would never had had any college, let alone a professional career, if he had not met me.   I wonder why he did not include that piece of information?

     After doctors slash and burn as much as they can and, then, say that they cannot do anything more, injured baseball pitchers come to me.   I have worked with pitchers whose doctors say that they will never pitch again or will never throw fifty miles per hour.   Yet, after just my basic program, they throw over ninety miles per hour again.

     I do not want to rehabilitate baseball pitchers.   I want Paul Nyman and the other pitching coach wannabes to stop teaching pitching motions that destroy their pitching arms.

     With my upcoming Flaws and Solutions video, I believe that parents, coaches and baseball pitchers will understand why the 'traditional' pitching motion injures pitching arms and why my pitching motion not only prevents pitching arm injuries, but also maximizes release velocity and increases the movement quality of my pitches.   And, I believe that my next Baseball Pitching Instructional video will provide a simple, easy-to-follow five-step program with which parents, coaches and baseball pitchers of all ages will readily learn my pitching motion.

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002.   My son is a senior in High School and is a non-pitcher (shortstop).   Once spring practices begin, I doubt that his coach will allow him to perform his iron ball and wrist weight training prior to warming up.   They start right after school and there wouldn't be time.   Would you suggest that he perform these exercises after he gets home from practices and games?   Obviously, even non-pitchers do allot of throwing during practices and on game day.   Do you suggest that he do any additional throwing (baseballs not the iron ball) on days when there is a practice or a game?

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     During the competitive season, athletes should continue their off-season training program at maintenance levels.   That is, they should perform one-half of the base level of repetitions at comfortable intensities.   For my baseball pitching exercises, my base level is forty-eight repetitions each for my wrist weight, iron ball and baseball exercises.   Therefore, he should perform twenty-four repetitions of each.   During my major league seasons, I did my wrist weight exercises just before I went to bed, my iron ball throws during the morning hours, usually right after I completed my jog and my baseball throws at the park.

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003.   I think I finally have your maxline pronation curve down.   For clarification and, possibly, as a service to your readers, I am going to describe where I had it wrong when I taught my son.   I never quite got the release down correctly.

     I incorrectly had my son drive the ball from the ready position by his ear with the stripe vertical so that he could get a horizontal spin axis at release.   For those that need help on this, it is key that the stripe be horizontal as the ball goes from the ready position by the ear to right before you flick the ball like a piece of gum (ulna flex).

     If your readers hold the ball in one hand (eg, the right hand) and go from leverage to right before they flick the ball with the ball angled closely to the ear and the stripe horizonal.   Then, if they hold the ball with the left hand as well and flick (ulna flex) the ball slowly, they will see that it is this flicking that brings the stripe vertical at release so that you get the horizontal spin axis.   They can do this sitting in front of the computer.   I know you demonstrate this in your video with the ball on the stick, but I never quite got it.

     Now my question:   We know that in reality the ball does not go by the ear when we throw a pronation curve ball.   In fact, it is outside of vertical.   With this being the case, are your pitchers able to get your theoretical release on the ball.   With the ball slinging outside of vertical, it seems like it would be difficult to keep the stripe horizontal from the ready position to the ulna flex ending.


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     The key to the release of all pitches is pitching forearm pronation.   We must make sure that we turn the pitching thumb downward.   If pitchers start with the points of the football vertical, then, through release, they will supinate their pitching forearm.   The only way to insure that they pronate their pitching forearm through release is for them to start with the points of the football horizontal, where their pitching middle finger points downward.

     I agree that, when baseball pitchers throw my Maxline Pronation Curve, they do not actually drive their pitching hand straight forward close to their pitching ear.   However, they can achieve forty or more degrees of separation between the longitudinal axes of their pitching upper arm and their pitching forearm.   When they lean the line across the top of their shoulders fifty or more degrees, they can get their pitching forearm slightly inside of vertical.

     With my present group, I have a couple of guys who get their pitching forearm too far inside of vertical, such that they lose their straight line drive.   This is rare and easily corrected.   The greater problem is that the lifetime of the 'traditional' pitching motion teaches them to throw their pitching forearm laterally away from their body.

     In any case, congratulations of learning the proper curve release.

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004.   I AM HAVING SURGERY ON MY LEFT SHOULDER THIS FRIDAY.   ANY ADVICE ON RE-HAB IS APPRECIATED.   MY MRI RESULTS SHOW THE FOLLOWING:

MRI PROTOCOL:

     Axial proton density with fat saturation, coronal fast spin echo density T2, sagittal fast spin echo proton destiny with fat saturation, coronal STIR and sagittal STIR images were obtained.

MRI FINDINGS:

     The glenohumeral is normally located.   The acromioclavicular joint demonstrated no hypertropic change.   The supraspinatus tendon demonstrates a full thickness partial laceration at the insertion of the greater tuberosity of the humerus.   The infraspinatus tendon appeared to be unremarkable as did the subscapularis tendon.   The long head of the biceps appeared to be grossly unremarkable.   The glenoid labium appeared to be grossly unremarkable.

IMPRESSION:

     Full thickness partial laceration of the supraspinatus tendon.


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     I did not realize that unremarkable had several degrees.   I guess grossly unremarkable means that it is not minimally or typically unremarkable.

     I assume that you injured your pitching shoulder while pitching.   That you have a full partial laceration of the Supraspinatus at its insertion to the greater tuberosity of the Humerus indicates that you inwardly rotate your Humerus bone beyond horizontal.   You need to learn how to drive the baseball straight forward, such that you only inwardly rotate your Humerus to horizontal.

     After this injury heals, I recommend that you follow my forty-eight week baseball pitching interval-training program, which includes five drills:
01.   Short Step Pickoff body action with Slingshot arm action.
02.   Wrong Foot body action with Slingshot arm action.
03.   Wrong Foot body action with Transition arm action.
04.   Short Step body action with Transition arm action.
05.   Wind-Up Set Position body action with Transition arm action.

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005.   We did not receive the book that is mentioned in your description of the video.   For clarity, I am referencing the paragraph that reads:

     "For first-time buyers, my two-hour 2004 Baseball Pitching Instructional Videotape, my Coaching Baseball Pitchers book and my advice costs one hundred dollars ($100.00), postage included.


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     With regard to my Coaching Baseball Pitchers book and advice, after I wrote that, I decided to make them available for free on my web site at www.drmikemarshall.com.   If you go to my web site and click on FREE BOOK!!!, wyou can read and/or download chapters as you wish, and, I will gladly answer any questions that you have.

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006.   It was good having my son home over the holidays.   He worked hard while he was here, but he was most anxious to resume his normal training schedule and settle back into Z-hills.

     As you predicted, some opinions here changed quickly when folks saw him throw.   They also saw the pitcher throw that I am training.   I now have an increasing number of other parents who want their young men to train this way.   Therir ages range from 9-16 years.

     Earlier today, I spoke with the executive director for our state's High School Coaches Association.   He is genuinely excited about what I related to him regarding your mechanics.   He provided me with names of specific high school coaches who will have immediate interest.   It is possible that I will have the opportunity to speak to all of the coaches at their annual meeting.

     The young man you corresponded with earlier that had Tommy John surgery after his junior year in high school is throwing for a local junior college.   After seeing my son throw, he told me that he is sold.   I do not know if he will choose to act.

     I forwarded a video of my son throwing to the area supervisor for an affiliate professional team.   He and I have become very good friends in the time since they drafted my son.   He is both impressed and intrigued.   When my son comes back here in the late spring to show his stuff to the JUCO coach I wrote you about earlier, he will try to see him throw.   I encouraged him to make the trip to Zephyrhills and visit you.   Unfortunately, he will be without transportation and his schedule is full.   He wants my son to come see him at their spring training headquarters to make introductions to other people in their organization.

     I continue to tell and remind people that he is not remotely finished with his initial training and that mastering his technique and releases is a long term process.   I do not want to push the timing of any of this until he is VERY ready.   I believe strongly that he should be ready to destroy hitters at an advanced level before he attempts to do so.

     As the spring progresses, I would appreciate your feedback.   Is it possible that he would benefit from continuing to train in Zephyrhills next fall rather than attending college?


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     It sounds as though you are having a lot of fun.

     At the end of May 2005, when your son finishes the first phase of my program, he should spend the summer pitching amateur baseball.   How he does should determine whether he should return for more work before he starts junior college.

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007.   Have you ever heard of Dr. Angel Borrelli, Sport Kinesiologist in the baseball world?

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     I have no knowledge of Dr. Borrelli.   If you send me something that he has written, I will gladly critique it for you.

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008.   Just an email to thank you for the warm hospitality and conversation on our trip to Florida.    As always, it was most enjoyable and educational.    I can think of no place I would rather be than in Zhills from 9-11 AM sitting at a picnic table.

     My oldest son looked incredible.    Even while deep in regression, it is obvious that he has made great strides in all phases of his delivery since summer.    When he comes out of regression and is at full intensity, he will be scary.

     My youngest son seems to be taking it slow.    I love his arm action.   Tremendous power.   If he can put the legs and body with it, he will have no bounds.


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     I love the company.

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009.   Can you go into more detail on your new cross-panel throwing?   As I see it, you must be having your students throw from one mound at your facility into a net from an adjacent mound.   If that is the case, it seems like it would be a very difficult drill to manage for those that do your drills on their own.

     Also, it looks like you have made several changes to your latest video as far as your pitching motion.   Have you made many changes to your iron ball and wrist weight exercises?


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     To maximally lengthen and straighten my Maxline driveline, pitchers need to learn to throw these pitches to the pitching arm side of their body.   This requires that they forwardly rotate their pitching hip to in front of their glove foot.   My Wrong Foot body action insures that pitchers forwardly rotate their pitching hip to in front of their glove foot.   To also insure that pitchers keep their pitching forearm inside of vertical, when they practice my Wrong Foot body action with my Transition arm action, I tell them to step straight forward, but throw the pitches to the net that is to their immediate pitching arm side.   For those pitchers without sixteen foot wide nets to their pitching arm side, I recommend that they step to the glove foot side of their target and throw to their target.

     I have not made any changes to my pitching motion.   Rather, I have streamlined the drills that I use to teach my pitching motion.

01.   Because my new guys minimized their lower body involvement with my Pickoff with Step body action, I eliminated my Pickoff body action.

02.   Because I determined that my new guys learned to drive behind their pitching hand with my Slingshot arm action, I eliminated my Leverage arm action.

03.   Because I determined that Swing-to-Ready arm action created as many problems as help they provided, I eliminated them.

04.   Because, once my new guys learned how to reach as far backward as they could while their kept their pitching elbow high with my Wrong Foot body action, Slingshot arm action, they did not need to use my Slingshot arm action with any other body action.

     As a result, I now recommend only five drills:

01.   Pickoff with Step body action, Slingshot arm action.

02.   Wrong Foot body action, Slingshot arm action.

03.   Wrong Foot body action, Transition arm action.

04.   Short-Step body action, Transition arm action.

05.   Wind-Up Set Position body action, Transition arm action.

     However, rather than follow a strict timeline, before their permit their pitchers to proceed to the next drill, I recommend that parents and coaches require their successful accomplishment of specific skills:

01.   Until pitchers show that they can properly release my four basic pitches when they throw footballs with my Pickoff with Step body action, Slingshot arm action, I recommend that they do not advance to baseball throws.

02.   Until pitchers show that they can reach as far backward as possible without lowering their pitching elbow from ear height and drive their pitching hand straight forward, I recommend that they do not advance to my Transition arm action.

03.   Until pitchers show that they can use my Transition arm action to achieve precisely their same forward arm action as they learned with my Wrong Foot body action, Slingshot arm action, I recommend that they do not advance to my Short-Step body action, Transition arm action.

04.   Until pitchers show that they can keep their pitching arm inside of vertical with my Wrong Foot body action cross-panel throws, I recommend that they do not advance to my Short-Step body action.

05.   Until pitchers show that they can pendulum swing their glove arm to shoulder height pointing directly at home plate and their pitching arm to driveline height directly behind their head at ear height, I recommend that they do not advance to my Wind-Up Set Position body action.

     With my Wrist Weight and Iron Ball drills, for the most part, my new guys have achieved my new goals within the time frame I designed for their physiological adjustments.   Therefore, I have not had to hold them back.

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010.   I am a pitcher, and am curious to the limits of human motion in the form of pitching.   My question is; is there a limit to how fast someone can throw?   I would assume so.   But, I would like to know, so I can be sure.   I have read about people who've thrown 103 mph and, recently, about someone who has thrown 104 mph.   So naturally, wouldn't the limit for now be how fast that guy has thrown?   For me, my opinion is that 105 mph is probably the fastest that can be thrown.   But, I would like to know what you think about this matter.   Also how long should a pitcher wait before he pitches after straining his rotator-cuff?

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     Release velocity equals the uniform straight-line force that pitchers can apply to baseballs times the time period over which they can apply that force.   At this moment in the history of baseball throwing, no pitcher has ever applied straight-line force over as long of a time period as is possible.   Therefore, no pitcher has ever achieved his maximum release velocity.

     My pitching motion would enable baseball pitchers to achieve their maximum release velocities.   Then, the baseball pitcher with the skeletal structure with the best leverage, with the muscle fiber type for the fastest muscle contraction, with the Central and Peripheral Nervous System with the fastest nerve conduction velocity to complete my interval-training program and master my force application techniques would throw at the fastest release velocity.

     In my opinion, under these circumstances at this moment in human evolution without artificial performance enhancements, one hundred and ten miles per hour is possible.

     After baseball pitchers strain their rotator cuff, they should wait until they have completed my interval-training program and mastered my force application technique before they pitch.   They must immediately stop using the 'Traditional' pitching motion.

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011.   My son is not a pitcher and has no desire to throw anything but a fastball.   Are 48 fastballs per day too much, or should he limit his throws to 24 daily?

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     When position players complete my 120-Day High School Baseball Pitchers Interval-Training Program, when doing my wrist weight, iron ball and baseball drills, they should add the number of non-fastball pitches that I want pitchers to throw to the number of fastballs that they throw.

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012.   I am not a big radar gun fan, I am much more interested in ball movement.   However, current reality necessitates knowing something about pitch velocities.   While my son was home I had the opportunity to borrow a radar gun.   I held the gun about head high behind a screen.   Acquisition time for this model is 0.04 seconds, using digital microwave.   The gun was calibrated according to recommendations.   I noticed that (theoretical) release velocities on Maxline fastballs averaged 82-84 mph.   One fastball release (when his hips came all the way through) was recorded at 88 mph.   Screwball releases were about 16-18 mph slower.   I used the gun one session only, so did not record Torque fastball and curveball releases.

     Of particular note was that this gun showed plate velocities in the 60 mph range when release velocities were recorded in the 82-84 mph range.   These balls (theoretically) decelerated 22-24 mph at the plate.   Physics laws, if my calculations are correct, show that 90 mph fastballs decelerate approximately 12 mph over distance to the plate (primarily from the effect of gravity).   The 60 mph readings struck me as highly unlikely in relation to the release velocities.

     I called the radar company late last week and spoke with a technician.   My primary question was regarding how radar guns are tuned to allow for baseball rotation.   Your pitchers throw pitches that generate substantially more rotational velocity.   (Twice as much? Maybe you know this from high speed film.)   This gentleman informed me that with increased baseball rotation (in this case the top surface of baseball rotating backward toward the pitcher; i.e. maxline fastball) and my alignment of the gun, it is entirely possible that the gun was reading the top/retreating surface of the ball.   If so, the release velocities were low and as the ball dropped (as it approached the plate) the velocity differential was magnified because of an 'internal graph' that these guns use to extrapolate information.

     To correct for this, at least in theory, we should hold guns low, in alignment with the flight line of the baseball.   I wish I had known this prior to Pat's departure and had taken the opportunity to experiment.   I was also informed that digital microwave radar guns read through solid block walls, and can display false readings under numerous circumstances.   For instance, if the backdrop is a cinderblock or prestressed concrete wall with rebar or other embedded metal, readings are suspect.   If a car or truck is parked behind the same wall (even up to a mile away) and in alignment with the beam, readings are suspect.   The list goes on.


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     Because my pitchers release their pitches closer to home plate than 'traditional' pitchers can, we do not have to throw as fast to get the baseball to home plate.   Therefore, release velocity is not a viable measure of the effectiveness of our fastballs.

     Because my pitchers disguise their pitchers, such that baseball batters cannot determine what pitch they are throwing until well after they release their pitches, baseball batters cannot react as quickly and we do not have to throw as fast to get the baseball to home plate.   Therefore, release velocity is not a viable measure of the effectiveness of our fastballs.

     In 1971, I determined that the ninety miles per hour fastball (over the first sixteen inches of flight) that I threw on high-speed film crossed home plate at seventy-eight miles per hour.

     If my pitchers complete my interval-training program and master my force application technique and continue to complete my series of off-season wrist weight and iron ball recoil cycles, then they will eventually achieve their physiological fastball release velocity.   That is all they can do.

     It is time to again measure the quality of baseball pitchers by whether they get baseball batters out.

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013.   If I might follow up on your new 5 step approach, you wrote:

     "I have not made any changes to my pitching motion.   Rather, I have streamlined the drills that I use to teach my pitching motion.

01.   Because my new guys minimized their lower body involvement with my Pickoff with Step body action, I eliminated my Pickoff body action."

     You follow this up by recommending a Pick-off with Step body action.   It seems like you are recommending something you do not recommend.


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     I used to use my Pickoff body action and my Pickoff with a Step body action.   I no longer use my Pickoff body action.   I have also eliminated my Leverage arm action.   My kids seem to learn how to drive their pitching hand straight forward just as well with my Slingshot arm action.   My Pickoff with a Step body action remains valuable for taking the lower body out of the motion, which permits baseball pitchers to learn how to properly use their pitching and glove arms.

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014.   With your new short-stride body action how do you want the feet positioned to start the drill?   The young man I am training did this naturally, I think, in order to generate a little bit of forward momentum.   Does this completely replace the no-strides?

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     I designed my no-stride body action to eliminate 'glove foot float.'   With 'glove foot float,' pitchers lift their glove foot off the ground during the final phase of their pitching arm pendulum swing.   This action resulted in their glove foot moving toward their pitching arm side and the baseball moving laterally behind their body.   While my no-stride body action corrected this problem, it did not help pitchers to move their pitching leg forward and, as you suggest in your email, did not generate the powerful forward movement of their center of mass that I want.

     With my short-stride body action, to continue to prevent 'glove foot float,' I require that pitchers keep their glove foot on the ground until they start moving their body forward.   Then and only then do I want pitchers to slide their glove foot forward.   As a result, this body action not only also prevented 'glove foot float' and it also generated the powerful forward movement of the center of mass that I want.

     However, when I started pitchers on my Wind-Up Set Position body action, I found that most still stepped toward their pitching arm side, such that they moved their center of mass toward their pitching arm side.   Therefore, I have added another variable to my short-stride body action.   I call it, my drop-stride.

     When I pitched, I used my drop-stride technique to get my pitching hip forwardly rotated as far as I could.   This body action permitted me to throw my super big, downward-breaking screwball.   To do my drop-stride, instead of stepping straight forward, pitchers step six to eight inches to their glove side and somewhat shorter.   This body action opens their hips and shoulders even more and permits them to get their pitching hip farther forward, such that pitchers can drive their pitching arm even more to the pitching arm side of their body.

     I felt as though, instead of driving the top seam of my screwball straight forward, I could drive that top seam downward.   As a result, my drop-stride screwball spun faster and moved more.   I could start it over batters' heads and break it to their ankles.

     To solve the closed-stride problem with my Wind-Up Set Position body action, I have decided to add the drop-stride to my new short-step body action.   I call it, my drop-stride short step body action.   Except that pitchers step six to eight inches to their glove side of straight forward, they are doing my short-stride body action.   When pitchers step to their glove side, they point their glove foot outward.   To powerfully move their pitching leg straight forward down the driveline for their pitching foot, pitcher can now powerfully push off the inside of their glove foot.

     I want pitchers to move their center of mass straight forward.   However, given a choice between pitchers moving their center of mass toward their pitching arm side or their glove side, especially with my Maxline pitches, I choose their glove side.

     Your son has done a great job of learning how to powerfully moving his pitching leg straight forward.   This action not only permits him to release my Maxline pitches to the pitching arm side of his body, but it also lengthens his driveline and enables him to flip his pitching him forward and 'finish' his pitches in the same way that I described the final pitching hand action of my super screwball.   Unfortunately, other pitchers still have their pitching foot within a foot of the pitching rubber when they release their pitches.   I am hoping that my drop-stride short step body action will teach them how to move their pitching leg forward.

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015.   My son is 11 and plays multiple sports.    He has just been diagnosed with Seaver's Disease.    The orthopedist recommended rest, heel inserts, icing after playing and Ibruprophen.    The doctor also said David will not hurt himself by playing on it.    Should we cut out his basketball season (he just made a competitive AAU team)?    Is there anything we can do to speed the heeling and make sure it doesn't come back?

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     Did the doctor explain what causes the pain?   Did the doctor talk about growth plates?   Did the doctor say that normal growth and development of growth plates will eliminate the pain?   Did the doctor say that, when youngsters continue to place more stress on growth plates than they can withstand, they can permanently alter the normal growth and development of the affected bones?

     There is nothing that anybody can do to alter the rate of normal growth and development of growth plate.   However, with continued stress, your son will cause the growth plate to prematurely close, which would permanently deform the bone.   Until this growth plate matures considerably more, your son should take up activities that do not stress this growth plate.   Try swimming.

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016.   In Chapter 33 you have a section named, 'Final Stress Levels,' you write:   "Because athletes’ psychological limits are lower than their physiological limits, wherever possible, athletes should not know the stress levels at which they are performing."

     Could you expound on that please?   I take it that you would not want your students to know what weight their wrist weights are.   You seem, however, to tell your students exactly what you and they are doing.


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     In May 1978, I passed my Comprehensive Exams, which are a series of questions that my doctoral committee members require that I answer to receive my doctoral degree.   The professor responsible for securing the high-speed camera with which I studied the baseball pitching motion asked me to write a report on that research.   In addition to that report, I included how other disciplines contributed to baseball pitching.   In Chapter Thirty-Three, I discussed the guidelines that I follow when I write interval-training programs.

     As I quickly reread what I wrote twenty-seven years ago, in general, I am pleased with the material.   I discussed neuromuscular specificity, physical activity types, starting stress levels, stress increments, sets, final stress levels, frequency and maintenance.   The quote you provide refers to a study conducted by members of the Human Energy Research Lab at Michigan State University during my stay.

     The researchers recruited several volunteer athletes and placed them into equated control and experimental groups.   They constructed a training chair where the athletes hooked their ankle under a bar with their knee bent at ninety degrees and straighten their leg.   They could carefully control how much weight the athletes moved.   In the control group, the athletes could see the amount of weight that they attached to the bar.   In the experimental group, the athletes could not see the amount of weight.

     The researchers identically increased the amount of weight for both groups.   At about half-way through the eight week study, the control group leveled off.   That is they could no longer continue to linearly increase the amount of weight they lifted.   The experimental group continued to linearly increase the weight for a couple of more weeks, then they dramatically decreased the weight they moved.   The experimental group found out how much weight they were moving and decided that they could not do that.

     The point is; when athletes believe that they cannot do something, they are right.   It is a self-fulfilling prophesy.   I run into this all the time.   For example, those who believe that they cannot throw the twenty-five pound wrist weights at maximum intensity for ninety-six repetitions cannot throw the twenty-five pound wrist weights at maximum intensity for ninety-six repetitions.   I can't do something, whatever it is, limits everybody.   Whenever possible, interval-training program designers should not let the athletes know the stress levels at which they are performing.

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017.   For kids under 16 biologically, do you recommend any exercises to strengthen the rotator cuff muscles?   I imagine you do not recommend any weight lifting of any kind for these muscles.

     When you train your students who come to you with rotator cuff injuries, do you have them do anything beyond the normal wrist weight, iron ball and bucket twirls that your students do daily?


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     Four muscles that arise from the Scapula bone attach to the head of the Humerus bone.   Because, when each of these four muscles contract, they rotate the Humerus bone either inwardly or outwardly, we call them the rotator cuff muscles.

     The Subscapularis muscle arises from the entire internal surface of the Scapula bone and attaches to the lesser tuberosity of the head of the Humerus bone.   When it contracts, it inwardly rotates the head of the Humerus bone.   Baseball pitchers unnecessarily stress the attachment of the Subscapularis muscle when they take their pitching forearm behind their acromial line.   To prevent this injury, baseball pitchers must never voluntarily take their pitching forearm behind their acromial line.

     The Supraspinatus muscle arises from the supraspinatus fossa, which lies above the spine of the Scapula on its external surface and attaches to the top of the head of the Humerus bone.   During the early moments of the start of the accelerations phase, pitchers raise their pitching upper arm to shoulder height (shoulder joint abduction) and lay their pitching forearm horizontally backward (shoulder joint outward rotation).   In this position, when the Supraspinatus muscle contracts, it inwardly rotates the head of the Humerus bone.

     However, after the pitching upper arm inwardly rotates, to assist in the deceleration phase, the Supraspinatus muscles is in position to also outwardly rotate the head of the Humerus.   When 'traditional' baseball pitchers inwardly rotate their pitching upper arm beyond horizontal, they unnecessarily stress the attachment of the Supraspinatus muscle.   To prevent this injury, baseball pitchers must never inwardly rotate their pitching upper arm beyond horizontal and powerfully pronate their pitching forearm.

     The Infraspinatus muscle arises from the infraspinatus fossa, which lies below the spine of the Scapula on its external surface and attaches immediately behind the Supraspinatus muscle on the posterior, superior aspect of the head of the Humerus bone.   During the deceleration phase, the Infraspinatus muscle outwardly rotates the pitching upper arm.   When 'traditional' baseball pitchers inwardly rotate their pitching upper arm beyond horizontal, they unnecessarily stress the attachment of their Infraspinatus muscle.   To prevent injury, baseball pitchers must never inwardly rotate their pitching upper arm beyond horizontal and powerfully pronate their pitching forearm.

     The Teres Minor muscle arises from high on the axillary border of the Scapula and attaches immediately behind the Infraspinatus muscle on the posterior aspect of the head of the Humerus bone.   During the deceleration phase, the Teres Minor muscle outwardly rotates the pitching upper arm.   When 'traditional' baseball pitchers supinate their releases and pull their pitching arm downward and across the front of their body, they unnecessarily stress the attachment of their Teres Minor muscle.   To prevent injury, baseball pitchers must powerfully pronate their pitching forearm.

     In conclusion, whatever their age, 'traditional' baseball pitchers cannot sufficiently strengthen the four rotator cuff muscles to prevent injury.   Therefore, to prevent injury, 'traditional' baseball pitchers have to become Marshall baseball pitchers, where they never unnecessarily stress these muscle attachments.

     When 'traditional' baseball pitchers come to me with injuries to any of the four rotator cuff muscles, I teach them how to properly apply force to their pitches and they never experience that discomfort again.   However, when, before they come to me, orthopedic surgeons 'shrink' the posterior capsule of baseball pitchers, no matter how well they learn to apply force and no matter how hard they train, they will never recover.   The 'shrink' procedure destroys the tissue, such that it never regenerates and pitchers cannot recover.   Why would anybody believe that burning living human tissue is a good idea?

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018.   Could you analyze the delivery approach of Jim Kaat if you remember it?   I vaguely do, but I remember it was some kind of Crow step mechanic.   He definitely had a long career of 28 years and also a 25 win year.

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     I also vaguely remember that Mr. Kaat abbreviated his pitching motion into a more straight line driveline.   However, without videotape or film, I could not say more.   To determine whether he incorporated the crow-hop throwing rhythm into his pitching motion, I do not remember that he raised his pitching arm to driveline height before he moved his body forward.   Nevertheless, he was an outstanding pitching and gentleman.

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019.   I have your free book and your instructional video.   But, when I read more and see more, I increase my confusion.   My 15 year old son needs to pitch each week in order to reach his fastball from 79-81 mph.   If he rests one or two months, his speed drops to about 74 mph.   I would think that there is a great difference between rest and not rest.   What does he need to do in order to be in fit and always have life in his arm?

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     At fifteen years old, your son still has open growth plates.   It is important to not damage those growth plates.   At his age, he should spend his time learning how to properly apply force and how to properly release his pitches to achieve the perfect spin axes, not to try to throw as hard as he can.

     When he is biologically sixteen years old, to get stronger for better release velocities, he can start my 120-Day High School Baseball Pitchers Interval-Training Program.   When he is biologically nineteen years old, to achieve his maximal strength and release velocity, he can start my 315-Day Adult Baseball Pitchers Interval-Training Program.   Thereafter, he can train every day without concern for damaging his pitching arm.

     Until I make my Coaching Baseball Pitchers book and my Baseball Pitching Instructional Video as easily understandable as I possibly can, I will continue to work on them.   I want every parent, coach and pitcher to be able to learn how perform my pitching motion.

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020.   I read through your email file for a while tonight and learned as I always do.   My son always liked to step back with his glove foot while trying your motion and I see that you have now incorporated that step.

     He broke his left distal radius a few weeks ago and the cast has just come off.   What should he do to rehabilitate it?   He says it is sore, which I assume is true because of muscle atrophy during the time the arm was in a cast.

     He continues to vacillate between wanting to play and not wanting to play.   School ball is getting started.   He will positively not play this summer.   Now, he wants to play, but he doesn’t know if he wants to pitch.   We threw for the hell of it Sunday and just throwing, he throws strikes.   I hope he pitches, but it is his call.

     I’ll try and read the changes you’ve made since the last video, which I thought was great.   Good luck, happy new year and thanks for all you do for us dads.


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     I do not want pitchers to step back with their glove foot, I want them to start with their glove foot back a step.   As a result, pitchers can use this pitching motion with and without base runners.   When pitchers step back with their glove foot, another problem arises.   They can easily lose the crow-hop throwing rhythm.   To prevent this, I do not want them to lift their glove foot off the ground until their pitching arm reaches the last one-quarter of its movement.

     To satisfy Sir Isaac Newton's second law of motion, the law of acceleration, I want the longest driveline pitchers can achieve.   To achieve their longest driveline, I want pitchers to start with their pitching foot on the pitching rubber and their glove foot an exaggerated step behind.   From this starting position, pitchers can start their driveline well behind the pitching rubber.

     From this position, pitchers can step forward with their glove arm at shoulder height pointing toward home plate and their pitching arm at driveline height.   When their glove foot contacts the ground, pitchers can powerfully push off the pitching rubber with their pitching foot and pull with their glove foot to move their center of mass in front of their glove foot.

     When their center of mass moves in front of their glove foot, pitchers can pull their glove arm straight backward, rapidly forwardly rotate their hips and shoulders and start the Slingshot action of their pitching arm.

     When the baseball moves in front of their acromial line, pitchers can powerfully push back with their glove foot and powerfully extend their pitching elbow and pronate their pitching forearm to release the baseball as close to home plate as possible.

     I recently started taking the front view of my pitchers from behind the catcher's position.   This view permits us to watch the entire flight of the baseball, which not only shows the baseball spinning, but also shows the body position of the pitchers when the baseball reaches home plate.   With my next high-speed film sessions, I plan to take the side view of my pitchers, so that we can see the length of their drivelines.   It will be interesting to see whether we can achieve driveline in excess of the six foot driveline of the 'traditional' pitching motion.

     To rehabilitate from the atrophy of bone and muscle that the inactivity of a cast causes, your son should gently resume his normal activities.   With open growth plates, he should not introduce any training stresses.   For example, he can swim, dribble basketballs, swing baseball bats, catch thrown balls and so on at slightly increasing repetitions and intensities.

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021.   My son has started the "Wrong Foot Transitions" and I have a question.   During my last visit to your facility, you had demonstrated how to lock the upper arm after reaching the "ready position" by turning the key.   This seems very comfortable during the torque fastball and the pronated curve, but when positioning your hand and wrist for the screwball and maxline fastball this seems very difficult to do.   After reaching the "ready position," do you still turn the key to lock the upper arm if you are positioning the hand and wrist to throw a screwball or maxline fastball?

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     Before I discuss my Wrong Foot body action with my Transition arm action, I would like to affirm that your son has learned the lessons from my Pickoff with Step body action with my Slingshot arm action and my Wrong Foot body action with my Slingshot arm action.

     My Pickoff with Step body action with my Slingshot arm action teaches pitchers how to properly release my Maxline True Screwball, Maxline Fastball, Maxline Pronation Curve and Torque Fastball.   They should start with appropriately-sized footballs and move on to baseballs only after they show that they can release the football throws with the proper spin axes.

     My Wrong Foot body action with my Slingshot arm action teaches pitchers how to drive their pitching hand and baseball straight forward without introducing any centripetal force.   When pitchers raise both arms to shoulder height in front of them and, then, draw their pitching hand straight backward with their pitching elbow at ear height, they will automatically 'lock' their pitching upper arm with their body.   Then, when they start to step forward with their pitching leg, if they keep their pitching elbow at ear height and reach straight backward with their pitching hand, they will stay in the 'locked' position from which they cannot take their pitching elbow behind their acromial line.   Lastly, when their pitching foot contacts the ground, if they drive their pitching hand straight forward through release and 'stick' it at the target, then they will have eliminated all centripetal force that causes pitching forearm flyout.

     My Wrong Foot body action with my Transition arm action teaches pitchers how to pendulum swing their pitching arm to driveline height in line with the line from second base to home plate.   To insure that the pitching hand smoothly flows from the transition phase into the acceleration phase, pitchers should start the step straight forward with their pitching foot during the final one-quarter of the pendulum swing.   When the pitching hand achieves driveline height, pitchers have to assume the same position as when they reached as far backward as possible with my Slingshot arm action.   Therefore, I recommend that pitchers perform my Slingshot arm action to feel where their pitching forearm and hand are for each type of pitch and immediately perform my Transition arm action and learn how to smoothly move into the same Slingshot position.

     You are absolutely correct.   My 'turn-the-key' instruction works well for my Maxline Pronation Curve and Torque Fastball, but not for my Maxline True Screwball and Maxline Fastball.   As a result, I no longer use that instruction.   Instead, as I said above, I recommend that pitchers blend the reach back position of my Slingshot arm action into my Transition arm action.   If he and you spend some time holding the reach back position of my Slingshot arm action for each pitch and immediately pendulum swing his pitching arm to driveline height, I am confident that the two of you will learn how to bridge that tiny gap between the two.   Let me know how it goes.

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022.   You have not posted any questions and answers lately.   Just wondering if you've changed your format or just too busy presently.

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     Thank you.   This proves that I am one guy in a small town in Florida.   I am an idiot.   I changed the files in my computer to include my new 2005 Questions/Answers file, but I had not sent the changes to the one critical file on my web site.   Please try again.

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023.   How do you define the word medial as it applies to the medial epicondlyle?   I understand the lateral epicondyle because it is on the OUTside of the elbow.   Medial, to me, has the connotation of in or towards the middle.   The medial epicondlyle, however, is on the INside of the elbow.   I am curious how this is considered medial.

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     In the anatomical position, athletes extend their arms in front of them with their palms facing upward.   In this position, the medial sides of their elbows are toward the middle and the lateral sides are away from the middle.

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024.   I do not want to take a lot of your time, but we are looking for a Pitching Clinic, or facility in which our twenty-three year old son can attend in the near future.

     He pitched college ball and continued with independent ball.    Recently, he has worked out with a specific type of exercises with a training facility in our area.    He is a very accomplished pitcher with an extreme dedication to keeping in EXCELLENT physical shape.    His strength is having three types of pitches, and his Competitive, Bulldog type nature.    His weakness is his speed.    He has been working out with a very specific exercise routine designed to add speed to his pitches.    We are now looking for someone on a higher level to work with in order to make sure the mechanics are there to maximize speed.

     His plan is to attend walk on try outs, and although we all realize the percentage of success is not in his favor we are supporting his desire to give it everything he has so he can walk away from it if need be knowing he has given it his all.

     He has been referred to as a Greg Maddux type pitcher, as his command of his pitches and his competitive nature has brought him the successes he has experienced.

       We are in searching for information or direction on a complete pitching camp, clinic, program, or individual he can work with in order to be prepared for spring baseball.    Any information you have would be of value.   I appreciate your time in reading my e-mail and any direction you can offer.


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     You say that you are searching for someone with whom your son can train in order to be prepared for spring baseball.   My program starts the third Saturday in July and ends the fourth Saturday in May.   While I have no knowledge of your local program, I doubt that it has shown your son how to achieve his maximum release velocity.

     To achieve maximum release velocity, pitchers have to apply their maximum force straight toward home plate over the maximum toward-home-plate distance with the maximum oppositely-directed force that their body permits.   He needs to have spent several months learning the proper glove arm and pitching arm force coupling arm actions while increasing the strength of his bones, ligaments and tendons with both deceleration and acceleration resistances.

     He needs to learn how to properly drive and release the variety of types of pitches that he needs to succeed against the best hitters in the world.   I believe that variety includes fastballs that move toward the glove and pitching arm side of home plate, a sinker, a screwball, a slider and a curve, all of which, to prevent injury and increase either release or spin velocity, requires that he powerfully pronates his pitching forearm.

     Lastly, to verify that he is properly applying force, he needs to study five hundred frames per second high-speed sixteen millimeter film of his pitching motion.

     I realize that it does not fit into your time frame, but if he is to truly be able to know that he has given his all to a professional baseball career, he needs to see what we do.

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025.   Michael Johnson, the Olympic champion runner runs with an upper body that is perpendicular the the ground.   When I ran track I was told to have a slight lean of the upper body.   Which way do you think is better?

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     In sprinting, running velocity equals the length of their strides and how quickly they can repeat them.   The length of strides that sprinters can achieve depends on how high they can lift their upper leg.   The key muscle is the Psoas Major muscle.   Therefore, the attachments of the Psoas Major muscle determine how high sprinters can lift their upper legs.   When sprinters lean their trunk backward, they can lift their upper legs higher.   The percent of fast-twitch muscle fibers in the running muscles determine how quickly they can repeat their strides.   Of course, all of Newton's three laws play critical roles in the proper force application for running.

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026.   You recently replied to an e-mail in your question and answer files that pitchers who have had the capsular shrink procedure during surgery never are able to recover and pitch at a high-level.   I am an older position player and I have had that procedure done twice, in my twenties, the last almost six years ago now.   I recovered fine enough after the first one to be a league all-star in my open-age summer adult league for three years, again as a position player, and for sure using the traditional throwing motion.   I still had a fine arm for those three years, almost as good as the one I had at age 18.

     Then I got hurt again, had the shrinkage procedure again. I couldn't recover, no flexibility, no chance to throw with the traditional motion.   That's when I discovered you.

     That shrinkage procedure calls for the surgeon to basically rub the tissue in question with a probe heated to 180 degrees.   It's to cure what they call "laxity."   I am now, after two years of stops and starts, 45 days into your adult program.   I am a DVD owner and hope to be a Z-Hills visitor soon.   I have found that I can throw without pain now.

     Though I am not yet to the full motion, I understand it and mess around with it during my Marshall workouts.   I am able to make full infield throws at pretty good velocity, not the gun of my youth, but good enough to get by in any infield I would have to play in at this point.   And it will only get better the deeper I get into the training program.   I don't pitch, never pitched and never want to pitch.   But, I am soliciting your views on if I can get to a competitive level as an infielder, given my surgical history.   I bet you I can!


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     Two pitchers have come to me after surgeons performed this procedure on them.   They both trained very hard and completed my program.   However, when I took high-speed film of them, neither could raise their pitching upper arm to a line parallel with the line across the top of their shoulders, could never lay their pitching arm all the way back with their pitching upper arm locked with their body or drive their shoulder behind their pitching forearm as far out front as my other pitchers.   As a result, when they tried to throw as hard as they could, they always complained of discomfort in the back of their shoulder.   Obviously, even my twenty-five pound wrist weight exercises could not rehabilitate their problem, which I believe was a scarred posterior capsule from the surgery.   However, they did throw well enough to be position players.

     I look forward to your visit.

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027.   I would not be opposed to seeing what you do, we just need to do something now.    The local training program is not a pitching program.   He is merely doing strength exercises for his legs, opening his chest and basic body conditioning.    It is a specific type of strength training, not merely lifting weights.

     Do you do one on one assessments?    My son has three pitches that he has been successful, with, and has been a successful pitcher.   I don't want you to get the impression he is just a novice.    I realize you do not know him, but what I am looking for is someone he can throw for and get guidance, at a higher level than he has been exposed to thus far.    If you are available one on one, I would be interested in knowing what the cost is, and where you are located.   My son is available now till March.    He has just now starting to throw with the local college baseball team.


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     My Pitcher Research/Training Center is in Zephyrhills, FL, which is twenty-five miles northeast of Tampa.   I know that your son uses the 'traditional' pitching motion.   Therefore, I know that, at the very least, he has late pitching forearm turnover, reverse pitching forearm bounce and pitching forearm flyout.   These are critical flaws that prevent him from achieving his maximum release velocity and pitch-after-pitch are destroying him pitching arm.   Nevertheless, if you and he want me to take videotape of his pitching motion and show him that he does this, I will.   Then, he can watch the pitchers that I train and learn what he must do to become the best pitcher that he can be.   That is the something that he needs to do now.   If he does anything else, he will be wasting valuable learning and training time.

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028.   My son was drafted as a "draft and follow" in 2000 right out of high school.   He attended a junior college and developed tendonitis in his throwing arm.   Since then, he has not had a much velocity as he did prior.   Right now, he seems to be pain-free and as parents, we wonder how he might increase his velocity to the point where it was prior to the injury.

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     My adult baseball pitchers interval-training program will strengthen your son's pitching arm such that he will be able to throw as hard as he can without discomfort.   If he masters my pitching motion, he will be able to apply greater toward-home-plate force to his pitches over longer drivelines.   If he masters my grips and releases, he will be able to throw the variety of pitches that he will need to pitch to the best hitters in baseball.

     However, he has to train hard and learn every day for as long as it takes him.   My basic wrist weight and iron ball training program takes two hundred and sixty-six days.   After that, he has to throw every day until he can throw two of every three of all types of pitches in the strike zone.   This requires a single-minded commitment.

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029.   To my question on the difference between medial and lateral you replied:

     "In the anatomical position, athletes extend their arms in front of them with their palms facing upward.   In this position, the medial sides of their elbows are toward the middle and the lateral sides are away from the middle."

     What does the 'middle" refer to, the middle of the elbow, the middle of the torso?


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     While standing, in the anatomical position, athletes have their arms hanging at their sides palms facing forward.   With regard to labeling the structures of the two arms, medial is toward the midline of their body.   For example, the medial epicondyles of the Humerus bones are on the little finger side of the arms, which face the middle.

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030.   As you can probably tell, I am very inexperienced with this type of situation.    Are you available to talk live, so I can better understand what you are saying.    Please supply a time when you are available and I will make sure I am available in order to talk a little.    I respect your time and obvious knowledge in this area, I am just a concerned parent trying to help support and guide my son in this very critical and sensitive time in his life.

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     While my schedule is not uniform, the best time to telephone me is between 11:30 and 12:00AM.   The telephone number at which you can best reach me is (813)783-1357.

     I understand your difficulty.   With so many pitching coach wannabes that have absolutely no idea what they are doing and only want to steal as much money from you as possible, when you talk with someone who wants to become a partner with your son in his quest to find out how good of a pitcher he can be, it is unsettling.

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031.   Once a player has completed your adult program, does he conintue to only throw 48 pitches each day?   Does the player need to increase the stress to continue to improve, or will he stay at that level and perfect the motor unit contraction relaxation sequence?

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     My adult baseball pitchers interval-training programs takes two hundred and six days to increase the wrist weights from ten pounds to twenty-five pounds and the iron balls from six pounds to twelve pounds.   This training strengthens the bones, ligaments and tendons associated with baseball pitching.

     Immediately thereafter, pitchers start my sixty day eight pound iron ball recoil training cycle.   This training increases the number of capillaries and the substrate storage capacity in the muscle fibers associated with baseball pitching.

     Then, my pitchers increase their baseball throws by twenty-four pitches and add my Maxline Fastball Sinker and Torque Fastball Slider to my basic four four-seam pitches.

     After whatever time the pitchers take to throw each of these pitches for strikes two-thirds of the time, my pitchers practice my four four-seam pitches on one day and my six two seam pitches the next day.   With my sinker and slider, they add my two-seam Maxline True Screwball, Maxline Fastball, Torque Fastball Curve and Torque Fastball.   To simulate bullpens, every third day, I have my pitchers throw their last twenty-four baseball at maximum intensity.   We call this, a blowout bucket.

     When pitchers start pitching competitively, between games and bullpens, my pitchers decrease their pitches to thirty-six.

     The following off-season, pitchers need to complete my sixty-day fifteen pound wrist weight recoil training cycle and continue alternating two and four-seam pitches with blowout buckets.

     The following off-season, pitchers need to complete my sixty-day ten pound iron ball recoil training cycle and continue alternating two and four-seam pitches with blowout buckets.

     The following off-season, pitchers need to complete my sixty-day twenty pound wrist weight recoil training cycle and continue alternating two and four-seam pitches with blowout buckets.

     The following off-season, pitchers need to complete my sixty-day twelve pound iron ball recoil training cycle and continue alternating two and four-seam pitches with blowout buckets.

     The following off-season, pitchers need to complete my sixty-day twenty-five pound wrist weight recoil training cycle and continue alternating two and four-seam pitches with blowout buckets.

     When I pitched, I completed a sixty-day thirty pound wrist weight recoil training cycle and a sixty-day sixteen pound iron ball recoil training cycle and maintained those levels until the end of my professional career.

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032.   When I chat with parents who have their (under 16 y/o) kids in pitching classes or stregnth and conditioning programs, they often tell me that their kids are getting flexibility around their joints.   This, they tell me is very important.   This often comes up in the context of "stretching".   What does it mean to have flexibility around joints?

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     As you know, muscles do not stretch.   However, during the adolescent growth years, when youth pitchers throw too hard for too long, they can stretch their Ulnar Collateral Ligament and the Gleno-Humeral Ligaments.   This decreases the stability of these joints.   Then, as adult pitchers, they will not be able to throw as hard as they could have and are more susceptible to injuries.

     Joint flexibility measures that range of motion associated with the joint.   The elbow has flexion and extension ranges of motion.   The shoulder has flexion, extension, abduction, horizontal flexion, horizontal extension, inward and outward rotation ranges of motion.   I recommend that athletes develop their various ranges of motion while they properly apply the forces required of their skills.   However, to prevent them from stretching their Ulnar Collateral Ligament or Gleno-Humeral Ligament, youth pitchers should not throw baseballs for more than two months per year.   Researchers call this, dynamic flexibility.   I never want athletes to stretch.   Researchers call this, static flexibility.

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033.   I found your website searching for information on how to improve velocity.   We have a son who is a pitcher and will graduate from high school this spring.   He is a young senior and will turn 18 in August.   Both NAIA and D1 programs are currently recruiting him.   His ultimate goal (like so many other kids his age) is to make it to the majors.   He has very good control and his velocity is in the mid 80s.   I have been told that he has “excellent mechanics”, but after viewing your website that statement probably doesn’t have a lot of credibility.

     I happened upon your website after watching my son “stress” about what to do.   If he goes NAIA he can probably play his first year with little if any tuition costs.   D1, on the other hand, he would most likely sit his first season and be short on funds.   His high school coach does not think that D1 ball is a necessity to make it to the majors, but I don’t think my son has completely bought into this.

     In looking at his situation appears to me that another option would be to take a year off between high school and college and attend your pitching school.   Well, that’s the background information, now some questions.   I apologize if any of my questions have already been answered in your question/answer files, but I feel I need to get answers right away so we can make an informed decision.

     Is our son old enough to attend your training?   If he were not old enough, what would you advise him to do?   If your principles are not widely accepted, how do your graduates keep from being re-trained in improper techniques by their college coaches?   The credentials you list on your website are very impressive. What can you offer as proof of the success of your students?   (I trust you will not be offended. As every parent I just have our son’s best interest in mind.)


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     For my forty-five week adult baseball pitchers interval-training program, I accept recent high school graduates and college baseball pitchers with two years of eligibility remaining.   Your son fits my criteria.

     Until they have their game perfected, I advise serious-minded high school pitchers to not attend college.   Then, I advise them to attend a Florida junior college.

     I teach straight-line force application.   Tom House and the other plagiarists now teach directionality.   I teach maximally lengthening the driveline.   Tom House and the other plagiarists now teach release your pitches closer to home plate.   Unfortunately, they do not know how to properly lenthen the driveline, the importance of increasing the oppositely-directed force, the importance of the crow-step pitching rhythm or the importance of my pronation releases, which result in higher quality pitches.   Nevertheless, my point is: my principles are becoming widely accepted.

     With regard to college coaches wanting to change them, when my pitchers show them the quality of their game, they usually leave them alone.   If not, pitch for someone else.   This is no longer high school, students can easily and readily change schools.

     When I become partners with pitchers, I also have their best baseball pitching interest in mind.   I will make sure that they never injure themselves.   I will make sure that they know how to throw my pitches to the best of their ability.   As long as they want to pitch baseball collegiately or professionally, I will continue to work with them.

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034.   How are things in Zephyrhills?   I am assuming the weather is a lot nicer down there than it is up here in the single digit temperatures up here.   Just writing to let you know where I am at and I had a few questions for you.

     I have continued my training without a hitch, getting into the sport center everyday and throwing, while also continuing my iron ball and wrist weight exercises.   Our coaches have us throwing 30 pitches every other day to catchers.   I have been doing my two buckets of balls after this, usually working on pitches I am not ready to throw to catchers.

     Will this put me into more of a regression, having these 30 or so more pitches added into my workout?   I know I should probably blood flow after, but for some reason my body and my mind can't stop the adrenaline I get and I just feel like ripping the ball every time.

     My pitches are really coming along, my curveball seems to get better and better everyday and my velocity is steadily increasing.   I have been told both are better than they were during fall ball.   I was throwing to one of our freshman catchers the other day and threw a maxline fastball right by his ear.   I don't think he ever saw it coming.   I had a nice chuckle with that.

     I find myself throwing pitches that amaze myself.   It is so much fun to be able to throw everyday.   I have to bite my tongue when I hear all the bullshit our coaches are telling our other pitchers.   I've tried to explain to them the truth, but it's like talking to a brick wall.

     The main reason I'm writing you is over the last week or so I have experienced a little discomfort in my forearm.   It hasn't slowed me down any, but I'm wondering if eventually it may lead to something or is nothing at all.   The discomfort is about halfway up my forearm, next to my ulna bone.   If I put my palm facing forward, the discomfort is on the left side of my ulna bone, and I can increase the discomfort by pushing in on the left side right next to the bone, towards the bone.   I am wondering if this is due to releasing with more pronation and possibly using more finger flexor, is it fascia tissue, or I'm not really sure.

     I remember another pitcher having some discomfort right along his ulna bone and I thought I remember hearing you say it was the flexors.   I think I have ruled out fascia because I remember that only bugging me while throwing with a bounce in my arm.   This discomfort does not bother me while I throw.

     Any suggestions as to flaws I may have brought out or is this expect, having finger flexors discomfort after having maintained for roughly 7 months?   Our season starts at the end of Feb. with a trip down to Ft. Pierce, FL and our season and school ends towards the end of May.

     I am still planning on coming down for the recoil cycle during the summer as long as that is OK with you.   I know you are prompt in returning your emails, so I hope to hear back from you soon.


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     Thanks for the update.   I had twenty years of the fun that you are starting to experience.   I wish you as much.

     The discomfort that you describe is a middle ulna bone fascia tear.   If you powerfully pronate your releases, you can exceed the limits of this fascia.   However, it is structurally irrelevant.   Keep doing what you are doing.   It will go away.   You may have to moderate the start of your baseball throws to allow the blood flow to infuse this area, but, otherwise, let is fly.

     Distal ulnar nerve groove fascia tears, while still structurally irrelevant, indicate reverse pitching forearm bounce.   Therefore, when pitchers make that complaint, I tell them what they are doing wrong and make sure that they correct it.   You are not doing anything wrong, just more powerfully than it can presently withstand.   If you continue, the tissue will adjust and the discomfort will go away.

     See you this summer.

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035.   I have a couple of follow-up questions, if you don't mind:   Do you still have openings available for your forty-five week class starting this summer?   Why do you advise pitchers to attend Florida Junior Colleges after your course?

     I would again reiterate that your website is very impressive.   However, I am again asking how we can get a sense of the results of your program?   I'm sure you have numerous success stories, and I also see your need to keep your students anonymous, what do you suggest?   Do you possibly have a brief synopsis of each of your graduating classes in numbers only?   For example, in 2002, 8 received college scholarships, 1 signed a professional contract, 2 unknown.   Average velocity at start of class was 78 and end average was 85.   (I'm just throwing out ideas, not trying to be a pain)

     Before we could make the commitment to the "partnership," I am sure we would want to make a visit.   Is that acceptable to you?


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     I will only accept twelve students.   I have had more than that express interest, but, until I receive the non-refundable six hundred dollar ($600.00) deposit check, I do not reserve a space for them.   Upon arrival, I credit their equipment and electric bill accounts with that deposit.

     I recommend Florida Junior Colleges because of the year-around training, the scouting and the quality of the baseball.

     I promise that, at the end of my forty-five week interval-training program, every student will understand what they have to do to become the best pitcher that they can be.   They will no longer wonder whether they could have pitched collegiately or professionally.   They will know.   Many of my pitchers have succeeded beyond their wildest expectations.   Others have moved on with their life.   I believe that all succeeded.

     I welcome all visitors.   Certainly, I would welcome and expect that anybody thinking of committing a minimum of forty-five weeks would want to see what it is all about.   We train from 9:00 to 11:00AM seven days a week.   Let me know whether you need directions.

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036.   First of all, let me apologize if I'm getting to be a pain in your butt!

       In your reply to my first email you stated:

        "With regard to college coaches wanting to change them, when my pitchers show them the quality of their game, they usually leave them alone.    If not, pitch for someone else."

     Today I was reading through some of your question/answer files from 2004.   In your response to question 863 you stated:

     "Because of the frustration I was feeling about pitchers compromising my pitching motion with the 'traditional' pitching motion, I had tried to figure out how I could get pitchers to stop this.     I thought that I might have to return to college coaching, but athletic directors do not like innovation and the NCAA rules do not let me train pitchers every day.    I thought that I needed to train pitchers for a professional team.    If I controlled whether they kept their jobs, they would have to do what I teach."

     Don't get me wrong, everything I have read on your site makes perfect sense.   However, this last statement reads as if college & professional coaches "won't buy it" and force the kids back to traditional.

       I'm getting totally confused!   Is the reality of the matter that a kid has to stick with "traditional" pitching techniques (even at the risk of injury) in order to be given the opportunity to play at the college or professional levels?   My son can go play college baseball right now on a scholarship.   Since I know his ultimate goal is to play pro ball, your program looks like a great opportunity to improve his chances and better prepare him for college.   But, if he is the greatest pitcher in the world after your class, but no coach will take him, how do I sell that?


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     With my pitching motion, pitchers will reach their maximum release velocity, will have the broadest range of high-quality pitches, will throw every day and will never injure their pitching arms.   With the 'traditional' pitching motion, pitchers cannot reach their maximum release velocity, cannot throw all types of pitches and cannot throw every day and will destroy their pitching arms.

     That professional and college pitching coaches have no idea what they are doing and teach the 'traditional' pitching motion out of ignorance and laziness should remain their problem, not your son's.

     My frustration with my pitchers compromising my pitching motion to try to satisfy their 'traditional' pitching coaches is that I knew that they would never become the best pitchers that they could be and I would never have examples of my perfect pitching motion.   Unlike the other pitching coach wannabes, I cannot simply point to some pitcher and claim his pitching motion as the perfect pitching motion.   I knew that as soon as one guy learned my pitching motion, others would see how simple, powerful and effective it is.

     Although they are not perfect, I now have four guys with very close to my perfect pitching motion.   Two have not yet finished my basic interval-training program.   One is completing his first off-season recoil training cycles.   And, the other is pitching for a Puerto Rican team in the Caribbean World Series.   I will get high-speed film of these four pitchers and the others training with me this year.   I will include the film and my simplified learning sequences in my next video.

     To me, your choice is simple.   Your son stays with the 'traditional' pitching motion, never becomes the best pitcher he can be and destroys his pitching arm.   Or, your son trains with me, becomes the best pitcher that he can be and never injures his pitching arm.   More and more college coaches are recognizing the value of my pitching motion and some professional teams are interested.   Things are changing.

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037.   Again, I must preface my email with an apology.   I hope I have not stuck my nose in too deep so as to offend you.   You may think I’m an idiot, but I have spent my entire day composing this email.   Why?   Because I see so much value in what you are doing and I would love to see my son benefit from it.   I would also love to see, what appears to be, your life long ambition fulfilled.

       Your latest technical response is again professional, makes complete sense to me, and I am 98% sold on your methods.   But, I also have to say that I feel like you’re "sidestepping" my question.

       We have a lot of similarities.   Like you, we are not afraid to go "against the grain".   We home schooled all of our children from kindergarten through the sixth grade.   This was not popular with the local school system but did not hinder them from re-entering public schools or going on to college.

     For years now in our business we have been producing a product, which is controlled by software that we have written in-house, specifically for the task required.   (Similar to Dr Marshall Pitching techniques)   All of our competitors use” canned" software, which they "tailor" to meet their needs.   This software is produced by a software giant and can be purchased "off the shelf" so consultants and owners assume it must be good.   (Similar to traditional pitching)   This vastly limits our sales, but we continue to fight the battle because we "know" that our software is absolutely the best for this application.   If a potential customer is interested, we can give them references and/or take them to sites where our product is installed.

     My point is this; although we are used to fighting uphill battles, at the end of the battles, we have been able to benefit from our means.   With home schooling, our kids have excelled academically.   In business we are able to make a living; we certainly have not gotten rich, but I think we are successful.

     To make an informed decision we need a sense of how the employers (teams/coaches) will accept our employee.   (A “Dr. Marshall” trained pitcher)   I do not doubt that with your training, our son will be the best pitcher that he can be and will never injure his pitching arm. But that is not his goal; it is a means to his goal.

     To be analogous to business: I don’t think pitchers come to you so they can say, "I'm the best pitcher that I can be and I will never injure my pitching arm."   I think they come to you (whether or not they have the talent) because they want to be "hired" by college and/or professional baseball teams.   And once they are "hired" they know they can continue to work because they will never injure their pitching arm.   Therefore, your program is a means to their end.

     In reviewing your information I truly think that you have a “higher calling”.   It is very evident to me that you are not “in it for the money” and you really want to reduce injury, help kids, and improve the game.   So I assume that your ultimate goal is for your methodologies to gain wide spread acceptance.   (I realize there is personal satisfaction for you in each student that reaches his full potential–injury free)   Therefore, every pitcher that makes it on a team, and that team accepts their (Marshall) motion, is a means to your end.

     So now I have established that the “partnership” could have definite merit.   You help our son to attain his goals (if he has the talent) and he in turn helps you attain yours.   My son cannot attain his goals, nor can you attain yours, if there are no teams/coaches that will use a “Marshall pitcher”.

     You stated: “That professional and college pitching coaches have no idea what they are doing and teach the 'traditional' pitching motion out of ignorance and laziness should remain their problem, not yours.”   How can it not be our problem?   It is a problem for both of us; it keeps us both from reaching our goals.   The only way you can say it is not a problem for you, is if you take the attitude that you don’t care because you know you’re right.   But how does that help your pitchers?

     You stated: “To me, your choice is simple.    Your son stays with the 'traditional' pitching motion, never becomes the best pitcher he can be and destroys his pitching arm.    Your son trains with me, becomes the best pitcher that he can be and never injures his pitching arm.”   Aren’t you really saying: “Your choice is NOT simple.    Your son can stay with the 'traditional' pitching motion, play college ball, maybe pro, never become the best pitcher he can be, and most likely will destroy his pitching arm.    Your son trains with me, becomes the best pitcher that he can be and never injures his pitching arm, but will never have an opportunity to play college or pro ball”.

     We’re shooting ourselves in the foot!   What good does it do be the very best injury free pitcher and not be able to pitch?   Put yourself in the mind of an 18 year old, what would you choose?   You can’t ask someone to give up the end because they are using incorrect means.   What can be done to get Marshall pitchers on teams, and to spread your techniques?   Or if that’s not a problem, and they are on teams why won’t you expound on it?   Why not tell success stories?   Why not provide references?   Do you know specific Jr. or 4-year colleges that will use your pitchers?   Do you have graduates at the Jr. or 4-year college level that are currently pitching using your methods?   Do you know specific professional teams that will use your pitchers?   Do you have graduates at the professional level that are currently pitching using your methods?   If the answer is yes, great!   Paint us a positive picture.   If it’s no, do you know any teams or coaches that you can get to buy in?

     I will close as I started; I think you and I are very similar.   We are both technically minded, we love to engineer, build, and refine.   But, we hate to market or do sales.   However we both need to market.   I to put food on the table, and you to prevent injuries, help pitchers be all they can be, and to preserve your life-long work.   We have to make this work!


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     I am not offended.   I do not think that you are an idiot.   I am also not side-stepping anything.   I taught in the public schools.   My children attended public schools.   My children graduated from public colleges.

     I am one guy in a small town in Florida.   I do not have the staff or equipment to scientifically provide the answers you seek.   I will not make unsubstantiated claims.   I respect the privacy of the pitchers with whom I work.   I can only give you my word.   You can either trust my word or not.   I recommend that you come see for yourself.

     My goal is to eliminate pitching arm injuries.   I do not need your son to help me achieve that goal.   I am doing what I am doing because it appears that I am the only person who understands why baseball pitchers destroy their pitching arms and what they must do to prevent that from happening.

     Your choice remains simple.   Choose the 'traditional' pitching motion and watch your son destroy his pitching arm or choose my pitching motion and watch your son throw harder with high-quality pitches without destroying his pitching arm.   If he masters my pitches, throws strikes and gets batters out, then he will pitch.

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038.   I subscribe to Baseball America magazine where I hope you get a nice response from the ad you have every month.   Assuming you read the magazine, you may have noted the considerable baseball bat ads.   The controversy seems to be around whether flexible handle baseball bats are good or not.   As the anti-flexible bat ads point out, it does seem to me that the bat would flex at the wrong time to get maximum power on the ball.   Do you have an opinion on this subject?

     Also, as I have to buy my high school son a bat soon, I have always been under the impression that the speed at which you can swing a bat is twice as important as the weight of the bat.   I use the formula Mass X velocity squared as the basis of my opinion.   High school bats have to have a -3 height to weight differential.   His choices seem to be a 31" 28 oz versus a 33" 30 oz bat.   I am advising him to pick the lighter bat.


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     Although I advertise in Baseball America, I do not subscribe to it.   Therefore, I am unaware of a baseball bat controversy.   I have no idea what a flexible handle baseball means.   Off the top of my head, it sounds like advertising nonsense.

     With regard to the baseball bat, the key to successful contact with the baseball is the weight.   Batters must be able to control the pathway of the center of mass of the bat.

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039.   I have been reading your letters and book for about three years now.   I have read with much interest your views on exercise.   Namely that stretching is out and that you must exercise every day.   Over the past three years, I have walked probably 2-3 days a week but, because of travel, laziness, etc I never got to the every day mode.   Until now. I have walked every day so far this year; about 2.5 miles.   I am happy to report that I have lost 7 pounds.   Given my weight and given the fact that I can't seem to kick my "see food" diet, it's nothing to brag about.   Nevertheless, it's a start.   Had I not been fortunate enough to come across your facility in my travels, I am quite certain my son would have a ruined arm and I'd be 7 pound heavier.

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     Congratulations.   Now, if we all would learn that we eat to live, not we live to eat.   We have to eat less and eliminate more animal fat from our diets.

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040.   When a third baseman or center fielder throws a baseball your way, should they have their index and middle fingers together as you instruct for the maxline fastball?   I think most coaches tell kids to keep their index and middle fingers slightly apart as you do with your torque fastball.   Also, I always told my son to throw with the 4 seams of the baseball.   Based on my interpretation of your book, he should throw with two seams as this would create less resistance from the air molecules.

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     Position players want their throws to go absolutely straight and carry.   This means that they should with four-seam baseball rotations with my stripe absolutely vertical.   Because my maxline fastball throwing arm action is longer, which means a slightly higher release velocity, I recommend that they use my maxline force application technique whenever possible.   However, when position players have to make a throw dramatically toward their glove side, such as a right-handed catcher throwing to third base on a steal attempt, I recommend my torque fastball technique.   I would agree that two fingers on either side of my stripe would help keep the stripe vertical in flight.

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041.   I have great memories of you in an Expos uniform, you were a real battler, and I recall Jim Bouton writing very highly of you in his book.   Could elaborate on what exactly Gene Mauch did to make you feel that you advanced thanks to his assistance?   I noticed that you did your BA, MA and PhD all at the same school.   Often, people choose to go to different institutions to do this, why did you choose the same school?   And lastly, I believe you were a practitioner of the screwball, which doesn't seem to be thorwn at all anymore.   Do you have commnets about the demise of this pitch?

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     I credit Gene Mauch with giving me the opportunity to learn what I had to do to become a major league pitcher.

     I attended Michigan State University for my bachelors, masters and doctoral degree because they had Bill Heusner, Wayne Van Huss and Vern Seefeldt.   These three men helped me learn what I had to do to research Biomechanics, Exercise Physiology and Motor Skill Acquisition.

     In 1967, I took high-speed film of my pitching motion.   That film showed me the critical importance of pitcher pronating the releases of all pitches.   With that information and my knowledge of the Magnus Effect of Bernoulli's fluid flow equation, I developed my force application technique for throwing my Maxline Fastball Sinker and Maxline True Screwball.   Thirty-seven years later, I still appear to be the only person to understand these pitches.

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042.   I have a 15 year old son that tops out at 86 when pitching.    He's been told he has great potential.    He's a sophomore this year.    He's considered the #3 pitcher for his school and will probably be used as a closer.   The question I have is his school is lacking this year for a catcher.   My son just so happens to enjoy catching and is quite good at it.   My husband refuses to let him catch as he was told by a college baseball coach that a pitcher should not catch.    After catching for inter-squad last week, my son's coach wants him to catch occasionally.   What is your opinion on this?

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     Catching will teach your son about pitching.   If he wants to do it, I would let him.

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043.   I thought you would enjoy reading what Paul Nyman recently said.

     I try very hard (for me) do not "meddle" in what happens here.   And please believe me when I say that at times it is difficult for me not to rain on someone's parade.   But I also believe that it is very important for people to ask questions and express their opinions even though at times their questions and/or opinions are not consistent with what I consider factual information.   But again I also try to moderate that by saying to myself we are all only capable of seeing what we are capable of seeing, yours truly included.

     That being said, I have to balance here the freedom of expression with my concern for the well-being of those who read what is posted here.   In other words my concern that someone will read what is posted here and then go out and try and do it.   Or as the case may be not do it.   The intent behind my post regarding spitball's references to injury and counter rotation was not to pick on spitball as individual.   It was to caution everyone that what is posted here is for the most part opinion unless supported by other information.   And that is important for all of you both posters and readers to participate and to question what is and more importantly, what is NOT posted.

     The only reason why my or any one else's opinions should have any precedence over other opinions is my or their ability to support that opinion with information/facts other than my own opinion.   In the world of academic journals, research this is synonymous with peer review.   Also all of you who visit here need to understand, especially those who consider themselves "knowledgeable" with respect to pitching mechanics and/or training, that I consider 90% of what you think you know to be virtually useless with respect to maximizing a players throwing abilities/skills/capabilities.

     And before some of you crawl off into your sand boxes please continue to read with an open mind (if possible).   What I mean by this statement is that traditional pitching culture (what constitutes good pitching mechanics and training) pitching culture that most of you have been brought up on is virtually worthless with respect to developing high-level players.

     The primary reason being is that it addresses pitching and not throwing.   Pitching and throwing are two totally different "animals".   Pitching is what is doing whatever is necessary to defeat the batter and/or winning the baseball game.   Throwing is the act of using the body to propel an object through space usually with a specific goal in mind for so doing.   At just about every level except the major-league themselves, those who have throwing proficiency (velocity, location and movement) are more attractive to coaches and scouts than those who have pitching proficiency (getting batters out).   Anyone who disputes this is living in a fool's paradise.   The paradox is that virtually no one teaches throwing and everyone teaches pitching.

     I repeat again that no one, and I repeat no one who post here is "immune" from catching my "cold" if I feel what you post here has the potential to misinform or create what I consider less than desirable results.   This being said I would like to make a comment on counter rotation.

     Way back in the early days of SETPRO my approach was much more biomechanical that was physiological with respect to understanding how the body throws the ball.   Also these are the days of robotic mechanics as espoused by many alleged pitching experts such as pause at the top of the delivery, go to the high cock position, keep the shoulders in a straight-line, down and out as defined by keeping the lower body moving in a straight-line, etc. etc.   But what was actually seen in most high-level pitchers was everything but.   Many pitchers showed their back pocket and even completely turned their back to the batter.

     From a physics perspective it make sense that the longer you could apply force to the baseball the greater your possible velocity.   But simple physics doesn't tell the whole story.   Physiology has an equal and possibly superior role in defining how effectively a player will throw the baseball.   Also most people are only capable of seeing what they're capable of seeing.   In other words counter rotation to me is not the same as counter rotation to you.

     There is no way that 30° of counter rotation can be defined as too much or too little.   Depending upon the players physical capabilities, how he action throws the ball, arm action, etc. etc., 10° of counter rotation may be too much.   30° may be too little (Luis Tiant, Kevin Brown).

     As with most things people have a tendency to use the rationale/mentality that if a little bit is good than a lot is better.   Most of what is espoused as good pitching mechanics is based on the principle of throwing strikes.   From everything I know about movement and movement control it is easier to throw strikes if one reduces the complexity (degrees of freedom) of the throwing process.

     Bottom line is that the degree/magnitude of counter rotation in its purest sense is nothing more than doing what is necessary with the body to achieve the best final result.   Counter rotation is nothing more than loading to unload.   How much loading is totally dependent on the individual and his abilities/skills to use his body to throw the baseball.

     When it comes to swinging a throwing quickness supersedes length of time.   In other words players who are quicker to execute the sequence than those who take a longer time (path/distance).   When all is said and done, it's really about momentum development and transfer and rate of force development.   Long slow movements are less productive than short fast movements.   Again bottom line being momentum production transfer.


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     I assume that you took this from a chat room discussion somewhere, where some guy, nicknamed, 'spitter, commented on the injury potential when pitchers turn their backs to home plate.   Mr. Nyman calls this, counter rotation.   I call it, reverse rotation.

     I agree with Mr. Nyman that most of what pitching coaches teach is worthless and without scientific merit.   I believe that pitching coaches have to cite scientific principles for why they teach what they teach.

     Then, instead of discussing why he disagrees that 'counter rotation' causes pitching arm injuries, Mr. Nyman tells us that pitching and throwing are 'two totally different animals.'   He defines pitching as doing whatever is necessary to defeat batters and throwing as the act of using the body to propel an object through space.

     When I teach pitchers how to throw the variety of types of pitches that they will need to succeed at the highest levels, I teach them how to use their body to propel baseballs toward home plate.   With regard to every body part except the pitching forearm, wrist, hand and fingers, I teach pitchers to use their body precisely the same as I would teach position players to apply force to their pitches.   While pitchers release their baseballs at different horizontal angles than pitchers, they apply force identically.

     Mr. Nyman supports his contention that 'counter rotation' is not harmful by saying that many high-level pitchers, including Luis Tiant and Kevin Brown, show their back pocket and even completely turn their back to the batter.   Mr. Nyman shows that he does not understand the difference between reporting and researching.   Even with the epidemic of pitching arm injuries among high-level pitchers, he wants others to throw the way that they do.

       Mr. Nyman continues that the longer pitchers apply force to the baseball, the greater their possible release velocity.   He says that the pitching arm action that pitchers use is more important than whether they reverse rotate their hips and shoulders ten or thirty degrees beyond the driveline toward home plate.   Mr. Nyman fails to understand that when baseball pitchers take the baseball laterally behind their body, before they can throw it toward home plate, they have to return the baseball to their pitching arm side of their body.   As a result, they generate an unnecessary horizontal force that they have to overcome before they can apply force to the baseball toward home plate.   It is this side-to-side force that causes the pitching forearm to move laterally away from the body, such that the olecranon process slams into the olecranon process.   This action causes bone chips and worse.

     I agree with Mr. Nyman when he says that baseball pitchers can more easily throw strikes when they reduce the complexity of their throwing process.   To me, this means that from the moment they start the baseball toward home plate until they release the baseball, baseball pitchers apply force straight toward home plate.   I teach my pitchers that they take the baseball behind their body toward second base to maximally length both their pitching arm and the posterior length of their driveline.   I teach my pitchers that from this posterior-most position of their pitching hand and baseball at driveline height, they must uniformly accelerate the baseball straight toward home plate over as great a distance as possible.   I tell them to 'work the front side' of the pitching motion.

     Mr. Nyman says that 'counter rotation' is nothing more than loading and unloading.   Loading means athletes maximally lengthen the muscles that they are about to powerfully contract.   I agree that baseball pitchers must maximally lengthen the muscles that they are about to powerfully contract to accelerate the baseball straight toward home plate.   However, to accomplish this, they do not have to reverse rotate their acromial line and pitching arm beyond the line between home plate and second base.

     Next, Mr. Nyman says that physiology makes an equal or superior contribution to release velocity.   He says that long, slow movements are less production than short, fast movements.   What he is talking about here is muscle contractility.   Athletes with higher percentages of fast-twitch muscle fibers can move their limbs more rapidly than those with lower percentages.   However, when these athletes use inferior force application techniques, they cannot achieve their potential and they injure themselves.   The list of high release velocity baseball pitchers who rupture their Ulnar Collateral Ligaments goes on and on.   We have to eliminate pitching arm injuries and counter rotation of the acromial line and pitching arm beyond the line between home plate and second base is a major cause.

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044.   Thank you much for your hospitality this week when I visited your facility.   I would encourage anyone who has not visited your facility to do so.

     I did notice that many of your students are still bringing the ball beyond their acromial lines.   This somewhat surprised me because you put so much emphasis on correcting this flaw.   It got me wondering how much of the success of your program not causing arm injuries is due to your iron ball and wrist weight program as opposed to your adherence to Newton's three laws of motion?


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     What you see that you believe indicates that some of my pitchers take their pitching elbow behind their acromial line is when you see the baseball laterally behind their head.   This does not mean that they have taken their pitching elbow behind their acromial line.   This means that they are reverse rotating their shoulders too far.   This is a flaw that, while it does not cause injury, does meaningfully decrease their release consistency.   We continually work with those pitchers to get them to only take the baseball toward second base.

     The key to understanding when pitchers actually do voluntarily take their pitching elbow behind their acromial line lies in the relative positions of their pitching hand and pitching elbow at the end of their transition phase.   When they have their pitching elbow behind their body, but they have their pitching hand to their pitching arm side, that means that they failed to 'lock' their pitching upper arm with their body.   This action permits them to voluntarily take their pitching elbow behind their acromial line.   However, if, as with all my pitchers, they have their pitching palm facing upward and their pitching hand behind their body, then they have 'locked' their pitching upper arm with their body and cannot possibly move their pitching elbow behind their acromial line.

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045.   I have an above average knowledge of the pitching anatomy.    Where in your work do you provide a glossary or pictures that will help outline the muscles and bones you refer to and the various motions (pronate, supinate, midline, posterior, anterior, etc)?

     Separately, Mark Cresse has a stable of capable coaches and instructors in his schools.    To your knowledge, does Mark himself subscribe to your general philosophies on pitching?    Does his personal background as a bullpen coach make him unique for pitching instruction?    I am not looking for either an endorsement nor bashing of Mark one way or the other however my bias is that his background as a catcher limits his ability to impart knowledge and a pitchers "feel" to students.


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     I do not provide a glossary in which I explain the terms that I use.   However, it is on my list of things to do.   In the meantime:
01.   Forearm pronation means to rotate the thumb side of the forearm toward the little finger side of the forearm.
02.   Forearm supination means to rotate the thumb side of the forearm away from the little finger side of the forearm.
03.   Midline means the vertical middle of the body.
04.   When athletes stand in the anatomical position with their arms hanging at the sides with their palms forward, posterior means to the back of their body.
05.   When athletes stand in the anatomical position with their arms hanging at the sides with their palms forward, anterior means to the front of their body.

     During 1974, 1975 and 1976, when I pitched for the Los Angeles Dodgers, Mark Cresse was a young bullpen catcher.   Although a very nice person, Mr. Cresse has no background that would make him capable of providing meaningful instruction for any baseball skills.

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046.   This question is in response to your reply on question #44 of the 2005 questions.   It concerns bringing the ball laterally behind the acromial line.   Here is the first paragraph of your response:

     “What you see that you believe indicates that some of my pitchers take their pitching elbow behind their acromial line is when you see the baseball laterally behind their head.   This does not mean that they have taken their pitching elbow behind their acromial line.   Rather, this means that they are reverse rotating their shoulders too far.   This is a flaw that, while it does not cause injury, does meaningfully decrease their release consistency.   We continually work with those pitchers to get them to only take the baseball toward second base.”

     I understand how this impedes release consistency, but I am surprised to learn that this does not cause injury.   It was my understanding that, if the ball reaches drive line height behind the back of the pitcher, then the first forward movement of the baseball is toward the third base line.   That the inertial weight of the baseball causes the forearm to sling out to horizontal with the upper arm as the pitcher struggles to fight the fly out.   I thought that this causes the olecranon process of the forearm to collide with the olecranon fossa of the humerus.   Are you saying that this will not happen as long as the upper arm is locked with the shoulder?   Isn’t the forearm moving independently of the upper arm?   It seems like it would still fly out.

     I now move on to the second paragraph of your reply:

     “The key to understanding when pitchers actually do voluntarily take their pitching elbow behind their acromial line lies in the relative positions of their pitching hand and pitching elbow at the end of their transition phase.   When they have their pitching elbow behind their body, but they have their pitching hand to their pitching arm side, that means that they failed to 'lock' their pitching upper arm with their body.   This action permits them to voluntarily take their pitching elbow behind their acromial line.   However, if, as with all my pitchers, they have their pitching palm facing upward and their pitching hand behind their body, then they have 'locked' their pitching upper arm with their body and cannot possibly move their pitching elbow behind their acromial line”.

     My question is on your statement about the pitching palm facing upward (I assume at drive line height), which automatically prevents the elbow from going beyond the acromial line.   What if the pitching palm is not facing upward?   In this case, would the pitcher be susceptible to injury?   In an earlier response you wrote this about the position of the screwball at driveline height:

     “At release for my Maxline True Screwball, pitchers have to have the thumb side of their pitching hand forward with their palm facing away from their body.   Therefore, to throw this pitch, pitchers do not have to have their pitching palm ever facing upward.   One reason why my Maxline True Screwball is the least stressful on the pitching arm is that it does not require pitchers to reposition their pitching forearm after they achieve my 'Ready' position.”

     In this case, could the pitcher lock his upper arm to his shoulder and still bring the baseball behind his back without risking injury?   In your Flaws and Solutions video, it would be great if you spent some time demonstrating locking the upper arm to the shoulder.


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     This is great stuff!   I appreciate that you took the time first, to read what I write, second, to recognize what appears to be inconsistencies and, third, to send me an email that clearly points out your concerns.

     With regard to why my pitchers do not injure themselves as a result of pitching forearm flyout when they take the baseball laterally behind their body:

     During their transitions phase, 'traditional' pitchers take the baseball backward with their pitching palm facing downward and their pitching forearm still below their shoulder height.   As a result, they raise their pitching elbow to shoulder height with their pitching palm still facing downward.   (See Pedro on the latest Wheaties box.)   From this position, to get their pitching palm to face upward as they have to do to throw the baseball toward home plate, they have to start to turn their pitching forearm over.   I call this, 'late pitching forearm turnover.'

     During this 'late pitching forearm turnover,' 'traditional' pitchers start to pull their pitching upper arm forward.   As a result of their pitching upper arm moving forward and their pitching forearm moving backward, at some point, they suffer what I call, 'reverse pitching forearm bounce.'   'Reverse pitching forearm bounce' ruptures the Ulnar Collateral Ligament and snaps the Humerus bone.

     After 'reverse pitching forearm bounce,' the horizontal centripetal force of the pitching upper arm slings the pitching forearm outward, which, as you correctly noted, causes the olecranon process of the Ulna bone to slam into the olecranon fossa of the Humerus bone, which damages the tip of the olecranon process and the hyaline cartilage that lines the olecranon fossa and, gradually decreases the elbow extension range of motion.   Concurrently, the Brachialis muscle fights to prevent this collision, such that the attachment of the Brachialis muscle to the coronoid process of the Ulnar bone enlarges, which gradually decreases the elbow flexion range of motion.

     However, your question is why do my pitchers not suffer the same fate?   Two reasons:

     First, because, if they perform my transition phase properly, my pitchers will no only have their pitching palm facing upward when it reaches driveline height, such that they will not have 'late pitching forearm turnover,' but they will also immediately raise their pitching elbow to the height of their pitching ear and point their pitchign elbow laterally away from their body.   In this way, my pitchers lock their pitching upper arm with their body.   As a result, when my pitchers start rotating their acromial line toward home plate, they will not only not have any 'reverse pitching forearm bounce, but they also will not generate the resultant horizontal centripetal force that slings their pitching forearm laterally away from their body.

     Nevertheless, before they can drive the baseball toward home plate, they do have to return the baseball to their pitching arm side.   Then, at some point of this sideways movement, they have to apply force to redirect the baseball toward home plate.   Fortunately, without the 'reverse pitching forearm bounce,' they can easily overcome the minimal inertial force of the five and one-quarter ounce baseball.'   But, because they may not always apply their-toward-home plate force at the appropriate instant, they will have inconsistent releases and because they decrease the length of their driveline, they will lose some release velocity.

     Second, if they perform the start of my acceleration phase properly, my pitchers immediately start to powerfully pronate their pitching forearm.   Pitching forearm pronation prevents pitchers from using their pitching upper arm to pull their pitching forearm forward.   If they cannot use their pitching upper arm to pull their pitching forearm forward, then they cannot generate their horizontal centripetal force that slings the pitching forearm laterally away from the pitching arm side of their body.

     I would agree that the pitching forearm moves independent of the pitching upper arm.   The pitching upper arm moves as a result of the movement of the upper body.   The pitching forearm waits until their body almost completes its forward rotation to start its powerful pitching elbow extension and pitching forearm, wrist, hand and fingers pronation.

     As you again correctly noted, the pitching hand position that I recommend for my Maxline True Screwball does have the pitching palm facing away from the body when the pitching hand reaches driveline height.   However, rather than a difference in the position of the anterior surface of the pitching forearm, this apparent inconsistency results from the positioning of the wrist, hand and fingers.   That is, as evidenced by the pitching elbow being at the height of the pitching ear with the pitching elbow pointing laterally away from the body rather than downward, the pitching upper arm still locks with the body.   Perhaps, I should have described the position of the pitching elbow rather than the pitching palm, but, even with this inconsistency, I felt the position of the pitching palm was easier to understand.

     Rather than a separate Flaws and Solutions video, I plan to release a 2005 version of my Baseball Pitching Instructional Video.   In it, I will include a thorough discussion of the flaws in the 'traditional' pitching motion and the solutions that I recommend in my pitching motion.   The reason why I have not provided this discussion earlier is that I have to train pitchers to perform my pitching motion, I cannot simply pronounce the pitching motion of some well-known major league pitcher as perfect.   I think that hundreds of thousands of destroyed pitching arms proves that the 'traditional' pitching motion has flaws.   While several of my pitchers are closing in on my perfect pitching motion, as yet, I have not captured perfection on my high-speed film.   Nevertheless, we are close enough to see what pitchers should do.

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047.   I just discovered your website and your e-book today, and they are terrific.   I'm a researcher working on an extensive study of the evolution (or devolution) of pitching over the three-plus decades since the Save statistic and DH were introduced.   I agree with you that the DH is a travesty.   I am also advising two West Point cadets who are doing their senior thesis on relief pitching, and have advised them to contact you with questions, so don't be surprised if you hear from them.

       The primary area of our research interest which you might be able to help with is the question of fatigue.   That is, fatigue within a game (more related to starters) and fatigue over a series of consecutive appearances (more related to relievers).

       Obviously, even if you were not an expert on kinesiology and training methods, I would be interested in communicating with you because of your pitching record and your ability to pitch more often and more effectively than anyone.    So I expect to ask a number of questions of you in the upcoming months, and hope to learn from your answers. (If you would prefer to answer all my questions at once in a phone interview, please let me know, as that would be fine with me.  I plan to interview a lot of former relievers, particularly those who have been pitching coaches in recent years and have seen the changes in how relievers are used/misused.)

     My question today, however, deals with starting pitching and a pet theory of mine which you are the perfect person to comment on.    We hear all this talk in recent years about pitch counts and how the arbitrary 100-pitch limit is a fail-safe point beyond which most pitches lose their effectiveness.    My pet theory is that time of game is a more useful guide to how long a starter might remain effective.    There is at least a surface connection with the increases in time of game over the past couple of decades and the decline in effective innings pitched by starters.   Of course there are other factors involved, such as how hard a pitcher has had to work.

       My question is this:    Is there a maximum amount of time for which a starter's arm can "stay warm"?

       Grover Cleveland Alexander, Ed Walsh, and Joe McGinnity used to pitch both ends of a doubleheader in less time than it takes to complete one game now.    I don't see how they could've pitched that much in one day if they had had to spread their work out over a 5 or 6-hour stretch.    My guess is that the average pitcher can only stay warm (however you want to define that) for roughly 150 minutes.    A generation or two ago, that was enough time to complete a game.    In the past decade or so, that only gets you to the 7th inning.    Is that why so few pitchers are effective past the 6th or 7th inning?    Researchers have confirmed the statement of pitchers like Bob Gibson and Greg Maddux and many pitching coaches that the best way to get hitters out is to work fast and throw strikes.   Pitchers today tend to dawdle and also waste a lot of time stepping off and making needless pickoff throws.   Those who work fast and throw more strikes do tend to pitch longer into games.    Is there a physiological reason why pitchers don't go as far into a game as they used to, and is it related to how long it takes to play the games?

     It is fascinating reading your answers to questions, and I applaud your efforts to teach sound pitching mechanics that will help prevent arm injuries.    I speak as someone who did nothing as a kid but throw (not competitively past Little League) and blew out my arm by my mid-20s.


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     I look forward to many more questions from you and the young men studying relief pitching.

     In my Coaching Baseball Pitchers book, I discuss how I recommend that managers use pitchers.   For starting pitchers, I recommend that they never go more than three times through the line-up.   However, I have additional guidelines.   I recommend that, unless they are in the third inning, starting pitchers do not start their second time through the line-up.   I recommend that, unless they are in the fifth inning, starting pitchers do not start their third time through the line-up.   If you do the math, you will see that these are performance based determinants, not pitch counts.

     Managers use pitch counts because they do not understand why the 'traditional' pitching motion destroys pitching arms.   They mistakenly believe that fewer pitches with more rest prevents pitching arm injuries.

     After I finished my professional career, I pitched amateur baseball.   In one tournament, I started the 9:00AM game, the 12:00PM game and the 10:00PM game in the same day and threw a perfect game the next morning.   That reflects the size of the substrate storage in my pitching muscles.   With my interval-training program, pitchers can pitch every day for as long as they want.

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048.   Are the problems caused by throwing pitches in which the arm supinates upon release (traditional sliders, curveballs, cut fastballs) related to just the turning inward phase of release or are they also related to the powerful pronation that occurs just after release?   I'm asking because I recently came across some still photos of pitchers who have just released supinated breaking pitches and noticed that their arms are pronated to an almost grotesque position.   I have a picture of Roger Clemens showing his hand turned completely over and his palm facing the sky immediately after release.   I know supination is bad, but I'm just wondering if it's bad for reasons I hadn't previously considered.

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     To make certain that we are talking about the same thing, forearm pronation occurs when baseball pitchers rotate the thumb side of their pitching forearm inwardly toward the little finger side of the pitching forearm.   As a result, they turn their pitching thumb to point downward and even farther.   That Mr. Clemens turned his pitching palm completely over, such that he turned his pitching thumb even farther than downward, is a very, very good thing.   That means that he powerfully pronated the release of that pitch.   That is exactly what I teach my pitchers to do with every type of pitch.

     To throw the 'traditional' curve, slider and cut fastball, 'traditional' pitching coaches teach their pitchers to supinate their pitching forearm.   They also teach their pitchers to turn their pitching palm downward during their transitions.   They also teach their pitchers to raise their pitching upper arm to shoulder height while their pitching forearm is still below their waist, which causes 'late pitching forearm turnover.   They also teach their pitchers to use their pitching upper arm to pull their pitching forearm forward before they completely turn pitching forearm to have their pitching palm facing forward, which causes 'reverse pitching forearm bounce' and generates 'horizontal centripetal force,' which causes the pitching forearm to dramatically move away from their body (pitching forearm flyout).   When, on top of these pitching flaws, they also teach their pitchers to then supinate the releases of their pitches, they cause their pitchers to slam the olecranon process of their Ulna bone into the olecranon fossa of their Humerus bone, which causes bone chips, bone spurs and worse.

     That all pitchers pronate their pitching forearm after they release their pitches shows the importance of the Pronator Teres and Pronator Quadratus muscles to the pitching motion.   When pitchers learn to powerfully pronate before they release their pitches, including curves, sliders and cut fastballs, they not only prevent their olecranon process from slamming into their olecranon fossa, they also increase the force that they can apply and the quality of their releases.

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049.   I can not find your Forty-Week training program for college pitchers.

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     You are correct, Sir.   To reflect what my present group of pitchers have taught me about how to best teach them my pitching motion, I have rewritten my interval-training programs and am in the process of rewriting Chapter Thirty-Seven.   I no longer have my Forty or Fifty-Week programs.   Instead, for adult baseball pitchers, I recommend my Forty-Five Week or three hundred and fifteen day program.   Baseball pitchers need two hundred and six days to be able to train with my twenty-five pound wrist weights and twelve pound iron ball.   They also need sixty days to complete my eight-pound iron ball recoil training program, which greatly increases the quality of their releases.   Thereafter, I give them forty-eight days to learn my Maxline Fastball Sinker and Torque Fastball Slider and one day to learn their combined workout for what to do when they leave.   At this point, to learn what they have learned and can meaningfully use, my pitchers need to throw to catchers, throw to hitters in batting practice and throw to batters in competition.

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050.   First, I am a huge fan of your videos and an advocate of your pitching mechanics.   I own your latest DVD and it is great!

     I am not or never have been a pitcher nor will I ever be, however, my son (12) seems to have the gift, so I am learning all I can so that I can film him and help him learn.   I practice your mechanics daily (well, not perfectly), and I am starting to really get it.   I am an engineer, which causes me to be an improver (or maybe improviser?).

     I have been experimenting with throwing to my net with the radar behind it.   I have likened your mechanics to movements I learned in my karate classes many moons ago.

     I am finding that if I change one movement I can consistently add 2 mph to the radar-indicated speed.   I am a righty, so I will explain what I am doing with that in mind.   When I go forward with my glove hand toward home plate, instead of pulling my glove hand back to my shoulder, I pull it all the way through in-line near my waist (very linear with a pronation as it passes the body) and toward second base very powerfully.   (Note: Before I found out about you, I did not know what pronation was).

     When I finish, I am facing first base with my glove pointing toward second.   I consistently throw 2 mph faster using this technique.   This might be dangerous if a ball comes back my way, but I had to report to you about the improved velocity!   I am in no way qualified to instruct pitchers, however, I thought you might want to try this out to see if it was of benefit to your pitchers.

     If I can add 2 mph, your guys could probably get 4 or 5 out of it.   Maybe add just enough to get a spot on a college team when they are normally hitting the mid 80's.   This is just a thought and I, in no way can say it's the right way, just a way to be faster when you really need to be.

     Before I learned your mechanics, my elbow used to hurt after throwing 10 balls, but now I can throw a whole bucket, as hard as I can, without pain!   Miraculous!   Thank you for all that you do!   Please don't rip me apart too badly on your web page, but please correct me where I need correction.


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     I hope that I only rip apart the phony pitching coach wannabes, never sincere, thoughtful insights and questions.

     What you suggest involves Newton's third law: For every action force, there is an equal and oppositely-directed reaction force.   For baseball pitchers, this means that if we want to apply greater force toward home plate, then we have to apply greater force toward second base.

     For years, pitching coaches have ignored the glove arm as a means of increasing release velocity.   'Traditional' pitching coaches tell their pitchers to point their glove forearm halfway down the third or first base line.   From this starting position, 'traditional' pitchers generate another horizontal centripetal force that causes their pitching forearm to flyout away from the body.

     I teach my pitchers to use the glove and pitching arms as parallel and oppositely-directed forces.   Those who research Physics call this, force coupling.   That is, when two parallel and oppositely-directed forces operate across an intervening fulcrum, those forces summate to increase the force of the lever arm.

     I recommend that baseball pitchers pendulum swing their glove arm downward, forward and upward to shoulder height pointing at home plate with their glove thumb pointing downward.   From this position, I tell my pitchers to, at the appropriate moment, pull their glove hand straight backward toward second base.   Because, to rapidly, forwardly rotate their acromial line, I tell my pitchers to stand tall throughout the acceleration phase.   This means that they have to move their glove hand horizontally straight backward.   That is, they cannot lower it below shoulder height.   Additionally, because I do not want my pitchers to introduce any lateral forces, I tell them to not take their glove elbow behind their body.

     As I envision the action of your glove arm, I can see that you have increased the parallel and oppositely-directed force.   That is good.   However, I question the height at which you pull your glove arm backward.   You say that you pull it back at the height of your waist.   Unfortunately, you did not tell me from what height you started this action.

     If you started at shoulder height, then the pull-back action would introduce a downward force that would interfere with pitchers being able to rapidly, forwardly rotating their acromial line.   If you started at waist height, then the pull-back action would subject the front of the glove shoulder to considerable stress.

     You also say that you pronate the glove forearm as it passes the body.   Forearm pronation means that you rotate the thumb side of the forearm toward the little finger side of the forearm.   Unfortunately, you did not tell me the position of the glove forearm when you started this action.

     If you pointed the glove thumb downward at the start, then you have already maximally pronated the glove forearm and to maintain this position throughout the pull-back would probably tear the front of your glove shoulder apart.   Therefore, I believe that you started with glove thumb pointing downward and you supinated the glove forearm throughout the pull-back action.   This would mean that at the posterior-most point, you have your glove thumb pointing upward.

     I am always looking for ways to increase the oppositely-directed force of baseball pitching, especially as pitchers apply it through release.   If pitchers extended the posterior length of the glove arm force, they would generate more force through release.   However, I would want the force at shoulder height, I would start from extreme glove forearm pronation (thumb pointing down) and I would powerfully supinate the glove forearm throughout the pull-back (thumb rotating to point upward).   As I practice your glove arm action, if pitchers were to take their glove hand farther backward along the line between home plate and second base, I especially fear the effect on the front of the glove shoulder.

     This means that I agree with your theory, but I cannot reconcile it with the anatomical realities of what muscles accelerate and decelerate the force and how the intervening joints have to tolerate the stresses.

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051.   In question #717 of your 2003 Questions, you give this answer to a question that I did not ask:

3.   "You continue to misrepresent what I recommend.   I recommend that pitchers have their pitching hand facing inward, facing forward, facing outward and facing upward.   At no time, do I recommend that my pitchers have their pitching palm under the baseball.   There was a time in the much distant past where, to eliminate late forearm turnover, I recommended that pitchers consider the baseball a plate of water and try not to spill it.   However, I soon learned that this action generated reverse horizontal centripetal force and immediately discarded it.”

     My question concerns your statement that you do not recommend having the pitching palm under the baseball.   How does the pitching hand face upward and NOT have the palm under the ball.   I am trying to teach my son to lock his upper arm with his shoulder by turning his palm upward at driveline height.   I get the sense that it is, in fact, like holding a plate of water.   I wonder if I am having him flex his wrist too far backwardly at driveline height?


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     I recommend that, when baseball pitchers take the baseball out of their glove, they have their pitching fingers pointing toward home plate with their palm facing inward.   However, when they start the pitching hand and baseball on the downward portion of their pendulum swing along a straight line from home plate to second base, I want them to have their pitching fingers pointing downward with their pitching palm facing forward.   This is where the gentleman misinterpreted what I want.   He thought that I wanted the pitching palm facing upward throughout the transition phase.

     After the pitching hand and baseball pass behind the hip, to continue the upward portion of the pendulum swing, there comes an anatomical limitation to the palm-facing-forward position and pitchers have to outwardly rotate their pitching upper arm and supinate their pitching forearm, wrist, hand and fingers.   I want pitchers to move smoothly through this cross-over from the pitching palm facing forward to pitching palm again facing upward, but, this time, with their fingers pointing toward second base.   I agree with you that, at the moment when pitchers 'lock' their pitching upper arm with their body, they could hold a plate of water or, if you watch restaurant waiters, a tray of food, on their pitching hand.

     It would be nice were pitchers able to arrive at the end of the transition phase with their pitching forearm, wrist, hand and finger positions precisely the same for all pitches.   However, the pitching forearm, wrist, hand and fingers position for my Maxline True Screwball requires that they have the pitching palm facing away from the body.

     As I said in our last email, for baseball pitchers to 'lock' their pitching upper arm with their body, they need to raise their pitching elbow to the height of their pitching ear and point their pitching elbow away from their body.   The fact that when my pitchers supinate their pitching forearm, wrist, hand and fingers to properly position them for my Maxline Pronation Curve and Torque Fastball, they concurrently also 'lock' their pitching upper arm with their body in an interesting coincidence, but not the proper definition of how to accomplish this critical skill.

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052.   My thirteen year old son had a second MRI and his doctor reviewed the findings with us.   His capitulum that showed some problems seven months earlier is now looking good and he had cleared him to pitch again.   Although we're excited about the news, we have agreed to let him wait until High School baseball before we allow him to pitch.   As we discussed in my last visit to your facility, he will continue to work on his football throwing drills.

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     I recommend that you continue to teach your son my Pickoff with Step body action, Slingshot arms action with the appropriately-sized football and, when he masters his releases, teach him how to also properly release baseballs.

     When he masters all my baseball releases, I recommend that you teach him my Wrong Foot body action, Slingshot arms action with the appropriately-sized football and baseballs.

     When he masters all my releases with this body action and arms action, I recommend that you continue with my Wrong Foot body action, Slingshot arms action with the appropriately-sized football, but teach him my Wrong Foot body action, Transition arms action with the baseballs.

     When he masters all my release with this body action and arms actions, please again find your way over here to learn my new Crow-Step body action.

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053.   I can see where there might be a problem related to the shoulder as you say.   I have not had it interfere with the acromial line as far as I can tell.   I have not experienced any pain yet.

     To answer your questions:   I take a similar posture to one of yur pitchers in your video with my glove hand at shoulder height pointed toward home plate with my palm down and use your throwing hand technique as best as I can duplicate the video, sweeping down and up then standing tall and driving directly at the target.

     From my early karate days, there is a punch from the waist that starts with the left fist extended forward at shoulder height, palm down, the right fist at the hip palm up.   The punch is executed by pulling the left arm back to the waist, rotating the fist to where it is palm up and simutaneously moving the right fist forward to the shoulder height while rotating it to be palm down (basically pronation).   Newton applies here as well.   This is the basis of the modification.   (Muhammed Ali used this exact same punch to win his championship.)

     Instead of stopping the left fist at the waist, I continue pronating (rotating the fist) and moving the fist back toward second base ending with the left hand level with the shoulders and the palm facing upward.   So, the glove is actually moving in a semicircle.

     The only problem I am experiencing is that it puts such and incredible rotational dynamic on my body, I sometimes tend to end with my back towards the batter.   That may be a bad thing, but I do get a velocity increase!


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     I am aware of the karate punch to which you refer.   It is clearly force coupling.   Except that it is waist high, it is an excellent analogy to what I want my baseball pitchers to do.

     Rather than at waist height, I want my pitchers to do this at shoulder height with their pitching upper arm.   I want their glove upper arm vertically tight to the midline of their body.   This glove upper arm position severely limits their ability to outwardly rotate the head of their Humerus bone.

     I am somewhat bothered by to excessive rotational forces that you generate.   I prefer that the glove arm only moves straight backward and the pitching arm only move straight forward.   These forces would not cause the body to continue to rotate beyond the acromial line pointing toward home plate.   While I would have some concern about fielding safety, my main concern would be generating any horizontal force that would lessen the straight-toward-home-plate force that we want to generate.

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054.   I have continued experimentation and you are right about the glove shoulder, it could easily be injured.   As I increased the velocity of the glove hand, I was putting a tremendous load on my shoulder at the full extension point of my glove arm.   My excessive rotation is probably due to the glove hand passing my body outside it's center of gravity.   It was interesting though, how I was able to achieve a higher velocity.   But, a small amount of velocity is not worth an injury.

     I will continue to train with your standard mechanics, so that I truly understand them and can teach them correctly.


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     I appreciate your efforts.   I am always looking for new, safe ways to increase the toward-home-plate force in my pitching motion.

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055.   I see many references to the off season wrist weight and iron ball recoil cycles.   What is this and how is it performed?

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   Baseball pitchers need two hundred and six days to increase from ten pound wrist weights to twenty-five pound wrist weights and from a six pound iron ball to a twelve pound iron ball.   At the end of these two hundred and six days, to maintain their new level of wrist weight and iron ball fitness, I reduce the wrist weight to fifteen pounds and the iron ball to eight pounds.

     This training strengthens the bones, ligaments and tendons associated with my baseball pitching motion.   As a result, my pitchers are not only injury-proofed, but they also have a powerful structural platform on which to generate as much force as they possibly can to accelerate baseballs toward home plate.   If they have also mastered the releases to my pitches, then they have the power and skill to throw high-quality pitches.

     However, they still do not have the important ingredient that I had, the ability to throw every day at my highest quality without fatigue.   To do that, pitchers need to increase the capillarization to the baseball pitching muscles and increase their substrate storage capacity.   To accomplish this, I designed my wrist weight and iron ball 'recoil' interval-training cycle.   We do thirty days with my Wrong Foot body action, Slingshot arms action followed by thirty days with my Wrong Foot body action, Transition arms action.   Because my Wrong Foot body action has the pitching foot on the ground in front of the body, pitchers can simultaneously push toward home plate with their pitching foot while they accelerate their pitching forearm through release.   This is the recoil action I want.

     This past year, I decided to include an eight-pound iron ball recoil cycle in my basic program.   That is, immediately after my pitchers complete six days of throwing a twelve pound iron ball ninety-six times every day, I reduce the iron ball weight to eight pounds and have them continue ninety-six repetitions for sixty days.   Not only does this program increase capillarization and substrate storage, but it also greatly improves the quality of their pitch releases.

     Then, after my pitchers pitch competitively for a season to learn what pitches they have mastered, they return for the ongoing series of wrist weight and iron ball recoil interval-training programs.   Depending on how much time they have, they can complete one or two cycles.   When they finish, they will maintain at twenty-five pound wrist weights and twelve pound iron balls.   When I played professionally, I maintained at thirty pound wrist weights and a sixteen pound iron ball.

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056.   My question (#048 in 2005) referred to the pronation that occurs after the supination of sliders, cut fastballs and curve balls.   In my observations, I have noticed that most traditional pitcher's arms pronate further after they throw supinated pitches than when they throw pronated pitches.   I was wondering if the torque generated by the arm turning 180-degrees or further to the outside (the movement from the palm facing inward at release to the palm facing outward or beyond at it decelerates) is a significant contributing factor to elbow damage.

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     I am not sure how you determined for 'traditional' baseball pitchers what is a supination pitch versus a pronation pitch.   I guess they pronate their split-finger pitches and some pronate their fastballs.

     I teach my pitchers to pronate the releases of my Torque Fastball, which moves like a cut fastball, my Torque Fastball Slider, which has the spiral spin axis of the slider and my Maxline Pronation Curve, which has perfect twelve to six o'clock stripe spin.

     However, unless you have high-speed film or photographers happen to catch the correct moment immediately after they release their pitches, the normal eye misses most pitching forearm pronations.

     When baseball pitchers rotate their pitching thumb to point downward and even outward after release, they protect their pitching elbow, not injure it.   Pitching forearm pronation and pitching upper arm inward rotation moves the pitching elbow to point away from and even upward.   This prevents pitching elbow extension as a result of pitching forearm flyout from slamming the pitching olecranon process into its fossa.

     To demonstrate this, I ask people to raise their pitching elbow to shoulder height with their pitching palm with their thumb pointing upward near their ear and their fingers pointing toward home plate.   To compare the effects of pitching forearm supination versus pitching forearm pronation on the pitching elbow, I tell them to use two different pitching forearm actions when they extend their pitching elbow, such that they pitching hand moves straight toward home plate.

     First, I tell them to carefully, then more powerfully, with their pitching thumb pointing upward throughout the movement, to extend their pitching elbow straight toward home plate until their pitching arm locks out straight.   Second, I tell them to carefully, then more powerfully, while turning their pitching thumb to point downward throughout the movement, to extend their pitching elbow straight toward home plate until their pitching arm locks out straight.

     After a few attempts, everybody realizes that when they keep their pitching thumb pointing upward (supination), they slam their olecranon process into its fossa and it hurts, but, when they turn their pitching thumb to point downward, they cannot slam their olecranon process into its fossa and it does not hurt.

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057.   I would like to learn your ideas on pitching.   I looked at your website and found your free book.   Do you sell a hardback copy and/or tapes of your instruction ideas and techniques?   I would like to purchase it or them vs. reading online.

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     You can copy each chapter of my Coaching Baseball Pitchers book for free from my website.   However, I consider my book to be a work in progress.   That is, until I believe that I have it perfected, I can only offer it to you free on my website.   Nevertheless, I do plan to produce a print copy, but I cannot predict when that will happen.

     My Baseball Pitching Instructional Video is also a work in progress.   However, because it costs me money and I cannot afford to put it on my website for free, I do charge for it.   I updated my video last summer and plan to do the same this summer.   If you purchase last year's video, I will give you seventy-five percent off this year's video.   For details, check the home page of my website.

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058.   I was reading a book published in 1985 by Joe "Spanky" McFarland.    He's been a long-time college coach.

     He states that in most cases right-handed pitchers should pitch from the right side of the rubber and left-handed pitchers should pitch from the left side.   He says if they start from the opposite side they tend to throw across their bodies and are more likely to develop arm injuries as they put more strain.   He says the exception to this is when you are throwing screwballs, sinkers, and changeups that break away from an opposite handed hitter.

     He says that when you throw from the pitching arm side of the rubber the batter may have a tougher time picking up the ball because it is hidden longer, the hips open up automatically which produces a more efficient delivery, less arm strain, and possibly more velocity.

     What is your opinion on this?


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     First and foremost, without regard for from which side of the pitching rubber baseball pitchers stand or to which side of home plate they throw their pitches, the 'traditional' pitching motion will destroy their pitching arm.

     Therefore, if Mr. McFarland teaches baseball pitchers to turn their pitching foot to parallel with the pitching rubber, to lift their glove foot off the ground in a balance position, to start their body forward at the same time that they start their pitching arm backward, to have their pitching palm facing downward, to raise their pitching upper arm to shoulder height before their pitching hand, to use their pitching upper arm to pull their pitching forearm forward, to step with their glove foot on or beyond a line between their pitching foot and home plate, to point their pitching arm at the opposite-side mid-infielder, to point their glove arm down the first or third base line and so on, then, no matter where the pitchers stand, he is destroying pitching arms.

     Consequently, all we are talking about is a matter of degree.

     For Mr. McFarland to say that if pitchers stand on 'the opposite side (of the pitching rubber from their pitching arm, then) they tend to throw across their bodies,' and, as a result, they 'are more likely to develop arm injuries as they put more strain' does not make any sense.

     With the 'traditional' pitching motion, the pitching arm locks out straight, such that the baseball is almost an arm's length outside of their pitching leg.

     If baseball pitchers stand on the pitching arm side of the pitching rubber, then the baseball starts toward home plate from more than an arm's length outside of pitching arm side of home plate.   As a result, to get the baseball into the strike zone, these pitchers have to pull their pitching arm across the front of their body by more than an arm's length.   If they want the pitch on the glove side corner, then they have to pull it seventeen more inches.   It is this pitching arm pull action that overly stresses the inside of the pitching shoulder and elbow.

     However, if baseball pitchers stand on the glove side of the pitching rubber, then the baseball starts toward home plate twenty-four lateral inches closer to home plate.   As a result, to get the baseball into the strike zone, these pitchers do not have to pull their pitching arm as far across the front of their body.

     You say that Mr. McFarland says that 'the exception to this is when you (baseball pitchers) are throwing screwballs, sinkers, and changeups that break away from an opposite handed hitter.'   This means that the pitchers do not have to pull the baseball the extra seventeen inches across home plate to the glove side, they only need to pull it the more than their arm's length to the pitching arm side of home plate.   If they were to stand on the glove side of home plate, they could have reduced the distance that they had to pull the baseball by another twenty-four inches.

     You write that Mr. McFarland says that when baseball pitchers 'throw from the pitching arm side of the rubber, the batter may have a tougher time picking up the ball because it is hidden longer, the hips open up automatically which produces a more efficient delivery, less arm strain, and possibly more velocity.'

     Because Mr. McFarland teaches baseball pitchers to reverse rotate their body and point their pitching arm toward the opposite mid-infielder.   He thinks that this means that his pitchers hide the baseball.   But, batters can see the baseball.   It comes to a complete stop.   It is clearly visible one to two feet laterally behind the pitcher.   Hitters can see his change-up, curve and fastball grips, whether he has cocked his wrist for a curve and much more.

     You say that Mr. McFarland said that the pitchers' hips 'open up automatically.'   With the closed stride that Mr. McFarland teaches, pitchers cannot forwardly rotate their hips beyond perpendicular to the driveline toward home plate.   There is nothing automatic about that.

     You say that Mr. McFarland says that pitching from the pitching arm side of the pitching rubber 'produces a more efficient delivery, less arm strain, and possibly more velocity.'   I believe that I have explained how and why pitching from the pitching arm side of the pitching rubber is less efficient, increases the stress on the pitching arm and, definitely, decreases release velocity and release consistency.

     To summarize, Mr. McFarland does not have the knowledge on which to base a pitching motion.   What he teaches destroys pitching arms.

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059.   I looked at your website.   I believe your video sells for $100.00.   Please confirm.

     I grew up in the 70's and one reason I followed you was because it appeared you worked out with weights.   You had well developed arms and this was unique to pitchers of that era and even now.   I always felt that one could workout to increase their throwing ability if they were able to correctly balance the development of the antagonistic muscles of the arm, shoulder, and back.   I felt with your education and success, being able to pitch as often as you did, you figured a workout program to accomplish this.

        My concern or reason to learn and understand is that I have three boys who play baseball and are pitchers.   All three have had great success and accomplishments early in their careers but my goal is for them to have long and healthy performances and enjoyment of the game more than just thinking about short term results.   Techniques and work ethics I can teach and instill in them at the beginning of their careers should allow them to accomplish this.   I have talked to Roger Clemens and I believe Greg Maddux would be a great source of information but I believe you are probably the best able to provide this advice.

        I will buy your tapes and hopefully they will cover most of my questions.   I looked over your book and read that you suggest that kids don't start pitching until they are more fully developed.   If that is your suggestion, how are they to develop and build arm strength?   I don't let my kids throw curves and sliders but they do throw fastballs and a knuckleball.   They throw every other day for most of the year and based upon your thinking, this is not good.   I live where baseball is played year round.

        I would have no problem flying to your facility and visiting with you if you can make time to meet with me, I really do think you can provide wise advice and want to do everything I can to help my kids enjoy a long, healthy sporting career.


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     You are correct, Sir.   I do charge one hundred dollars ($100.00) for my Baseball Pitching Instructional video.   However, I will give you seventy-five percent off all future updates.

     I did basically the same wrist weight and iron ball training that I have on my Baseball Pitching Instructional Video.   I designed my wrist weight interval-training program to train what you call, the antagonistic muscles, but I call, plioanglos training.   Coupled with my adjustments to my force application techniques enabled me to have a decent major league career.

     With regard to youth baseball:   I recommend that youth pitchers throw baseballs for only two consecutive months per year and, after they become biologically thirteen years old, competitively pitch only one inning per game twice a week.   If they pitch too much, too hard and too early, they will alter the proper growth and development of their pitching arms and never become the adult pitchers that they could have been.   I want solid-armed high school junior baseball pitchers.

     You and everybody else are welcome to visit my Pitching Research/Training Center in Zephyrhills, FL near Tampa whenever you and they want.   We train from 9:00 to 11:00AM every day between the middle of July through the end of May.

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060.   I guess I need to be clearer in my communications.   When a pitcher (any pitcher) throws a slider or cut fastball, his pitching arm turns inward at release (thumb up; supination) and then it turns outward upon deceleration (thumb down; pronation).   I'm just wondering if this torque is an underlying cause of elbow damage in addition to the damage you site when they slam their olecranon process into its fossa through the process of supinating their pitches.

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     When pitchers turn their pitching thumb inward, because the pitching upper arm inwardly rotates, I would call that pronation.   However, I agree that they turn their pitching thumb downward.

   When pitchers turn their pitching thumb outward, because the pitching upper arm outwardly rotates, I would call that supination.   However, I agre that they turn their pitching thumb upward.

     When baseball pitchers supinate their pitching forearm through release, they subject their pitching elbow to damage.   The Pronator Teres muscle causes the pitching forearm to pronate after pitchers release their pitches.   This is not a torque force, this is the natural continuing action of the Pronator Teres muscle.

     The supination of the pitching forearm causes the olecranon process to slam into its fossa.   To prevent this injury, all pitchers must pronate the release of all pitches.

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061.   Thank you very much for the detailed response.   I asked that question because my son is a right-handed pitcher and throws from the left side of the rubber.   He's always done it that way.   After reading Mr. McFarland's book, I wondered if my son was doing something wrong.

     I understand if the pitching motion is incorrect it doesn't matter which side of the rubber he is throwing from he could hurt his arm.   Based on your email, it seems there are advantages to throwing from the glove side of the rubber if you incorporate the proper motion which you teach.

     I have forwarded your email to my son, who is planning on studying engineering when he goes to college next year.


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     With my pitching motion, baseball pitchers can throw from either side of the pitching rubber to either side of home plate without any increase in the stress to their pitching arms.   With the 'traditional' pitching motion, when baseball pitchers stand on the glove side of the pitching rubber and throw to the pitching arm side of home plate, they do decrease the stress to their pitching arm.

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062.   I would like to order DVD's if you sell them, if not I will order the tapes.   I don't think you accept credit cards so I believe I need to send a check, correct?

        You are making me think about how I am letting my kids develop.   At 9 years, I let them start pitching.   They only throw fastballs, but they work out almost every other day.   My question is how does throwing a fastball and playing SS and/or 3rd base and having them throw the ball hard across the diamond daily provide such different stress on the arm?   We play baseball year round and I often questioned the need to do that.   The problem is that we have tried to remain ranked #1 in the country and that requires playing in tournaments virtually year round.

        I respect your advice and research and really appreciate the time you have allocated to answer my questions.


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     For reasons still unclear to me, far too many people could not get the DVD version of my video to work.   Therefore, I decided to offer only the VHS version.   The home page of my website provides the information that you need to get my video.   If you have any problems, please let me know.

     Whether baseball pitchers or position players, every time skeletally-immature arms throw baseballs, they stress their growth plates.   Nobody knows the point at which they apply more stress than these growth plates can withstand before they permanently alter their normal growth and development.   Therefore, rather than a few activities, I prefer to have youngsters learn a broad base of motor and sport skills.   In this way, while they wait for their skeleton to properly mature, they can master the skills.

     When youth baseball pitchers become biologically sixteen years old, then they can stress their pitching arm for longer periods with positive physiological results.   In the meantime, they need to learn how to properly grip, drive and release my four basic pitches.   For the motor skill acquisition and interval-training programs that I recommend, please go to the home page of my website and click on Pitcher Training Programs.

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063.   I've heard alot about "overspeed" training lately.   Is there any value in adding overspeed training to the end of your workout to increase speed in throwing, hitting or running?

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     Do these guys stay up nights coming up with flashy, new names for training programs that they are trying to sell?   To increase the velocities at which baseball players throw baseballs, swing baseball bats and run bases, they have eliminate the unnecessary forces and maximize the necessary forces specific to each skill.   They need to understand the proper force application techniques, the applied anatomy and the physiology of exercise.   Do the proponents of over-speed training understand these things?

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064.   I'm a college baseball pitcher and I have a question for someone such as yourself with a scientific backround and an opinion I would very much respect.   Our coach has recently began a throwing program with our pitchers using weighted balls, of 7 oz, 14 oz, 21 oz, and 2 lbs.   Over the course of the workout, we throw the different balls at least 60 times in sets of 5 or 10.

     After the workout I find my front side shoulder, particularly in the area of my bicep tendon, is sore as well as my elbow.   I usually feel no soreness from pitching in my shoulder, but this soreness seems to linger for at least 2 or 3 days.   I've also noticed I'm not the only pitcher on staff having this soreness.   With this reoccuring soreness, especially in my shoulder, I was questioning the validity of throwing weighted balls and the stress it puts on the shoulder.


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     Elsewhere in my Question/Answer files, I have discussed the damage that throwing weighted baseballs causes and why.   Nevertheless, I will gladly do so again.

     The first responsibility of those who design interval-training programs is to know the proper force application techniques for the skills that the athletes will perform.   In this case, the skill is baseball pitching.   If baseball coaches do not know the proper force application techniques for baseball, then to increase the stress only worsens the effects of the flaws in the 'traditional' pitching motion.

     You say that you have soreness in the front of your shoulder, particularly in the area of your bicep tendon.   The long head of the Biceps Brachii muscle attaches to the coracoid process of the Scapula bone.   While it runs vertically through the bicepital groove on the anterior surface of the head of the Humerus bone, I doubt that your front shoulder discomfort comes from any part of the Biceps Brachii muscle.

     Instead, the soreness on the front of your pitching shoulder probably comes from the attachment of your Subscapularis muscle to the lesser tuberosity of the head of your Humerus bone.   This discomfort indicates that you reverse rotate your body, such that you point your pitching upper arm at the opposite mid-infielder.   This force application flaw takes your pitching elbow behind your acromial line, which unnecessarily stresses the front of your pitching shoulder.   To prevent this unnecessary stress, you have to learn to keep your pitching elbow in front of your acromial line.

     That you also have soreness in the inside of your pitching elbow, at the very least, indicates that you also have late pitching forearm turnover, reverse pitching forearm bounce and pitching forearm flyout.

     Late pitching forearm turnover comes from you taking the baseball backward with your pitching palm facing downward and from you raising your pitching upper arm to shoulder height before you raise your pitching hand to shoulder height.

     Reverse pitching forearm bounce comes from you pulling your pitching forearm forward while your pitching forearm is still in the late pitching forearm turnover movement.   When your pitching forearm switches from moving backward and downward to moving forward and upward, that bounce can rupture your Ulnar Collateral Ligament and/or snap your Humerus bone.

     Pitching forearm flyout comes from you using your pitching upper arm to pull your pitching forearm forward, which generates a horizontal centripetal force that slings your pitching forearm laterally away from your body.

     If your Brachialis muscle is not able to prevent the olecranon process of your Ulna bone from hyperextending into the olecranon fossa of your Humerus bone, then you will injure either your olecranon process or your olecranon fossa or both and, as a result, you will lose some of your pitching elbow extension range of motion.

     Further, the excessive pull of your Brachialis muscle on its attachment to the coronoid process of the Ulna bone will cause it to enlarge and you will lose some of your pitching elbow flexion range of motion.

     To summarize, your baseball coach does not know what he is doing.   You need to learn how to correctly apply force to your baseball pitches and complete an interval-training program that strengthens, rather than destroys, the bones, ligaments and tendons of your pitching arm.

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065.   In your response to me on question 51 of your 2005 questions you stated in part:

     "... for baseball pitchers to 'lock' their pitching upper arm with their body, they need to raise their pitching elbow to the height of their pitching ear and point their pitching elbow away from their body."

     I have two questions:

1.   You say the elbow has to be pointed away from the body.   I'm not sure that I'm clear on this.   It seems to me the elbow is always pointed away from the body at driveline height.   My understanding is that at driveline height you want the ball at about the height of the ear and the forearm at a 45 degree angle toward second base.   Is that no longer true?   If you could tell me where the olecranon process (tip of elbow) is supposed to be pointing when you lock the upper arm it would be clearer.

2.   You say your pitchers lock their pitching upper arm by bringing the elbow up to the height of their pitching ear.   This would bring the ball above the ear which voids my point in my first question as I say you want the ball at the height of the ear at driveline height.   My major problem is the pitching elbow above the ear.   Are your pitchers leaning their shoulders to lock their upper arm?

     You have often stated that it is anatomically impossible to throw a baseball with the elbow above the shoulder.   If that is the case, what happens after your pitchers lock their upper arm to the shoulder?   Do they then bring the elbow back down to shoulder height?   What height would the elbow be at leverage?   Are you insructing your pitchers to keep their shoulder level and rotate?   Am I correct that the upper arm stay locked to the shoulder until the ball is released?


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     Boy, this is what I get for educating my readers.   Now, they see inconsistencies in what I recommend.   However, fear not, I know that, at first blush, they appear like inconsistencies, but they are not.

     I will start, as you should have, because it shows the basis for the apparent inconsistency, with your last paragraph.      You are correct, I have said and it is absolutely true, as I believe that I showed in my 2004 Baseball Pitching Instructional video, baseball pitchers cannot raise their pitching upper arm any higher than a line parallel with the line across the top of their shoulders.   At this time, I will not address why they cannot do this, but they cannot.   As you said, it is anatomically impossible.

     Now, we have the stage set for the inconsistency in my recommendation that baseball pitchers raise their pitching elbow to the height of their pitching ear.   At the end of my pitching arm pendulum swing, I want pitchers to have their pitching upper arm at shoulder height with their pitching hand, palm facing upward, at driveline height, which I define as the height of their pitching ear.

     At this point in the discussion, I would like to address the angle of the pitching forearm with respect to the pitching upper arm.   The pitching ear is about six inches higher than shoulder height.   If the pitching upper arm is at shoulder height, then the pitching hand is six inches higher.   To determine the angle, I suppose that we could measure the length of the pitching forearm for the hypotenuse and use the Pythagorean Theorem (A squared plus B squared equals C squared) to determine the length of the other side of the right triangle from which we could calculate the angle.

     However, whatever we find, I am sure that my forty-five degree statement is not right.   What do you say we forget putting a number on the angel and just say that the pitching upper arm should be at shoulder height with the pitching hand at pitching ear height and call it, my 'Ready' position?

     With the pitching upper arm at shoulder height and the pitching hand at pitching ear height with their pitching palm facing upward, pitchers have their pitching elbow pointing downward.   That is, if we draw a line into the middle of the anterior surface of the elbow and out of the middle of the posterior surface of the elbow, then that line is vertically pointing downward.

     As soon as pitchers achieve my 'Ready' position, they are ready to start driving the baseball toward home plate.   However, to protect the front of their pitching shoulder and transfer the rotational velocity of their body to the straight line force of their pitching arm, they first have to 'lock' their pitching upper arm with their body.

     With my Pickoff with Step and Wrong Foot body action, I teach my pitchers my 'Slingshot' glove and pitching arm actions.   In general, I tell my pitchers to raise their glove arm to shoulder height and their pitching hand to the height of their pitching ear with their thumbs turned downward.   Then, I tell them to, like an archer draws back their bow, move their pitching hand straight backward along a line from home plate to second base to their ear and, then, from that point, while they simultaneously reverse rotate their acromial line to point toward second base, move their pitching hand as far backward as they can.   I call this position, my 'Loaded Slingshot' position.

     In my 'Loaded Slingshot' position, pitchers have their pitching upper arm 'locked' with their body, their pitching elbow at the height of their pitching ear with the line into the middle of the anterior surface of the elbow and out of the middle of the posterior surface of the elbow pointing horizontally away from their body and their pitching hand also at the height of their pitching ear.

     Before they practice my 'Transition' glove and pitching arm actions, my pitchers have to master my 'Loaded Slingshot' glove and pitching arm positions for all my pitches.   Therefore, when I tell them that immediately after they achieve my 'Ready' position, they should go to my 'Loaded 'Slingshot' glove and pitching arm position for whatever type of pitch they want to throw, they know what to do.   That is, they raise their pitching elbow to the height of their pitching ear, such that they point their pitching elbow horizontally away from their body.

     To raise their pitching elbow to the height of their pitching ear, they have to appropriately change the angle of the line across their top of their shoulders, such that they account for the six inch difference in the height of their shoulders and pitching ear.   Whether you want to say that they raised their pitching shoulder or lowered their glove shoulder, or both, makes no difference to me, but they can do it.   And, that is how baseball pitchers can raise their pitching elbow to the height of their pitching ear when they cannot raise their pitching upper arm above a line that is parallel with the line across the top of their shoulders.

     So, you were correct again.   The answer is that my pitchers lean their shoulders to get their pitching elbow to the height of their pitching ear.   However, that action does not lock their pitching upper arm with their body.

     After my pitchers lock their pitching upper arm with their body, they simultaneously powerfully drive their body straight toward home plate and forwardly rotate their body.   They keep thier pitching elbow at the same height throughout their driveline.   Even with their shoulder lean, they stand tall and rotate.   Even though they powerfully inwardly rotate their pitching upper arm, they do keep their pitching upper arm locked with their body throughout their driveline

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066.   When looking for a picture of one of your pitching muscles, I stumbled across this web site.   It is by far the best site I have come across to see many of the pitching muscles you often refer to.   It is GetBodySmart.com.

http://www.getbodysmart.com/ap/skeletalsystem/skeleton/menu/animation.html


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     Thank you.   Another reader suggested:   netterimages.com.

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067.   I have been reading with interest the book you have written and posted on your website.   I see that there is a "companion" video tape that covers much of the same written material.

     As I was reading about the "Maxline" and "Torque" grips and releases, among several others, I had trouble visualizing their physical applications, even when holding a baseball and trying to duplicate in my hand what you had written.   Just not quite sure I am understanding things like "horseshoe", "stripe", and other terminology as you apply it.

     My question is this:   Does the aforementioned video show these grips and releases in its content?   I am a left-hander and find in pitching a lot of movement on everything I throw, by my own observation, and by the comments of hitters, catchers, coaches and other observers.   I have always been interested in finding ways of bringing more "seam" into the airflow (except with my knuckleball!) and your work with the principles of aerodynamics and physiology involved in changing the direction of a baseball after release is a most intriguing and tantalizing focus for me.   I simply MUST know more about adding/applying these things to my own pitching skills.

     It is a real passion for me, not just to know it, but to USE it.   I also would be interested in knowing what parameters are involved in your being willing to work with or critique/adjust/train me in the motion/mechanics of my pitching should you be open or available to do so.

     I know spring training is just beginning, and all that goes with that, but would appreciate some input, if you might find opportunity to do so.   Thank you so much for the passion you show in the work you have already done and posted free of charge. I do not overlook the edge it gives me in persuit of my own passion to play.


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     Absolutely, my 2004 Baseball Pitching Instructional video clearly shows my grips, pitching forearm actions and releases for my pitches as well as how I recommend that pitchers learn them.

     On the home page of my website, my Pitching Instruction file explains the circumstances under which I personally train baseball pitchers.   Basically, they have to have graduated from high school and have at least two years of athletic eligibility remaining and still be academically eligible.   My next group starts on Saturday, July 16, 2005 and trains with me at my Pitcher Research/Training Center in Zephyrhills, FL for three hundred and fifteen consecutive days.

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068.   I have two 15 yr old boys, one is a lefty the other a righty, who play high school baseball.   I have heard there is an exercise using a medicine ball to help improve and increase their speed.   I am having a difficult time trying to locate that information.   Are you aware of it and if so do you know where I would be able to locate it?

     They throw mid 70's to 80 range; is that good for their age?   They both have good movement and location and want to increase the speed.   What would you recommend?


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     A medicine ball will not increase baseball release velocity.   When they are biologically sixteen year old, they should complete my 120-Day High School Baseball Pitchers Interval-Training Program.

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069.   I am a junior in college and I just recently reviewed your program.    I am somewhat perplexed as to how a pitcher can follow this program within the confines of a college fall and spring season.    Also, if this program is followed correctly will it benefit in increased arm strength and velocity?    I have had problems with shoulder tendonitis in recent years, will this program help to prevent this?

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     My basic adult baseball pitchers program requires three hundred and fifteen consecutive days of training.   We start the third Saturday in July and finish the fourth Saturday in May.   Therefore, recent high school graduate and college pitchers have to take a year off from going to college.

     At the same time that pitchers injury-proof their pitching arms, they learn what they need to do to become the best baseball pitchers that they can be.

     In your case, you will never experience shoulder problems again, you will learn how to throw pitches that you presently have no idea you could throw and you will know how to achieve your maximum release velocity.

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070.   I was reading a physics article that suggest that throwing velocity has to do with fingertip velocity.   Is there any truth to this?   If so, how would you increase your fingertip velocity?   I hope this isn't a stupid question.   When I read something that is new to me, I like to know if there is any substance to the claim.

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     When baseball pitchers transfer force from the tip of their middle finger to the baseball, they cannot get a one hundred percent transfer.   Therefore, the baseball can never leave the tip of their middle finger with the same velocity as the tip of their middle finger.   This is the weak link in the force application chain for baseball pitching.   As a result, baseball pitchers are only as good as the strength and skill of the tip of their middle finger.

     Pitchers must have the strength to maximally transfer force to the baseball for horizontal release velocity and spin velocity and the skill to impart the perfect spin axis for each type of pitch to move maximally on its way toward home plate.

     My middle fingertip spins and iron ball throws train the tip of the middle finger for the required strength and skill.

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071.   I have your videos which I am forever grateful for your work.   My son (13) will not be pitching this season.   He is working on your program (no weights, just technique).   We hope to have him ready by next year for light pitching work.

     My son has a new coach this year.   One 14 yo had a pain in the inside of his elbow between the radius and ulna at the elbow, (right at the point where doctors draw blood for testing).   He told him that he is putting too much wrist into his throws.   He did not give any further explanation.

     Can you put too much wrist into a throw?   Backward/forward?   Pronation?   Would over-supination cause this type of pain?   I suspect it would be radial head related, but am not sure.   I understand without actually seeing it and talking with the young man, it is impossible to say, but I am seeking some additional knowledge.


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     As I explain in Chapter Seventeen of my Coaching Baseball Pitchers book, the wrist flexes, extends, radially flexes and ulnarly flexes.   The forearm pronates and supinates.

     I agree with your analysis.   I think that he has a Radial Head of the Radius bone or a Capitulum of the Humerus bone problem.   During the deceleration phase, the Radius bone rebounds back into the Humerus bone on the thumb or Capitular side.   He needs to get an MRI to see whether he has damaged either bone.

     If someone does any type of movement too hard, too soon for too long, they can stress the bones, ligaments, tendons or muscle more than they can withstand.   But, the muscles that control the actions of the wrist are low on the list of baseball pitching injury concerns.   The pitching elbow and shoulder are much more likely to break down.

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072.   You say that you have your pitchers do your wrist weight and iron ball exercises to strengthen their muscles' ligaments and tendons.   Yet, you also say that the ulna collateral ligament (for example) is not a contractile unit, so weight lifting will not help it.   How does your program strengthen ligaments is they are not contractile?

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     My wrist weight and iron ball exercises strengthen the bones, ligaments and tendons associated with my baseball pitching motion.   While I wish that I had the staff, equipment and money to conduct the quality scientific study to show this, I have to stand on pitchers who had X-rays taken at the time of their surgery and after they complete my adult baseball pitcher interval-training program.

     Bones, ligaments and tendons do not have the contractile units of skeletal muscle fiber, but they do physiologically adjust when athletes judiciously place physical stress on them, but not in the same way as skeletal muscle fibers.

     As an aside, those cheating athletes who use steroids to increase their muscle mass, do not strengthen their bones, ligaments and tendons.   That explains why those structures fail with their increased muscle abilities.

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073.   Recently, while lifting weights, I tore the long end of my biceps tendon.   I went to see an orthopedic surgeon and, after X-rays, they noticed that I have bone spurs.   They ordered the proposed sirgical procedure: asad, mumford, poss rcr, biceps tendon repair.   They are telling me that the biceps tendon repair will only be cosmetic (they want to attach it to the upper part of the patella bone instead of bringing it back under the rotator cuff and attaching it there).   Is their any other procedure before they cut on me that could be done?

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     I certainly hope that they do not attach the long head of your Biceps Brachii muscle to any part of your patella bone.   The patella bone is your knee cap.

     Because the long head of the Biceps Brachii muscles attaches to the supraglenoid tuberosity of the Scapula bone, I assume that they said, Scapula bone.   The supraglenoid tuberosity of the Scapula bone is a tuberosity (bump) on the top aspect of the glenoid fossa into which the head of your Humerus bone articulates.

     The rotator cuff is made up of the attachments of four shoulder joint muscles, the Subscapularis, the Supraspinatus, the Infraspinatus and the Teres Minor.   Therefore, since only the Subscapularis muscle lies on the anterior aspect of the shoulder, I assume that when they say rotator cuff, they mean the attachment of the Subscapularis muscle to the lesser tuberosity on the anterior-medial aspect of the head of the Humerus bone.

     If they bring the tendon of the long head of your Biceps Brachii muscle under the tendon of the Subscapularis muscle and attach it there, where is there?   I have to assume that they will again attach it to the Scapula, but where?   Do they mean some place medial to the supraglenoid tuberosity?

     If you are not comfortable with what they say, go talk to other orthopedic surgeons.   Don't tell them what the others said.

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074.   I am a big fan of yours and trying very hard to learn your methods and teach the boys I work with.    I know realistically I cannot do that in the middle of the season, but I plan on getting those interested to follow your plan directly after the high school season.

     My question involves icing:    You talk about icing increasing blood flow if done correctly after throwing about 11 times in your Q & A section since 2000.    I have read every Q & A and have bought your video.    Would icing before throwing if a player has a sore elbow be good as well?    I have never heard of icing before throwing, but one of the local sports rehab places told a player I coach about icing an injured elbow prior to throwing to increase blood flow.


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     Cold-induced vaso-dilation passively opens the affected blood vessels.   The metabolites that skeletal muscle fibers produce as result of muscle contraction also cause the blood vessels that serve the working muscles to a vaso-dilate.   The question is which is better?

     The metabolites are several times more effective and much faster.   Therefore, in preparation for competitive pitching, you should use baseball pitching at gently increasing intensities to redistribute the blood to the baseball pitching muscles.

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075.   Why isn't the Teres Major muscle part of the rotator cuff.   It appears that it attaches to the humerus and rotates it.   Why doesn't this muscle get injured from incorrect force application of the pitching motion?

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     I love your new anatomical knowledge.

     The Teres Major arises from the dorsal surface of the inferior angle of the Scapula bone and attaches to the medial lip of the bicipital groove of the Humerus bone.   To be a rotator cuff muscle, the muscle has to attach on the head of the Humerus bone, not down the shaft.   It is a very powerful muscle in great position to apply force.

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076.   The orthopedic surgeon wants to attach the long head of my Biceps Brachii muscle to the top of the humerus bone.   My question is, is that practical or is there a better procedure for this so that i may have better use of this?

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     The Biceps Brachii muscle is a two-joint muscle.   In the Shoulder Joint, it moves the Humerus bone forward and upward (Shoulder Joint Flexion).   In the Elbow Joint, it moves the Radius bone forward and upward (Elbow Joint Flexion).   To learn more, you can read Chapters Fourteen and Fifteen of my Coaching Baseball Pitchers book.

     If they attach the long head of your Biceps Brachii to the Humerus bone instead of to the Scapula bone, the long head of the Biceps Brachii muscle will no longer help move your Humerus bone forward and upward.

     If you want to know of any alternative surgeries, you need to talk with other orthopedic surgeons.

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077.   I just happened to come across your Web site and as I was reading through your 2005 questions and answers (starting from the most recent) specifically your answer to question 058, 2005, Mr. McFarland’s advice on how pitchers should work from the pitching arm side of the plate.

     Your answer is absolutely correct and I agree with you in that (especially youth pitchers) as he states “that in most cases right-handed pitchers should pitch from the right side of the rubber and left-handed pitchers should pitch from the left side” when pitchers plant their foot parallel to the rubber.   This places their heal down in the hole (just about all pitching mounds have holes just in front of the rubber) and their toes point skyward in an awkward and backward position.

     Pitchers will never achieve an explosive move off the rubber (as a sprinter coming out of the blocks) straight toward home plate.   Pitchers have to position themselves to use their big muscles in the legs powerfully excelling their body straight forwards towards home plate.   They definitely will have control problems and most likely would not have much on the ball.

     And yes, I’m an advocate of pushing off the rubber.   I have parents (just like the gentleman in reading Mr. McFarland’s book) coming to me and tell me that their "pitching coach" or they read it somewhere else that pushing off the rubber is old school.   That working from the pitching arm side does help in hiding the ball and falling instead of pushing is the new way to pitching.

     I tell parents and players that throwing and pitching are basically the same.   I believe I teach a simple and efficient was of throwing the baseball especially youth players.

     I tell them to stand tall, turn their shoulders parallel (line up between second and home plate) to the direction of throw, pitching arm and elbow above back shoulder, and palm up pointing straight back towards centerfield (centerfield keeps their elbow up instead of pointing downward at second base), crow hop or push off, and releasing as far forward and as high as possible (from a high to low through release) with index and middle fingers (fastball) on top of the ball straight towards where they are throwing or home plate.   With as minimal side motion as possible ending with your pitching shoulder pointing towards home plate (protecting your chest and face).

     I do have one question on conditioning youth players.   I have my players do running exercises:   base running, pole to poles for my pitchers and a quarterback drill (basically I throw long balls and they run and catch it).   I also have them do push-ups, sit-ups, chine-up and pull-ups (also pitchers hang and cross the ladder parallel bars).

     What conditioning or exercises do you recommend for boys (15 & 16) doing the season?    Weights?    You most likely have answered this in the past, but your help in this matter is appreciated.


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     My pitchers point the pitching toe directly at home plate.   As a result, we do not dig a hole in front of the pitching rubber.   In this foot position, my pitchers can powerfully drive their body forward off the pitching rubber with their Hip Joint Flexion muscles and Knee Joint Extension muscles.

     When baseball pitchers have their pitching foot parallel with the pitching rubber, they create several problems.   However, in answer to your comments, I will only discuss how that foot position forces them to push off the pitching rubber.   They can only use the Hip Joint abduction muscle, the Tensor Fascia Latae.   This is not a powerful muscle.   Worse, after they push off the pitching rubber, because the Hip Joint adduction muscles are also not powerful, they cannot move their pitching leg forward off the pitching rubber.   As a result, they have this big anchor dragging behind them that decreases the length of their pitching arm driveline.

     In addition, when 'traditional' baseball pitchers powerfully push off the pitching rubber at the same time that they are moving their pitching arm backward, they unnecessarily stress the attachment of their Subscapularis muscle on the front of their pitching shoulder.

     I also strongly disagree with you telling pitchers to have their pitching arm and elbow above their back shoulder.   During the acceleration phase of the pitching motion, pitchers cannot raise their pitching elbow above a line that is parallel with the line across the top of their shoulders.   If they try to do so, they will rub the head of their Humerus bone against the underside of the acromial process of their Scapula bone.

     I also strongly disagree with you telling pitchers to have the palm of their pitching hand facing toward center field.   At release, pitchers have to have the palm of their pitching hand facing toward home plate.   When do you propose that they rotate their pitching forearm the one hundred and eighty degrees?   If they try to rotate their pitching forearm while they are accelerating the baseball, then they will generate a horizontal centripetal force that will unnecessarily stress the front of their pitching shoulder and the inside of their pitching elbow.

     I also strongly disagree with you telling pitchers to crow hop or push off the pitching rubber.   The rules of baseball require that pitchers keep their pitching foot in contact with the pitching rubber.   They cannot hop onto and off of the pitching rubber.   You failed to describe the pitching rhythm that you teach.   If you have your pitchers raise their glove leg off their ground before they separate their glove and pitching hands, then you teach the 'balance position' pitching rhythm.   You cannot use this rhythm and crow-hop.   The crow hop pitching rhythm requires that pitchers have their pitching arm approaching the position from which they will start their drive toward home plate before they start their body forward.

     I also strongly disagree with you telling pitchers to drive the baseball from high to low through release.   This indicates that you teach the 'balance position' pitching rhythm that forces pitchers to bend forward at their waist.   You cannot tell them to stand tall and to bend forward.   Further, baseball pitchers should drive the baseball straight forward, not downward.

     However, I do like that you tell them to keep their pitching arm on a line between home plate and second base, to length their driveline such that they release their pitches as close to home plate as possible and, while you do not know how they should do it, to use the crow-hop pitching rhythm.   I wonder who thought of those ideas almost forty years ago?

     With regard to your conditioning question:   When baseball pitchers do base running drills, they get better at base running.   When baseball pitchers do poles to poles, they get better at poles to poles.   When baseball pitchers catch baseballs that you throw, they get better at catching baseballs that you throw.   The same goes for push-ups, sit-ups, chine-ups, pull-ups, pitcher hangs and ladder parallel bar crosses.

     For biological sixteen year old baseball pitchers, I recommend that they complete my 120-Day High School Baseball Pitchers Interval-Training Program.   For younger baseball pitchers, I recommend that they complete my first through fourth Youth Baseball Pitcher Motor Skill Acquisition Programs.

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078.   I appreciate your timely response and would like to clarify a few points (I believe a better explanation is in order) that I stated based on your answers.   A picture would really help.

1.   You answered with "I strongly disagree with you telling pitchers to have their pitching arm and elbow above their back shoulder".   What I meant to say is that I tell my players and pitchers to keep the ball above their back shoulder, palm facing upwards and their whole pitching arm point away from the body.   Youth players relate to the arms and shoulders better than they do with other body parts.   I try to keep it as simple as possible.

     In your answer to question 065, you state "If the pitching upper arm is at shoulder height, then the pitching hand is six inches higher" which I believe is close to what I was trying to convey.   And, you state " With the pitching upper arm at shoulder height and the pitching hand at pitching ear height with their pitching palm facing upward, pitchers have their pitching elbow pointing downward".   Which to me the ball is above the back shoulder.

2.   You answered with "I also strongly disagree with you telling pitchers to have the palm of their pitching hand facing toward center field".   As I stated above and what I meant to say is that the palm and ball is facing upwards and the whole pitching arm pointing towards centerfield (away from the body) not downwards towards second base.   My thought here is that young pitchers will do exactly what you preach in that, if you tell them to point their pitching arm at or towards second base, they will literally point their whole pitching arm downwards towards second base.   And that is what I try to prevent.   So I use centerfield.   I want their pitching arms up and I do not want them drop their elbows and throw sidearm.

3.   You answered with "I also strongly disagree with you telling pitchers to crow hop or push off the pitching rubber.   The crow hop is for the position players only.   Pitchers push off the rubber.

4.   You answered with "I also strongly disagree with you telling pitchers to drive the baseball from high to low through release.   What I meant to say is that I do not what pitchers to drop their pitching elbow as in throwing side arm.   I want them to stay on top of the ball through release.   As you have stated numerous times in your answers "all pitchers must pronate the release of all pitches.   Kids do not relate to "pronate" as well as they do to "on top of the ball".

     Conditioning young players (under 18) is different in every coaches training or practice routines specially compared to the higher levels.   As I stated I try to develop the whole body in these young players.   These are young boys that are developing into (in some cases) athletes.   And more than half of them having know athletic ability at all let alone pitch or throw a baseball.   They need exercises that develop their whole body and that is why I keep to exercises that train and condition the whole body.

     I can not believe that you do not have "running" in your conditioning training programs.   Unless I'm not understanding you correctly you say "When baseball pitchers do poles to poles, they get better at poles to poles.   These drills build endurance and stamina in the players.   How do you condition players for endurance and stamina?


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     Thank you for the clarifications.   When I read your first email, I got the impression that you just found my website and had no idea what I recommend.

01.   I agree with you telling your pitchers to keep the baseball above their back (pitching shoulder) with their pitching palm facing upward and pointing their entire pitching arm pointing away from their body (toward second base).   They must also keep their pitching upper arm at shoulder height, never higher.

02.   I also agree with you telling your pitchers to have their pitching palm facing centerfield, then they will have late pitching forearm turnover problems that can lead to serious injury.   You make a good point about youth pitchers pointing their pitching arm literally at second base.   At the start of the acceleration phase, they must have the line across the top of their shoulders horizontal, not tilted backwardly downward.

03.   I did not mean to say, "I also strongly disagree with you telling pitchers to crow hop or push off the pitching rubber."   I made a mistake with my typing.   I meant to say, I also strongly disagree with you telling pitchers to crow-hop TO push of the pitching rubber.   I recommend that pitchers powerfully push off the pitching rubber.

     I also agree that only position players should use the literal crow-hop.   Baseball pitchers have to keep their pitching foot on the pitching rubber.   Nevertheless, to use the crow-hop throwing rhythm, all pitchers have to do is keep their glove foot on the ground until they have almost pendulum swing their pitching arm to driveline height.

04.   I think that I understand what you are trying to do with telling your pitchers to stay on top of the baseball.   But, if they are so literal, they cannot drive the baseball straight toward home plate with their pitching hand on top of the baseball.   They have to have their pitching hand behind the baseball driving the baseball literally straight toward home plate.

     I do not have any trouble with pitchers of all ages understanding that to pronate their pitching forearm means to powerfully turn their pitching thumb to point downward.   I also want them to feel at though they have their pitching forearm inside of vertical, such that they believe that their pitching hand passes very close to their pitching ear.

     When I train biological sixteen year old baseball pitchers for baseball pitching aerobic fitness, I use my 120-Day High School Baseball Pitchers Interval-Training Program.   When I train biological nineteen year old baseball pitchers and older for aerobic fitness, I use my 315-Day Adult Baseball Pitchers Interval-Training Program.   Aerobic fitness for running has absolutely nothing to do with aerobic fitness for baseball pitching.   Aerobic fitness relates to the specific skeletal muscle motor units involved in the activity, not the fitness of the heart and vascular system.

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079.   My 14 year old son has what appears to me to be good throwing mechanics.   However, he cannot throw very long, maybe 30 throws, before complaining of a moderately sharp pain right at the top of his throwing arm bicep.   Without actually seeing him throw, can you offer up a reason or two for this?

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     You say that your son experiences a moderately sharp pain at the top of his pitching arm Biceps Brachii muscle.   Do you mean in the front of his pitching shoulder?   If so, then it is probably the attachment of his Subscapularis muscle.   When pitchers have discomfort in the attachment of his Subscapularis, it means that they take their pitching elbow behind their acromial line.   Their acromial line is a line as viewed from above that goes through the tips of both shoulders.

If your son uses the 'traditional' pitching motion with the palm down transition, reverse rotate the body to have the pitching upper arm point at the opposite mid-infielder, late pitching forearm turnover, reverse pitching forearm bounce, pitching forearm flyout and more, then he is lucky that he does not have more and worse pains.

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080.   I stumbled across some of your Q&A files while doing a Goggle search for damages caused by sidearm pitching.   Wow!   The level of questions and depth and specificity of answers is amazing!   My hats off to you for providing so much valuable expertise to parents, coaches and players.   I guess I never realized so much technical analysis was available and that that so many people are conversant in it!

     Anyhow, after reading it just from sheer interest (as I’m not a player and neither is my son) I have a question that I hope you can also address.   I’m not a player now, but I did pitch for 1-2 years in little league and just generally threw a LOT as a 10-14 year old kid, rocks, balls, you name it.   And for much of that time I threw sidearm.

     Fast forward 30 years and now I’m a 45 year-old B-level competitive league racquetball player with, you guessed it, elbow issues that limit my playing time.   I love the game and the competition, but can’t usually play more than 2-3 days a week, and even then I have some pain afterward doing the silliest things, picking up a coffee cup or pencil or even scratching my behind!   In an attempt to follow the general wisdom advice I read regarding epicondylitis/tennis elbow, I have tried to “rest” my elbow by not playing racquetball at all for the last 3-4 months, but I still feel some twinges in there and I’m really missing the game!

     To your knowledge is there anyone or anywhere on the web that is as illustrative and educated about the bio-mechanics of the racquetball swing as you are with pitching?   Any treatment/conditioning suggestions you might have that you think are universal (not baseball specific?).   Or do you have any suggestions for getting a true and educated diagnosis of my specific problem (i.e., I don’t even know what kind of doctor/specialist is most suited to advise me)?

     One of the parents (a nurse!) in my son's cub scout den suggested that since (a) I’m old, (b) I have some history of arthritis in my family, (c) my elbow hurts even when I’m NOT playing for 4 months, that (d) I should just play anyway and live with the pain.   I’m really hoping there is some better, more promising advice out there than this!   Can you point me toward any?


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     Tennis elbow indicates the outside or lateral epicondyle (the thumb side of your forearm).   That problem arises from players keeping their arm locked straight when they hit their backhand shots.   The key to prevention of lateral epicondyle problems is keeping the elbow bent and forearm supination.   That is, during the acceleration phase, you must lock your elbow at ninety degrees and turn your thumb upward.

     If your discomfort were on the inside of your elbow (the little finger side of your forearm), then baseball pitchers, tennis servers, javelin thrower and, for the forehand shot, racquetball strikers perform essentially the same force application technique.   That problem arises from players dropping their elbow under and locking your elbow straight.   The key to prevention of medial epicondyle problems is forearm pronation.   That is, during the acceleration phase, you must straighten your elbow while you powerfully turn their thumb downward.

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081.   I know you'll be thrilled to know that we are playing school baseball.   In fact, we only have about two weeks left.   My son pitched 3 perfect innings Saturday, threw only 24 pitches and had four Ks.

     He is having trouble with the screwball and sinker.    His fingers have gotten longer and I guess he is having trouble adjusting.    He has also developed a vise-like grip which, I assume, can only be good for his pitching.

     He does not intend to play this summer and I am glad.   He has also decided that he will try out for the High School Freshman team next year.   My intention is to work with him getting his screwball back and learning the curve.   I have read your '05 letters and it appears that the evolution of the Marshall Method continues.

     If I understand correctly, you want him to throw footballs from Pickoff with step body action/Slingshot arm action; then move to Wrong Foot/Slingshot.   Is this correct?

     Do you need editing help? Suggestions?   Anything I can do to assist?   By the way, my son also bowled a 200 the other day.   He is planning on bowling in high school.   Any harm to his arm in bowling?

     Thanks again for being there.   How are you besides busy?   When is the 2005 version of the video coming out?

     I saw that you had some trouble with the DVD.   I had some trouble initially, but mine works.   I MUCH prefer having it on DVD than VCR.   NO ONE watches VCR tapes anymore.


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     It sounds as though your son is reaping some benefits from his hard work on the skills of baseball pitching.   Baseball pitchers have to have very strong middle fingers.   I have re-written all my training programs.   He should start with my First Baseball Pitching Motor Skill Acquisition Program and move along as rapidly as he masters the skills through the Second, Third and Fourth.   Please congratulate him for me for bowling a two hundred game.   Bowling will be good for his pitching arm.   I want to update my video this June.   I always listen to suggestions.   My video guy agrees with you about DVDs, but, without regard for what is wrong, I cannot continually be bothered with complaints, mailing replacements and so on.

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082.   Recently, my son visited a sports medicine doctor due some soreness in his right pitching shoulder.   During the check up, the doctor advised us that my son's shoulder ligaments in both shoulders are 'loose' and make him susceptible to potential shoulder dislocations.   Just so you know, I am have had a history of shoulder dislocations.   Is there anything he can do to 'tighten' the ligaments?   Does pitching further exacerbate the problem?

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     You failed to tell me your son's age and how much pitching he has done.   Too much youth baseball pitching, especially with the 'traditional' pitching motion does stretch the Gleno-Humeral ligaments in the shoulder.   After he has completed his skeletal development, if he has ongoing problems with his pitching shoulder, orthopedic surgeons can tighten those ligaments.

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083.   Ooops, I am sorry, Dr. Marshall.   What I meant by "right at the top" of his bicep muscle was that the pain is in the muscle "peak" (I believe it is called) at the center of his upper arm.   He says that the pain is definitely in the muscle.   I hope that locates his pain a little better for you.

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     When the muscles (Biceps Brachii and Brachialis) that bend (flex) the pitching elbow become sore, it is because they are trying to prevent the olecranon process of the Ulna bone of the pitching forearm from slamming into the olecranon fossa of the Humerus bone of the pitching upper arm.   The 'traditional' pitching motion generates a horizontal centripetal force that slings the pitching forearm laterally away from the body.

     The answer is to stop using the 'traditional' pitching motion.

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084.   I am currently printing your online book and will read up on your recommended delivery.

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     To provide the latest teaching methods for my pitching motion, I hope to complete my re-write of Chapter Thirty-Seven soon.   I have completed my re-writes for my Motor Skill Acquisition and Interval-Training Programs.

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085.   Yesterday, I wrote to you regarding my 11 year old son's diagnosis with regard to his pitching shoulder.   Last week, a doctor had determined that my son had 'loose' ligaments in his shoulder.   Just to give you further background, my son has been pitching for about two years now.   Last year, he pitched approximately twice a week, never throwing more than (50) pitches in an outing.   Further, I never allowed him to pitch more than two innings per game.

     Should I allow my son to play this coming season or would he be better served taking off the season?

     Lastly, if my son were to have surgery to 'tighten' the ligaments in his shoulder (when he becomes of age), would that impact his ability to continue pitching?


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     If your son is also biologically eleven years old, then the ossification center for his olecranon process has just appeared.   The ossification center for his lateral epicondyle will not appear until next year.   The growth plates at the distal end of his Humerus bone will not mature until the following year.   The growth plate for his lateral epicondyle will not mature until the following year.   The growth plate for his olecranon process will not mature until the following year.   And, the growth plates for his radial head and medial epicondyle will not mature until the following year.   In other words, he still has a lot of growing to do.

     I recommend that you do not permit him to throw baseballs for more than two consecutive months per year, do not permit him to pitch competitively until he is biologically thirteen years old and, then, do not permit him to pitch more than one inning twice a week.   If you do this, then, when he is biologically sixteen years old, we will have a better idea of what he needs to do to become the best pitcher he can be.

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086.   I may be interested in your services for my son if it can be worked out.

       My son's baseball team will be traveling to Orlando for the preseason Orlando National Baseball Classic tournament March 21-15, 2005.   I wonder if it would be possible to have you look at my son pitch/throw assess his mechanics just prior to that and at what fee?   My son will be turning 17 (a junior) just before our arrival in Orlando.   He has periodically had little trouble with his elbow until last High School season, when it seemed to be worse.

     He pitched successfully, but complained of more than normal elbow pain after an almost complete game 90+ pitches (an error for 3rd out of last inning kept him from completion).   He rested a rotation, and then was pitching (10 days later) a shutout in the district championship.   In the 4-5 inning, he called to the coach saying his elbow 'hurt' and he thought he should come out.   His coach tried to goad him into staying, but he didn't back down.   I have been unable to find anyone here I think actually know what they are doing with regard to mechanics.

     We went the doctor and had X-rays taken of both elbows>   The doctor said that everything was normal and my son's growth plate had close with no bony fragments or calcification.   With his physical exam, the doctor found some 'give' in my son's pitching elbow connective tissue, possibly the ligaments.   Then, the doctor took an MRI of my son's pitching elbow.   I don't have the technical jargon from the doctor or radiologist, but the lay explanation was a UCL sprain or strain, not a tear or separation.   The doctor said that my son's UCL area was inflamed/engorged in blood.   The doctor advised my son to stop pitching until the pain subsided.   The doctor found no damage to the joint or ligaments.   The doctor prescribed a compound lotion (ketoprofen?) for my son to use daily 3-4 times until pain was gone.

     He took the rest of the school season and summer season off.   He did some stretching, light weights, core work up until December trying to build strength and flexibility for the season.

     When he started pitching again (mid-February), he would get sore (normal), but, recently, as the season has started, he pitched batting practice and mound work 3 or 4 times over 6 days (30 -50 pitches) and now he is concerned about his elbow again, experiencing slight pain.

     I don't know if you are available on weekends or not and how long it would take to get the Zephyrhills from Orlando, or if you even have time/willingness during that time.   Ultimately, I would like to find out if he just 'doesn't have the right physiology' or if it is a mechanical or conditioning issue.

     Any suggestions/advice would be helpful.   I read your Q & A, and have downloaded the book, but have trouble with the medical terms and visualizing the explanations.   I can provide more information if you think that would help.   Your earliest response would be appreciated.


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     I am sure that your son has the right physiology.   Unfortunately, he does not have the right force application technique or interval-training program.

     I do not evaluate pitchers, but I know what he is doing that is unnecessarily stressing his Ulnar Collateral Ligament.   He has late pitching forearm turnover with reverse pitching forearm bounce followed by pitching forearm flyout.

     You and he are welcome to visit my Pitcher Research/Training Center in Zephyrhills, FL.   We are about an hour from Orlando.   I will explain what he needs to do to eliminate the unnecessary stress.   And, he can watch my pitchers train.   We start at 9:00AM.

     From Orlando, you drive West on I-4, turn North on Hwy 39, turn North on Hwy 301, go one-half mile to Vinson Avenue, turn West, go one block, turn North and turn right into the first driveway.

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087.   What is the cost of the 8, 10 and 12 lb iron balls?   How long does it take to receive them once they are ordered?

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     The eight, ten and twelve pound iron balls that we use are not iron balls.   They are lead balls.   Actually, they are weights that shrimpers use to hold their nets on the bottom of the ocean.   They come with hooks that secure them to the edges of the shrimp nets.   I have to special order them.   They require that I order large numbers of each.   For my last order, they charged me one and one-half their weight.   For example, the eight pound lead ball cost me twenty dollars.   Therefore, for an eight, ten and twelve pound set, they charged me seventy-five dollars.

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088.   How does bowling help the pitching arm?   My son was thrilled with the information, but I was just curious.

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     Bowling is just like doing my wrist weight pronated swings.   That strengthens the muscles that flex and extend the shoulder joint, flex the elbow joint and pronate and supinate the forearm joint.

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089.   When should I use the resistance tubing, after a pitching workout, or the day before pitching?   Can I also do it before I'm going to pitch in game, during warm-up and how much, if yes?   Do weighted baseballs like 4oz-6oz can injured my arm? If not do they increase speed using them?

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      Pulling on rubber tubing makes you better at pulling on rubber tubing.   I recommend my ten to twenty-five pound wrist weight and six to twelve pound iron ball exercises that precisely replicate my pitching motion.

     Baseballs weigh five and one-half ounces.   Four to six ounces will not only not sufficiently stress the pitching bones, ligaments and tendons to cause a physiological adjustment, but, if you have improper force application techniques, will only increase your opportunity for injury.

     The only way to increase release velocity is to increase the toward home plate force that you apply to the baseball.   To do that, you have to change how you apply force and train with sufficient resistance that the stress causes the bones, ligaments and tendons to make a physiological adjustment.

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090.   We will come to Zephyrhills when we are in Orlando for the tournament.   I am excited and my son is VERY excited at the notion of putting elbow problems behind him.   We have the directions you provided.

     We will bring his glove and ball so he can pitch a few times after you have explained the changes, then perhaps you can tell if he/we understand what you have said enough to apply it.   I will also bring my camcorder if that is okay.   I will not film anyone there without permission.


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     You may bring your camcorder and record whatever you want.   And, you may ask questions of anybody.   We look forward to your visit.   However, for obvious liability reasons, your son cannot practice at my Pitcher Research/Training Center.

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091.   My son pitches college baseball.   He sits at 87 mph with his fastball and sometimes breaks 90 mph.   He drags his back leg and foot and I think that it is amazing that he throws as hard as he does with this major fault.   What drill can we run through to break this habit?

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     To learn to move their pitching leg forward, I used to have my kids do my No-Stride body action.   Now, I use my new Crow-Hop body action.   I just posted my re-write of Chapter Thirty-Seven.   You can find my explanation of how to perform my Crow-Hop body action in that chapter.

     If he has ever played infield or outfield, then he has crow-hopped his throws and he has moved his pitching leg forward.   We just have to remind him of what that felt like, such that he can do it on the pitching mound.

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092.   I will still call just to be sure your situation has not changed prior to the tournament in Orlando.   Also the weather/team schedule may affect the specific day we can come if his coach has some plans.   I will ask his coach this weekend about the team schedule.

     I hadn't thought about the liability issue and am sympathetic.

     Can he throw a whiffle ball or do a drill or something/anything in your presence to validate that w/he understand your explanation about how/what has to change, and that he mechanically has the jist?   You obviously have a lot of experience conveying your technique and validating that the pitching student grasps it.   We will trust that to you.


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     I am at my Pitcher Research/Training Center every day from 9:00 to 11:00AM.   You may come any day you can.

     Sorry, you and he cannot even leave the safe viewing area.   But, I assure you, both of you will understand why his pitching arm is bothering him and what he needs to do to fix it.

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093.   I am curious to know if you receive a substantial number of hits to your web site anytime soon.   Today (Friday, March 4), hosts at a local radio station were talking about parents signing 'unconditional' releases for their young men to play little league baseball.   I took the opportunity to call in, with my wife's prompting, and speak with the host on-air regarding pitching/throwing injuries.   Among other things the host asked for your web address.   I gave it to him live on-air.   This station broadcasts at 50,000 watts and has a general listenership of over 1.5 million people at any given time.

     My son tells me that he saw high-speed film of himself in the past couple of days.   He said that he had good body action with the hips getting through, but the glove-side needs work.   Will the glove-side work also help keep him from driving the arm upward during curveball releases?   What is your assessment of his progress at this point?

     My lefty threw against live hitters for the first time this week.   He faced four hitters, throwing a total of 15 pitches.   Two strikeouts and two weak ground balls!   Not bad for a first outing.   On another note, would you consider putting me through a training program by which you would certify me to teach your mechanics?   What might I have to do?


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     Youth baseball programs are requiring 'unconditional' releases?   It sounds as though they know that they are destroying pitching arms and want to avoid litigation.

     It takes a couple of days for my web host to post the number of hits my website received.   I will know more tomorrow when I add the questions that I received and answered this past week.   Without you and others getting the word out, my message will never get out.   When I talk, the public believes that whatever I say is self-serving.   When others, who have no vested interest in my web site talk, they listen.   While I have never and will never solicit testimonials, in furthering the cause of advancing the elimination of pitching arm injuries, I do appreciate them.

     With some of my pitchers leaving for spring training, I wanted to high-speed film them.   I decided to spend another five hundred dollars and give the other guys and early opportunity to see what they are doing.   High-speed film shows everything.   I told them to compare their pitching arm action, their glove arm action, their pitching leg action, their glove leg action and the movement of their center of mass with what I have told them that they should be doing every day from the day that they arrived.   They have to assume the responsibility for correctly performing my pitching motion.

     As you know, I want pitchers to point their glove arm directly at home plate.   At the appropriate moment, I want pitchers to pull their glove hand straight backward to slightly above their shoulder without moving their glove elbow behind the midline of their body.   I tell my pitchers that what they do with their glove arm, through centripetal imperative, influences how they can use their pitching arm.   Because I want them to drive their pitching arm straight toward home plate, I want them to drive their glove arm straight toward second base.

     Your son pointed his glove arm about eight feet above home plate.   Then, when he pulled his glove hand backward, he pulled it downward to below his waist and away from his body.   Therefore, his glove arm action caused his pitching arm to move upward and away from his body.   As a result, to correct for the upward and away from the body movement of his pitching arm, he had to pull his pitching elbow downward.   Also, the force that his glove arm generated forced him to bend his body forward at his waist.   He could not stand tall and rotate.

     Like I told him and everybody else, from day one, with my wrist weight exercises, I showed you how to properly use their glove arm.   They do a great job with the wrist weight exercises.   With one wrist weight on their glove arm while they do their iron ball throws, they do a great job with their iron ball throws.   Then, when they throw baseballs, they return to what they have done all their lives.   I continually remind them of the proper glove arm action and have others watch them and tell them what they are doing, but nothing improved.   Now, they can see for themselves.

     Your son has also not yet learned how to move smoothly from my 'Ready' position into my 'Loaded Slingshot' position.   I have explained what he needs to do and given his drills, but he still hesitates at 'Ready' while he moves his body forward.   This forces him to have to rush his pitching arm and makes his releases inconsistent.   I am hoping that, when he relaxes and feels the rhythm, he will stop thinking about each step and let his pitching arm flow.

     Isn't it fun to watch a pitcher you train use what you taught him and get the results that the quality of his pitches deserves?   He has a long way to go, but that is a nice start.

     It makes sense for me to certify teachers of my pitching motion.   Maybe, I will have to hold certification classes.

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094.   I often hear people say Pitcher X has a torn rotator cuff.   I know that the rotator cuff consists of four muscles; The subscapularis, the infraspinatus, the supraspinatus and Teres Minor.   But, what actually happens when one of these muscles gets injures?   Does the muscle tear away from the Humerus?   Can it tear away from the other end of the muscle?   Can they get injured without actually tearing them?

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     With its attachment to the lesser tuberosity of the head of the Humerus bone, pitchers typically only aggravate their Subscapularis muscle at this attachment.   I suppose that they could tear the attachment away from the bone, but I have no direct information.

     With its attachment to the top of the head of the Humerus bone, pitchers can pull this attachment of their Supraspinatus muscle away from the bone.   The problem lies with too much inward rotation of their pitching upper arm with the 'traditional' pitching motion and the Supraspinatus acting as both an inward rotator and an outward rotator of the pitching upper arm.

     With its attachment immediately behind the attachment of the Supraspinatus muscle on the head of the Humerus bone, the Infraspinatus muscle acts only as an outward rotator of the pitching upper arm.   I suppose that pitchers could aggravate this attachment of their Infraspinatus muscle, but I have no direct information.

     With its attachment immediate behind the attachment of the Infraspinatus muscle on the head of the Humerus bone, the Teres Minor muscle acts as an outward rotator and a horizontal extender of the pitching upper arm.   The problem lies in that the Teres Minor muscle is small, such that when pitchers pull their pitching arm across the front of their body, it does not have the ability to safely decelerate the force without injury.   To prevent this injury, pitchers have only to learn to pronate their pitching forearm.

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095.   I would like your opinion/ideas on this matter relating to my 17 year old son.   He pitches effectively (i.e., per the standard of gets batters out).   He is also what I would call a strikeout pitcher, averaging 1.5 per inning pitched.   My question is this:

     Although my son has not complained of any pain in any part of his body (shoulder, elbow, etc.), the forearm of his pitching arm feels like a rock after he finishes pitching an outing.   By rock, I mean if you were to push on it it has very little 'give' and the muscles/ligaments feel very tight.   It returns to normal after a few days of regular use and basic flexing exercises.

     Does this mean his forearm is weak, or not adequately flexible or is some hidden thing going on?   Based on this amount of information can you draw any conclusions about a mechanical/physiological issue?


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     A combination of factors could cause your son's pitching arm to remain 'rock hard' for a few days after he pitches.

     The intensity of the activity could exceed the physiological limits of his pitching muscles and he could tear some muscle fibers.   When muscle fibers tear, to protect them from further injury, the surrounding muscle fibers remain contracted.   These bundles of contracted muscle fibers feel like knots in the muscles.   Until the injured muscle fibers heal, they will remain contracted.

     Also, with any intense physical activity, fast-twitch glycolytic muscle fibers metabolize glycogen, which produces lactic acid as a waste product.   These muscle fibers have to move the lactic acid that they product into the blood stream where slow-twitch oxidative muscle fibers will metabolize the lactic acid.   Blood engorged muscle fibers also make muscles feel 'rock hard.'   Within twenty-four hours, properly trained pitching arms return to the flaccid state, which indicates full recovery from the intense activity.   The failure of these muscle fibers to not appropriately recover from the activity indicates that he has not properly trained his pitching arm.

     To properly train his pitching arm, I recommend that he complete my 120-Day High School Baseball Pitchers Interval-Training Program.

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096.   You wrote that my son hesitates at 'Ready' while he moves his body forward, forcing him to rush his pitching arm.   Sequentially, what is the exact timing for initiating drive of the pitching hand toward the plate?   I am unclear about this, because I have thought we were trying (conceptually) to delay any forward movement of the pitching hand and pitching forearm until the torso is fully, forwardly rotated (acromial line on a line from second base to home plate with the pitching shoulder pointing at home plate).

     Indeed it is great fun to watch these guys throw!   It is difficult to watch anyone throw with traditional mechanics.   When I consider what they could be doing and the damage incurred it takes the fun away from watching games.   I hope that, in our lifetimes, we can see games where every participant throws your way.   One of my goals is to coach a team like this.


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     You are correct, Sir.   I do want pitchers to delay the start of their body forward until they pendulum swing their pitching arm (almost) up to driveline height.   However, I do not want the pitching hand to stop.   I want the pitching hand to arrive at driveline height as far behind the pitching rubber as possible. And, I also want pitchers to turn the upward momentum at the end of the pendulum swing into forward momentum.   Therefore, they have to learn when to start their body forward such that the baseball arrives at the driveline as close to second base as possible and converts its upward momentum into forward momentum.

     I tell pitchers that, the instant that their pitching hand reaches driveline height with their pitching palm facing upward, they should move their pitching upper arm into my 'Loaded Slingshot' position, where they inwardly rotate the head of the Humerus bone in its glenoid fossa, such that their pitching elbow points away from their body.   During this movement, pitchers should step straight forward with their glove foot, such that when their glove foot contacts the ground, they have their glove and pitching arms fully loaded and ready, such that when they move their pitching knee slightly in front of their glove knee, they can explosively drive their glove hand straight backward toward second base and, after they have forwardly rotated their acromial line to point (almost) toward home plate, they can explosively drive their pitching hand straight forward toward home plate.

     Right now, I prefer that every pitcher on the major league team for whom I am the pitching coordinator uses my pitching motion.   That will give that courageous professional baseball organization a ten year head start on the other teams.   However, I suspect that, like everything else good that happens, it will have to start at the grass roots level with today's ten years olds showing the professional teams how to do it.

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097.   At the grass roots level, everything is going quite well.   My young lefty threw his first inning of competitive scrimmage against another team yesterday.   The entire opposing team lined up in front of their dugout, watching him throw.   They still have no idea what really happened.   Three batters, nine pitches, two weak ground balls and one strikeout.   He struck out batter #3 (lefty vs. lefty) with a Maxline curveball that moved inside-out well enough to back the hitter off of the plate, then dropped into the zone.   The hitters seemed very, very frustrated.    Gee, I wonder why.   This is much too much fun and I'm still grinning.

     You wrote that "they should move their pitching upper arm into my 'Loaded Slingshot' position, where they inwardly rotate the head of the Humerus bone in its glenoid fossa."   Should this read outwardly rotate?   We lock the upper arm by outwardly rotating the humerus bone.

     Please read the sequence below, as a whole made up of parts.   Am I correct in thinking the following:

1.    Throughout the pendulum swing we are applying force to the baseball through an arc;

2.   As the pitching hand pendulum swing reaches driveline height and, as we lock the upper arm into the Loaded Slingshot, we convert force from the pendulum arc to the beginning of straight line drive;

3.   Conceptually this could be seen as a rocket reaching apogee, where there is a momentary, fractional, yet unrecognizable pause before the rocket begins its fall toward earth;

4.   Simultaneously, as the ball reaches driveline height (apogee) and the pitcher locks into the Loaded Slingshot, by striding forward with the glove-side leg we initiate the first true movement of the baseball toward home plate by carrying it forward with the stride;

5.   The musculature of our pitchers must be strong enough to overcome the slight centrifugal imperative that occurs 'at apogee' if they are to achieve true straight-line drive;

6.   The technique and timing of our pitchers must be sufficient enough to smoothly convert movement of the baseball from the pendulum arc to forward movement of the pitching hand straight toward home plate without interruption, if they are to achieve true straight-line drive.


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     This is too much fun.   I do not mean just that the young man you are teaching is doing well, but that you caught a mistake that most Ph.D.s would have missed.   You are absolutely correct, I did mean outward rotation of the pitching upper arm.   I realized my mistake when I was explaining this very point to your son this morning.

01.   The pendulum swing is nearly gravity driven, I do not want pitchers to apply force backwardly that they have to overcome.   Nevertheless, the baseball does move downward, backward and upward in a full arm arc.

01a.   Except for my Maxline True Screwball, when their pitching hand reaches driveline height, which is slightly above the height of the pitching ear, pitchers have their pitching palm facing upward.

02.   Immediately after the pitching hand reaches driveline height, pitchers outwardly rotate the head of their Humerus bone, which locks the pitching upper arm to their body.   I agree that pitchers need to convert the upward force of the baseball into the toward-home-plate horizontal force of the start of the acceleration phase.

03.   Rather than a rocket reaching apogee, I would say like a playground swing, just before its starts back downward.

04.   When pitchers should step straight forward with their glove foot to insure that they smoothly convert the upward force of the pendulum swing into the toward-home-plate horizontal force depends on their individual rhythms.

     If I see that they start their body forward too soon, such that the baseball moves forward before it reaches driveline height, then I tell them to keep their glove foot on the ground a little longer.   If I see that they start their body forward too late, such that the baseball stays in place at driveline height at all, then I tell them to lift their glove foot on the ground a little sooner.

05.   Because I tell pitchers to drive their pitching hand straight forward, pitchers do not generate and the pendulum swing does not have any centripetal force.

06.   I agree that pitchers require technique and timing to convert the upward momentum of the baseball to toward-home-plate momentum.

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098.   I hope this finds you well, and that my two knuckleheads are doing OK.

     Just finished my weekly read of the letters, and was interested in certification of the teaching of your techniques.

     I live in a pretty good baseball area, as I am sure you know, and I would not mind helping other guys.    As of now, I just send them to your website, and recommend they sign up to go to Florida.

     I was also interested in the last paragraph of your last letter where you talked about being a pitching coordinator for a major league team.    I might have a bit of information on that, just enough to be fascinated.    I was hoping you could provide more.


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     I am trying hard to make my drills and instructional so simple that every parent feel confident to teach their youth baseball pitchers my pitching motion.   However, if they had someone who could show them how to perform my drills and offer evaluations, then they could also feel confident that they are doing things correctly.

     I think that you and both of your sons would do an outstanding job.   I would certainly certify all of you for the ten through high school kids without histories of pitching arm problems.   However, because my three hundred and fifteen day adult baseball pitcher interval-training program is continually on the edge of too much stress, I could not certify all of you for them, especially when they have histories of pitching arm problems.

     With regard to becoming a pitching coordinator for a major league team, a couple of teams have shown interest, but I doubt that they will pull the trigger.

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099.   I am a baseball player(pitcher) in an European national league!   Give me, please, other baseball books or video.

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     I am always willing to help baseball pitchers everywhere.   I plan to upgrade my Baseball Pitching Instructional video this summer.   If you send me your address, I will send you a copy.

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100.   My 14 year old son has been complaining about pain in his glove wrist.   He thinks it may have started a couple of months ago when he fell playing basketball.   The pain is on the anteror side of his wrist right where you would bend your hand upward.   There seems to be a bone on the distal end of the radius.   The pain goes from there right across the crease in his wrist.   It does not hurt him while hitting but will hurt a lot after he finishes.   When he plays catch, it does not hurt for the first few times he catched the ball during warm-ups but after that it will hurt.   I know you sometimes refer to growth plates in the wrist so I'm wondering if this is a growth plate issue.

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     The growth plates at the distal end of the Ulna and Radius bones do not mature until biological nineteen years old.   It does sound as though he has irritated the growth plate at the distal end of his Radius bone, which is on the thumb side of the forearm.

     The more that he continues to irritate it, the longer the discomfort will last.   He needs to find ways to not irritate it.

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101.   When should I use the resistance tubing, after a pitching workout, or the day before pitching?   Can I also do it before I'm going to pitch in game, during warm-up and how much, if yes?

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     Because I see absolutely no value in any resistance tubing training, I would never advise doing any resistance tubing training.   Nevertheless, because the stress is minimal, you can do it before you prepare to pitch, after you pitch and whenever else you want.   To use it to redistribute blood to the working muscles, you can pull on it or anything else that is handy for about two minutes before you start getting ready to pitch and see how things come out.

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102.   I was also thinking along the lines of being a person who could show parents how to teach their sons to perform my drills and offer evaluations, rather than an everyday workout type thing.   I was only thinking about non-injured, high school kids or younger, just to get them started and on the right footing.    I still believe, for too-many-reasons-to-mention, that every serious coming senior in high school should spend a summer with you in Zephyrhills, and after graduation, the next year with you in Zephyrhills.    I know you do not like the summer program, but I think it can be invaluable.

     If you are indeed willing to be the pitching coordinator for a professional baseball organizatin and a team did not snap you up, then the wall of ignorance is even higher than I imagined.    And, I realize it is of Everest proportions.


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     You would be great as an advisor to parents who want to teach their sons how to use my pitching motion.   You should advertise for an Introductory meeting with personal follow-up sessions as needed.

     I will allow you and their parents to cover their pre-graduation needs.   After they graduate from high school, they can spend forty-five weeks with me.

     Mount Everest is a mole hill compared to the wall of ignorance in professional baseball.   Yesterday, at a professional baseball team tryout, after one pitch, a pitching coach stopped my most talented, major-league-experienced pitcher and spent five minutes telling him how he had to change his pitching motion.   Then, when he refused, he ignored him and did not choose him to stay and pitch against hitters.   Unfortunately, I was meeting with someone elsewhere at that time or I would have verbally taken that jackass apart.

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103.   I have a 14 year old kid that was diagnosed with a stress fracture of his humerus last year.   He complained of pain in his bicep muscle and surrounding muscle.   The fracture was in the inside, distal end of humerus above the elbow.   All growth plates were said to be in good shape.

     After diagnosis was made he stopped everything for the rest of summer.   No bike riding, lawn mowing, no anything on doctor's orders.   After one month, he was reevaluated and the fracture was said to be healed and in good shape.

     After another 2 months of taking it extremely easy with no throwing or any other stressful activity, he gradually returned to some light tubing and light 3-5 lb. dumbells as well as some light throwing, nothing stressful.

     After the new year, he started a little more aggressively using the tubing and dumbells as well as some moderate throwing, around 20-25 throws 2 days a week while doing the tubing stuff, 2 days one week, 3 days the next week, but only throwing twice a week.   Recently, he started complaining about some pain in his bicep area again.

     I took him back to the ortho and he was X-rayed and all was said to be fine with no sign of stress fracture and the growth plates were all in good shape.   I decided to take him to another ortho who is highly regarded within the sports community.   He spent all of 5 minutes with the kid and made a diagnosis, rotator cuff tendonitis with the supraspinatus as the likely culprit.

     He basically had the kid put his arm into external rotation and had him stop at the point where he would begin to internally rotate/acelerate the arm.   From that point, he applied some resistance and told the kid to act like he was going to throw.   Then, he asked what the kid felt the boy said he felt a little discomfort on the upper/outside of the humerus, but below the shoulder.   He also said his shoulder never hurt.   He said it was his bicep area.   He also said that when he had the fracture, so, with him, it is sketchy as to where in the heck it all originates.

     For me, that was a pretty quick diagnosis, but than again, I'm not the doctor.   What would you think?   Also, what would you prescribe for exercise/therapy that would best help this young man?


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     You say that your son suffered a stress fracture on the inside of the distal end of his Humerus bone above the elbow.   You say that the doctor told you that he did not harm the growth plate of the medial epicondyle.   While you did not say, I assume that you believe that baseball pitching caused this stress fracture.

     Stress fractures occur where muscles attach to bones or where bones have to withstand the stresses of muscle action.   The medial epicondyle of the Humerus bone has five muscles attached to it.   But, you say that the stress fracture was above the elbow, which means above the medial epicondyle.

     The Brachialis muscle attaches to the anterior surface of the distal one-half of the Humerus bone.   The Brachialis muscle is the only muscle in the area of the Humerus bone that you describe.   With the 'traditional' pitching motion, the Brachialis muscle contracts to prevent pitching forearm flyout.   While this action increases the size of the coronoid process of the Ulna bone and decreases the elbow flexion range of motion, I have never heard of it causing a stress fracture.   However, given the facts as you stated them, that is the only way that I can see where the bone received more stress than it could withstand.

     The solution is to stop using the 'traditional' pitching motion.   You have to teach your son to not generate horizontal centripetal force that causes pitching forearm flyout that forces him to use his Brachialis muscle to prevent the olecranon process of his Humerus bone from slamming into the olecranon fossa.

     While the 'traditional' pitching motion also unnecessarily stresses the Supraspinatus attachment at the top of the head of the Humerus bone, you have not stated any symptoms that indicate he has problems at this location yet.

     The solution is for you and your son to start with my First 60-Day Youth Baseball Pitcher Motor Skill Acquisition Program.   He will learn how to properly use his glove and pitching arms in my pitching motion.   To learn how to perform my drills, you may read Chapter Thirty-Seven of my Coaching Baseball Pitchers book and/or purchase my 2004 Baseball Pitching Instructional video.   If you do, then when I finish my update this summer, I will send you a copy.

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104.   I am on the Board of Directors for a Babe Ruth League.    We have been chartered for about 35 years and this season have almost 1,000 kids from ages 5 through 18 in our league.    This is my first year as a Director, so I am learning quite a bit about running a league that I did not appreciate as a player growing up.    I came across your name in an internet search and was impressed with your approach.    As a former ball player and current engineer, I was impressed with your application of physics to the pitching world.

     In a recent Board meeting, it was decided that we would not use a mound for our Cal Ripken division games (ages 9 through 12).    I believe most of the reason for this was that some of the field will also be used for softball.    Someone on the Board made the comment that if a kid can pitch from flat ground than he will be a better pitcher in any post-season tournaments that will have mounds.    I have a friend that has been a successful youth coach for the past 10 years and expressed concerns that kids would hurt their arms throwing hard from flat ground.    As a Board member, this concerns me but also as a parent of a 9-year old that wants to pitch and seems to be able to throw hard.

     Do you have any information or experience that would show any advantages or disadvantages to not using a pitching mound for 9 through 12 year old pitchers?    Any information you could share would be greatly appreciated.

     I look forward to your reply and I am sure that I will be referring to your book from time to time.


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     When baseball pitchers throw on the regulation one inch per foot for six feet downward grade pitching mound, they should be able to drive the baseball horizontally forward and all pitches be in the strike zone.   However, when baseball pitchers throw exactly the same on flat ground, their pitches will be above the strike zone.   As a result, the pitchers will have to either drive their pitches at a downward angle, bend at the waist or pull their pitching elbow down, rather than drive the baseball straight forward.

     If they drive their pitches at a downward angle, then they will have to retrain both their mechanics and their muscles to fit this new driveline.   If they bend at their waist, then they will not be able to stand tall and rotate, which will not only make their pitch releases more inconsistent, but will stress muscles that they do not typically use.   If they pull their pitching elbow down, rather than drive the baseball straight forward, then they will unnecessarily stress their pitching elbow.

     As you read my materials, you will learn about growth plates and the stress that youth baseball pitching places on them.   To protect these growth plates and insure that youth baseball pitchers have unaltered bone growth when they are biologically sixteen years old, I recommend that youth baseball pitchers train for only two consecutive months per year, wait until they are biologically thirteen years old before they pitch competitively and pitch only one inning per game twice a week.

     From this, you can see that I disagree with biological nine to twelve year old baseball pitchers pitching competitively at all, whether from regulation pitching mounds or on flat ground.

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105.   I am looking for a training program for pitchers in the age range of 13-15.    What do you recommend?

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     Until youth baseball pitchers are biologically sixteen years old, they should throw baseballs for only two consecutive months per year, wait until they are biologically thirteen years old to pitch competitively and pitch only one inning twice a week.   They definitely should not use weights, throw too much or throw too hard.   Rather, they should practice the skills of baseball pitching.

     With my First through Fourth Youth Baseball Pitchers Motor Skill Acquisition Programs, I provide drills that help youngsters learn the skills of baseball pitching.   I recommend that youth baseball pitchers of whatever age start with my First Program and, when they master those skills, advance to my Second Program and so on.   When youth baseball pitchers become biologically sixteen years old, they can start my 120-Day High School Baseball Pitchers Interval-Training Program where I introduce ten pound wrist weight exercises and have them throw a six pound iron ball.

     To learn how to perform the drills in these programs, you will need to read Chapter Thirty-Seven of my Coaching Baseball Pitchers book and/or get my 2004 Baseball Pitching Instructional video.   If you get this video, when I complete my upgrade this summer, I will send you a copy.

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106.   In the book, 'A Treasury of Baseball Drills,' you described a drill to strengthen the lead arm in the baseball swing.    Do you still consider that a good drill?

     In previous Q&A, you described a hitting drill with broomsticks.    Do you cut the broomsticks to a normal bat length, or longer because you grip a forearm's distance up from the bottom?

     I really enjoy reading the Q&A's every week and they (and the book and video) have really increased my enjoyment of watching pitching technique.    I can't believe how much bad information there is out there.    I recently looked at a book on pitching at the library.    The star pitcher showed his release point with his forearm about 90 degrees from the upper arm.    Yet, pictures of his actual delivery show his arm almost straight at release!


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     Did Danny Litwhiler put 'A Treasury of Baseball Drills' together?   In question 832 of my 2004 Question/Answer file, I discuss my 'Overload for the Quick Bat' article that I wrote for the Athletic Journal back in 1967.   I also wrote 'Specific Weight Training for Baseball' in 1967 for the Journal of Strength and Health.   I recommend both for biological sixteen year old baseball batters.

     The baseball batting interval-training program that I also developed during the 1960s used broomsticks cut to the same length as youth baseball bats.

     Without high-speed film, neither the professional baseball pitchers nor their pitching coaches have any idea what actually goes on during their pitching motion.   They live in some fantasy land of their mind.   That is the reason why I offer my one thousand dollar prize for anybody with only sixty degrees of pitching elbow bend at release.   Nobody has accepted the challenge.

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107.   First off, please let me thank you from the bottom of my heart, I mean that sincerely!   You, my friend, have always maintained the utmost in respect, integrity and all around GOODNESS even when you may have not been on the recieving end.   To me, that is the sign of a real genuine person who is filled with a good sense of being, thanks!

     The doctor that my son has seen have no idea what caused the stress fracture, nor do I.   He did fall catching a ball while playing in the outfield and sort of rolled over the arm.   In your views, he did pitch quite a bit from 10-12 years of age.   In no way was he overused, we always kept strict pitch counts and were always looking for signs of breakdown/fatigue and dealt with it accordingly.

     I realize even this goes against your belief system and I respect that.   Last year, he pitched a total of about 12 innings and that was it.   As soon as the fracture was diagnosed, he was done.   As I wrote in the first email, he really didn't do much until after the new year besides some real light playing of catch.   This evening he will start with some physical therapy that was prescribed by the ortho he last saw.

     I'm seriously thinking about not having him pitch at all this year, as in my view, it means nothing until he reaches high school.   I wished I would have held that view a couple of years back.   He does have some promise, not to mention he's a lefty.   At this time, I am basically unemployed due to the nature of my business, so I really do not have the money for the tape.   But, I soon will and I fully intend to buy it as well as try the program for young pitchers.

     I also will surely reread the chapter from your book.   I have read it before, but the terminology is tough to say the least.   I'm not sure if you viewed the clip or not, but, if you did, what did you see in terms of mechanical issues that further complicate his condition.   At any rate, I will follow through with your reccomendations promptly.


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     The location of the fracture does support a fall versus a throwing injury.

     Unfortunately, pitch counts do not prevent youth pitchers from injuring their growth plate and ligaments.   The American Sports Medicine Institute (ASMI) conducted a survey of wannabe pitching coaches, who would not know a growth plate from a dinner plate, and fraudulently presented it as scientific fact.   Also, youth pitchers can alter the development of growth plates and ligaments without significant discomfort.

     I do not review video clips of youth pitchers.   Nevertheless, since they are not using my pitching motion, I know what they look like and, without high-speed film, nobody gets to see the acceleration phase anyway.

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108.   First off, let me say that I am a diehard fan of yours and believe that if Eck and Fingers belong in the Hall Of Fame, then you certainly do.   I can go back to when I was about 12 or 13 and Sports Illustrated had a dice baseball card game and you were the DOMINANT player in the game.   My brothers and I would fight to pick you for our team.   Additionally, I was intrigued that you had degree in physiology and, for those times, athletes barely had high school or AA degrees yet and you had a doctorate.   Quite impressive.

     Well, enough about that, my question for you is not really baseball related though I do play softball.   I am 44 years old and weigh 230 lbs., but it is an athletic 220 as I can bench press 300+ pounds and squat 550+.   I am a Police Lt. in the Miami area and I'm left-handed.   I recently tore my left distal biceps (80-90% partial high-grade tear per MRI biceps retracted 2 cm. from elbow).    I have full elbow flexion, minimal pain, yet I do have residual weakness and this is my dominant and gun hand.

     The doctor and I looked at the MRI and we both decided that I should have the surgery.   I'm now beginning to have second thoughts.   Is it possible to strengthen the bicep without the surgery?


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     The Biceps Brachii muscle distally attaches to the radial tuberosity of proximal end of the Radius bone on the thumb side of the forearm.   It also has a connective tissue attachment (lacertus fibrosus) to the proximal end of the Ulna bone on the little finger side of the forearm.   The radial tuberosity attachment is much stronger and more important.   Did the doctor tell you which of these attachments you tore?   If you tore the radial tuberosity attachment, then, to return to near total function, you need the surgery.   With your training attitude, you should rehabilitate well.

P.S.:   If I don't earn the Cy Young Award in 1974, the sports writers would not have given either Mr. Fingers or Eckersley their cheapened Cy Young Awards and they would not be in the Hall of Fame.   Also, I did what they did, they never did what I did.   I should have been there first.

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109.   I had him in yesterday for his first session of P.T.   This person examined him by really giving his shoulder a good "going over" prodding fingers everywhere and poking around looking for "hot spots".   He had him lie down with his arm behind his back to "expose the supraspinatus tendon" and he massaged the area saying he thought the boy had a partial tear.

     Is that possible to diagnose in this fashion?   He also started him out on some scapular isolation exercises, lie down with his face against the table and doing some arm lift from this position, the boy really felt the work in the isolated scap area.   He said after the inflamation subsides, he will start strengthening the cuff.   Is this good advice in your opinion?

     I just want what is best for my son, obviously.   Also, I trust your observations because I respect your work and abilities.   Here is my query.   This boy does have some potential to be a good solid high school performer, in your opinion should I have him forego any pitching this year instead getting him as ready as possible for his freshman year in high school?


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     No, nobody can diagnose a tear in the attachment of the Supraspinatus tendon to the head of the Humerus bone with their fingers.   All this is hocus pocus nonsense.

     He needs to start with my First Youth Baseball Pitchers Motor Skill Acquisition Program and when he masters those skills, he needs to advance to my Second Youth Baseball Pitchers Motor Skill Acquisition Program and so on until he is biologically sixteen years old when he can start my 120-Day High School Baseball Pitchers Interval-Training Program.

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110.   I believe I understand your aversion to youth pitching and this year I am especially sensitive to it. As a member of our league's Board, I am concerned with all of the kids involved, but this year will be the first that my second son will be in a division that has youth pitching and he wants to pitch.   The discussion to remove the mounds is based strictly on the reason that some softball teams (also in our league) will also use the fields which I feel is absolutely the wrong reason.

     I spoke with a friend of mine last night who was a pitcher with the Expo's for a short time.   He expressed concern that not having a mound would probably greatly limit or even prevent the follow through for a lot of kids.   He said that there is a small muscle in the back of the shoulder that is damaged if a pitcher does not have proper follow through.   Would you agree with this?

     I really hope to present a convincing argument to the rest of the Board why we should have mounds.   As I said earlier I believe most of the them have based their decision on convenience of scheduling rather than what is truly better for the kids.   I know that you are in no way a proponent of youth pitching, but I think you would agree that it much better for a youth to pitch off a mound than on flat ground.


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     You are correct, Sir, I do have an aversion to destroying youth baseball pitching arms.   But, if you do not and know more about how these bones and their growth plates mature, then feel free to destroy as many as you want.

     The Teres Minor muscle receives unnecessary stress when baseball pitchers use the 'traditional' pitching motion and pull their pitching arm across the front of their body.   It has nothing to do with flat mounds.

     When compared with youth pitchers pitching too much, too hard and too soon, flat mounds versus regular mounds is meaningless.   Flat mounds only require that pitchers raise their drivelines.

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111.   This is a strange question.   Did you take three pitchers to an open tryout at the spring training headquarters of a professional baseball team last week?   A friend of mine, who is a scout for another professional baseball team, was there and heard and saw some things that he still cannot believe.

     He said that he was standing with his radar gun behind home plate with the team's pitching coaches when he heard a pitching coach say that a doctor who uses weights to train pitchers had brought three kids to the tryout.

     Then, he heard another guy say that here is the first one.   That guy ran across the three mounds and stopped the kid from throwing for several minutes.   Finally, the kid just started throwing.   The pitching coach walked away from him and never looked at any pitches.   My friend said he threw ninety and the best screwball that he had ever seen.

     Later, he heard the first pitching coach say this is another of the doctor's kids.   My friend said this kid threw ninety-five and the best curve he had ever seen.   Then, he said he heard the guy in charge say ignor him.   My friend said they asked every pitcher who threw eighty-eight to pitch in the game except the two kids the doctor brought.

     My friend said he could not believe that these professional pitching coaches acted this way.   He never heard why they don't like the doctor and his kids.


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     Yep, that was me and my kids.

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112.   I noticed discrepancies in your 350 day adult workout.    Under general description for day 267, it has IB @ 10 # and 24 reps.    Under the Maxline workout for that day it shows 48 reps for the 10 # IB.    Which one is correct?

     Also, I have a question of how to maintain after completing the 350 day workout, during the competitive season and after, what are the weights/reps to be used?


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     In my ever-re-evaluating interval-training programs, I no longer recommend 350 days for my Adult Baseball Pitcher Program.   I now recommend 315 days.   My problem is that I no longer have the 350-Day program.   Therefore, I cannot answer your question about day 267.   Please examine my 315-Day program and see whether I have the same problem.

     After nine days, I start my first ten pound wrist weight interval-training cycle.   Each interval-training cycle takes twenty-four days.

     During my first wrist weight interval-training cycle, every six days, my pitchers increase the number of ten pound wrist weight repetitions from twenty-four of two pitches per day to forty-eight per pitch per day.   Then, they increase their wrist weights weight to fifteen pounds.

     During my first iron ball interval-training cycle, every six days, my pitcher increase the number of six pound iron ball repetitions from twenty-four of two pitches per day to forty-eight per pitch per day.   Then, they increase their iron ball weight to eight pounds.

     During my second wrist weight interval-training cycle, every six days, my pitchers increase the number of fifteen pound wrist weight repetitions from twenty-four of two pitches per day to forty-eight per pitch per day.   Then, they increase their wrist weights weight to twenty pounds.

     During my second iron ball interval-training cycle, every six days, my pitcher increase the number of eight pound iron ball repetitions from twenty-four of two pitches per day to forty-eight per pitch per day.   Then, they increase their iron ball weight to ten pounds.

     During my third wrist weight interval-training cycle, every six days, my pitchers increase the number of twenty pound wrist weight repetitions from twenty-four of two pitches per day to forty-eight per pitch per day.   Then, they increase their wrist weights weight to twenty-five pounds.

     During my third iron ball interval-training cycle, every six days, my pitcher increase the number of ten pound iron ball repetitions from twenty-four of two pitches per day to forty-eight per pitch per day.   Then, they increase their iron ball weight to twelve pounds.

     During my fourth wrist weight interval-training cycle, every six days, my pitchers increase the number of twenty-five pound wrist weight repetitions from twenty-four of two pitches per day to forty-eight per pitch per day.   Then, they decrease their wrist weights weight to fifteen pounds and decrease the number of repetitions to twelve per pitch per day.   This is the first maintenance level for my wrist weight exercises.

     During my fourth iron ball interval-training cycle, every six days, my pitcher increase the number of twelve pound iron ball repetitions from twenty-four of two pitches per day to forty-eight per pitch per day.   Then, they decrease their iron ball weight to eight pounds, but continue to complete forty-eight repetitions per pitch per day for sixty days.   I call this interval-training cycle, my 'Recoil' interval-training cycle.   Then, they increase their iron ball weight to ten pounds and decrease their number of repetitions to twelve per pitch per day.   This is the first maintenance level for my iron ball throws.

     After these two hundred and sixty-six days, my pitchers complete my basic wrist weight and iron ball interval-training program.   Then, for the next forty-eight days, while they work to perfect their releases, they increase their baseball pitches to three per day and throw twenty-four of each.   Then, to see what pitches they can meaningfully use, I want them to pitch competitively.

     Then, during their first off-season, I recommend that they complete their first wrist weight 'Recoil' interval-training cycle where they complete forty-eight repetitions per pitch per day with their fifteen pound wrist weights for sixty days.   Then, they increase their wrist weights weight to twenty pounds and decrease their number of repetitions to twelve per pitch per day.

     Then, during their second off-season, I recommend that they complete their second iron ball 'Recoil' interval-training cycle where they complete forty-eight repetitions per pitch per day with their ten pound iron ball sixty days.   Then, they increase their iron ball weight to twelve pounds and decrease their number of repetitions to twelve per pitch per day.

     Then, during their third off-season, I recommend that they complete their second wrist weight 'Recoil' interval-training cycle where they complete forty-eight repetitions per pitch per day with their twenty pound wrist weights for sixty days.   Then, they increase their wrist weights weight to twenty-five and decrease their number of repetitions to twelve per pitch per day.

     Then, during their fourth off-season, I recommend that they complete their third iron ball 'Recoil' interval-training cycle where they complete forty-eight repetitions per pitch per day with their twelve pound wrist weights for sixty days.   Then, they increase their iron ball weight to fifteen pounds and decrease their number of repetitions to twelve per pitch per day.

     Then, during their fifth off-season, I recommend that they complete their third wrist weight 'Recoil' interval-training cycle where they complete forty-eight repetitions per pitch per day with their twenty-five pound wrist weights for sixty days.   Then, they increase their wrist weights weight to thirty and decrease their number of repetitions to twelve per pitch per day.

     During my professional baseball career, I complete a fourth iron ball and wrist weight 'Recoil' interval-training cycles, such that I maintained with a fifteen pound iron ball and thirty pound wrist weights.

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113.   Is the Ulna Collateral Ligament the same thing as the medial collateral ligament of the pitching arm or are they two different ligaments?   I thought the MCL referred to the knee.

     As some of your viewers are noting, once you learn your pitching motion, it is quite a sight seeing these youngsters pitch.   I am quite frankly stunned by how bad it is at the high school level.   I ask parents in general conversation if their son's have had arm problems.   Invariably, they say that their son's had a shoulder or elbow problem but the doctors said it was only a sprain.   They had their sons rest a month or two and sent them back out there.

     This leads to my question.   It seems to me that parents get many warning signs of what is to happen to their sons.   I was under the impression that these kids are one pitch away from blowing out their arms but, with my very unscientific sampling, it looks like it is, in fact, a gradual process.   Would you agree?   Would it be correct to say that doctors can't diagnose these problems until the elbow completely blows?


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     Because the Ulna bone of the forearm is on the inside or medial side of the elbow, anatomists now refer to the medial collateral ligament as the ulnar collateral ligament.   They are the same ligament.

     In the knee, the medial collateral ligament holds the Tibia bone of the foreleg to the Femur bone of the upper leg.   If you want, we could start to also call this ligament, the tibial collateral ligament.

     With every 'traditional' pitching motion throw, pitchers of all ages are destroying their pitching arm.   When the ulnar collateral ligament sufficiently weakens, then one more throw snaps it.

     Medical doctors do not know how badly clogged the coronary blood vessels are until one or more almost completely close, therefore, orthopedic doctors do not know how badly weakened the ulnar collateral ligament is until it snaps.   However, medical doctors know what causes the coronary blood vessels to close and recommend lifestyle changes to prevent the problem.   Unfortunately, orthopedic doctors do not understand what causes the ulnar collateral ligament to weaken and do not recommend pitching motion changes to prevent the problem.

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114.   I just read the two emails regarding your students and pitching scouts.   What is, as Paul Harvey would say, the rest of the story?   How do you beat this?   If true ability won’t trump, what do you do?   Did you get the opportunity to take the guy apart verbally?

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     I have talked about the prejudice against the one pitcher before.   He is the guy who, in his first twelve games in 2000 with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, had a one point five earned run average.   Then, after a sportswriter wrote how he was the next great pitcher and included that I trained him, they did not pitch him and messed with him until his earned run average increased to three point five and then, they released him.   The General Manager of the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, Chuck LaMar, apparently does not like me.   This young man continues to pitch for independent league teams and, in the off-season, in Puerto Rico and elsewhere, and always does well.

     The second young man has had pitching arm problems for the last year or so.   After seeing doctor after doctor without relief, his father brought him to me.   When he arrived, he threw eight-four miles per hour on the continuous reading of my radar gun.   He now does not have any pitching arm discomfort and, even though he has about three months more of my basic interval-training program, he is already throwing ninety-five.   He will go higher, but he also will have outstanding non-fastball pitches.

     Unfortunately, I did not get the full story of what happened for a couple of days, so I never got the chance to confront the pitching coach.   However, I did telephone the General Manager with whom I was meeting during their tryout and left a message on his voice mail about what happened.   It is one week today and I have not heard from him.

     The first guy will continue to pitch in the best independent league during the regular season and in foreign countries during the off-season.   If I ever get a job with a professional organization, then he will pitch for their major league team.   Until then, he is a very highly-skilled pitcher who loves to pitch and, like Paladin, has pitching arm, will travel.

     The second guy will attend a local community college team and continue to perfect his game.   He will generate high strikeouts per game, low hits per game and low extra base hits per hits statistics and some professional team will want him.

     We have come a long way from 2000.   The professional pitching coaches talk about directionality (my straight-line force application) and releasing the baseball closer to home plate (my lengthening the driveline 'hidden velocity' concept).

     On Saturday, March 05, 2005, for a personal tryout, the first guy and I went to another spring training site of a professional baseball team.   He threw brilliantly.   The Farm Director and Minor League Pitching Coach watched him.   The Farm Director was a young guy with no baseball pitching motion knowledge.   The Minor League Pitching Coach works with Tom House.   The Minor League Pitching Coach told my guy, "I'm not afraid of you."

     What he meant was, I am afraid of you.   He knows that if they sign my guy, he will throw pitches that his pitchers cannot throw, he will have success that his pitchers cannot have, his boss will see this and he will get fired.   They are all afraid for their jobs.

     One big reason why my pitching motion has not taken over is the intolerance of the college and professional pitching coaches not allowing them to use my motion.   They force them to use the 'traditional' body action.   This decreases their release velocity and pitch quality.   Now, I have guys training with me who say that they will use my pitching motion.   As a result, they will have more success.

     At another tryout, my first guy used my Wind-Up Set Position body action with a base runner on first.   The umpires did not say anything and he struck out two in his inning.   Unfortunately, they did not sign him, but it shows that he has the guts to stand up to them.   The independent leagues don't care about anything, but the fact that he humiliates batters.

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115.   Your 315 day interval program has the same issue that I mentioned under your old 350 program.   On day 267, under the general description, it shows 48 reps per pitch for the 10 # IB.   However, on the actual maxline workout for that day, it shows 12 reps per pitch.    Also, on that same workout on day 315, it has a 'combined workout'.   What is this and how long do you follow this?    Is this part of a maintenance plan?

     Your answer to my previous email concerning the recoil phase of your training has raised a couple of questions.    You wrote that during the first off-season you must complete wrist weight interval training cycle at 48 reps per pitch.    What has happened to the IB training during this cycle?    Also, you mentioned that at the completion of 60 days, you increase the wrist weights to 20 lb. and decrease the number of reps to 12 per pitch.    How long do you stay on this part of the cycle and what about IB throws for this cycle?


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     For the first two hundred and six days of my 315-Day Adult Baseball Pitchers Interval-Training Program, my pitchers complete my basic wrist weight and iron ball interval-training programs.   For the next sixty days, they complete the first of my iron ball 'Recoil' interval-training program.   Therefore, for two hundred and sixty-six days, my pitchers strengthen the bones, ligaments and tendons of their pitching arm.   I call it, 'Injury-Proofing' their pitching arm.

     On the two hundred and sixty-seventh day, they drop the number of repetitions of their wrist weight and iron ball exercises down to a total of twenty-four per day.   This is my maintenance level for their wrist weight and iron ball training.   I do not want them to lose the physiological adjustments that they worked so hard to get.   Fortunately, they do not have to word as hard to maintain their gains as they did to achieve them.

     Also, on the two hundred and sixty-seventh day, they increase the number of baseball throws to seventy-two.   They throw twenty-four two-seam Maxline or Torque fastballs, twenty-four two-seam Maxline True Screwballs or Torque Pronation Curves and two-seam Maxline Fastball Sinkers or Torque Fastball Sliders.

     On the three hundred and fifteenth day, my pitchers start their Combined Workouts, where they throw all six pitches every day.   If they are in-season, as well as their wrist weight and iron ball repetitions, I have them decrease their baseball throws by one-half their training level.

     During my 315-Day basic program, they already completed their first iron ball 'Recoil' interval-training cycle.   Therefore, during their first off-season, my pitchers complete my first wrist weight 'Recoil' interval-training cycle.   I include the first iron ball 'Recoil' interval-training cycle in my basic program because I want them to have the pitching hand strength to powerfully release their pitches.

     After they complete a 'Recoil' interval-training cycle, my pitchers return to their maintenance level number of repetitions.   However, they do increase the weight of their wrist weights or iron ball to the next level.

     They stay on the maintenance level of my program with twenty-four total wrist weight exercises and twenty-four iron ball throws and seventy-two baseball throws per day until they are again in-season, when they decrease the number of baseball throws to thirty-six.

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116.   Recently, I asked you about pain my son was having in his wrist.   You said that he may be irritating the growth plate of his wrist.   My wife was at the doctor today about a problem with her finger and asked him about my son's situation.

     My son broke his forearm a couple of years ago and the emergency room doctor told me he did not injure his growth plate.   This doctor today told my wife that the growth plate on one side of his wrist may have closed due to the broken forearm and the other may still be growing.   He told her that this situation can cause much pain.   I gathered that one part growing and the other not growing causes alignment problems.   Do you agree?

     As an aside, he told my wife that he does not recommend that kids start to pitch until they are 16.   He said that a survey was done on major league pitchers and the ones with the least arm problems did not start pitching until they were 16.   This is very interesting because a major argument I get about your theories is that all major league pitchers were great little league pitchers.   He said he had not heard of you, but that will change when I bring my son in to see him.


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     Until I see an X-ray that show that the growth plate at the distal end of his Ulna bone has matured and the growth plate at the distal end of his Radius bone has not, I cannot believe his speculation.   These growth plates do not mature until biological nineteen years old.   He is too young for either to mature.

     I would be very interested in reading a study that concludes that the major league pitchers with the least pitching arm problems did not start pitching until they were sixteen years old.   First, I do not like survey facts. Second, where were these pitchers hiding when they were twelve years old?

     My recommendation is that youth pitchers master the skills of baseball pitching with minimal stress on the growth plates in their pitching arms.   Then, when they become biologically sixteen years old, they are high-skilled and can start developing the strength.

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117.   I have followed your site for a few years now and have exchanged emails on a couple of subjects in the past.   My question now has to do with my son.

     My son is a senior in high school.   He is smart, 3.5/1240, and has been accepted at a couple of colleges, who are also interested in him as a RHP.   But, my son shows no interest in any academic disciplines.   He is only interested in sports despite his ability to get good grades and test well on SATs.

     This weekend we took him to these colleges.   He showed no interest in the campuses, but only wanted to go to the baseball games.   We believe this to be a sign of lack of maturity.   Kids need to have a thirst for knowledge to do well in college.   We question whether our son is ready for the academic part of the college experience.

     I have been aware of your 315 day program for a while now.   It may be that our son needs to take a year off from school and do something different.   Your program is a possible option.   My son is 6’0”, 165 lbs, on the small side for a pitcher.   He has never been on a training program since we live in a small northern town where baseball is not the major sport.   He just seems to prefer baseball and is a dominant pitcher in this area since he throws hard and has good control of a changeup.

     If you have openings for the upcoming year, we would like to know your opinion.   If you need any info on him as a pitcher and a person, you can contact a professional scout for our area, who is familiar with him.   His assessment is that my son is competitive for small college baseball, but he is not a pro prospect at his present size.

     We want our son to have the best college baseball experience that he can have, but we also want him to use his natural intelligence to sample as many academic disciplines as possible.   Right now, he does not seem ready for have the curiosity necessary for the latter.

     Please let us know if you have openings next August and if our son would be a likely candidate.


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     I believe that all high school graduates should spend a year after high school learning what it means to work for a living.   One requirement of all attending my Pitching Research/Training Center is that they have a job.   I do not want anybody sitting on a couch all day playing video games or whatever.

     With regard to his baseball pitching ability, except for a commitment to train every day intellectually and physically, I have no requirements for joining my groups.

     The first twelve young men to sign my Lifetime Partnership Agreement and send in their six hundred dollar ($600.00) deposit receive their reservation for my 2005-06 group.

     If you want me to send my materials, please provide me with your mailing address.   By the way, this year, we start on the third Saturday in July, not August.

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118.   I've heard about your work for years, but, finally, last year, I sat down and read your stuff.   I found it makes great intuitive sense and was waiting for a little real-life evidence to back you up.   Your comments on Mark Prior, who everyone and his brother says has "perfect mechanics," seemed a good test.   Today, you are looking pretty good against the whole world.

     I write about baseball.   You'll see my name in several magazines and all over the web and I am extremely interested in doing a long piece about your theories and practices for publication, after this season.   If you could back up your Prior prediction with a few other examples of well-known pitchers likely to visit Dr. Jobe it would make one helluva splash.   Who knows, it might even finally cut through the prejudice and superstition that currently rule the roost.   Do any examples occur to you?


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     I thank you for your interest and appreciate the time that you took to read my stuff.   I will help in any way that I can.

     The only reason that I closely examined Mr. Prior's pitching motion was that Tom House claimed that he has the perfect pitching motion.   With his late pitching forearm turnover, behind-his-head loop and extreme pitching forearm flyout, I knew that he was greatly unnecessarily stressing his pitching elbow and, in all likelihood, he would suffer an injury.

     If I were to examine other major league pitchers, I would find lesser examples of the same pitching arm flaws.   Because Sports Illustrated showed side-by-side photographs of Mr. Prior and Mr. Wood last spring, I also saw that he has a bad pitching forearm flyout problem.

     My pitching motion eliminates the unnecessary stress on the pitching arm.   The fact that my pitchers throw as hard as they can every day without pitching arm injuries is a better example of what pitching motion all pitchers should use than those 'traditional' baseball pitchers with pitching arm injuries.   But, I understand your point.   People do not understand that the 'great' major baseball pitchers of this era use bad force application techniques.   After all, they are the 'great' major league pitchers of this era.

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119.   I'm a sports writer.   I'm doing a story about whether or not pitchers at the high school level, especially in the northern climates of the country, are being burned out by overuse.   And I stumbled onto some of your theories on the web that I would like to discuss with you in the next few days, at your earliest opportunity.

     Please let me know what works best for you.   I think the experience that you have had may shed some light on the subject.


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     With prior notice, I can make myself available at 11:00AM any day of the week.   I will gladly help you in any way that I can.

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120.   Mark Prior has experienced elbow problems during the last two spring trainings.   Do you feel his off season program is causing it. He seems to recover later in the season? Prior sidelined indefinitely
03/14/2005 12:57 PM ET
By Carrie Muskat / MLB.com

     Mark Prior, who missed Tuesday's start, will be out of action until the inflammation in his right elbow subsides.   An MRI showed no damage to the ligament and ulnar nerve.

http://www.mlb.com/NASApp/mlb/emailArticleServlet?aid=386074


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     Great to hear from you.   With a couple of years more experience teaching these young men since you visited, I have streamlined the program and the kids are learning better, faster.   When can we see you again?

     Obviously, his off-season program fails to prepare his pitching arm for the stress of competitive pitching.   The first thing to examine is his force application technique.   If he continues to use the Tom House pitching motion, no training program will ever protect his pitching arm.

     The picture in the article shows that Mr. Prior has late pitching forearm turnover.   This means that when he starts his pitching upper arm forward, his pitching forearm is still moving backward.   As a result, the downwardly bounces his pitching forearm.   This greatly and unnecessarily stresses his pitching elbow.

     In the article, Mr. Prior says that he inflamed a nerve.   That nerve is the Ulnar Nerve that runs through a groove in the back of his medial epicondyle.   He feels tingling down the little finger side of his pitching hand.   The reverse pitching forearm bounce stretches the Ulnar Nerve around the point of the elbow.   If he continues to 'loop' his pitching hand behind his head, then he will continue to unnecessarily stress his pitching elbow.   The more that he rests, the more that his pitching arm atrophies.

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121.   The following article is from the Chicago Sun-Times.

     Thanks for your response.   I thought you'd enjoy this article.   I hope to visit again.   Thanks for your insights.

To read the full story, click here:
http://www.suntimes.com/output/cubs/cst-spt-stone15.html


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     I read the Steve Stone article.   While Steve does not have any scientific basis for what he says, I, in general, agree with him that Mr. Prior does have pain and Mr. Wood needs to learn how to pitch, not just throw.

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122.   I just checked your Q&A's for my weekly update and was outraged by 2005 #111.   I cannot believe that the wall of ignorance is black balling not only you, but your pitchers who not only have worked diligently to accomplish what they have, but also proved they have the movement, location and velocity to warrant at least a fair trial at an open try out.

     I'm going to get the name of the pitching coach and write to the organization, and also to a New York radio sports show to get this travesty out in the open, spread the word to the public and sports fans.   That's the least I can do.

     I would encourage all your followers and those whose son's arms have been ruined by these retreads in the baseball pitching circles to do the same.   We need to speak up against the wall of ignorance and point out that the baseball pitching inner circle is a bunch of closed minded, egocentric, ignorant, unscientific and uncaring idiots.   This is truly a travesty.


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     I had to go back to make certain that I did not mention the name of the professional team.   I didn't.   I prefer that we do not get specific.   Also, we do not have to get specific.   I receive the same treatment from the pitching coaches with all professional teams.   I know the name of the pitching coach who interrupted my first pitcher, but he is not worth my or your time.   However, I support everything else you said.

     Thank you.

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123.   I recently emailed you about a rupture to my biceps tendon.   I want to thank you for the information that you sent me. If it wasn't for your knowledge and help, I don't think that I would have bean able to express what I wanted done with my doctor.

     My doctor was able to pin the torn attachment to the scapula and tie off the tendon. They also did some repair work to my rotator cuff and performed a mumford.   It took them 2 hours longer than what they had planned for surgery.   Meanwhile, I'll be in a splint for another 4 weeks and continue therapy.


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     I am happy that your two-joint Biceps Brachii muscle remains a two-joint muscle with both heads.   I wish you a speedy and full recovery.

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124.   I am a high school baseball coach who is in the second year of implementing your pitching motion in our program.    I am very pleased with the progress the pitchers have made with the pitching motion.   This year, I would like to incorporate the high school 120 day work out-specifically the use the wrist weights and the six pound ball during the baseball season.   First, is this a good idea?    Second, if it is a good idea, should it be done in the morning before school or after school at practice?    Third, on game days, should a game day pitcher do the workout and, if so, when in the day?    Finally, should the number of repetitions be modified during the season or on game days.

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     My 120-Day High School Baseball Pitchers Interval-Training Program is an off-season only program.   During the season, pitchers should complete only one-half of the wrist weight exercises, iron ball throws and baseball throws.   On game days, at about twenty minutes before the game, the starting pitcher should use my wrist weight exercises and iron ball throws as part of their pre-game preparation.

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125.   I have read about you explaining, when a pitcher swings his throwing arm back toward center field, the palm should be facing up.   Do you mean the palm is up with the inside of the forearm pointing up as well?   Or, do you mean the forearm is pointing down, with the wrist bent backwards as far as possible, making the palm to show an upward position?

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     At my 'Ready' position, my pitchers have their shoulders level with their pitching upper arm at shoulder height and their pitching hand at driveline height.   The anterior surfaces of the pitching upper arm, pitching forearm and pitching hand face upward.   The pitching wrist lies in line with the pitching forearm and the pitching hand.   The entire pitching arm points toward second base, albeit well above the actual base.

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126.   I had the opportunity to hear you last night as you were interviewed on WGN Radio, Chicago, by Tom Waddle and Jim Memolo.   I also had the opportunity to hear you interviewed (I believe also on WGN) last year.

     My question is this: are your principles also applicable to the golf swing?   I have experienced a certain amount of back strain from my swing, although golf pros have told me my swing is fundamentally sound.   I am recovering from a minor disk herniation in the lower lumbar region and do not want to aggravate things further.


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     Newton's three laws of motion apply to all human movements.   However, the differences between movements require appropriate adjustments.   With golf, like baseball batting, the force coupling occurs between where their hands grip the club.   With regard to your lower back problems, I recommend that you stand more upright and turn your feet slightly forward.

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127.   What's going on with Mark Prior?   Do you see this as an ongoing problem with him?   Is there something different he should be doing to alleviate this problem?

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     Mark Prior has late pitching forearm turnover, which leads to reverse pitching forearm bounce.   Most major league pitchers have the same problems.   The reason why Mr. Prior's problem is worse is because, rather than keep his pitching elbow bent at about ninety degrees during his late pitching forearm turnover, he bends his elbow tightly, such that his pitching hand comes close to his pitching ear.   This causes Mr. Prior to generate much more centripetal force that slings his pitching forearm laterally away from his body.   As a result, Mr. Prior's pitching forearm flyout unnecessarily stresses the inside of his pitching elbow more than other major league pitchers.

     He needs to change how he applies force to his pitches.   He needs to complete my 315-Day Adult Baseball Pitchers Interval-Training Program.

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128.   I’ve linked our league website to yours within our “Resources” section, which only has a few listings.    Hopefully, more coaches in our area will get educated.    I’ve been a little league manager going on 13 years now, and the pain of watching my oldest boy blow-out his elbow at awhile back at 13 yrs. old has really motivated me to do better for my 9 yr. old.    Indeed, not only did my older son hurt his arm, but most of his pitching teammates did also, all using the “traditional” delivery approach so often seen today.    Very few are left remaining to provide the local high school with a good pitching staff.    Hopefully, my efforts in promoting your research will help change things.

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     I am very sorry to hear about the pitching arm injuries.   We have to put a stop to that.   We are not only destroying their pitching arms, but their love of baseball.   With my video and my advice, maybe we can put a stop to these pitching arm injuries.

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129.   First, do any MLB teams use you as a consultant for their pitching systems?   It seems that if your techniques work, and your evaluation and predictions come true (Mark Prior), there would be a lot of money to be made in consulting with the scouts and pitching coaches of a particular MLB team that places value on money well spent, i.e. Small Market Teams.

     If you can successfully predict and change the outcomes of predestined pitching injuries, why wouldn't some of these teams that invest tens of millions of dollars on pitchers that will no doubt get injured employ your services to prevent the inevitable?

     If I ran a small market club and was looking for an advantage over the high payroll clubs, I think eliminating pitching injuries from the Rookie Level to the Majors would be one way to get a competitive leg up.   You won't obviously name specific teams, but are you under contract to any of them?

     Second, in the billion dollar industry of fantasy sports, I would think that your expert knowledge in evaluating pitchers' tendencies towards injury would be an extremely valuable commodity.   Have you ever thought about writing a yearly book on those major league pitchers with good mechanics and bad mechanics and grading them based on their probability for injury?   It would be a godsend to the industry, and like most of the fantasy "experts" you don't even need to be right every time, which I kind of get the sense you nearly are.

     If you can assess Prior and Wood's chances of injury just by seeing a few pictures of them in Sports Illustrated, I would think that evaluating the top 100 pitchers in the league wouldn't take much effort and would reap you large economic rewards, if you're obliged by such things.   For me, I just want to win my fantasy league and I think your expertise could help many people.

     Three, are you aware of the Pitcher Abuse Points that Baseball Prospectus puts out every year based on several factors, mostly with regards to pitch counts?   I would like your opinion on them, are they grounded in science, do they match up with any of your independent evaluations, or are they hogwash?


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     No professional baseball team has ever contacted me for any purpose.

     My rest-of-my-life mission is to eliminate pitching arm injuries.   The only reason why I investigated Mr. Prior's pitching motion was because Tom House claimed in The Collegiate Baseball News that Mr. Prior had the perfect pitching motion and my readers asked me whether that was true.

     With my pitching motion, the more my pitchers throw, the stronger they get.   With the 'traditional' pitching motion, the more their pitchers throw, the sooner they will completely destroy their pitching arms.   Rest means atrophy.   Therefore, the fewer pitches that 'traditional' pitchers throw, the weaker their pitching arm becomes.   They are damned if they do and damned if they don't.

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130.   I saw your disconcerting opinion on Prior and Wood in today's Chicago Sun Times.   While I was aware of your expertise in general terms, I guess I was unaware that you had such a low opinion of Prior and Wood's respective mechanics.

     I am curious if there are other pitchers in the majors who have problems as pronounced as Prior or Wood?   In other words, guys who have huge injury risks that are not part of the conventional wisdom?

     On the flipside, is there any one pitcher in the majors whose delivery is akin to your ideal?

     I am curious as to your 'success stories'.   Do you have any former pupils in the majors or high minors?   Guys to look out for in the near future?


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     I do not spend time evaluating major league pitchers.   After Tom House pronounced in The Collegiate Baseball News that Mr. Prior had the perfect pitching motion, my readers asked me to take a look.   I found that Mr. Prior has the same late pitching forearm turnover that all major league pitchers have.   Unfortunately, whereas the other major league pitchers keep their pitching elbow bent at about ninety degrees during their late pitching forearm turnover, Mr. Prior bends his pitching elbow considerably more, such that his pitching hand comes close to his pitching ear.   This move generates considerably more centripetal force that slings his pitching forearm laterally away from his body.   As a result, he unnecessarily stresses the inside of his pitching elbow much more that the others.

     Because every major league pitcher starts their pitching motion by lifting their glove foot off the ground, no major league pitcher has a delivery akin to my ideal.

     I train recent high school graduates who did not receive any college scholarship offers, college pitchers who could not make their teams and injured pitchers.   Nevertheless, several of my pitchers succeed beyond their wildest dreams.   Most of all, no pitcher that I have trained has every injured their pitching arm.

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131.   I'm a fan of yours, both while you were pitching in the ML (I got to see you pitch in Chicago and Los Angeles) and, also, since you retired from pitching and have been coaching pitchers.   It sure seems to me that you are FAR, FAR ahead of current ML pitching coaches in terms of knowledge/teaching philosiphies regarding the science/mechanics of pitching.   Your career certainly suggests that, too.

     As a Cub (and baseball) fan of about 50 years, I'm concerned about the present and future health of Mark Prior.   At least a year ago, I read an article in which you predicted about exactly what has happened to Prior (due to his circle motion and the stress it puts on his elbow, as I recall).

1)   What do you believe his prognosis is given his current trajectory and the coaching he receives (e.g. how likely is T.J. surgery)?

2)   How long would it take you to straighten him out to the point where he would have control/ML stuff (and a healthy arm)?


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     The next structure on the inside of his pitching elbow to give way will be his Ulnar Collateral Ligament.

     Until he changes how he applies force to his pitches, he has no chance of having a healthy pitching arm.   With five months this off-season and five months next off-season (October 01 to March 01), I could injury-proof his pitching arm.

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132.   I have been a die-hard cubs fan for 14 years, I am greatly concerned with Mark Prior's arm situation.   I am wondering what you think the cubs should do to help Mark Prior stop his cycle of injury?

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     They could send him to me for my 315-Day Adult Baseball Pitchers Interval-Training Program.

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133.   I saw your quotes on Prior.   The one about 50 pitchers caught my eye.   Would you be willing to publish that list on your web site, so it could be tracked?

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     I have no idea about a fifty pitchers quote.   If you would tell me what I am supposed to have said, I will answer your question.

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134.   Sorry, it was a quote in the Sun-Times today, from this article:

http://www.suntimes.com/output/couch/cst-spt-greg171.html

     As I re-read it now, I realize the quote is from Tom House and not yourself.   I apologize for the confusion.


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     Thank you.   I just read the article.   Tom is right, many major league pitchers have the same loop behind their heads as Mr. Prior.   The problem is that Mr. Prior can move his pitching arm faster, hence, he generates greater unnecessary stress.

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135.   Is there a way to do your interval-training workout when there is a time limitation of doing a workout in one session?     Is it permissible to break up the workout in two or three sessions?   Also, due to weather conditions ( cold, rain-snow and light) throwing outside at 60'-6" may be near impossible.    Will there be any benefit of throwing inside (basement) a lesser distance?

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     It is better when pitchers complete my wrist weight exercises, iron ball throws and baseball throws during the same hour.    However, during the season, I did my wrist weight exercises at night, my iron ball throws in the morning and my baseball throws at the park.

     With regard to conditioning your pitching arm, you can throw at shorter distances.   However, I doubt that you will master your releases.

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136.   I read the Chicago Sun Times article.   I think that I understand why you disagree with his pitching motion.   But, did you have to call Tom House an idiot?   Also, what about what House says about the Cubs doing the right thing and Mark Prior matching up statistically?

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     During the interview, I said that idiots keep doing the same thing over and over again and expect a different result.   Tom House is an idiot.   I think calling him an idiot is the nicest thing I can call him.   What would you call someone who professes expertise, but continues to teach the same thing over and over again and continues to destroy thousands of pitching arms?

     Mr. House says that I disagree with him because he gets a little attention.   No, I disagree with him because he destroys pitching arms.   He refuses to debate me.   It is way past time for the House apologists on ESPN and elsewhere to seek the truth.   I will debate him and anybody else any time, anywhere.

     Mr. House said that Mark Prior is a can't miss because of his "motion analysis".   What Mr. House cannot understand is that when he analyzes Mr. Prior's pitching motion, he only reports what he does.   He does not evaluate the stresses that Mr. Prior puts on his pitching arm.   Bridge-building engineers have to determine how their bridge will withstand the stresses placed on them.   Mr. House continues to build bridges that collapse.   I understand the stresses that the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion places on the bones, ligaments and tendons of the pitching arm.   As a result, I designed my pitching motion to eliminate unnecessary stresses and, with my 315-Day Adult Baseball Pitchers Interval-Training Programs, I show baseball pitchers how to strengthen those bones, ligaments and tendons to withstand the necessary stresses.

     Mr. House said that Mark Prior is a can't miss because of his 'blood chemistry, mental-emotional make-up and nutritional make-up.'   What blood chemistry?   Is Mr. Prior from Smallville?   What mental-emotional make-up?   Can he throw his best curve on the corner of home plate in extra innings, with the score tied, the bases loaded, two outs and a full count on the batter?   What nutritional make-up?   Does Mr. Prior like bananas?   Mr. House throws out irrelevancy after irrelevancy.   Mr. Prior has a bad pitching motion and, whatever Mr. House says, Mr. Prior missed most of last season and continues to spiral downward.   He has my sympathies.

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137.   How long does it take for your students to complete one interval workout?   Do you rest between wrist weight, iron ball and baseball throws and, if so, for how long?

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     Please do not forget to do my football throws.   Even with the maximum number of repetitions on the final six days of a wrist weight or iron ball interval-training cycle, my pitchers do not take more than one hour.   On other days, they take about forty-five minutes.   Because they use different muscles when they do their wrist weight exercises than when they do their iron ball throws, they do not need much rest between them.

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138.   I don't know if you'll have a response before my son is scheduled to pitch again since you appear to answer questions once a week.    My question revolves around the 'reconditioning' required to alter 'traditional' mechanics to 'Marshallian' mechanics.

     Since my son is active in high school (17 years old, plates closed) season now and very good (1st outing 9K's, 4 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 0 BB), I would like for him to be able to continue to pitch.   My concern, in addition to the prospect of arm problems by continuing with traditional mechanics, is how to make the transition to your proposed method(s) without losing the season because of making the adjustment.

     Is there a specific sequence of elements in the delivery that can be taken on one at a time during the transition, mastering one before moving on while still being able to pitch effectively?   Or, is it an all or nothing transition and you lose nnn weeks or months?

     If there are steps, could you articulate the sequence, approximate the transition time, and offer suggestions on how to be successful in making the transition.   My son is very visually oriented and a good mimic.   But he does have his current pitching mechanics ingrained.   Are there one or two key training techniques and or steps in delivery that offer steps in the right direction until the season is over if there is no effective way to make a complete mid-season transition?

     I understand that every athlete is different, depending on their work ethic, coachability, etc.   Can you lay out any guidelines at all that would be helpful to those of us trying to make a difference, but cannot ship our son (cost or practicality speaking) to Florida for 2 months or more?

     Your help is appreciated and good luck to you penetrating the MLB shield of tradition.


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     I do my very best to answer questions the same day that I receive them.   Because I want to spend my 6:00AM time working on editing my Chapters Thirty-Six and Thirty-Seven, I am answering emails the night before.

     The first baseball pitching skill that all pitchers must master is how to properly release my pitches.   The key is that they must pronate all releases.   I recommend that he use my Pickoff with Step body action with my Slingshot glove and pitching arm actions.   In my new Chapter Thirty-Six, which, at present, is my new Chapter Thirty-Seven, I describe how to perform my Pickoff with Step body action and my Slingshot glove and pitching arm actions.   Better yet, my 2004 Baseball Pitching Instructional video not only shows how to perform this drill, but also shows how to properly release my pitches.

     When your son masters this drill, please contact me again and I will provide the next step.

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139.   My son is thirteen and throws every other day.   He is clocked at between 60-63 mph.   He is short in stature, but has a rubber arm.   How much does an individual's size play in becoming a successful pitcher?   I am 6 feet and, although he is a late developer, I believe he will reach that height.

     What do you think of Dick Mills pitching video that I purchased?


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     I am five feet eight and one-half inches tall.   As long as he does not tell the baseball how tall he is, he can become the best pitcher that he can be.

     If we knew your son's biological age, then we could better predict his future growth.   If he is a delayed maturer, then he probably has more future growth than his chronological age would warrant.   Whether he is biologically thirteen or younger, I strongly recommend against him throwing baseballs every other day.

     Dick Mills has no idea what he is talking about.   You wasted whatever you paid for his video.

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140.   I’m a Twins fan and I really enjoyed the years you pitched there.    You were always known for your knowledge of the mechanics of pitching.    What, in your expert opinion, is Mark Prior doing wrong to cause him recent injury to both his arm and his Achilles' tendon?

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     All major league pitchers use the 'traditional' pitching motion.   The 'traditional' pitching motion has several injurious flaws, such as late pitching forearm turnover, reverse pitching forearm bounce and pitching forearm flyout.   Mr. Prior adds a behind-his-head pitching forearm loop to the mix.   This loop significantly increases the centripetal force that 'traditional' pitcher generate that slings their pitching forearm laterally away from their body.   The inside of his pitching elbow cannot withstand this force.

     I do not know if, let alone why, he injured his Achilles Tendon.

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141.   I was reading an article in Suntimes thursday that caught my eye, I have tennis elbow in my left arm since January.   I ice and I am taking an anti-inflammatory called mobic.   By the way, I play tennis about 5x a week.   And doctors say rest, but I thought the same thing when I read this article and it said that you thought "resting means atrophy" and I do feel my arm is very weak, which, in my opinion, is getting worse.   My question is should I be doing some sort of a least mild strength training along with ice, stretching and maybe taking anti-inflammatory when needed?

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     You should be doing my wrist weight exercises.   I recommend my 120-Day High School Baseball Pitchers Interval-Training Program.   Chapter Thirty-Six explains how to do the drills.

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142.   Does Prior's general symptomology suggest that his Ulnar Collateral Ligament will give way as soon as this season if he continues to try to pitch?   I know you have said that if the motion is correct, pitch counts aren't nearly as big of an issue.   Prior pitched a lot of innings with a poor motion AND high innings/pitch counts in '03.   Did that excaberate his current problems?

     Am I correct that Greg Maddux has a bit of a circle in his motion that might stress the elbow?   If so, how has he been able to pitch so long and well without major elbow problems?

     Are there any ML pitching coaches more enlightened than Larry Rothschild about these issues?


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     When Mr. Prior weakens his Ulnar Collateral Ligament sufficiently with microscopic tears and increased rest and, then, he places greater stress on it than it can withstand, it will rupture.   As I recall Mr. Prior's 2003 season, sometime around mid-season, he had the good sense to stop pitching for a month or so.

     All major league pitchers use the 'traditional' pitching motion.   The 'traditional' pitching motion has several injurious pitching flaws, such as late pitching forearm turnover, reverse pitching forearm bounce and pitching forearm flyout.   However, Mr. Prior also has the behind-the-head loop.   This increases the centripetal force that slings his pitching forearm laterally away from his body.   Also, unlike Mr. Maddux, who pronates his fastball and change-up releases, Mr. Prior supinates his releases, such that he slaps his back with his pitching hand.

     No, all major league pitching coaches are about equally unenlightened.   Mr. Rothchild is only a little worse than the rest.

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143.   I have a quick question regarding the use of medicine balls.   Does it strengthen your abdominal muscles if you drop a 2kg or 6lb medicine ball onto your abs at a height of about one yard?   One would think that internal damage would occur, but I have recently heard otherwise.

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     I can think of many ways to train the abdominal muscles without risking rupturing my spleen.   Try sit-ups.

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144.   I was saddened to see the email about how cruelly your pitchers were treated be major league scouts during a tryout.   I'm curious why you don't publicize the name of the scout who said to ignore your pitchers or the scout who tried to change your pitcher's pitching motion?   I'd certainly like to contact the major league teams that employ these guys.

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     I greatly appreciate your comments and willingness to state your opinion to those who should care.   However, I have tried hard to always discuss ideas, not persons.   As I said in an earlier email, I am treated the same by pitching coaches with all major league baseball organizations.

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145.   I told a pitcher recently the muscles don't stretch.   He told me he was told that he does stretching to tear muscles.   Then, they grow back stronger.   I remember in my weight lifting days in college I was told that when you lift weights you tear muscles.   Then, you take a day off to let the muscles grow stronger. What happens when pitchers tear muscles?   I would imagine that the muscles do try to repair themselves.

     I'm not sure this is related but he told me his shoulder was sore after pitching, but he said his arm was fine after a couple of days.   I think he likens this process to tearing muscles then having them rebound in a couple of days.


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     That is an interesting idea.   How do they regulate the amount of tearing?   When athletes tear muscles, they cannot use those muscles for several weeks.   Have you ever torn a Hamstring muscle?

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146.   I went to chapter 36 in your book like you recommended, and I have a couple of questions.   I was not clear on how many reps and sets I should be doing?   Can I use ankle weights, but you also can put them on your wrists, and if not where do I get these wrist weights?

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     I am in the middle of a re-write of Chapters Thirty-Six and Thirty-Seven.   Actually, I am reversing their order in my book, so I have finished what you read as Chapter Thirty-Seven, but will become my new Chapter Thirty-Six.   I am still working on what you read as Chapter Thirty-Six, but will become my new Chapter Thirty-Seven.   Therefore, to learn how to perform the drills that I now use to teach my pitching motion, you should read what is now my Chapter Thirty-Seven.   In any case, the title of the chapter that you should read is: Dr. Mike Marshall's Interval-Training Programs and Drills.

     I recommended that you do my 120-Day High School Baseball Pitchers Interval-Training Program.   I want you to do only the wrist weight exercises.   However, I want you to do all exercises.   That is, I want you to do the forearm actions for my Maxline True Screwball, Maxline Fastball, Maxline Pronation Curve and Torque Fastball.

     Ten pound weights that you strap on your ankles become wrist weights when you strap them on your wrists.   If you click on Equipment Vendors on the home page of my web site, you will find from whom I purchase my wrist weights.   It says that to purchase the Long Strap RS Series therapeutic ten and five pound weight with which we make our wrist weights, partners need to telephone (800)251-6040 for the name of the distributor near them.

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147.   I forgot another question.   Is it the pronated swings that I should be doing?

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     I want you to do my Pronated Swings, my Crow-Hop with Shakedowns, my Pickoff with Step body action; Slingshot arm actions, my Wrong Foot body action; Slingshot arm actions, my Wrong Foot body action; Pendulum Swing arm actions, my Crow-Hop body action; Pendulum Swing arm actions and my Wind-Up Set Position body action; Pendulum Swing arm actions.

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148.   My son is being told he will be signed by a major league baseball organizationas a pitcher this year during the first year draft.   He has also been told to throw in the meantime.   My question is; who do you recommend as a pitching instructor in the Tampa area for some spot lessons or at least a place to throw on a regular basis?

     Some background is my son had a college scholarship, which he could not handle after one semester, even though he was slated as a starter as a Freshman.   Then, he went on to a junior college, where he couldn't handle the grades.   He's just not a student, although he has a 1100 SAT score.   During his time at junior college, a scout saw him throw and told him he would give him a chance this year.   He has been in constant contact with us.

     My son is 6'6", left-handed and has been clocked once at 93 mph.


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     Before you let their pitching coaches destroy your son's pitching arm, you and he should make a trip to my Pitching Research/Training Center in Zephyrhills, FL and learn what he should do before he even thinks about a professional career.   Your son needs much more than spot lessons.   He needs to devote himself to working every day as hard as he can to become the best pitcher that he can be.   With his unwillingness to devote himself to academics, I think he always looks for the easy way out.

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149.   Is it advisable to start your interval training during the season (16 years and older)?    If so, why, and if not, why not?

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     I carefully designed my High School and Adult Baseball Pitchers Interval-Training Programs to force the physiological systems of the athletes to make significant changes to the bones, ligaments and tendons associated with the baseball pitching motion.   That means that my interval-training programs stresses the involved physiological systems to their limits.   Without the likelihood of breaking down, they cannot also withstand the stress of competitive pitching.   Therefore, my interval-training programs are for the off-season training only with at least a couple of month of maintenance level training before the competitive season begins.

     The day after my competitive season ended is when I started to work the hardest.   For me, the competitive season was the easiest part of the year.

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150.   I have been reading your online FREEBOOK!!!, as well as the Q&A section for over 5 months now.   I am more impressed as each day goes by, and my comprehension of what you are teaching is growing.

       Back in the late 70's, I was in college and a pro prospect.   I had come from a small Missouri community with absolutely no throwing/pitching training available.   All I could do is what the folks in my area called "throw country-hard".   Basically, I was a poster child for "Rotator-Cuffs-R-Us".

     I reverse rotated my entire body, moving my throwing arm laterally behind my body, while "showing the batter my hip pocket".   I would lean backwards, "bending my back" as they say.   Being a right-handed thrower, I would throw my left leg behind my body toward second base.

     As I pushed forward toward home plate, my left arm would fly horizontally straight out toward first base as if I were a duck trying to take flight.   My throwing forearm would naturally fly out mercilessly toward third base as well.   I'm sure my "behind-the-head-loop" was big enough for 2 show-dogs to jump through.

     Since I had reverse rotated my body so badly, there was no way I could even get close to rotating far enough back to bring my pitching leg past my front foot.   I would actually land on the outside portion of my left foot and fall terribly off-balance toward first base in a tangled mess, (i.e., Bob Gibson, Rich Gossage, etc.)   Remember, I said this was in the 70's, and kids emulate those they admire.

     Even with these faults, there were times when MLB scouts would record my release velocity as high as 95 at times.   But one day, at age 20, after about 80 pitches in a game, it literally felt like my upper arm came completely out of socket.   It felt like the only thing holding my arm onto my shoulder was the skin.

     Well, that was it, career over, bye scouts, bye MLB, bye baseball, period!   Why do I write this sob story, you ask?   Well, I'll tell you.

     I now have three sons, ages 16, 13, and 10.   The 2 older ones want to be baseball pitchers.   Naturally, as a father, I want them to have the best opportunity for success that they can have.   So 3 years ago, I started searching for some program that could teach them the proper way to throw with velocity AND do it PAIN-FREE!!!

     What I would do is find a training method/pitching instructor and try it/him myself, first.   I figured if I could not master the technique without pain, I would go on to the next one.   Hopefully, I would find somebody out there that knew what they were doing.   Guess what, I didn't.   At least I thought I hadn't, until I happened across your website.

     I had remembered you when you played in the 70's.   I started applying your techniques myself.   I can't say that I have everything mastered yet, but I am getting closer.   The VERY BEST part is;   I am living proof that your program does work!   Before using your program, I literally could not throw a baseball 90 feet.

     When I use your technique properly, I can actually throw TOTALLY PAIN-FREE!   I have even registered pitches over 70 mph on the high school radar gun.   Not bad for a 45 year old guy with more calcium in his right shoulder than a milk truck.

     Anybody who is a skeptic, simply isn't adopting your techniques properly.   I'm just sorry that I wasn't throwing in this manner 30 years ago, but I'm glad I have it for my sons.   I know this sounds like an infomercial, but whoever is not accepting your principles of force application, simply needs to stop complaining, leave their ego at home, and start training their pitching students to be successful, and pain-free.

     Thanks for giving me the opportunity to be able to play catch with my kids.


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     I am so very, very sorry that a pitching arm injury crushed your youthful baseball pitching dreams.   But, I am exhilarated with what you have done with that disappointment.   We must stop pitching arm injuries from ruining baseball.   You are doing your part.   Parents have to take charge.

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151.   Thanks for sending the materials on your 315 day session and partnership program.   I have a couple of brief questions regarding the program.

     My son will not be 19 until November 11, so he would not be exactly 19 when the program starts.   Is that okay and does he need x-rays for growth plate analysis?

     What would be the make-up of an average class?.   Is it 19 year old college bound guys or is it a mix of ages?.

     My son has committed to playing legion ball earlier this year, and that ends on August 6.   Can a person start in August or does that throw the whole class schedule off?


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     The growth plates in the shoulder and wrist completely mature at biological nineteen years old.   However, unlike the growth plates in the pitching elbow during early adolescence, the growth plates in the shoulder and wrist in the final year or two of growth and development withstand the appropriate stress of my interval-training program without distress.   For my adult program, I do not require X-rays.

     For the most part, I work with recent high school graduates and college pitchers with two years of athletic eligibility remaining.   Therefore, my kids are nineteen to twenty-one years old.

     The only way that I can get in forty-five weeks of training and end the program before the following June is to start in the middle of July.   I am aware of the conflict with Legion baseball, but, without dropping the sixty-day iron ball recoil cycle, which I believe is critical for the quality of their pitch releases, I cannot shorten the program.

     Everybody starts the program on Saturday, July 16, 2005.   If someone arrives after that date, they have to pick up where everybody else is.   That does not give them the time for their body to mobilize its resources for the training load and, therefore, until I saw that their body could handle the stress, I would have to keep their intensity at very low levels.

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152.   I love baseball and, yet, am amazed that the approach of most ML teams is based on what has been done in the past, rather than the latest thinking in other fields in the present.

     I'm wondering whether one of the more "progressive" GMs/Teams (e.g. the A's, Toronto, Los Angeles) might be open to pioneering your methodology.   Are any of the more "progressive" teams open to those discussion at present?

     One last question: in your considered judment, which ML pitcher has the best mechanics at present?


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     The General Manager for one of those 'progressive' teams played college baseball at Saint Leo College.   For three years in the 1980s, I was the head baseball coach/Associate Professor of Physical Education at Saint Leo College.   At the request of a Saint Leo College Hall of Athletic Fame inductee, I attended a dinner where Saint Leo College also inducted said same General Manager into that Hall of Fame.

     I took the occasion to attempt a discussion with him.   Later, I telephoned him to ask whether I could bring a pitcher over to his nearby spring training headquarters for a tryout.   Through his assistant, he said that he was not interested.

     I don't think that these read-the-statistics guys are progressive at all.   They do not understand how to train baseball pitchers and position players to achieve the statistics that they value so highly.

     No major league baseball organization has ever contacted me about working for them.   The closest that happened is that, to see whether I could rehabilitate lost-cause professional baseball pitchers, a couple of Assistants to the General Manager of another major league baseball organization sent me three injured minor league pitchers that they had released.

     Within a few weeks of the start of my program, they all threw without discomfort, even one who the doctors said that one would never throw baseballs again.   However, during the forty-five weeks of my training program, the owner fired their General Manager and the new guy stopped the experiment.

     If you can find a major league pitcher with straight line drive toward home plate with a powerful pitching forearm pronation release of all pitches, even with the 'traditional' pitching motion body action, although not as good as he could be, he would be better than all the rest.

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153.   I think it is very obvious that Mark Prior has to start changing some things.   What I am worried about is whether or not this can be done.   Can a pitcher make serious adjustments to their delivery and expect to be able to pitch at the same level?   A hitter can make serious alterations to a hitting stance, but I think pitching is a little more invovled.

     Mark Prior was touted as having a perfect motion.   Are these injuries catching up with him now that he is in the big leagues and having to pitch many more innings?   His numbers at USC were just unbelievable and injuries were believed to be beneath him.

     Lastly, why can someone like Roger Clemens and Nolan Ryan seem to pitch forever with not nearly as much drama?   I think Prior could be in the same class if he can ever shake these issues.


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     With my 315-day Adult Baseball Pitchers Interval-Training Program, Mr. Prior and all other professional baseball pitchers at all levels can make serious adjustments to their delivery and expect to pitch better than they did before.

     This past off-season, a minor league professional baseball pitcher contacted me about discomfort in his pitching shoulder.   I told him that, if he is serious about his baseball pitching career, then he should get to my Pitching Research/Training Center as soon as possible.   He arrived on about the first of November.   This means that we had only four months!

     I knew that I could not ask him to totally change his body action.   But, I also knew that he had to straighten his driveline as much as possible and he absolutely had to learn how to pronate the release of all pitches.   With the 'traditional' body action, because pitching forearm flyout would prevent him from getting his pitching forearm vertical at release, I knew that he could not throw my Maxline Pronation Curve or Maxline True Screwball.   Nevertheless, without all the body action adjustments, I had him do my 120-Day High School Baseball Pitcher Interval-Training Program.

     When he arrived at his spring training camp, the pitching coordinator immediately noticed that his shoulders and chest were considerable stronger, that he threw harder, that he now had what the pitching coordinator called a hard sinker versus his former soft sinker and that he now threw a sharper breaking ball.   He had greatly improved his game.

     After several days of questioning, my guy confessed that he had trained with me.   This is the same pitching coordinator who, as I chronicled in an earlier email, said that he was not afraid of another pitcher I trained.   I hope they don't release this pitcher.   But, if they do, I hope that he will complete my program and go pitch independent league baseball, where the pitching coaches are more likely to leave him alone and let his pitching do his talking.

     If I had high-speed film of Mr. Clemens and Mr. Ryan, then I might be able to answer your question.   Maybe, they have/had straight line drive and pitching forearm pronation.

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154.   With your personal track record for durability in ML baseball, let alone your research base and study of the science of pitching, it is almost unbelievable that NO team has approached you to serve as a consultant, at the least!   I will hope that changes in the near future!

     Hopefully, developing newer, better training techniques will soon be as vogue as using statistics to develop an organizational strategy.   Certainly, nothing is as debilitating to an organization or more frustrating to its fans as making a major investment in (and building around) a particular pitcher who becomes unable to pitch due to poor mechanics (that could have been improved with better training).

     Are there any young guys you are working with now who seem to have a ML ceiling and are developing the right mechanics?


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     I agree, but I have no control over what they do or do not do.

     Unless some owner decides to take charge, I do not see anything changing.

     I work with high school graduates without college baseball scholarship offers, college baseball pitchers who cannot make their team and injured baseball pitchers who cannot pitch anymore.   Despite their inadequacies, I have trained several pitchers how to increased their release velocity to the mid-nineties.   Unfortunately, when their pitching coaches get hold of them, they change how they throw and they not only lose their velocity, but they injure their pitching arms.

     Nevertheless, I do have one pitcher right now who has the genetic qualifications, seems to have the requisite motor learning ability and says that nothing will make him change how I teach him to throw.   It seems that, before he trained with me, his pitching arm hurt him all the time and he does not want to go through that again.   We will see.

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155.   There are numerous major league pitchers that can throw a fastball 95+ MPH using "traditional" pitching mechanics.   Using your force application techniques, how fast would you expect these pitchers to be able to throw the fastballs that you teach?

     I am an instructor at a baseball facility at which I am forced to teach "traditional" pitching mechanics.   Is there a way to integrate the most important aspects of what you teach into the "traditional" pitching motion?


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     Every pitcher I train comes to me with the 'traditional' pitching motion.   Every pitcher who completes my 315-Day Adult Baseball Pitchers Interval-Training Program has increased their release velocity at least five miles per hour.   Assuming that they did not use steroids to achieve their ninety-five mile per hour release velocities, I would expect your sample of professional baseball pitchers would similarly increase their release velocities.

     In the beginning, to satisfy the 'traditional' pitching coaches, I tried to blend my pitching motion with the 'traditional.'   Basically, I used the 'traditional' body action, but, as best we could, we used my Pendulum Swing glove and pitching arm actions.   The problem is the 'balance position' pitching rhythm versus the 'crow-hop' pitching rhythm.   The 'balance position' pitching rhythm prevents pitchers from driving behind their pitching hand and forwardly rotating their acromial line.   With this hybrid motion, pitchers cannot get their pitching forearm inside of vertical and, as a result, they cannot throw my Maxline True Screwball or Maxline Pronation Curve.

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156.   Have you ever spoken with the orthopods for ML pitchers (e.g. Dr. James Andrews, Dr. Frank Jobe) about your methods?   It seems to me that they have enough business and have seen so many unnecessary injuries that they would be supportive of better training methods for pitchers.

     Have you ever thought about a training video for pitchers (to lay at least some of the foundation)?   If your methods gained a wider audience (via a video or other means), perhaps you could teach your methods more widely to other coaches and, then, you provide more expert instruction to those who wanted to go deeper.   One indisputable proof point is your own ML record (your durability during a key part of your career was absolutely amazing to me!).


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     Let me see.   Doctors who make their living doing surgery would want to show their potential patients how not to become their patients.   It could happen.

     I met Frank Jobe in 1974 and Jim Andrews in 1979.   I have spoken with each of them many, many times.   They know who I am and what I do.   I just saw Dr. Jobe this spring.   He is eighty years old and no longer doing surgery.   Dr. Andrews is well aware of the rehabilitation success of my training methods.

     In 2002, I released my first Baseball Pitching Instructional Video.   As I learned more from my students about how to better teach my pitching motion, in 2004, I released my second.   I plan to release my third video this summer.   Until I believe that I have perfected the pedagogy of my pitching motion, I will continue to upgrade this video.

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157.   I just ran across your web site today on baseballresource.com, I have a 15 yr. old freshman son that pitches.   He is 5"11 170 lbs. He works out on core strength twice a week along with running and his HS baseball practice each day.   I would have to say, but what do I know, that his mechanics are solid, but that's based on Tom House techniques.   My biggest concern is that he enjoys the game and plays as long as he was physically intended too so.   I'm always looking at things that will reduce the chance for injury in kids, all not just my own.

     I will be sending my $100. this week to buy the video and training instructions.   Now, my question; I read where you said at this age they should not pitch past two times through the line-up.   Does this correlate to pitch count as 18 batters could be anywhere from 50-90 pitches.   Right now, he is on a 60 -70 pitch limit and he throws 1 game a week.   He is not a max thrower meaning he throws without much effort.   He throws mostly fast balls and change ups, last game he threw 67 pitches with 4 curve balls and 6 split fingers in a complete 7 inning game.   He has extremely large hands and very long fingers.   What do you think about the split finger as far as injury is concerned?

     He had elbow surgery last November to remove cartilage that had formed from a elbow to helmet blow in football, so I have x-rays that I could look at on the growth plates. The doctor had said the growth plates were closed but that was in a passing conversation about something else.   Priority number one is his school work but he dreams of playing college baseball and I would like to see that a potential injury doesn't shorten that dream.


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     If he is doing Tom House's pitching motion, he definitely on his way to serious pitching arm injuries.

     For biological fifteen year old baseball pitchers, I recommend two consecutive months per year of baseball throwing, including one inning per game twice a week.   If the growth plates for his medial epicondyle and radial head, then your son is biologically sixteen years old.   Therefore, I recommend four consecutive months per year of baseball throwing, including twice through the line-up once a week and once through the line-up once a week.

     Pitch limits mean nothing.   The number of times that batters see pitchers, the variety of pitches that pitchers can throw for strikes and the number of times per game that youth pitchers have to get their pitching arm up to game intensity mean everything.   Until baseball pitchers are biologically nineteen years old, I would never have them throw more than five innings.

     With the pitching forearm flyout inherent in Mr. House's pitching motion, when pitchers to jam the baseball between their index and middle fingers, the index finger receives considerable stress.   I do not teach either change-ups or split-finger pitches.   Without the stress on their index finger, my pitchers achieve much better speed differentials and movement.

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158.   I just viewed the 2nd videotape and know that I’ll enjoy studying it for hours to come.    Thank you for your work in helping to prevent arm injuries.

     This spring, I will manage my son’s 9-year old team and plan on implementing as many of your ideas as possible.    The problem is that there is simply not enough practice time to do everything.    Three times a week, we have a 90-minute session that includes hitting instruction, defense, pitching instruction and a 30 minute intra-squad scrimmage that is fun and keeps them coming back for more.

     One idea I had was to combine hitting and pitching practice by having one player bunt several balls pitched by a kneeling player.    Do you have any recommendations for a pitching drill involving a kneeling player?    Perhaps, I could have the kids throw with the wrong foot forward in a variation of some of the drills in the 2nd videotape?


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     As long as they are not pitching against opponents in a competitive baseball game, I have no problem with biological pre-thirteen year old youth baseball pitchers pitching.   However, I do worry that some youngster might think that it would be cute to swing away.   Therefore, without a protective screen, I would not do this drill.

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159.   I would appreciate your input with regard to the mechanics and suitability to young arms of a change-up pitch.   The pitch in question is the "palm ball" as thrown by David Guisti in the 70's, Bob Stanley in the 80's, and as of late, by Tony Fiore of the Twins.   I am referring to the old-school traditional palm ball which involves a deliberate attempt at reduced ball rotation, and not the box change-up used to great effectiveness by Trevor Hoffman among others.

     Please correct my mechanical description if I'm mistaken as I seem to remember that Dave Guisti used his thumb to somewhat forcefully press the ball against the upper part of his palm and lower part of the fingers, elevated all finger tips off of the ball, and tossed the pitch with fastball arm speed, while maintaining a stiff wrist (without any pronation or supination of the pitching arm or wrist).

     The palm ball it seems, should leave the pitcher's hand with little rotation and tended to lose all, or nearly all rotation on the way to the plate.   The effectiveness of the pitch seems two-fold in that to the batter the apparent variance between arm speed and ball velocity is more pronounced than for other change-up pitches, and the reduction in, or lack of rotation, creates increased drag on the ball, ideally imparting knuckleball-like characteristics to the pitch (such as an unexpected degree of drop or sink).

     Having read your publications and purchased your fine video I am attuned to the fragility of pitching arms.   One of my sons, having caught my backyard variety of the palm ball, expressed an interest in learning the pitch.   Since the palm ball has become somewhat of an arcane art in America (yet still popular in Japanese baseball), and I can find neither mechanical descriptions nor physical implications of the pitch in any literature, perhaps you can provide some clarity on the subject.   I am aware that you generally disdain efforts to reduce or eliminate rotation on a pitched baseball, viewing effective and consistent mastery of such pitches as exceedingly difficult.

     Would you be so kind as to momentarily suspend your skepticism of the efficacy of reducing rotation upon a pitched baseball, and proffer an opinion as to whether the mechanics I have described are correct for the palm ball.   In addition, and of great importance to me is to learn whether holding the wrist stiff during the act of pitching a change-up would present undue stress on elbow tendons, muscles, ligaments, or the nascent olecranon area of a 12 year old.

     My thanks for your efforts and guidance at developing, promoting, and disseminating safe and effective pitching habits.


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     No matter how baseball pitchers grip and release change-ups, they are ten mile per hour slower straight pitches, which, when batters correctly anticipate them, are very easy to hit very hard.   When I want my pitchers to throw ten mile per hour slower pitches, I tell them to throw my Maxline Fastball Sinker and Torque Fastball Slider.   With my ten mile per hour slower pitches, my pitcher still accelerate their pitching arm at maximum fastball velocity, which makes it difficult for batters to recognize the change in velocity, and, in case they do, these pitches move, which makes it difficult for batters to hit.

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160.   My 17 year old son is a 6 foot four lefty who pitches for his HS team.   He has some discomfort in his back left shoulder when he throws hard and I suspect it's from the recoil.   He is seeing a Dr. today.   Should he be working with a trainer to build muscle in the back of his shoulder?   One interesting aside, it doesn't hurt when he throws a football.

     Are you the same Mike Marshall who had the nasty screwball with LA?


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     Discomfort in the back of the pitching shoulder indicates a deceleration problem.   That is, after he releases his pitches, he is incorrectly decelerating his pitching arm.   With the extreme pitching forearm flyout of the 'traditional' pitching motion, the pitching arm of 'traditional' baseball pitchers moves across the front of their body and downward.   As a result, they only have the same Teres Minor muscle in position to decelerate their pitching arm.

     He needs to stop using the 'traditional' pitching motion.

     Footballs weigh three pounds.   Baseballs weight five and one-quarter ounces.   Athletes cannot accelerate footballs to the same release velocity as they can accelerate baseballs.   As a result, they do not have to decelerate their throwing arm from the same release velocity.

     In my Academic Credentials and the Professional Baseball Credentials files on my website, you can learn of my academic and professional baseball careers.

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161.   I am a 25 year old guy from the UK and I have recently become interested in playing baseball and especially pitching.   I have been trying to teach myself how to pitch, but I am not sure if my mechanics are correct and if not, what needs work.   Is there any way that I could email you a video clip on me pitching so that you could give me some advice?   If so how much would this cost?

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     Are you trying to learn my pitching motion?   Have you purchased my 2004 Baseball Pitching Instructional Video?   If you answered yes to these questions and take the video as per my instructions, I might consider your request.

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162.   I have coached youth baseball for 20+ years and am beginning to work with my son (league age 11) on pitching fundamentals and mechanics.    I have really only allowed him very limited pitching opportunities.    He is small, but very strong and a hard thrower, but I prefer to delay his pitching days as long as possible or until he develops a bit more.

     I have a difference of opinion with my son’s Little League coaches.    I am of the opinion that in order to develop command and control, proper release point and muscle memory that it is best to work out at a shorter distance than the Little League 46 feet.    It seems to me that it is a mind and body connection which determines control and that is best to sharpen those skills at a distance that is comfortably within his abilities.    It also allows him to focus mainly on mechanics and still be able to throw strikes with ease.    You develop muscle memory and work your way out to greater distances taking with you what you have learned.

     His coaches think that their pitchers should work from 50-52 feet in workouts on the theory that throwing from that distance is so taxing that it will seem easier when they move up to the regulation distance.    To my thinking you don’t practice basketball jump shots from half court when beginning just because it will be easier when you move closer.    I fail to see how you can develop finesse from so far away in both instances.    By extension why not learn to pitch from second base?    The flight of the ball, the release point and the muscle memory are nothing like pitching.    What can be learned by struggling and maybe throwing a strike once and a while?    The strikes will be accidental and not intentional.


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     Until youth baseball pitchers master the drills that I include in my First, Second, Third and Fourth Youth Baseball Pitchers Motor Skill Acquisition Programs, I recommend that they do not throw to catchers.   After that, I recommend that youth baseball pitchers throw baseballs for only two consecutive months per year, wait until they are biologically thirteen years old before they pitch in competitive baseball games against opposing team members and pitch only one inning per game twice a week.

     Now, what was your question?   Oh yes, from how far from the batter should biological eleven year old baseball pitchers, whose ossification center for their olecranon process just appeared, pitch to batters in competitive games?   My answer; they shouldn’t from any distance.

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163.   You are not behind where you should be in getting your material out to the public.   The last time I checked, you were one man in a small town in Florida.   Your example inspires me and I wish to help in any way I can.   I think best when I see the big picture.   Simply know that there are people out here who care deeply about you and what you are working on.

     I am working diligently to understand everything (no exaggeration) you have written right down to the anatomical, kinetic, physiological details, because I thrive on teaching young men.    Baseball, in my opinion, provides the finest laboratory in the world for teaching lessons about life.   Your pitching mechanic provides an incredible opportunity to add lessons about anatomy, physics, kinetics and the list goes on.

     You know, as a highly skilled teacher, that pedagogy is never complete because there is always more for the teacher to learn.   During my lefty's 120-day program this fall, I concluded that we were going through too many stages of drills.   You have now condensed the program to five essentials.   As if my feedback really matters, I can affirm that I think you are correct.   From this point your program design will continue to evolve, yet it is time to say "I have perfected this to a point where I can 'market' it."   You have gone far beyond Research &Development. Perfect?   No, you still need displacement data.   Acceptable?   Better than anything else out there.

     Using your 2004 video, your previously published materials, your ongoing (now voluminous) e-mail support (and of course two trips to Florida), I have been able to teach my lefty enough to get off the ground.   By the end of spring season, he will be far and away the best pitcher in our high school program.   He is almost there now, two weeks into spring ball.   My point is that, with the updated materials you wrote about above, I can teach more effectively AND have all the resources I need to present your program locally.   You are very, very close to being in a position to blow the lid off of this business of pitching injuries.   I can't wait!   It's going to take someone courageous in media to help.


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     Every year, after I work with a new group, I feel totally prepared to make the adjustments that they taught me and teach the next group perfectly.   I feel that way today.   However, history has taught me that the next group will teach me how to better teach the next group.   Nevertheless, I am strongly confident that I have designed the best drills possible to teach the essentials of my pitching motion and, as a result, every pitcher I train will become the best pitcher that they can be.

     I also feel very confident that I will put together my best Baseball Pitcher Instructional video.   I have started the process. The first thing that I have to get is videotape of my present group perfectly performing the five drills with wrist weights, iron balls, footballs and baseballs.   Unfortunately, they will not all be perfect.   That is the problem with a theoretical pitching motion.

     Your son told me how reluctant the high school coach was to use your pitcher.   That he put him in a game against a powerful opponent only after what he thought was his best pitcher got bombed.   Then, despite the fact that the other team had a huge lead and, thereby, felt very confident, your young man shut them down with six strikeouts in four innings and no baseballs hit hard and his team rallied to win.

     He also told me of how, when the opposition tried to steal, the catcher got rid of the baseball so quickly that the middle infielders could not get to the base in time to catch his throws.   And, how, when the base runner got his normal lead off second base, from my Wind-Up Set Position, your pitcher quickly turned to face him and, when the base runner saw that the normal second base lead was too long, your pitcher ran at him and tagged him out.

     I want to congratulate your pitcher for being the first baseball pitcher to use my Wind-Up Set Position body action with base runners.   When others realize that baseball pitchers can use the same pitching motion with nobody on base and with base runners, they will discard the ineffective, archaic set position.

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164.   My son is a college sophomore catcher.    I am trying to help him.   He has, according to his trainer, an impinged nerve in his arm/shoulder area.    Trainer states it is from overuse, he gave him Ibuprofen and rest.

     Our son was a very good catcher with very good pop-times.    His catching coach left last year and there is now not a coach with catching-specific skills.    My husband has noticed changes, but cannot pin-point exact mechanic problem.    I am wondering if you could point me in the right direction?


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     In their attempt to release their throws as quickly as possible, many catchers start their throwing elbow toward their throwing target with their throwing hand still in front of their throwing elbow.   As a result, when they start their throwing elbow toward their throwing target, their throwing hand has to move away from their throwing target.   Unfortunately, when the throwing hand jerks to a stop and starts moving toward their throwing target, the front of the throwing shoulder receives a considerable jolt.

     To stop this reverse throwing forearm bounce, like baseball pitchers only quicker, baseball catchers have to wait until they have their throwing hand behind their throwing elbow before they start their throwing elbow toward throwing target.   To accomplish this, instead of raising their throwing hand straight upward to close to their throwing-side ear, they should pendulum swing their throwing arm downward, backward and upward such that, when the baseball reaches driveline height, their throwing hand is above and behind their throwing elbow with their throwing palm facing upward.

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165.   You are recommending that my son stop using the traditional pitching motion.   I assume he should learn a different way to decelerate.   Is that something I can find on your website?   Is that in your videos?

     A professional baseball scout has worked with my son for a few years now and he recommends that he keep doing the "high" step over with the "pitching leg" during the follow-through.   Is that wrong?   Do you do any one day reviews of a pitching motion?   We could come to FL at some point.


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     The key to properly decelerating the pitching arm is to properly accelerate the pitching arm.   The 'traditional' pitching motion generates considerable centripetal force that slings the pitching forearm laterally away from the body.   After the pitching arm flys laterally away from the body, it comes medially across the front of the body.   As a result, pitchers not only waste force redirecting the baseball toward home plate, but they also subject their pitching arm to unnecessary stress that destroys their pitching arm.

     Newton's law of inertia demands that baseball pitchers apply force toward home plate, not sideways.   When baseball pitchers apply force toward home plate, then to decelerate the pitching arm, they only have to apply force toward second base.   Like the muscles that we use when rowing boats, unlike the tiny Teres Minor muscle that has to decelerate the fly-away curvilinear pitching arm, these muscles are very powerful.

     In the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion, when their pitchers release their pitches, their pitching foot is within inches of the pitching rubber.   Thereafter, what they do with their pitching foot has no effect on how they threw their pitches.   I suppose that the Radio City Music Hall Rockettes could use people who raise their pitching foot really high as they step forward, but, for baseball pitchers, it indicates that they bent forward at their waist and, rather than pointing toward home plate, they released the baseball with their acromial line perpendicular to the driveline.   As a result, they not only introduce a vertical curvilinear aspect to their driveline, but they also shorten their driveline.

     I could not disagree with this professional baseball scout more.

     If you come to Florida, it should be to see what your son needs to do.   I already know what he does.

     He takes the baseball backward with his pitching palm facing downward with his pitching forearm horizontal.   When his pitching elbow raises to shoulder height, his pitching hand is well below and his pitching palm still faces downward.   He points his glove arm half-way down the first base line.   When his glove foot contacts the ground, he is in the middle of turning his pitching forearm over from the palm down position to the palm up position when he starts his pitching elbow toward home plate.   From here on, he struggles to get his pitching arm to catch up with his body.   As a result, rather than driving behind his pitching arm with his pitching shoulder, he has to pull his pitching arm forward.   Therefore, he generates so much centripetal force, that his pitching forearm quickly moves laterally away from his body.   Lastly, after he releases his pitches, the ongoing centripetal force swings his pitching arm all the way across the front of his body that he actually slaps himself in the back.

     If he continues to throw this way, he will not only never become the best pitcher that he can be, but he will also destroy his pitching arm.

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166.   We cannot thank you enough for your kind and timely response.    My husband read your e-mail and physically worked out the mechanic as written.    He feels strongly you are exactly right and will work with our son from your suggestion.

       My "mother's heart" is so incredibly grateful, thank you.    We would feel honored to contribute a donation to the upkeep of your web-site and also would be interested in purchasing any catcher specific DVD or printed materials.

     Also, if you have additional suggestion on the care and recovery of an impinged nerve we will implement as possible.


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     I invite all position players to complete my 315-Day Adult Baseball Pitchers Interval-Training Program.   All they have to do is double the number of repetitions that I recommend for my Maxline and Torque Fastballs and do not practice any of my non-fastball pitches.

     This training program is free on my website to download as is my Coaching Baseball Pitchers book, which, in Chapters Thirty-Six and Thirty-Seven, explains how to perform my training drills and my throwing motion.   I do offer my 2004 Baseball Pitching Instructional video.   To learn how to obtain my video, please click on 2004 Baseball Pitching Instructional video on the home page of my website.

     You did not give me symptoms that support a diagnosis of an impinged Ulnar Nerve.   That occurs in the elbow.   While all nerves that serve the arm do pass through the axillary area of the shoulder, I have never heard of throwing causing any of them any problem.

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167.   I have a 17 year old son who pitches.   What are the best methods/exercises to help him increase his velocity?

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     Biological seventeen year old baseball pitchers should complete my 120-Day High School Baseball Pitchers Interval-Training Program.   If you click on Pitcher Training Programs on the home page of my website, you can read and download a copy for free.   If you click on FREE BOOK!!! on the home page of my website, you can read and download Chapters Thirty-Six and Thirty-Seven of my Coaching Baseball Pitchers book for free.   If you click on 2004 Baseball Pitching Instructional video on the home page of my website, you can learn how to obtain your copy.

     These materials contain the best methods and exercise that will help your son to increase this release velocity and your son will not destroy his pitching arm.

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168.   My 13 year old son is a catcher and also plays Water Polo.   I was wondering if you have ever studied the water polo throwing technique?   The motion seems quite similar to the throwing motion you teach.   Water polo players are told to reach back with a relatively long straight arm.   They are told not to bend the elbow too much, like a "Traditional" baseball throw, because the water polo ball is much heavier and will put to much strain on the elbow joint.   Because the players are chest deep in water, their throwing hand projects straight at the target and slaps the surface of the water.   There is no chance for the throwing arm to diagonally cross in front of the body.

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     The water not only prevents athletes from pulling their throwing arm downward after release, it prevents the pendulum swing glove and pitching arm action of my Transition Phase.   I would say that water polo players should learn my Slingshot glove and pitching arm actions for my Maxline and Torque Fastballs.   With perfect straight line drive, they should never touch the water with their non-throwing or throwing arms.

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169.   Some scouts think that a bigger pitcher is less likely to get injured than one who is smaller.   Is there any basis of fact to this?

     By the way your questioning as to whether Mr. Prior was from Smallville was a classic.   That response made my day.


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     You are asking a five foot eight and one-half inch Cy Young Award winner, who holds all the durability records for major league closers, whether bigger pitchers are less likely than smaller pitchers to injure themselves while pitching baseballs?

     The 'traditional' pitching motion causes pitching injuries, not the size of the pitchers.

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170.   Below you will find a web link where a pitching coach wannabe cites you as an expert (alongside Tom House, ASMI, etc.), takes you out of context, and again proves that he has no idea what he is talking about.   This individual is obviously interested in making a buck from damaged pitching arms.

http://www.baseballfit.com/baseball-overload-training.htm

OVERLOAD/UNDERLOAD TRAINING: HOW IT WORKS AND WHY BALL PLAYERS SHOULD USE THIS TRAINING METHOD

By Steven C. Zawrotny, MS, CSCS

     There are some, particularly online, who continue to spread incorrect and misleading information about weighted ball training.   Our discussion here will deal with Overload/Underload (OU) training in general, and its application to baseball and softball in particular.


(Who continues to spread incorrect and misleading information about weighted ball training and what do they say that is incorrect and misleading? Every Physiology of Exercise text book explains the virtues of the Overload Principle.)

1.   OU Training Defined
2.   A Brief History of OU Research and Training
3.   Other Sports That Use OU Training
4.   The Benefits of OU Training
5.   Other Baseball Experts Who Are Proponents of OU Training

OU TRAINING DEFINED

     Athletes use weight-modified implements that are otherwise identical to those used during competition.   The weights of these modified tools weigh both more and less than the standard competitive weight.


(Gee, I never would have guessed that overload means that athletes use implements that weigh more than competitive weight and that underload means that athletes use implements that weight less than competitive weight.)

     Such tools allow athletes to train more precisely for their sport.   Sport-specific strength and power are developed by movements with resistance or assistance that imitates the joint action of the skill - SPECIFIC RESISTANCE TRAINING.   What makes this type of training so effective is that the weights of the modified tools used are heavy enough to produce a conditioning effect, yet light enough to not adversely affect the athlete's mechanical skills.


(While every Physiology of Exercise text book explains the virtues of Specificity of Training, I do not recall that they said heavy enough to produce a conditioning effect, yet light enough to not adversely affect the athlete's mechanical skills.   In fact, the heavier the weight the less likely athletes are to use improper force application techniques.   For example, when my baseball pitchers throw my twelve pound iron balls, they cannot have late pitching forearm turnover, reverse pitching forearm bounce and pitching forearm flyout.)

     Generally, OU Training is employed to increase an athlete's POWER.   Power is defined as the rate at which one can perform work, or the ability to exert muscle force quickly.   This ability is related to, but distinct from strength, which is defined as the ability to exert muscle force.   As an example, strength is demonstrated as the ability to pick up a 30 oz. bat.   Power is demonstrated by the ability to drive a baseball 400+ feet while swinging that 30 oz. bat.


(Researchers measure strength by determining the maximum amount of weight that athletes can move through a specific range of motion.   When researchers find two athletes with the same strength, they measure their power by determining the time that these athletes require to move that maximum weight through that range of motion.   The athlete capable of moving that weight through that specific range of motion in the shortest time is more powerful.   How far they hit baseballs is interesting, but not scientific.)

     As long as the tools used are not too heavy, mechanics are not affected, making OU Training what I call "skill-neutral."   According to published data (see below) the ideal weight range for conditioning and performance enhancement is up to 20% +/- the weight of the competitive implement.   I do NOT recommend using baseballs weighing more than 6 oz., or softballs heavier than 8 oz.


(With this requirement, twenty percent of five ounces is one ounce.   So, this means that baseball pitchers should not throw baseballs that weight more than six ounces to overload or less than four ounces to underload.   I thought that the overloaded baseballs weighed eight, ten and twelve ounces.   I suppose that, when I have my baseball pitchers throw twelve pound iron balls, I must destroy their pitching arms.   Since, when I trained for my fourteen year major league baseball pitching career, I trained with a sixteen pound iron ball, I must have completely destroyed my pitching arm.)

     There is some data that indicates using much heavier balls can negatively affect throwing mechanics, possibly leading to arm problems.   Extra motor-units are recruited while throwing these heavy balls that are then not used when the regular competitive ball is used.   As relates to our discussion here, the modified implements ball players can use are weighted baseballs and softballs, and various weights of baseball/softball bats, and/or devices attached to these bats.


(As I said earlier, contrary to this claim, rather than negatively affecting throwing mechanics, very heavy balls prevent improper force application techniques.)

     Conversely, this type of training would not be useful for training other athletic skill areas, for example, shooting or throwing accuracy.   OU training could help a golfer drive their tee shots further, but it wouldn't help eliminate their slice if they have one, or otherwise help them to hit straighter drives.   OU training could help a young basketball player who is having trouble hoisting a basketball high enough to make a shot in a 10 foot hoop, but the shot still has to be accurate enough to go in.   Accuracy training needed for a specific skill would therefore be performed apart from power work.


(This is the old argument about should athletes train for accuracy or power.   The answer is that if athletes ever want to compete at the highest levels, then they will have to perform at their highest power with accuracy.   Unless athletes train at their highest power, they will never perform at their highest power with accuracy.)

     If I was working with a pitcher who had control problems, I would not break out the weighted baseballs and expect training of this type to help him throw strikes.   I would look at his mechanics and make any needed adjustments, and possibly suggest some drill work to help reinforce the new concepts being taught.   Such a player might also be working with weighted baseballs/softballs as part of their overall training regimen, but this would occur at a different time, and for the purposes of developing more power and speed behind his/her throws as well as conditioning the throwing structures of the arm.


(I want to see X-ray evidence that eight, ten and twelve ounce baseballs stimulate increases bone density.   I have X-ray evidence that my ten, fifteen, twenty and twenty-five pound wrist weight exercises and six, eight, ten and twelve pound iron ball throws do increase bone density.)

     A potential side-benefit of OU training is that a player could improve their accuracy by virtue of the increased number of reps or throws they are performing.   This would be an artifact of the main goal of improving power, however, and not the main purpose of OU training.


(When baseball pitchers increase their number of throws with weighted baseballs, they only increase the unnecessary stress that their 'traditional' pitching motion places on the pitching arm.)

A BRIEF HISTORY OF OU RESEARCH AND TRAINING

     The first research done with OU training was performed in the 1970s by the Soviet Union and East-European track and field teams.   A great deal of this research has been published in prestigious, peer-reviewed journals around the world.   Shot-putters, javelin, discus and hammer throwers, and sprinters were the early adopters of this training method.


(Nonsense.   Coaches have used overload training for over a century.   This gentleman should try reading Physiology of Exercise text books.   They have bibliographies that show that the training world did not start in the 1970s.)

     Research with baseball players dates back to the 1960s.   This is just a sampling of studies involving OU Training and baseball.   There are dozens more relating to OU Training generally:

1)   Coop DeRenne, Kwok W. Ho and James C. Murphy. 2001:   Effects of General, Special, and Specific Resistance Training on Throwing Velocity in Baseball: A Brief Review.   The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research: Vol. 15, No. 1, pp. 148–156.


(Kwok W. Ho received his doctoral training at Michigan State University near the end of my nine year doctoral program.   By the way, I was not slow, I simply had another job that permitted me to take far more coursework and conduct more research than typical doctoral candidates.   Oh yeah, the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research is not a refereed journal.   As a result, whatever they print is without scientific meaning or merit.)

2)   Escamilla et al. 2000:   Sports Med Apr; 29 (4): 259-272


(To my knowledge, the Journal of Sports Medicine is also not a refereed journal.)

3)   David J. Szymanski, MEd, CSCS, June 1998:   The Effects of Various Weighted Bats on Bat Velocity - A Literature Review.   Strength and Conditioning, pp. 8 - 11

4)   Coop DeRenne, Barton P. Buxton, Ronald K. Hetzler and Kwok W. Ho. 1995:   Effects of Weighted Bat Implement Training on Bat Swing Velocity.   The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research: Vol. 9, No. 4, pp. 247–250.

5)   Coop DeRenne, Barton P. Buxton, Ronald K. Hetzler and Kwok W. Ho. 1994:   Effects of Under- and Overweighted Implement Training on Pitching Velocity.   The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research: Vol. 8, No. 4, pp. 247–250.

6)   Coop DeRenne, Kwok Ho and Alan Blitzblau. 1990:   Effects of Weighted Implement Training on Throwing Velocity.   The Journal of Applied Sport Science Research, 4, 16-19.


(I see where Dr. Ho is busy with junk science.   To my knowledge, the Journal of Applied Sport Science Research is not refereed.)

7)   DeRenne, C., Tracy, R., and Dunn-Rankin, P. 1985:   Increasing Throwing velocity. Athletic Journal, April, 36 - 39.


(The Athletic Journal is also not refereed.)

8)   Bagonzi, J. A. 1978:   The Effects of Graded Weighted Baseballs, Free Weight Training, and Simulative Isometric Exercise on the Velocity of a Thrown Baseball.   Master's thesis, Indiana University.


(I would like to referee this Master's thesis.   I doubt that Mr. Bagonzi sufficiently controlled confounding variables, such as force application techniques.)

9)   Litwhiler, D., and Hamm, L. 1973:   Overload: Effect on Throwing Velocity and Accuracy.   Athletic Journal, 53, 64-65.


(During my eleven year graduate studies at Michigan State University, Danny Litwhiler was the head baseball coach.   He is a really nice guy.   But, he does not know scientific methodology.)

10)   Brose, D.E., and D.L. Hanson 1967:   Effects of Overload Training on Velocity and Accuracy of Throwing.   Research Quarterly. 38:528-533.


(The Research Quarterly is also not refereed.   And, to my knowledge, Dr. Hanson earned his doctoral degree at Michigan State University.)

11)   Elias, J. 1964.   The Effect of Overload Training on Speed in Baseball Pitching.   Unpublished Master's thesis, Springfield College, Springfield, Massachusetts.


(Sometime in the early 1960s, I caught John Elias and Mickey Sinks, two baseball pitchers from Michigan State in a Jenison Fieldhouse dance room trying to measure baseball velocity with a string attached to a baseball on one end and a timer on the other end.   I do not believe that they secured reliable data.   A few years later, I met John again.   When I pitched for the Expos, he worked the scoreboard at Park Jarry in Montreal.)

12)   Egstrom, G.H., Logan, G.A., and E. L. Wallis 1960:   Acquisition of Throwing skill Involving Projectiles of varying Weight.   Research Quarterly 31:420-425.

OTHER SPORTS THAT USE OU TRAINING

     Over and underloaded implements and techniques are used very effectively by athletes in many sports to augment performance:

     Track & Field:   heavier and lighter discuses, javelins, shot balls (shot putters) and hammers; sprinting with resistance, such as pulling weighted sleds, wearing weighted vests, and downhill running on a slight downward slope, being towed while running, and running on a high speed treadmill (overSPEED training).

     Swimming: wearing swimming gloves that allow for more water to be pulled during an arm stroke; swimming while dragging an implement or otherwise artificially producing drag on a swimmer.

     Heavier footballs (over the standard 15 oz) are thrown by quarterbacks; heavier basketballs are used by basketball players.   Boxers train with different weights of boxing gloves.

     Note that ALL of these training implements are used to improve POWER and/or SPEED through the joint range-of-motion (ROM) in the activity being trained, which can lead to enhanced performance.

THE BENEFITS OF OU TRAINING

Benefit #1

     Appropriate strength and conditioning regimens, such as OU Training, can reduce and even prevent arm injuries related to throwing by increasing STRENGTH/ENDURANCE.   Strength helps prevent injury.   Endurance helps maintain throwing velocity, allows for more pitches to be thrown.


(Proper force application technique prevents injury.   Aerobic training increases endurance.   Increased endurance requires increase capillarization and substrate storage in the baseball pitching muscle fibers.)

     The muscles, tendons, ligaments and bones (even nerves) of the shoulder and arm in general will positively adapt to an appropriate increase in training load.   They become tougher and more able to handle greater workloads.   Such training must conform to the following two guidelines:

         1)   The training load is sufficient to produce the desired training effect, yet not so great as to negatively impact throwing (or hitting) mechanics.


(As I said before, the training load must be sufficient to stimulate increases in bone density and require proper force application techniques.   I estimate that means at least an eighteen hundred percent increase, not the twenty percent that this author believes.)

         2)   The thrower's program introduces OU training gradually and systematically, employing a training principle known as Progressive Overload (Clarkson & Watson, 1990).   This principle states that "strength and endurance cannot be increased unless the muscles are stressed beyond their normal workload.   To increase the workload, increase the frequency, duration and intensity of your exercise program."

     To effectively and safely increase throwing velocity, intensity is increased by using 20% +/- OU balls, duration is increased by gradually increasing the number of OU throws performed with each workout, and frequency is increased by the number of days of throwing workouts.   Arm/shoulder structures trained in this manner are more capable of handling the regular competitive game requirements, which are less than those imposed by the OU conditioning.   An arm conditioned for making numerous throws with a 6 oz ball will more than likely out-perform an arm trained only to perform under a 5 oz. load (ability, mechanics and over-use considerations aside).

     Dr. Mike Marshall, in his Pitching Book (Chapter 32, pp. 5 & 6), describes a concept he calls "Plioanglos Training" as a means of training the external rotator cuff muscles (decelerators).   This is similar to the ideas expressed above:

     "Plioanglos training means adding resistance to forward ballistically speeding pitching arms to increase capacities of lengthening deceleration muscles to stop."


(This is a precise quote from my Coaching Baseball Pitchers book.   However, it is not similar to the ideas expressed above.   I do not recall where anybody explained how the decelerator muscles are more important than the accelerator muscles.   Certainly, weighted baseballs do not train the decelerator muscles.)

     Perhaps this is best summed up by way of the well-known conditioning principle S.A.I.D. - Specific Adaptation to Imposed Demands (Wallis and Logan, 1964).   This principle states that the body will adapt to stress imposed on it (as long as it is not excessive, in which case the body breaks down).   One safe and effective way of doing this is with OU Training, employing the aforementioned guidelines.


(Gee, someone decided that the concept of Specificity of Training needed a new acronym, SAID.   It is clever, but unnecessary.)

Benefit #2

     Improved on-field performance - increased throwing velocity (or bat speed).

     Increased arm speed throughout the throwing Range of Motion (ROM).   This attribute is developed by throwing a ball weighing 20% less than the competitive ball.   Because the ball weighs less, the arm moves more quickly through its ROM, leading to increased throwing velocity.   Throwing lighter balls has been shown to be one of the best means of increasing throwing velocity.   Swinging appropriately lighter bats helps develop increased bat speed.   This is also known as overSPEED training.


(As I said before, I doubt the researchers understand how to control confounding variables.   I seriously doubt that throwing four ounce baseballs improves anything.)

Benefit #3

     Enhanced neuromuscular conditioning.

     According to Vern Gambetta, Strength and Conditioning Coach for the Chicago White Sox, the primary source of fatigue in baseball pitching is not metabolic, but neural.   The metabolic demands - conditioning - are just not that great in baseball or softball.   Don't misunderstand - I'm speaking here of the skills required to be a good hitter or pitcher.   Being well conditioned is still important, as this will help prevent injury, but no doubt you've seen players like John Kruk, David Wells and others.   High level performers who are not very well conditioned.


(Are we talking about the renowned Strength and Conditioning coach for the Chicago White Sox?   How did he determine that baseball pitching fatigue was neural, not metabolic?   Did he measure acetylcholine levels at the motor end plates?   Mr. Kruk and Mr. Wells may not appear physically fit, but the measure of fitness for any activity is the ability to perform their activity well.   With that evaluative method, they were very well conditioned.)

     Neural fatigue occurs at the motor-unit level.   In the act of pitching, for example, the Central Nervous System sends a nerve impulse to a motor unit (MU) in the shoulder involved in this process.   The ability of these MUs to transmit these signals, with optimal frequency and speed, diminishes over time.   This "breakdown" occurs at the nerve synapse/biochemical level, which THEN leads to slower and weaker muscle contractions.


(Did he measure at what point during baseball pitching when muscle cells no longer can resynthesize sufficient adenosine tri-phosphate molecules to attach to every myosin cross-bridge?)

     In baseball pitching, throwing muscles and tendons in the shoulder are stretching and contracting repeatedly while accelerating and decelerating the arm during an overhand throw - constant biochemical activity at the neuromuscular junction.   As neural fatigue sets in, it becomes manifest in mechanical problems.   For example, a pitcher dropping their shoulder later in the game, leading to a loss of control or velocity.   The tough thing is, this "fatigue" is usually not felt by the pitcher, but it occurs nevertheless.

     This is where proper conditioning (OU Training) comes in.   Research has shown that neurons adapt to stress much like muscles do.   Motor neurons exposed to high-frequency impulses end up with more developed neuromuscular junctions which appear more capable of handling high-intensity impulses better than those not exposed to similar stress.   The S.A.I.D. principle in effect again.

     Does this mean OU Training is fool proof, and has never harmed a player?   Of course not.   Most any type of conditioning, performed incorrectly, can cause problems or injury.   Throwing itself, be it footballs, baseballs, rocks or whatever, has harmed many a throwing arm.   Running is the cause of many knee and ankle injuries.   Shoulder problems amongst swimmers are common.   Ice skaters often suffer from some very painful leg ailments.   I could go on, but you get the point.   All of these injuries and problems occur as a part of the athlete's regular practice and competitive activities.   Performing them properly minimizes the risk, of course.   So does a variety of strength and conditioning methods, including OU Training.

OTHER BASEBALL EXPERTS WHO ARE PROPONENTS OF OU TRAINING

Dr. John Bagonzi.   Former pitcher with the Red Sox.   Known as the "Pitching Professor" and author of the highly regarded book, "The Act of Pitching."

Dr. Tom House.   Former pitcher with the Rangers.   Author/co-author of several books, including "The Winning Pitcher" and "Power Baseball."   Personal pitching coach to Nolan Ryan, Randy Johnson, Mark Prior, and others.

Dr. Mike Marshall.   Former Cy Young Award winner with the Dodgers.   Author of the book, "Coaching Pitchers" and the pitching training DVD, "Dr. Mike Marshall's Pitching Instructional Video."


(I do not recommend underload training for baseball pitching.)

Dr. Coop DeRenne.   Former professional player, instructor and consultant to the Chicago White Sox and Texas Rangers.   Probably this country's leading baseball researcher, supervising 16 hitting and pitching warm-up, biomechanical, and visual research projects using over 600 amateur and professional hitters and pitchers as his subjects.   Co-author (with Tom House) of the book, "Power Baseball" and other baseball training books.

ASMI - The American Sports Medicine Institute

     All of these experts possess impeccable credentials and favor some type of weighted ball training.


(In my opinion, this is unsupported garbage.)

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171.   I wonder why MLB, still in spring training, has almost 60 pitchers on the injury list?   Last time I checked, there were 37 shoulder and elbow injuries; some season ending.   If these injuries occur simply because of mechanical breakdown then these major league pitchers are out-of-shape, inept athletes.   On the other hand, if these injuries occur because the mechanical design for throwing pitches is flawed, their coaches are indeed negligent.   Gee, I wonder where the truth lies.

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     We know that the pitchers on the Major League Baseball injured list are all 'traditional' pitchers.   How they apply force is the cause.   Their force application technique is so destructive that they do not dare train during the off-season and their in-season pitch counts compound the problem in a never-ending downward rest-atrophy, then competitive pitching injury spiral.

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172.   Please check out the attached paper.

     Also, I find your writing very fascinating.   I am a writer myself (business books).   But I also find it tough to read because your are writing on a very technical and complex subject.   For example, when I read this " After release, my forearm continues to pronate until my palm faces outward."   I have to think about that because it sounds to me like "turning over the ball", the opposite of a "cut" fastball, more like the way Bill Lee or Bill Campbell threw the ball (or the way Mike Marshall threw the ball?).

     Why don't you come out with a book beyond the web based one.   I know what you told me, you are a Perfectionist, like so many inventors and innovators, but there must be some message that you can get out there.

     I have four children and I have gone through the little league thing, AAU etc.   So many idiots are coaching teams and telling pitchers all the wrong stuff.   Even if you could get across issues like why young guys should be pitching only a few innings, how to take care of the arm, how Dads and coaches should learn about pitching etc. etc.   You would be doing a great service and get some money for it.   You got some content, some great knowledge, and some really great stories (i.e., Gene Mauch stuff, Koufax etc.).   Mike, get something out there for the common Joe to read.

     Finally, if I can't change my son's motion from the "traditional" one to what you recommend, what's the next best strategy?   (I know that questions is probably going to make you crazy).   Would a good trainer help the kid to build the right muscle and exercise right to help minimize his risk of injury?


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     I read Mr. Magnusson's report.   Unfortunately, he relies on research from Dr. Andrews, Dr. Fleisig, Dr. Jobe and others.   They only report what 'traditional' baseball pitchers do, not what baseball pitchers should do.

     Pitchers should pronate their pitching forearm with the release of all pitches, not just my Maxline Fastball Sinker and Maxline True Screwball.

     As soon as I complete my 2005 Baseball Pitching Instructional Video, I will get to work on editing my Coaching Baseball Pitchers book.   I wonder whether some publication would be interested in some of my questions/answers.

     You have to become your son's baseball pitching coach.   You have to teach him my pitching motion.

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173.   I have been an avid student of your site and tapes and really enjoy discussing your technique with other baseball parents.    With the great scientific evidence you provide, I believe your technique will be found to be safe and effective.

     My son recently hurt his arm above the elbow in wrestling when a heavyweight landed on it while he had his arm bent.    He was X-rayed at the hospital and told to go in a sling because it was broken.    At a follow-up visit with a specialist, it was determined that the elbow was not broken, but the open space was part of his normal development.

     Yes, I could've made that diagnosis since it mimicked the X-rays on your DVD.    Anyway, those X-rays show a chronological 16 year old, (just turned 16) with physiological development quite close to that 14 year old picture, definitely not the 15 year old picture.

     Last week, the school held the baseball tryouts for the sophomore baseball team.    He is 5 foot 6 inches tall and weighs 125 lbs.    He can hit very well, a good infielder and a catcher.    He did not even try to pitch as he lacks velocity compared to the bigger kids.    Coach told him he has outstanding accuracy in his throwing, great with the glove, but not fast with his arm or foot speed.    They chose only 16 out of 35, so the cuts have to come somewhere.

     He loves to play baseball and wants to make the team next year.   Realistically, we think his only chance is to pitch.    However, according to your recommendations, he is not skeletally old enough to begin your program.

     Do you have any rules of thumb or research comparing velocity for 16 year olds versus 14 or 15 year olds?    How often would you X-ray to see if he has reached 16 year old status?    Do you have any other words of wisdom for a delayed maturer with a great attitude?


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     When a chronological sixteen year old is a biological fifteen year old, he adds an extra year to his growth spurt.   Until the bones in the pitching arm are completely mature, youth pitchers cannot achieve their maximum release velocity.   I recommend that parents X-ray both arms their youth pitchers from mid-forearm to mid-upper arm from the front and side every year within one week of their birthday and compare their growth plate development.

     At biological fourteen or fifteen years old, your son should complete my First, Second, Third and Fourth Youth Baseball Pitchers Motor Skill Acquisition Programs.   When he masters the skill of the First, he should start the Second.   When he masters the skill of the Second, he should start the Third.   When he masters the skill of the Third, he should start the Fourth.

     My words of wisdom for delayed maturers with great attitude is that, because they never stopped mastering their skills, when a delayed growth spurt kicked in, many delayed maturers with great attitude became outstanding athletes.

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174.   My son is an outfielder not a pitcher.   He has a strong arm and will be playing on scholarship at a Div I school next year.   Is your program beneficial for position players that want to increase there arm strength and avoid injury?

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     I strongly recommend that position players complete my 120-Day High School Baseball Pitchers Interval-Training Program, but, instead of learning how to throw my non-fastball pitches, they should simply double the number of repetitions of my fastballs.

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175.   My son has had pain in his arm for 9 months from baseball pitching.   It started last July in the elbow.   He had an MRI of the elbow which showed no problem so the doctor determined it was tendonitis.   He had 3 months of physical therapy after last year's baseball season (yes, he did continue to pitch with the pain).

     He is 16 years old and plays high school and AAU baseball.   We went to two other doctors for second opinions after the first doctor.   The second doctor agreed with the first diagnosis and after the pain persisted into January said he would try one cortisone shot.   The shot did help the elbow, but now he has pain from the back of the shoulder down the back of his arm.   This is a fairly new pain.   We went to a third doctor this week, and this doctor said he has microinstability, which he said is common in baseball pitchers.   He did have an MRI of the shoulder as well, and the MRI indicated there may be a slight fraying of the labrum.   All three doctors did not think another MRI was necessary.

     Any suggestions what else we should do?   He is back in physical therapy for the shoulder.   Tomorrow, I plan to call the second local doctor for an office visit, and I will request another MRI.


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     It is time to stop with the doctors and the MRIs.   Cortisone shots soften bone tissue, they will not fix the problem.   Doctors treat the symptoms, not the cause.   You have your son in the downward spiral of pitching, pain, doctor visit, rest/atrophy, improper rehabilitation, pitching, more pain, doctor visit, rest/atrophy, improper rehabilitation and so on and so on.

     To break this cycle, he has to stop pitching, learn how to properly apply force to his pitches and properly train his pitching arm to withstand the appropriate stress of baseball pitching.   The 'traditional' pitching motion causes the pain that your son is suffering.

     Late pitching forearm turnover with its associated reverse pitching forearm bounce caused the pain on the inside of your son's pitching elbow.   Pitching forearm flyout with its associated pitching arm pull across the front of the body caused the pain in the back of his pitching shoulder.

     Your son needs to learn how to drive his pitches in a straight line toward home plate with powerful pitching forearm pronation releases.   Until he completes my 120-Day High School Baseball Pitchers Interval-Training Program where he should properly strengthen his pitching arm and master my pitching motion, he should not pitch competitively.

     To get your copy of my 120-Day Program, please go to the home page of my website and click on Pitcher Training Programs.   To read Chapter Thirty-Six, Dr. Marshall's Interval-Training Programs and Drills, please click on FREE BOOK!!!   To see how my pitchers perform my wrist weight, iron ball and baseball drills, please click on 2004 Baseball Pitching Instructional Videotape.   If you have any questions about how to do my 120-Day Program, please email me and I will talk you through the program.

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176.   I also failed to mention that my son is a lefty.

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     The 'traditional' pitching motion does not discriminate.   It eqyally destroy right and left-handed pitchers.

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177.   That is fine that you will not identify his name.   I was wondering if this author who calls himself, "the Coach," who wrote this was one.

     "Although Dr. Marshall lists every lecture title he has every given in his website, there is not one name of any player that has ever utilized his pitching metholdology to enjoy any success.   My exposure to Dr. Marshall's teaching is purely anticdotal.   I had a pitcher play for me in the fall of his SR. year.   He was 6'4" 235 RHP who could touch 90 and a prospect.   Unfortunately, he was very academically challenged (590 SAT) and was ineligible in the spring of his SR. year.   He played one year of JUCO before deciding that he would never pass college and headed off the Dr. Marshall's school of pitching.

     I saw him the next summer pitching in a college league.   He had the most bizarre pitching delivery I have ever seen.   He could no longer break 78.   He was shelled.   He never made it past the second inning.   His ERA must have been 30.00.   Half way through the season, he was only playing 1B.   His career as a pitcher was over!   The front and back of his shoulder felt great.   His stride knee was fine!   Only his NECK HURT FROM THE WHIPLASH HE HAD SUFFERED FROM TRYING TO WATCH THE SHOTS THAT WERE ROCKETED OFF HIM!"


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     I have no idea who wrote this.   He describes himself as a high school baseball coach.   I also have no idea which pitcher he was talking about.   I cannot think of anybody who has trained with me who comes close to fitting that description.   Until he identifies the pitcher, just to me, I cannot respond to his claim.

     However, I can respond to his statement that 'there is not one name of any player that has ever utilized his pitching methodology to enjoy any success.'   It reminds me of Joe McCarthy that, to make this false statement, he would use the fact that I will not invade the privacy of those with whom I work.   Many of the pitchers I have trained had succeeded beyond their wildest dreams.   And, no pitcher that I have trained has ever suffered a pitching arm injury.   Whether pitchers master the skills depends on their ability to learn motor skills and their commitment to do so.   I can only guide and cheer them on.

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178.   Now that baseball season is upon us I was reviewing your DVD set and had a couple of questions.

(1)   You stress the importance of pronating the hand/forearm to protect the elbow.   Why is that such a critical factor?   How does that work?

(2)   To review the upper body portion of your throwing motion (and I apologize for the simplification, but this is the way I visualize it.

     (a)   Pendulum swing a relaxed, straight arm to driveline height, palm is facing up, arm pointing towards 2nd base.

     (b)   Will the arm then fully flex, ball to ear, as the shoulders rotate 180 degrees?

     (c)   With the pitching arm shoulder rotating towards target, forearm extends and pronates.

     (d)   I normally finish pointing my hand at the target, but I noticed on your DVD, "Certification" chapter, that your student pitcher finishes after release with his hand driving toward the ground.   Not diagonally across his body, but not pointing at his target.


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     When 'traditional' baseball pitchers powerfully supinate their pitching forearm throughout the Acceleration Phase, they:

01.   sling their pitching forearm laterally away from their body, (which forces them to contract their elbow flexor muscles, eliminates the Triceps Brachii muscle from accelerating the baseball and enlarges the coronoid process of the Ulna bone, which decreases their elbow flexion range of motion.)

02.   slam their olecranon process into its fossa, (which causes loose pieces of hyaline cartilage and bone spurs or fractures the olecranon process, but, at the very least, decreases the elbow extension range of motion.)

03.   pull their pitching arm across the front of their body (which unnecessarily stresses the decelerator muscles on the back of the pitching shoulder and, because they are applying force along a curved pathway, decreases their force application and release consistency.) and

04.   cannot separate the pitching forearm arm action from the pitching upper arm action (which decreases the force application and release consistency).

     When baseball pitchers powerfully pronate their pitching forearm throughout the Acceleration Phase, they:

01.   do not sling their pitching forearm laterally away from their body, (which enables them to drive their pitches straight toward home plate, enables them to use their Triceps Brachii muscle to accelerating the baseball and does not decrease their elbow flexion range of motion.)

02.   do not slam their olecranon process into its fossa, (which protects their pitching elbow and its extension range of motion.)

03.   do not pull their pitching arm across the front of their body (which enables them to use bigger, more powerful muscles to decelerate their pitching arm and, because they are applying force along a much straighter pathway, increases their force application and release consistency.) and

04.   separate their pitching forearm arm action from the pitching upper arm action (which increases the force application and release consistency).

     Please try this simple experiment with me.   Stand straight up and reach both arms straight forward at shoulder height in front of you.   Leave your glove arm in this position and, like an archer, pull your pitching hand straight backward in a line close to your pitching ear.

     Now, reach as far behind your head as you can along that straight line.   From this position, I want you to compare what happens when you pull your glove hand straight backward and drive your pitching hand straight forward to full pitching elbow extension.

     Being very careful not to extend your pitching arm too powerfully, with your first pitching elbow extension, I want you to turn your pitching thumb upward.   Notice how you 'lock' your pitching elbow.   Can you imagine the damage that you would do if you did this action with your pitching elbow moving at ninety miles per hour?

     Now, as powerfully as you want, with your second pitching elbow extension, I want you to turn your pitching thumb downward.   Notice how you do not 'lock' your pitching elbow.   When they powerfully pronate the releases of all pitches, pitchers can safely accelerate their pitching arm as fast as their genetics enable.

     With regard to my Pendulum Swing glove and pitching arm actions, please read my latest revision of Chapters Thirty-Six and Thirty-Seven.   During the pitching arm's pendulum swing, I changed how I want pitchers to position their palm.   Because too many of my pitchers were turning their pitching palm outward too early, which causes them to lose the vertical swing of their pitching forearm, which generates backward horizontal centripetal force, which takes their pitching forearm laterally behind their body, which requires that they return their pitching hand to their pitching arm side before they can drive their pitches toward home plate, which causes a curved force application pathway, which decreases release velocity and consistency, I now recommend that pitchers start their pitching arm pendulum swing with their palm facing inward.

     Please try another simple experiment with me.   Stand straight up and reach both arms straight forward at shoulder height in front of you.   Leave your glove arm in this position and, with the palm of your pitching hand facing inward and with your acromial line perpendicular to the driveline to home plate, while you continue to stand straight up, slowly swing your pitching arm in a straight line from home plate to second base.

     At about forty-five degrees behind vertical, without either bending your body forward or rotating your body to your pitching arm side or turning your pitching palm to face outward, you will no longer be able to swing your pitching arm straight backward.   This is the moment when, to continue the pitching arm pendulum swing, I recommend that baseball pitchers lift their glove foot off the ground, reverse rotate their acromial line to point at second base and turn their pitching palm to face outward.

     To continue to prevent the introduction of any backward centripetal force, I recommend that pitchers continue their pitching arm pendulum swing to driveline height with their palm facing outward and reach as close to second base as they can.   I call this, my 'Ready' position.

     Without hesitating at my 'Ready' position, I recommend that baseball pitchers immediately assume my 'Loaded Slingshot' pitching arm position for whatever pitch they wish to throw.

     With regard to those I use to demonstrate my drills and pitches, because I base my pitching motion on scientific facts, it is a theoretical pitching motion.   It is easy to tell everybody to simply copy some pitcher du jour, that is how we got in this pitching arm injury epidemic.   I do not have a single pitcher without some flaw, but the beauty of my pitching motion is that even with some flaws, my pitchers greatly improve the quality of their pitches and never injure their pitching arm.

     I continually tell the pitcher of whom you speak to drive his pitching arm horizontally straight toward home plate.   It would increase his release velocity and consistency, but, as yet, he still drives low to high and, as a result, he has to pull his pitching arm downward through release.   However, you will notice that he does not pull his pitching arm across the front of his body.   This means that he is powerfully pronating his releases.

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179.   Which of the traditional pitching techniques could lead towards pain in a pitcher's upper tricep area near where it connects to the shoulder?    The pitcher was at a 64 pitch count and told me the back of his upper arm was hurting.    I pulled him from the game immediately.

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     I suspect that what appears as the upper Triceps Brachii area in the back of the pitching arm is actually the Teres Minor muscle.   This means that because of his excessive pitching forearm flyout, he has to use this tiny muscle to decelerate his pitching arm.

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180.   While watching a Braves/Astros spring training game recently, I noticed that Braves pitcher John Smoltz has his front leg sort of locked at the knee when he delivers the ball toward the plate and also finished his motion without really bending forward at the waist.   While he doesn't seem to apply all of your motion techniques to his delivery, is this an example of what you mean when you say to "Stand Tall, Keep The Shoulders Level and Rotate"?

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     When I recommend that baseball pitchers stand tall and rotate, I want them to use their glove foot as a base around which they move their pitching leg straight forward to in front of their glove foot.   It sounds as though Mr. Smoltz keeps his pitching leg behind his glove foot.

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181.   My 13 year old son suffered a growth plate injury early last summer.    Rested the shoulder for 3 months and then resumed pitching with no pain.    We believe he has injured the growth plate again (have a doctor's appt).

     My son just turned 13 and is 5'10" and about 170 pounds.    He has a lot of strength.    We have been counting pitches and don't believe its overuse.    However, he does throw with great velocity.    Could it be that because he is growing so much the he may need to tone down the velocity since that area is so vulnerable?

     Are there major leaguers who have battled this problem and have gone on to have careers?    My understanding that this condition is usually limited to kids until they stop growing.


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     At biological thirteen years old, the growth plates at the distal end of the Humerus bone in his pitching arm should have matured.   However, he should still have open growth plates in his lateral epicondyle, his olecranon process, his medial epicondyle and the head of his Radius bone.   Because he is so big and strong, I suspect that you son is an accelerated maturer, which means that he may be biologically fourteen or fifteen.   That he injured the growth plate of his medial epicondyle indicates that it is still open, so he is not biologically sixteen years old.

     You have two problems to consider.   One is that he still has open growth plates.   If you want him to get his full pitching arm growth, until X-rays show that the growth plate for his medial epicondyle completely matures, he has to stop pitching baseballs.   The second is that he uses the 'traditional' pitching motion has numerous flaws that destroy even mature, powerful major league pitching arms.   He has to learn my pitching motion.

     I recommend that he complete my First and Second Youth Baseball Pitchers Motor Skill Acquisition Programs this year and my Third and Fourth next year.   He should not pitch competitively, he should simply learn how to properly apply force to and how to release his pitches.

     Please go to the home page of my website and click on Pitcher Training Programs.   To learn how to perform my drills, you should click on FREE BOOK!!! and read Chapters Thirty-Six and Thirty-Seven.   To obtain my latest video, click on 2004 Baseball Pitching Instructional Video.

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182.   Do you know of a good winter high school pitcher's camp for next winter (February school vacation, which is always the week of President's day)?   Florida would be okay.

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     Sorry.   But, if you and your son want to visit my Pitching Research/Training Center in Zephyrhills, FL, I will gladly show him how he needs to train.

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183.   My son's pain has subsided so we are thinking it's just a muscle pull (I am still keeping his doctor's appointment, just in case).    He has not pitched since, but experiences no pain while throwing the ball.

     I will review your website on the different programs you offer.   He does drop his arm incorrectly (per his trainer) and they have been working on his mechanics.    We do travel to Florida on occasion, so at some point you may be seeing him.

     I really appreciate your email and will try and figure out if they injury he had last year is what you are describing.    I am not too familiar with the medical terms, but I will try and figure it out.


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     If, when he pitches again, he experiences pain, then you should make the adjustments that I recommend.   We would love to have you and your son visit my Pitching Research/Training Center.   Please email me with any questions.

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184.   Whenever I see a pitch analyzed, whether by slow motion overhead TV camera, QuesTech, a baseball video game, the ball always seems to cross the front plane of home plate as part of its journey to being considered a strike.   Conversely, if it fails to intersect this plane it is considered a ball.   Yet, it is not difficult for me to imagine some curveball that bypasses the front plane and "backdoors" the strike zone from one of the two perpendicular sides.   Perhaps, I have just not seen enough pitches analyzed.

     Can you please explain from both a physics and an umpire's point-of-view (if indeed they differ) what parts of the strike zone are possible to be intersected with a pitched ball?


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     Home plate is seventeen inches wide at the front, eight and one-half inches deep on both sides and seventeen inches deep at its point.   Because, rather than seventeen inches, the sides of home plate are only eight one-half inches deep, the chances of pitches moving laterally catching some part of home plate behind its front edge decreases by fifty percent.   But, it could happen.   The more interesting possibility is for breaking pitches that are above the front edge of the strike zone, but dipping downward.   If these pitches are in the middle of home plate, then they have a greater chance of passing through the strike zone than if they are on either side of home plate.

     During the 1970s, someone developed a laser strike zone.   However, it suffered from some inconsistencies and break downs.   You would think that with today's technology, someone could develop a reliable automated strike zone.   I was in favor of one back when I pitched and would be in favor of one now.

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185.   I'm a 12 year old pitcher in the little league organization.   Recently, I've adopted a third pitch.   It is a sidearm fastball.   From what I know, it doesn't put any strain on my arm.   But, I want to hear your advice about the pitch.   It's a really great pitch.   When I come to the side, the right-handed hitters jump out of the batters box and it is an easy 3rd strike.   Anyway, I just want to hear your opinion on it.

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     With regard to how baseball pitchers apply force to their pitches, one of the keys to preventing pitching arm injuries is that, before their glove foot contacts the ground, they move their pitching hand into position to drive behind the baseball.   I call this, the 'crow-hop' pitching rhythm.

     When baseball pitchers throw sidearm, because they move their glove foot forward before they move their pitching hand into proper position, they have to pull their pitching arm forward.   This causes unnecessary stress on the front of their pitching shoulder and the inside of their pitching elbow.

     Another important key to preventing pitching arm injuries is for baseball pitchers to drive their pitches in straight lines.   When baseball pitchers throw sidearm, they swing their pitching arm in circles, first behind their back, then out to their pitching arm side and, finally, across the front of their body.   These actions not only unnecessarily stress the front of their pitching shoulder and the inside of their pitching elbow, but it also decreases their release velocity and their release consistency.   That is, they frequently cannot control where their pitches go, especially when they tire.

     A third point, although not related to preventing pitching arm injuries, is for young pitchers to learn pitches that improve the quality of their game.   Side arm pitchers only intimidate pitching arm side batters who are afraid of the baseball.   High school, college and professional batters are not afraid of the baseball, such that pitching arm side pull hitters hit side arm pitches very hard and glove side batters love to see side arm pitchers.

I recommend that you master the skills that I teach in my First, Second, Third and Fourth Youth Baseball Pitchers Motor Skill Acquisition Programs.   With these pitches, you will get all batters out all the time and you will not unnecessarily stress your pitching arm.

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186.   Thanks for the detailed reply.   I may be thick here but after re-reading your chapters I am still missing something.   I interpret your Loaded Slingshot as:

     Acromial line reverse rotated, pointing to home plate, straight pitching arm pointing to slightly to short stop side of 2nd base, palm now facing outwards, and hand just above ear.

     During the acceleration phase, as my acromial line rotates (pitching shoulder moving toward home plate), will my pitching elbow fully flex, then extend with a pronating forearm?   That is what I am missing here.   I don't think you are keeping your arm extended throughout this phase, but I can't find a reference to a flexing movement.


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     I want baseball pitchers to drive the baseball straight forward toward home plate along a line that is slightly above their pitching ear and directly behind the middle of the back of their head.   Because to get their pitching forearm inside of vertical at release, after pitchers move their pitching leg in front of their glove foot, I want pitchers to lean their shoulder line forty-five degrees to their glove side and, thereby, they prevent them from driving the baseball into the back of their head.

     To more directly answer your question, to keep their pitching hand on the driveline that I describe, pitchers have to keep their pitching forearm horizontally inside of vertical, which means that, although I do not want pitchers to actively flex their pitching elbow, the angle of their pitching elbow should be very acute.   I prefer that pitchers focus on pronating their pitching forearm throughout their driveline.

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187.   If I can give you one constructive thought.   I believe you do need, either in the website or your DVD, some sort of slow motion visual representation of what you view to be the optimal throwing mechanics.   There are so many moving parts on this or any motion, that it boggles the mind.   As a viewer I found it a bit confusing when you have multiple students showing their motion, all with a variety of flaws.   Perhaps you should be the demonstration subject or alternatively a computer generated figure.   Have you considered this?

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     I have thought of those suggestions and more.   I asked my video guy to help me do all of them.   Unfortunately, he has a very sick son who requires his total devotion and I do not have the money to hire someone else.   Without his help to this point, I could not have offered as much as I have.   As a result, at this time, if someone wants to see my pitching motion, in the hope that I can one day recoup the costs of making the video, they have to purchase my Baseball Pitching Instructional video and make the best of the best pitchers I have showing my motion at five hundred frames per second.

     In case that you have not noticed, I do not charge anything for people to go on my website, I do not charge readers to answer any and all questions and I do not charge readers to copy my Coaching Baseball Pitchers book.   I do not know how much larger of a website I will need to include video or what that will cost, but I do not solicit advertisers or sell whatever useless crap I can get you to buy.

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188.   Your name was given to me by a man when I was trying to fine my son baseball cleats.   We are from the northeast and my son is a senior in high school.   He is looking for a fit for his college baseball game play and education.   He is a very tall boy, who is 17 years old.   His speed is not where the D1 schools want, however, he has very good location and control.   I would like to know if you could give us some advise, maybe a good JR. colllege to help him develope.   He is throwing in the low 80's.   I truly do not think he is done growing.   These last few months he has just started to develop.

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     College coaches are not interested in pitchers with good location and control.   They want ninety plus release velocity and great non-fastballs.   Your son has to spend the next year training to become the very best pitcher that he can become.

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189.   I really enjoyed your website.    I have always been interested in biomechanics.    I play racquetball and I noticed that you wrote a racquetball book in 1983.    Is this book similar to your e-book in terms of detailing the mechanics of the racquetball swing?    Or is it just the “basics” of a racquetball swing.    I am a fairly advanced player, but I am always looking for extra tips that I can gain from other sports, since I am not a great athlete I have to make up for lack of ability with better mechanics and anticipation.

     Have you ever analyzed pro racquetball player swings?    I would be interested in learning anything you have gleaned from their form.   It seems that golf, pitching, hitting and other major sports have reams of data on biokinetics, but racquetball sadly has very limited information.


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     In the early 1980s, when I was an Adjunct Professor at St. Cloud University in St. Cloud, MN, I high-speed filmed a high-quality racquetball player.   Ray Collins used that film in his book.   I can tell you that, on the forehand, just like in baseball pitching, hitting forearm pronation is critical.

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190.   I have read in a book by Dusty Baker that hitters position their upper hand to improve the likelihood of a hit to right or left.    In general, if a hitter is trying to hit to right, should you concentrate on up and in and conversely, should you concentrate on low and outside if it is determined that a hitter wants to hit to left field?

        I work with JV high school pitchers and spend a lot of time perfecting their mechanics, fastballs and changeups.    (It appears to me that most kids at this age, 14-15 yrs old, get too comfortable throwing curves and then when they go up a level and can't place a fastball and changeup effectively, they get hammered!    So, I avoid talking about breaking pitches until a pitcher can master a fastball and changeup.)    Any additional classroom training I can give them on strategy is always a plus.


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     For baseball batters to successfully hit baseballs to the opposite field, they have to drive the center of mass of their baseball bat toward the opposite field.

     I believe that you are asking me what baseball pitchers should throw to baseball batters when those baseball batters are trying to hit the baseball to the opposite field.   I call those batters, 'spray' hitters.   Therefore, we have pitching arm side 'spray' hitters and glove side 'spray' hitters.

     However, until baseball batters show that they can easily hit the baseball hard to the opposite field, I tell pitchers to consider all hitters 'pull' hitters, that is, they are trying to hit the baseball to the pull field.   After these hitters convince pitchers that they can easily hit the baseball hard to the opposite field, then and only then, should they consider these hitters 'spray' hitters.

     In Section VI of my Coaching Baseball Pitchers book:   What Pitches Should Pitchers Throw First, Second and So On?, I discuss how I researched pitch sequencing to get the four types of hitters out.   With special attention to Chapter Twenty-Six and Twenty-Eight, please read Chapters Twenty-Three through Twenty-Eight.

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191.   Do you sell a training DVD that will teach proper mechanics/add velocity for a 10 year old?   If so, have you had feedback stating it is easy to understand and apply?

     In you q&a, you mention that a maxline curve is ok for an 8 year old.   I've been told a curve is the best way to ruin a youth arm.   What's the difference with the maxline pitches.

     In your q&a, you disagree with dick mills teaching method.   Could you explain why?

     I ask because I am looking to start my son on the right course and have found a lack of proper pitching instruction out there.   Dick Mills' all about pitching course seemed to be one of the better choices available for home coaching.   Then, I came across your site, which has captured my interest as well.

     My son's little league coach was planning on using him as a pitcher this year, but I am considering holding off for now.   Do you think limiting him to 50 pitches/3 innings per game per 7 day week fastballs only would be okay?


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     We both want to prevent any harm to your son's pitching arm.   Because you have read my Question/Answer files, I know that you know that I recommend that, until they are biologically sixteen years old, youth pitchers throw baseballs for only two consecutive months per year, wait until they are biologically thirteen years old before they pitch competitively in games against opposing team batters and pitch only one inning per game twice a week.

     On my website, under Pitcher Training Programs, I have First, Second, Third and Fourth Youth Baseball Pitchers Motor Skill Acquisition Programs.   I recommend that your son master the drills and skills that I teach in those programs.   Chapter Thirty-Six of my Coaching Baseball Pitchers book explains how he should perform those drills and skills.   I have a 2004 Baseball Pitching Instructional video that shows how to perform those drills.   I am working on a 2005 video that includes the adjustments to my 2004 video I have made.   If you get the 2004 video, when it is ready, I will send you the 2005 video free.

     Because my Maxline Pronation Curve teaches baseball pitchers how to pronate the release of their curve, pitchers of all ages can throw curves without unnecessarily stressing their pitching elbow.

     I strongly disagree with how Mr. Mills teaches pitching.   In my 2003 Question/Answer file, I include an article that Mr. Mills wrote for Collegiate Baseball News and provide my critique.   To locate that discussion, please go to my 2003 Question/Answer file and Alt-Edit-Find Dick Mills.   He destroyed his own son's pitching arm, he has no problem with destroying your son's pitching arm.

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192.   My son is a Babe Ruth league player (14 yrs. old), plays infield and is an excellent hitter.   My question is:   Can what you are teaching pitchers help my son to understand pitchers?   Wouldn't the knowledge you are imparting assist a hitter?   I am arguing that I should study your video to help my son's hitting!

     Additionally, would the throwing techniques you are teaching help any player to throw the ball harder and more accurately?


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     At this stage in his baseball career, I doubt that what I teach my pitchers will help your son.   However, if he learns how I want my pitchers to throw their Maxline and Torque Fastballs, then your son will throw the baseball harder and more accurately.

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193.   Just dropping you a note to see if you still do a summer camp for high schoolers junior year and above?    I remember seeing it on your sight before, but didn't see it when I recently looked.   My son is a 6'3" lefty pitcher who will probably end up around 6'4"-6'5" or so.    He enjoys the game and really wants to work hard on improving as a pitcher.    He's only a sophomore right now and he wouldn't be looking to come to your camp until summer of 2006.

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     I tried teaching to-be-high school juniors and seniors, but I decided that eight weeks is not sufficient for them to master the pitching skills that they need.   I recommend that you and your son complete my 120-Day High School Baseball Pitchers Interval-Training Program.   You can find that program, my Coaching Baseball Pitcher and 2004 Baseball Pitching Instructional video on my website.

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194.   I came upon this site via a link from a Seattle Pilots site.   I was 16 in 1969 & went to several Pilots games.

     I get pain in my R. arm when I throw a ball, by that I mean a pain in the upper bicep area.   One MD said that I had a ruptured bicep!   I can't remember, specifically, when this injury may have occurred, but I can remember when I played JV baseball, in high school.   That it was around then that I first noticed it.

     I have an indentation in the top lateral bicep area that is quite different from the lateral bicep.   I also experience a "tremor" when I mimic a slow punch motion with my right hand.   This is curious in that it only occurs with a closed fist, with an open hand there is no tremor.   I work out & have no problem doing bench presses, bicep curls, etc. I do notice that the lower portion of my R. bicep seems to be developing to a larger extent that my L. bicep.   The weakness I alluded to previously seems to be mostly with an overhand throwing motion, with a sidearm motion not causing as much pain.   The pain does subside, & I have had no other problems to associate with this "injury".   Do you every get around to any events such as Pilots Reunions etc, as I would like to meet you in person ?


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     It does sound like you ruptured one of the two attachments of the Biceps Brachii.   The short head attaches to the tip of the coracoid process of the Scapula bone.   The long head attaches to the supraglenoid tuberosity of the Scapula.   When you say 'lateral biceps area,' I assume that you mean the long head. At only forty-two years old, you should rehabilitate quickly from the surgery.

     I do not have the time or the interest to attend any baseball reunions.

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195.   In the early 80's, I investigated the science on steriods and HGH in an effort to learn if their usage could bring my fastball back to it pre-injury velocity.   I discovered that steriods would only build muscle mass and strength, but would not improve what I would describe as ballistic movements such as throwing a baseball or hitting a baseball.

     If I recall correctly from that research of 25 years ago, the factors involved in throwing fast were the elasticity of the tendons, ligaments, muscles, and the amount of fast-twitch muscle fibers recruited, which is genetically determined.

     Was there something that I was missing?

     I did discover that there were huge potential adverse health affects, so I did not tread that path.   I did learn that if one were to take steriods and human growth hormone judiciously, one could remain athletically younger longer.   So, ban the stuff from sports!

     I saw Canseco hit in single-A at Medford, OR when he was "half" his MLB playing size and before he said he started using steriods, and I would say that he hit the ball as far in single-A as he did in MLB.

     My brother, when he was 12 years old and stood 5'4" and weighed 95 lbs., could hit a pitched ball over 300' and he didn't grow any pubic hair until he was 14 and wasn't a regular shaver until over 20 and, then, he could hit the ball considerably further.

     It seems to me there is something more to throwing and swinging harder than testosterone.


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     It is too bad that Mr. Canseco and the others were not part of a scientific investigation into the effects of steroids on athletic performance.   As a result, all we have left is anecdotal stories like those that you have told.

     When, during the early 1970s, I took my Advanced Neuroendocrinology class, researchers were still developing human growth hormone and corticosteroids.   At that time, they were not widely known or readily available.   However, my professor warned us of the potential misuse and the inherent dangers of messing with the complex, intricate, inter-related human neuroendocrine system, where substituting for one endocrine influences all other neurological and endocrine systems.

     I do not agree that "if one were to take steroids and human growth hormone judiciously, one could remain athletically younger longer."   Rather, I believe that if one were to take steroids and human growth hormone judiciously, one would interfere with the normal function of the other neurological and endocrine systems and, as a result, suffer from numerous other problems.

     With regard to throwing baseballs at high release velocities, I agree that higher percentages of fast-twitch muscle fibers provide for faster muscle contractility.   However, I disagree that the elasticity of tendons, ligaments and muscle significantly influence release velocity.

     First, muscles have no elasticity.   They have finite length contractile units that, when they receive more stress than they can withstand, tear.

     Second, ligaments have no elasticity.   They also are finite length tissues that, when they receive more stress than they can withstand, tear.   For example, the Ulnar Collateral Ligaments rupture when the stress of reverse pitching forearm bounce generates more stress than they can withstand.

     Third, the research that tendons have elasticity come from a study of the Achilles' tendon of cats.   That study said that the Achilles' tendon of cats could lengthen nineteen percent under in vitro laboratory conditions.   Humans are not cats, we cannot jump six times our standing height.   Humans perform in vivo, not in the laboratory under carefully controlled conditions.   That snapping sound that you hear is the thousands of tendons of athletes doing Plyometrics.

     I submit that a judiciously-applied, properly-designed interval-training program that is specific to baseball pitchers where they also learn how to uniformly apply straight line force over as great distance as possible enables baseball pitchers to achieve their genetic maximum release velocity.

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196.   I would like to know if it would be possible for me to stop by your pitching complex and purchase (in cash) your latest pitching instruction video as opposed to ordering it through the mail.   I live in within thirty miles of Zephyrhills, FL and, if you do keep copies of your videos on site, I would appreciate if you could advise the best day and time to stop by.

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     Thank you for your interest in my Baseball Pitching Instructional video.   However, under the guidelines of an agreement that I signed to get my videos made, I do not have any copies.   My video guy makes and distributes them.

     Nevertheless, we welcome your visit to my Pitching Research/Training Center at any time and, if you prefer to pay me directly for the video, I will immediately email my video guy to mail your copy.   We train everyday from 9:00 to 10:30AM.

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197.   One of your readers mentioned a drill in Danny Litwhiler's book, "A Treasury of Baseball Drills" called, "Overload for the Quick Bat," written by you.   I purchased the book on the internet.   Mr. Litwhiler had high praise for your drill.   I was somewhat surprised to see that the drill was for the front arm in the hitting swing.

     I was under the impression that you did not believe the front arm had a big role in the hitting swing.   Have you changed your thinking since you wrote the drill?   Do you suggest the the same drill for the rear arm?   In other words, a right-handed hitter would lay on his left side and lift the weight with his right hand.

     As a bit of irony, the very next drill in the book after yours is an overload for pitching drill using weighted baseballs, obviously, by another author!


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     The key to maximum bat head velocity is a concept called, 'Force Coupling.'   Force coupling means two parallel, but oppositely-directed forces that operate on either side of a fulcrum.   Therefore, in baseball batting, both arms have to work together.   I wrote a second article in which I explain how baseball batters should train the rear arm of the baseball swing.

     In 1965, when I was still playing minor league shortstop, I took side and overhead view high-speed film of myself batting.   The overhead view proved particularly helpful.   With it, I was able to track the movement of the center of mass of the baseball bat.

     When I examined the track of the center of mass of the baseball bat for my swings at inside, middle and outside pitches, I determined that, from the moment that baseball batters start the center of mass of the baseball bat toward the baseball with their rear arm, they should do so in straight lines in the direction that they should hit the baseball.   That is, if the pitch is on the outside part of home plate, batters should drive the center of mass of the baseball bat in straight lines toward the opposite field.

     I also determined that, at some point, the center of mass enters the 'contact zone.'   At that moment, to maximally accelerate the center of mass of the baseball bat, while they continue to powerfully extend their rear batting elbow and pronate their rear batting forearm, to stop the forward movement of the handle of the bat, batters should powerfully flex their front batting elbow and supinate their front batting forearm.   As the bat enters the 'contact zone,' the parallel, but oppositely-directed forces of the front and rear batting arms summate to dramatically accelerate the center of mass of the bat through contact.

     For my overload for the quick bat drill, baseball batters lie on their rear arm side, such that they can reach down for the weight as it sits on the floor.   Then, in the manner shown in the photographs, to execute the exercise, they should raise the weight straight upward.   The critical aspect of the front arm action occurs when batters suddenly stop their front arm elbow from moving upward and supination snap their front arm forearm upward.

     As I wrote in the answer to an article sent to me about the value of over and under load training, Professor Wayne D. Van Huss supervised a couple of Michigan State University baseball pitchers in their hopeless attempt to determine whether they could use weighted baseballs to increase their release velocity.   As I also said, with the instrumentation that they were using, these pitchers could not possibly correctly measure release velocity, let alone the numerous other confounding variables.   Therefore, their research was without merit.

     As an aside, when I told Danny Litwhiler of the hopelessness of his pitchers correctly measuring release velocity, to my eternal damnation, I suggested that they needed the radar gun that the state police use for speeders.   He telephoned the nearby Michigan State Police headquarters and, a short time later, he drove down to where the Detroit Tigers played and showed them that the radar gun could show the different release velocities of fastballs and changeups.   That started of the ruination of baseball pitchers, in particular, and the game of baseball, in general.

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198.   I have written you many times with questions about various aspects of training.   I'm writing now to thank you for your honesty.   I appreciate the fact that you don't make the unrealistic promises that so many others do.

     Like allot of parents, I hoped that my son would some day play professional baseball.   I now realize that no workout will turn an average athlete into an elite athlete.   My son is a good high school player and is going to have the opportunity to play college baseball at a low level.   I have accepted the fact that this will be as good as it gets.

     I have no regrets that we spent countless hours working on his game.   I'm glad that I had the opportunity to spend quality time with my son.   He has become a better player than many "experts" thought that he would be a few years ago.   He has had the opportunity to play the game that he loves so much and will have the opportunity to play 4 more years.   I hope that parents can realize that the joy is in the journey, not the destination.


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     You will never hear, "... and we'll have a good time then, Dad."

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199.   My 15 year-old nephew experienced a blow to his shoulder during a hockey game on April 1st.   The Specialist diagnosed him with a separated shoulder "somewhere between a Grade 2 and Grade 3".   What was strange about the injury was that although it appeared that his clavicle had risen, my nephew experienced very little pain.   And, he had a full range of motion almost immediately after the injury.   He had some minor pain and discomfort in the upper pectoral and in the area on top of the clavicle halfway between the neck and the tip of the acromion.   It was at this place where he experienced swelling and later bruising.

     Curiously, the area of injury (closer to the neck than the AC joint as it would appear) and the degree of pain does not seem consistent with a third grade separation.   Is it possible that 10 plus years of throwing a baseball could have previously stretched these ligaments enough such that it may appear that he had a more serious separation?

     Secondly, the Specialist, beyond prescribing some minor band work, failed to give my nephew any sort of rehabilitation program.   What sort of training/exercises would you suggest he do at this point (10 days after injury)?   When is it safe for him to start throwing/pitching and for how much/often?   What might be his short-term and long-term prognosis?

     My nephew is a very talented baseball player and he is very eager and excited to a healthy return to the game he loves.   Your input here would be greatly appreciated.


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     Baseball pitching influences the gleno-humeral ligament, not the acromial-clavicular joint.   I would have your nephew swimming, dribbling basketballs and other arm-intensive activities.   When he can perform those activities without any immediate or delayed discomfort, I would permit him to start with my Pickoff with Step body action, Slingshot glove and pitching arm drill.

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200.   My son would like to know if he can come up for a couple of weeks during the summer.   I am not rich, but the kid has been reading your book now for nearly two years or so.   I told him he probably won't make it but this kid doesn't know when to quit.

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     I only train high school graduates, but everybody else is welcome to visit and how we perform my pitching drills.

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201.   A reader asked you recently whether John Smoltz was embracing your pitching motion.   I think the reader was very perceptive.   Smoltz had a good game yesterday (Sunday) and the local newspaper had a picture of him releasing a pitch.   Big time forearm pronation!

     I suppose it could be natural but I have my doubts.   He doesn't turn 180 degrees, etc., but I wonder if Mr. Smoltz is trying to prevent a seventh elbow operation by making sure he pronates his releases.


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     Mr. Smoltz ruptured his Ulnar Collateral Ligament.   The 'traditional' pitching motion flaw that ruptures the Ulnar Collateral Ligament is 'reverse pitching forearm bounce.'   When baseball pitchers pronate their pitching forearm, they prevent their olecranon process from slamming into its fossa.   The 'traditional' pitching motion flaw that causes the olecranon process to slam into its fossa is 'pitching forearm flyout.'   Therefore, while I approve of all pitchers strongly pronating their pitching forearm throughout the entire length of their driveline, to prevent Ulnar Collateral Ligament injuries, Mr. Smoltz has to learn how to stop his 'late pitching forearm turnover,' which causes 'reverse pitching forearm bounce.'

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202.   I'm writing you to let you know how things are going.   Pitching-wise things could not be better. So far this year, I'm carrying an ERA of 1.8.   I've walked only one person in 9 and 2/3 innings and have given up 9 hits.   Basically, my role is, after a starting pitcher gets crushed and gets pulled early, to go in there and get people out.   The frustration I'm feeling is the fact that I've only had 3 appearances and we've played 24 games.   I've got the 3rd lowest ERA on the team and have the least number of appearances.   Theres no other way to say it, I'm getting screwed.

     The pitching coach watches me throw in the bullpen and tells me how good my pitches are, but then does not throw me in the games.   I wonder if it has anything to do with my throwing being different?   I'm growing tired of the baseball program here and am looking to move on.   Have you heard anything from your former pitching coach or are there any other college coaches you know of interested in our mechanics!

     I am still planning on doing my 60-Day Iron Ball Recoil Training this summer and as soon as our season ends mid-May, I will be on my way down.   I know there is nothing you can tell me that will improve my situation, but I now know what you went through in your baseball career and it sucks.


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     Even though they marveled at the quality and variety of his pitches, I have had two pitching coaches for major league baseball organizations refuse to take one of my pitchers because they did not want their superiors to compare what they teach with what we teach.   I would not think that small college pitching coaches would act similarly, but, from what you describe, I think that he has the same motive.

     What about that head baseball college coach who spent the week watching us train and talked with you about pitching for him?

     I will have a place ready for you.

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203.   I am fascinated by your Web site and your work on pitching.   I am working on a story for my newspaper.   A local high school coach is implementing your program for his entire team.   As you know, this is going against the most common school of thought on this.   His baseball program has been highly successful.   He has been to the state tournament five consecutive years and won state championships in two of those seasons.   His pitchers also have not suffered any major injuries.

     What is your reaction to this?

     Are you aware of any other high school programs that are using your methods of pitching and training?

     He also runs the summer youth baseball program, ages 5-13.   Except for tee-ball, where obviously a pitcher isn't necessary, coaches pitch at all levels.   As a sports writer, I'm more of a spectator than anything else.   What I can say is that because coaches pitch, the games are much more interesting.   There are no walks, obviously, and few strikeouts.   More balls are put in play and children are able to make more plays and learn the game better.

     Why do you think your program is not widely embraced at all levels?

     From the Web site, I understand your views about the professional level.   But, it would seem to me that at the youth level especially, a lot of what you discuss is just common sense.   Why subject youngsters developing their growth plates to possible life-long problems when it can be avoided?

     How prevalent is your work being used at the youth level?   It's obviously from your question-and-answer segments that a great many individuals/parents are reading and paying attention.   I'm wondering how much of your work is being used in programs.


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     I think that coach is interested in protecting and improving his pitchers.   I was not aware of any high school or college coaches implementing my pitching program.   I do know of one person who trained one high school pitcher to use my pitching motion.

     I think that youth and high school coaches are too lazy to put their effort into learning how to use my pitching motion.   However, I have the responsibility to make it easier for them.   I spend every day working on doing just that.

     Because they have strong personal stakes in whether their youth pitchers injure themselves, I direct my attention to the parents of youth baseball pitchers.

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204.   I believe it is your position that you want your pitchers to pronate their pitchers throughout the driveline to home plate.   In your ready position for the maxline fastball, you want the anterior side of the pitching wrist turned slightly outward.   I am curious how you can pronate from this instant onward through release.   It seem like by the time you released the ball your wrist would be so pronated that you could not throw a strike.   Could you explain how you pronate over such a relatively long distance?

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     In my 'Ready' position, I want pitchers to have their pitching palm facing away from their body for all pitches.   If their pitching palm faced toward their body, then they would have their pitching forearm fully pronated.   With their pitching palm turned outward, they have their pitching forearm pronated one hundred and eighty degrees.

     To move into my 'Loaded Slingshot' position, I want pitchers to only outwardly rotate the head of their Humerus bone.   I want them to move their pitching forearm independent of locking their pitching upper arm with their thorax.

     To assume the 'Loaded Slingshot' position for my Maxline True Screwball, my pitchers keep their pitching forearm the same as it is in my 'Ready' position.   This means that, during the Acceleration Phase, my pitchers pronate their pitching forearm one hundred and eighty degrees.

     To assume the 'Loaded Slingshot' position for my Maxline Fastball, my pitchers supinate their pitching forearm an additionally forty-five degrees from my 'Ready' position.   This means that, during the Acceleration Phase, my pitchers pronate their pitching forearm two hundred and twenty-five degrees.

     To assume the 'Loaded Slingshot' position for my Maxline Pronation Curve, my pitchers supinate their pitching forearm an additional ninety degrees from my 'Ready' position.   This means that, during the Acceleration Phase, my pitchers pronate their pitching forearm two hundred and seventy degrees.

     To assume the 'Loaded Slingshot' position for my Torque Fastball, my pitchers supinate their pitching forearm an additional ninety degrees from my 'Ready' position.   This means that, during the Acceleration Phase, my pitchers pronate their pitching forearm two hundred and seventy degrees.

     Whether my pitchers pronate one hundred and eighty degrees or two hundred and seventy degrees, they should pronate throughout the pitching forearm acceleration through release, not the entire driveline.

     Straight-line drive throws strikes, not the amount of pitching forearm pronation.

     After they master their releases, I do recommend that they try maximally supinate their pitching forearm in all of their 'Loaded Slingshot' positions.   This is extremely difficult with my Maxline True Screwball and simply difficult with my Maxline Fastball, but I could do it.

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205.   A couple of weeks ago, I read an article on the Chicago Cubs website where Kerry Wood said:

"There are times to talk and times when, in my opinion, nothing good comes out of talking about stuff that happened last year or something that somebody said," Wood said.   "I'll stick to talking about what I do on the field and stick with that."

Like responding to critics outside of the team who say Wood's mechanics are to blame for his injuries.

"To me that speaks more about what happened last year," Wood said.   "That's a sure sign of where it started last year.   I came to Spring Training and was doing my job and then that stuff starts coming up.   I choose not to comment on it, I choose not to say anything back.   It's a waste of time, a waste of breath and a waste of ink for all you guys."

It wasn't difficult for Wood to deal with.

"I knew how I was doing and how I felt," Wood said.   "The ultimate goal is for me to get out there and make my starts and that's my job to go out there and pitch.   Off the field stuff, I don't give much thought to."

And how will he deal with those who question his mechanics?

"My mechanics felt pretty good today," Wood said.   "The experts out there, I don't know what to say.   Write me letters. Teach me how to pitch."

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     I decided to send him a letter.

Dear Mr. Wood,

     I recently read the March 30th Chicago Cub press release regarding your pitching mechanics and general state of health, which everyone was satisfied with.   In the release, you offered to have the "Experts" write to you and teach you how to pitch.   While I am not an expert, I have a story that might interest you.

     My youngest son is a baseball pitcher and has always wanted to pitch professionally.   Until recently, this seemed to be something that would never happen because he was constantly in pain, be it shoulder or elbow, from pitching.   This all started for him back in the 7th grade, he separated a grow plate in his arm while pitching in a game.   This was the beginning of the horrible cycle: Injury - Orthopedic Surgeon- Rehab/Therapy.

     He never completed a season from that point on without some kind of down time related to injury or pain.   As a parent, it was a very sad and painful experience to go through knowing (at the time this is what I thought I knew) there was nothing that could be done except take him to the doctor and hope for the best.   My wife and I came to the point that we thought it was basically useless, he can't stay healthy and it had an obvious effect on his confidence.   Through all of these bad experiences my son had, the only good thing was that he never had any serious injury, it was just inflammation of this and that.

     My son did go to pitch in college for his Freshman year (this was two years ago), he made it through, but with a lot of aches and pains.   Things started to look better, the scouts were at all his games, he was clocked at 94MPH.   Then came the summer league, within two weeks he was down with an inflammation in his shoulder again.

     Off he went to the doctor again and then to rehab/therapy.   The doctor said he had a lot of inflammation and he needed rest and anti-inflamatory medicine before he could begin rehab.   He started rehab/therapy and finished in 6-8 weeks, and went back to the doctor who said he could start throwing again.   It was now Fall and went to his pitching coach (college coach & associate scout with a professional baseball team) to begin the process of pitching again.   About 4 weeks into the program something happens to his elbow while pitching, they put the fear of God into us with the words, Tommy John surgery, before we left.   Back to the doctor, inflammation in the elbow, can't pitch until after Christmas.   The cycle begins again.

     Now, it is after Christmas and he is cleared to pitch again.   Six weeks later, guess what, while pitching he goes down with tremendous shoulder pain - this time the words are Rotator Cuff.   Back to the doctor, same inflammation, same cycle to go through.   Misses his sophomore season - red shirted, with hopes to be ready for the summer league.   He works with rehab and throwing right up until the start of the summer season.   He gets his first start the first week of June.   Pitches 5 innings and the game is called due to rain.   Guess what, gets up the next day and can't move his elbow.   Back to the doctors, more inflammation, more medicine, more rehab ordered.

     The next day my son comes to me and says this situation is hopeless, he just can't keep doing this.   As painful as it is, I had to agree with him when enough is enough.   Later that night, we talked some more and came to the conclusion that there must be a better way.

     We searched the internet that night looking for a pitching coach that he had met in Florida his senior year in high school.   Instead, I stumbled across Dr. Mike Marshall's website.   I called him the next day and spoke with him for awhile telling him what I have already told you.   I told him my son was not able to pitch yet per doctor's orders, but we could come down to Florida and take a look at his program.

     He told me this inactive/rest approach was wrong and my son needed to start training ASAP.   I thought he was "nuts".   Anyway, I got the tickets and off we went to Florida.

     We arrived at the Zephyrhills, FL pitching research/training center on July 6th in the evening.   This turned out to be a very good thing as most of the pitchers/students were there, but Dr. Marshall was gone until the next morning.   This gave my son a chance to talk with the guys and get an honest opinion of the program.   My son came to me within 15 minutes and told me this is where he wants to go.   I said fine we will speak with Dr. Marshall in the morning and get everything set to go.

     We sat down with Dr. Marshall the next morning and told him that my son wants to begin as soon as he gets the clearance from his doctor.   Again, Dr. Marshall said he should not wait, rest is not a cure.   He said he needed to start training ASAP.   Again, I thought he was "nuts", but I figured we would go back home and get the doctor's OK and I could have my son back in Florida within a month.

     Dr. Marshall told us that with his program my son will, with hard work and desire, throw harder and have superior quality pitches and never be injured from pitching a baseball.   We left and went back home to get everything set so I could bring my son back the begining of August.   The one thing I needed to get before my son went to Florida was the doctor OK to go and begin.

     This might be the point where I started to see the "forest thru the trees".   At my son's doctors appointment, which was 3 days before he was scheduled to fly out, the doctor examined him and said he was OK to go again.   I asked him what exactly was wrong with his arm and he told me he really didn't know, but it was a lot better than it was the last time he injured himself.   This from a head orthopedic surgeon at a prestigous hospital and doctor for a minor league team.   Anyway, we thanked him and left - never to go back again.

     We arrived at Dr. Marshall camp on August 6th to begin my son's 315 day pitching program.   Dr. Marshall does a video taping of every new student throwing in their traditional pitching style.   The first phase on the video is an assessment of their pitching arm.   He looks to see how much mobility they have and if they currently are having any pain or problems with their arm.   My son did indicate that he still had some pain in his arm from his latest injury.   Dr. Marshall told him exactly what it was (unlike the clueless doctor) and that it was structually insignificant and that he could work through with the pitching program.

     These video tapes are updated every 58 days into the program so that the students can review them and learn from them.   I would gladly send you a copy to keep and look at, my son is now into his eighth month and the progress is amazing.

     The training program consists of drills with wrist weights, lead balls, and finally throwing a minimun of 48 baseballs per day, everyday for 315 days.   All this information can be viewed at www.drmikemarshall.com.   I do not want go into details about the training program as I know I am not qualified to do so.

     My story is only about father who is now thrilled to see his son pitch everyday - PAIN FREE.   He has regained his confidence knowing that he will never been injured throwing a baseball again.   He velocity is now back to 95MPH and will increase.   The quality of his breaking pitches is amazing - curve, screwball, sinker and slider to be added soon.   The fastball breaks right and left.   It is an incredible arsenal.

     Again, if you would like a copy of my son's video i'll gladly send one to you.   I am sure if you have any questions, I am sure Dr. Marshall would be glad to answer them via email or phone.   On his website, there is a Q&A that is updated weekly, also his phone number is there if needed.

     I just want to let you know that I am just a normal father with a with a son that wants to play ball.   I have no financial interest or any other interest in Dr. Marshall's camp.   My only interest is my son.   I just wanted to tell you about the incredible program this man has put together.   My son could have left anytime he wanted but, not only is he still there, he will never pitch the traditional way again and will continue to go back year after year to train to become the best he can be.   This letter is all about the fact that no pitcher has to be injured while pitching a ball and will also become a better pitcher than they ever were.

     Thank you for your time and if you have any questions for me or my son we can be reached at XXX-XXX-XXXX, email: xxxxxxx@xxxxxx.com.


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     I believe that there are hundreds of fathers and sons just like you and your son.   What a waste.

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206.   I purchased your 2004 Pitching Instruction video a few weeks ago and just wanted throw a few comments your way since you welcome them.    But first,I want to say you did a heck of a job and I continue to watch certain parts of it nearly every other night.

     r reading your book several times I had a really good visual idea of the entire “Marshall” motion, and it was confirmed by the video (which is a backhanded way of saying the book was great), except that I couldn’t figure out how one could possible keep one’s elbow bent inside of vertical when passing the ear with the ball and still have any sort of velocity on it.   Turns out you can’t.

     Other than having some amount of “degrees of separation”, and the difference in the ready position, the acceleration phase of your motion was not as different from traditional as I imagined.    When I add the extreme pronation to my normal batting cage motion (I coach 11-12 year olds), I’m real close.

     After I started reading your book, I changed the way I threw to the kids and a lot of my own elbow pains have gone away.    One of my 12 year olds had regular elbow pain when I got him and, after I added the pronation to his field throwing, the pain stopped.    Amazing.

     Anyway, in the section of the video where you show the grips for your pitches you have your forearm inside of vertical when you spin the demo ball, which is confusing because your real pitchers aren’t anywhere near that angle when they release the pitch.    I’ve had a real time figuring out the maxline pronation curve.   Either a closeup of the release when your pitchers demo it or a more realistic forearm location when you demo it would be helpful.    Or, maybe I’m just slow.

     Also, I’d love to see a high speed film example of your motion when you were an active pitcher with your own critique (since even back when you were “acquiescing” to the traditionalists, you were doing something to maintain the durability of your arm), and also a critique of a traditional motion on high speed film pointing out where the damage is coming from.    You may think those two items are outside the scope of the video, but I’d love to have seen them.

     That’s it.    Great stuff.    Thanks for what you’re doing.


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     I sincerely welcome all comments.   Thank you for taking the time to send your thoughts to me.

     With regard to your comment that 'Other than having some amount of "degrees of separation," and the difference in the ready position, the acceleration phase of your motion was not as different from the traditional as I imagined,' I agree that my pitchers do not do my pitching motion exactly as I want them, but they are far, far superior than the best 'traditional' pitcher.

     First, 'traditional' baseball pitchers raise their pitching upper arm to shoulder height before they raise their pitching hand to shoulder height.   All of my pitchers raise their pitching hand to shoulder height before they raise the pitching upper arm to shoulder height.   This prevents 'late pitching forearm turnover,' which leads to 'reverse pitching forearm bounce,' which ruptures the Ulnar Collateral Ligament and fractures the Humerus bone of the pitching upper arm.

     Second, 'traditional' baseball pitchers have 'pitching forearm flyout,' where they sling their pitching forearm laterally away from their body, such that they cannot achieve a vertical pitching forearm at release.   All of my pitchers achieve some 'degrees of separation' between the longitudinal axis of the pitching upper arm and their pitching forearm, which enables them to get their pitching forearm far more vertical.

     Third, 'traditional' baseball pitchers have five feet or more of side-to-side movement of their pitching hand.   All of my pitchers have far less side-to-side movement.   This means that they apply more toward-home-plate force.

     Fourth, 'traditional' baseball pitchers do not pronate all releases.   All of my pitchers pronate all releases.   As you have found, powerfully pronating the pitching forearm with all releases protects the pitching arm.

     I thought that I included several shots of very, very slow motion of my pitchers throwing my Maxline Pronation Curve and stopped the film at the moment of release.

     Keep in mind that my pitchers do believe that their pitching forearm is exactly where I tell them that it should be.   Some have even planned how they were going to spend the thousand dollars that I tell them I will pay them when they show high-speed film of sixty degrees of separation.

     When I tell pitchers to drive their pitching forearm straight toward home plate with their pitching forearm horizontally inside of vertical, that is exactly what they try to do.   As you see, they do not achieve perfection.   Imagine what they would achieve if I told them to drive their pitching forearm straight toward home plate with their pitching forearm vertical.

     I know that they cannot do it.   Did you really think that any pitcher could actually achieve sixty degrees of separation?   What I was doing is calling out the idiot pitching coach who says that his pitchers have ninety degrees of separation at release.

     The only high-speed film that I have of myself I took in 1967, 1969 and 1971.   I did not buy my high-speed camera until after my professional career and I did not know then how to throw my Maxline Pronation Curve or my very recent Torque Fastball.   About all I had going for me was pitching forearm pronation and the best variety of screwballs that baseball has ever seen.   However, I have a guy who throws better screwballs, but the establishment will not give him a chance.

     I guarantee you that I will thoroughly critique the 'traditional' pitching motion and clearly point out the flaws and explain what damage each cause.   I have a great subject, me in 1971.

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207.   I graduated last year from High school where I was a pitcher.   I threw in the mid to high 80's and would like to increase my velocity.   I was hoping you could send me some information that would help me do this.

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     For just that purpose, I wrote my Coaching Baseball Pitchers book and developed my Baseball Pitching Instructional video.   I hope that you enjoy them.

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208.   I am glad I stumbled across your website.   My younger brother is the pitcher you describe as benefitting most from your training.   His troubles from the "traditional" method of pitching began his junior year in high school and he pitched through the pain for the next two seasons (not telling anyone until just recently).

     After reading your sight and several others I made the amature diagnosis of a blown acl.   When I last spoke with him I asked him when his arm was hurt where was the pain and he stated the inside part of his elbow.

     He currently lives in Massachusettes and has not thrown a ball in three years.   My question is how could his arm be best evaluated medically?   After reading your sight and others I feel my brother had no knowledgable information available to him in the past.   If there is a possibility for my brother to have another go and he has the desire (I know him well and this is a huge yes) what course of action would you recommend?

     A search engine on your site would be helpful.   Your q + a section is expansive and packed with helpful information.

     Thanks for what you do, I am sure you are helping a lot of families,


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     If your brother ruptured his Ulnar Collateral Ligament, he could not have thrown a baseball at all.   If he is interested in pitching, then he needs to complete my 315-Day Adult Baseball Pitchers Interval-Training Program.

     To find what you want in my Question/Answer files, you can use Alt-Edit-Find and type in your key word.

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209.   My 16-year old son has a deformed radial head and an arthritic elbow.    He no longer pitches, but occasionally has pain when throwing.    His doctor says the pain is caused by impingement due to the loss of cartilage.    Can you recommend exercises or changes that would allow him to continue being a position player?

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     During the deceleration phase of the pitching motion, the bones of the pitching forearm attempt to move forwardly away from the bone of the pitching upper arm.   Fortunately for the Ulna bone of the pitching forearm, ligaments tie it tightly to the Trochlear end of the Humerus bone.   Unfortunately for the Radius bone of the pitching forearm, the annular ligament does not hold it tightly to the Capitular end of the Humerus bone.   As a result, the Radius move does move forwardly away from the Humerus bone.   The elastic recoil of the Radius bone slams the head of the Radius bone into the Capitular end of the Humerus bone.

     When youth pitchers throw baseballs, the repetitive slamming of these two bone structures causes the head of the Radius bone to grow inappropriately and causes pieces of the hyaline cartilage at the end of the Capitular end of the Humerus bone to break loose.   Eventually, bone spurs will grow through the openings in the hyaline cartilage.   There is no way to reverse this damage.

     Due to all the unnecessary stresses it generates, the 'traditional' pitching motion is partly responsible for this damage, but, more responsible, is parents permitting their youth baseball pitchers to throw baseballs for more than two consecutive months per year, pitch before the growth plate of the Capitular end of the Humerus bone matures at biological thirteen years old and pitching more than one inning per game twice a week before biological sixteen years old.

     Because it removes all unnecessary stress, your son can try to learn my pitching motion.   But, with a deformed Radial head, Capitular cartilage chips and arthritis, he will probably always have pain.

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210.   I am a fastpitch softball pitcher on the Men's U.S. National team.     Would you consider doing an analysis of the fastpitch pitching motion?

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     My Coaching Baseball Pitchers book is a template for how others should research other sport skills.   I have devoted forty years of my life to studying baseball pitching.   Someone else will have to research fastpitch softball pitching.

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211.   I sent you a check recently to buy a copy of You Must Relax and some other items.   Will you be able to accommodate my request?   When you refer to the center of mass of a baseball bat do you mean what klaymen refer to the "sweet spot?   Do you agree with the advice to take an aspirin a day, even if there is nothing wrong with you?

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     I have the two 'You Must Relax' books and the 'A Method for Teaching Tension Control in the Elementary School' pamphlet ready for you.   I can make a copy of the 'Overload for the Quick Bat' article.   My copy of the 'Specific Weight Training for Baseball' article is faint, but I will make a copy for you.   However, I am concerned about the quality of the picture reproduction.   I just received a new supply of ten pound lead balls, so I have the eight, ten and twelve pound lead balls ready for you.

     You wrote that you would pick these items up after Easter.   Can you give me a date specific?

     The center of mass of the baseball bat is also the center of oscillation of the baseball bat is also the 'sweet spot' of the baseball bat.   For maximum transfer of force, it is the location on the bat where baseball batters should contact the baseball.

     For us elderly patients, aspirin helps to keep our blood from clotting and blocking our Coronary arteries.   But, when we cut ourselves or blow our nose too hard, we do tend to bleed more.

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212.   I think it is great that there is a High School team that is going completely to the Marshall way of pitching.   My congratulations to the coach and very best wishes for success.   If any parents from his team are checking out your site, you are very fortunate indeed to have such a coach.   I'd love to know, at least, what state the team is in.

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     Minnesota.

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213.   Looking at my original e-mail, I misused the word blown and should have stated possible torn or injured ucl.   This is what happens when someone pretends to sound knowledgeable.   I do not possess your penchant for honesty.

     My question was more; is it is something that heals overtime (seeing that he has not thrown a ball in three years) or is the damage that was possibly done just a pitch away from further harm.   This is the part that concerns me, that without knowing what has possibly happened to his arm, how is it ok for him to start training?

     It would seem to me that this method would only be able to diagnose the problem after more damage was created.   I have not mentioned any of this with my brother because I am hoping to arm him with as much information as possible.   At this point, it seems mri's and medical advice should be a part of this) for him to be able to decide what direction he wants to go if any.

     As a doctor, what course of action would you recommend?   If it the advice is to begin training how would my brother go about joining for the summer training program you run in Florida?


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     First, I earned my Ph.D. in Physiology of Exercise with a minor in Physiological Psychology and specialties in Kinesiology/Biomechanics and Motor Skill Acquisition, not medicine.

     If your brother ruptured his Ulnar Collateral Ligament, he could not use that elbow very well.   So, I doubt that he ruptured it.   Nevertheless, for him to have a MRI is a good idea.   Ligaments do not heal the same as muscle tissue.

     If your brother is interested in joining my 2005-06 group, he will need to send me his name, address, telephone number and email address and I will send him my Lifetime Partnership Agreement.   Then, he needs to notarize his signature and return the agreement to me with his deposit.   You can find all this information in my Pitching Instruction file on the home page of my website.   Because I can only take twelve pitchers, he needs to act quickly.

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214.   Our son just turned 15 year old two days ago.    As a 14 year old, he made the varsity team.    He is 6' tall and 175, pitches and plays shortstop.    The amazing thing to me is that he starts at short, is the #2 pitcher, bats 4th in the lineup, leads the team in both batting average (.400+) and rbi's.    His E.R.A. is under 4.0 for the year, and his coach keeps him pretty much under 90 pitches per start.   He has been invited to play with the #1 rated team in their age group, so we are very excited.   Evan might be a good candidate for your year long camp when he graduates.

     By the way, my 84 year old mom, listening to late night talk radio, is the one who brought your "book" to my attention.    The piece on HBO, by Bryant Gumbel was a real eye opener too.


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     It sounds as though your son is an accelerated biological maturer.   That is, although he is chronological fifteen years old, he is biologically older.   At least, I hope that is the case.   If he is biologically fifteen years old, then he has open growth plates in his pitching elbow, which, with the torrid pitching schedule he has, will prematurely close the growth plates for the head of his Radius bone and for his medial epicondyle.   It is vitally important for his baseball pitching future that he does not alter the normal growth and development of the bones in his pitching arm.

     I am always the last to know.   Are you saying that someone on a late night talk radio show mentioned my Coaching Baseball Pitchers book?   I also have no idea about an HBO piece with Bryant Gumbel.

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215.   Your video is very informative and interesting.   It is different than some of the training (Chicago White Sox Academy) and videos (Dick Mills) we have received prior.   It appears we will have to revisit some of the pitching fundamentals that we have developed over the years.   Is it difficult to change into these mechanics?   Is there a pitcher out there that has some of the similar mechanics that we can watch to understand your concepts more fully?

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     Other pitching coach wannabes do not research the best way for pitchers to apply force to their pitches, they only chose the major league pitchers du jour and report what they do.   All that does is perpetuate the flaws that have destroyed hundreds of thousands of pitching arms and makes orthopedic surgeons wealthy.

     My pitching motion is theoretical.   Therefore, I do not have any pitcher who perfectly performs every aspect.   Nevertheless, my pitchers have never injured their pitching arms, achieve close to their maximum release velocity and throw a wide variety of high quality pitches.

     In my 2004 Baseball Pitching Instructional video, I used twelve steps to teach my pitching motion.   In my 2005 Baseball Pitching Instructional video, I will use five steps.   I am working hard on completing my 2005 video and will send you a copy as soon as it is ready.

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216.   Slate Magazine did an article on the velocity of the pitch that you may find interesting or uninteresting.   http://slate.msn.com/id/2116402/

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Pitcher Perfect

By Noam Scheiber

     When baseball's elders swap stories about fireballers, the name that ends the conversation isn't Nolan Ryan or Sandy Koufax.   It's one that never appeared on the back of a major league uniform: Steve Dalkowski.   Legend has it that the 5 foot 11 inch, 170 pound lefty threw his fastball well in excess of 100 mph.   We don't have an exact number for the same reason that Dalkowski, who toiled in the minors in the late 1950s and early 1960s, never made it to the big leagues: He was too wild to time.   When a scout tried to gauge Dalkowski's fastball with a primitive radar gun, a beam of light the width of home plate, the pitcher couldn't hit the target until after his arm got tired.

     Steve Dalkowski sounds like a genetic freak, but so is anyone who can throw a baseball 90 mph.   What he really represents is a blow to the basic notion of human progress.   In almost every measurable physical activity, athletes show improvement over time.   Jumpers jump higher and farther, and runners and swimmers go faster.   Since the late 1950s, the high-jump record has improved my more than 10 percent, the 100-meter-dash mark has improved my 5 percent, and swimming's best 100-meter freestyle has dipped 12 percent.

     Pitchers, though don's seem to be getting any faster.   Pretty much every generation since the early 1900s has boasted a supposed 100-mph pitcher, from Walter Johnson and Smoky Joe Wood to Bob Feller to Dalkowski to Nolan Ryan.   If we stick with speeds registered since modern radar guns became ubiquitous in the 1970s, peak velocity seems to be a shade north of 100.   Major League Baseball doesn't keep official records on pitch speeds, but the Guinness Book of Records credits Ryan with the fastest pitch ever, a 100.9-mph heater from 1974.   Another articles disagrees, crowning Mark Wohlers the radar-gun champ with a 103-mph pitch.

     Maybe it is only like the outer limit for pitchers is stable at around 100 mph because we can't consistently and accurately measure minute improvements in speed.   When it comes to flamethrowers, after all, it's hard to figure out what's the truth and what's a tall tale.   Feller once sent a fastball zooming by a speeding motorcycle.   Maybe the ball really was traveling at 104 mph, as the organizers of the stunt claimed.   Or maybe not.

     Still, according to experts in biomechanics, that 100-mph ceiling isn't an illusion, it's a basic property of human physiology.   A pitcher generates momentum by rocking onto his back leg and thrusting forward.   After that, he rotates his pelvis and upper trunk, then his elbow, shoulder, and wrist.   Intuitively, it seems like building up the muscles in the legs, upper body, arm, and shoulder would generate more force and make the arm move faster.   The reality: There's a point when more torque doesn't yield a faster pitch.   It simply causes tendons and ligaments to snap, detaching muscles from bone and bones from one another.   (Tendons connect muscles to bones; ligaments connect bones to each other.)

     Glenn Fleisig, a biomechanical engineer who studies pitching at the American Sports Medicine Institute in Birmingham, AL, has calculated that about 80 Newton-meters of torque act on an elite pitcher's elbow when he throws a fastball.   The Ulnar Collateral Ligament connects the Humerus and Ulna, two of the bones that come together in the elbow.   To test the outer limits of the ligament's strength, Fleisig subjected cadaver elbows to increasing amounts of rotational force.   These experiments showed that an average person's UCL snaps at about 80 Newton-meters.   Smoky Joe Wood said that he threw so fast he thought his arm was going to fly off.   It turns out that he wasn't far from the truth.

     Another way to test the proposition that ligament fragility limits velocity is to see what happens when pitchers strengthen their muscles.   Mike Axe, an orthopedic surgeon and protégé of Fleisig's partner James Andrews, advises pitchers to build up the shoulder muscles by practicing with a weighted glove on their throwing hand.   According to Axe, a pitcher can add up to 2 to 5 mph to his fastball with this regimen.   The potential gains are lower for those who throw fast to begin with, though.   Axe has seen pitchers increase their velocity from 84 to 88 mph and from 88 to 91 mph.   He's never seen anyone improve from 98 to 100.   The chief benefit from these hurlers is that they suffer fewer muscle tears.

     Why of sprinters keep getting faster while baseball pitchers seem to have maxed out?   Because track athletes don't approach the limits of what human tendons and ligaments can handle.   When you run the 100-meter dash, not single stride represent as violent a motion as the arm makes during a single overhand pitch.   Sprinters can build up their muscles without worrying that the extra force will rip their ligaments apart, that's why steroid use seems to make sprinters faster, but won't help pitchers generate velocity beyond a certain point.   (A better reason for a pitchers to take steroids would be to decrease the time it takes to recover between games.)
,br>      Ligaments and tendons can get stronger, but at a much slower rate than the muscles that surround them.   There are rumors that pitchers who've undergone Tommy John surgery, that is, a replacement of the UCL with a tendon from the hamstring or wrist, can throw harder than they did before having surgery.   But, any increase in velocity probably has less to do with getting a new superligament than with the strict rehabilitation program Tommy John patients are supposed to follow.   The reason pitchers get injured in the first place is that their muscles, tendons, and ligaments weren't as strong as they should have been.

     What about growing taller, more massive pitchers?   That doesn't necessarily make a difference, either.   Small, slightly built pitchers like Dalkowski, the 5 foot 11 Pedro Martinez, and the 5 foot 10 Billy Wagner throws just as hard as giants such as Randy Johnson.   The physical principle here is fairly simple.   If two levers move at the same speed, the ball released from the longer lever will have more velocity.   But, as a lever becomes larger, it requires more torque to move.   Randy's lever is larger; Wagner's moves more quickly.   The trade-off makes their velocity roughly equal.

     In the last two decades, baseball manager and GMs have focuses less on speed and more on injury prevention.   According to Fleisig, whose clinic has diagnosed mechanical problems in professional pitchers since 1990, "(Baseball executives) don't come to me and say, make this guy a few miles per hour faster.   They say, help this guy stay on the field."   Steve Dalkowski should have been so lucky.   He blew out his arm fielding a bunt in an exhibition game in 1963, on the eve of his first major league start.


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     I went to the website and printed the article.   Unfortunately, I could not copy and paste it, so I had to retype it.

     In 1961, when I played shortstop in the California League, I batted against Steve Dalkowski.   He dropped his pitching elbow and threw everything high.   At that time, I did not understand the baseball pitching motion.   But, if I were to work with him today, I am confident that he would throw strikes with a variety of high quality pitches.   His problem was that he used the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion, such that he could not control his late pitching forearm turnover, reverse pitching forearm bounce and the resultant pitching forearm flyout.   I would have taught him straight line force application.   He would have thrown strikes.   He would not have injured his arm.

     I think that jumpers jump higher and farther and runners run faster because they train better with better force application techniques.   I don’t know why swimmers go slower.

     The Doppler Effect makes comparing radar gun readings suspect.   However, when a fixed radar gun measures two pitchers, we can determine which achieves more release velocity.

     I agree that all tendons and ligaments have a point where, with sufficient stress, they will break down.   However, as the writer says later in this article, tendons and ligaments do strengthen.   Therefore, with the appropriate interval-training program, pitchers can strengthen their pitching tendons and ligaments to withstand greater stress.   That is what my 315-Day Adult Baseball Pitchers Interval-Training Program does.   At the same time, this program teaches baseball pitchers how to more effectively and efficiently apply force, such that they do not have to withstand the unnecessary stresses inherent in the 'traditional' pitching motion.

     Dr. Fleisig only reports what baseball pitchers do, he does not research how to better do it.   While seeming interesting, to measure when dead tissue can no longer withstand stress does not relate to live tissue.   Nevertheless, Dr. Fleisig only studies the 'traditional' pitching motion.   Therefore, even if true that Ulnar Collateral Ligaments snap at 80 Newton-meters, the answer lies in a better way to more effectively and efficiently apply force and an appropriate interval-training program.

     Dr. Axe's weighted glove on the pitching hand trains the muscles that decelerate the pitching arm.   While I agree that to accelerate the baseball to higher release velocities requires that the pitching arm increase its ability to safely decelerate the pitching arm, I believe that I have a far superior way to train the 'brakes' of the baseball pitching motion.   I call them, my wrist weight exercises.   Also, I severely doubt that Dr. Axe has any quality research to support his claims.   A pitcher I trained threw 94 mph when he started with me and threw 106 mph several times in minor league games.   With my baseball pitching motion and interval-training program I believe that genetically gifted pitchers can throw well in excess of 100 mph without injury and with a wide variety of quality pitches.

     Baseball pitchers max out because they use the 'traditional' pitching motion and have never appropriately trained.   Steroid use increases muscle mass, but not tendon or ligament strength.   My interval-training program enables baseball pitchers to increase the capillarization required to recover from competitive pitching faster.

     Replacing a ruptured Ulnar Collateral Ligament increases release velocity because it tightens the elbow joint that baseball pitchers stretched during their adolescent baseball pitching, which is another reason why it ruptured, not because it becomes a super-ligament.

     The baseball cannot go faster than the pitching hand.   Therefore, those with the ability to move their pitching hand the fastest and transfer the force from their pitching fingertips to the baseball achieve the highest release velocities.   Leverage is good.   Muscle contractility is better.   Proper force application is best.

     General Managers may want baseball pitchers who do not break down, but the scouts still use radar guns to determine which baseball pitchers to give the opportunity to pitch professionally.   I will guarantee any General Manager that if I trained their baseball pitchers and they learned my pitching motion, no pitcher would ever break down.   Dr. Fleisig has no clue how baseball pitchers should apply force or train.

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217.   Are you the former pitcher with the LA Dodgers?   I have coached pitching in the U.S. and some foreign countries for many years.   I usually try to dispel as many myths as possible.   First of all, there is no magic or mysterious pitching elements.

1.   A pitcher can control:

     a.   Muzzle velocity (there is no HARD pitches, no power, ONLY VELOCITY.
     b.   Muzzle direction - (Just as in firing a gun or bow-and-arrow, even the 90MPH fastball, if unaffected by gravity would sail into the upper decks behind home plate.
     c.   Spin - quantity and direction.

2.   Once the ball is released, there are three things that affect the flight of the ball.   (All the follow-through in the world has no effect on the flight of the ball.)
     a.   gravity.
     b.   wind resistance (the ball slows 10% on its trip to the plate).

3.   If the ball (pitch) does not do what the pitcher had intended, IT IS ALWAYS DUE TO A MECHANICAL FLAW.   If the ball does not curve, it is a mechanical flaw.   If the pitch was supposed to be on the outside and it was inside, it is a mechanical flaw.   There are, of course, other factors dictate the success or failure of a pitcher.

     I noticed that on your web site, you presented a host of disclaimers about the perfection (or lack thereof) of your video.   Have you read "The Physics of Baseball" by Robert Adair?   You might gather information from that book for future use in your video.


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     I pitched fourteen years in the major leagues.   The Los Angeles Dodgers was one of the teams for whom I pitched.

     I prefer release velocity to muzzle velocity.   Baseball pitchers have pitching arms, not gun barrels.

     Sir Isaac Newton's law of inertia says that objects travel in straight lines unless acted upon by external forces.   Gravity is an external force that drives baseballs downward at about thirty-two feet per second squared.

     There is no such thing as follow-through, only centripetal imperative.   When baseball pitchers apply force to the baseball along curved pathways, they not only violate Newton's law of inertia, but they also generate centripetal forces.   Obviously, once pitchers release their pitches, they no longer are able to directly influence where they go.

     I agree that gravity and air molecules influence how baseball pitches move after pitchers release them.   However, the seams of the baseball and how they collide with the air molecules also influence how baseball pitches move.   To achieve the proper movement of their pitches, pitchers must learn how to release their pitches with the proper spin axes.   I suppose that if they do not achieve the proper spin axes, you could say that they had a mechanical flaw of some sort.   But, it could also be a improper grip.

     My Baseball Pitching Instruction videos are as perfect as I could make them at the time.   However, because my pitching motion is theoretical, no baseball pitcher could ever achieve perfection.   Nevertheless, as quantifiably determined with the lengths of the x, y and z coordinates and their associated acceleration graphs, how my pitchers apply force is far, far superior than how the best 'traditional' baseball pitchers apply force.

     Because Professor Adair has never coached baseball pitchers and I have my doctoral degree in the Physiology of Exercise with specialties in Kinesiology/Biomechanics and Motor Skill Acquisition, he adds nothing new.

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218.   My son told me to relay that he had a balk called against him.    Guy on first, he was pitching from your windup.    The guy breaks for second early, my son steps off, turns to second to throw, but the field ump called the balk.    He was behind my son, and said that he moved his hands before stepping off.    Complete bullshit.    The guy could not even see his hands.

     I was very surprised at how quickly my son delivered the ball from your windup-set position.    I like it very much.    It would be nice to get a measure of how quickly the pitches get to the plate from first movement to catcher's mitt.    But, I do not think you could be too accurate, because it is so quick.    Not like a traditional set position delivery at all.    I would estimate that a runner could not even get two steps before the catcher had the ball.    He would be dead meat.


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     I am pleased to read that your son used my Wind-Up Set Position body action.   I am sure that the umpire was confused.   Did your son ask him to consult with the home plate umpire as to whether he started his wind-up before he stepped off and what constitutes starting the wind-up?   I agree that base runners get much shorter starts with my body action than with the 'traditional' pitching motion.   This will dramatically change baseball.   There will be far fewer stolen bases, if at all.

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219.   I am a Lieutenant Colonel in the US Army.   I have been notified that I will be stationed on Kwajalein, Republic of the Marshall Islands (Island Atoll approximately 2500 miles South West of the Hawaiian Islands).   We move there this summer for a 2 year assignment.

     My son, who will be 14 this summer, will move with us.   He has been playing competitive baseball now for 9 years on teams in Panama, Louisiana, Kansas, Illinois and Nebraska.   Right now he is playing USSSA baseball. There is no baseball on Kwajalein.   I am looking for long term hitting/fielding/pitching instruction for him for the summer months.   I am also looking for a select baseball team that he could possibly get involved with during the summer months.

     Can you advise me if long term instruction over the summer is available?   I would hate to have him spend all this effort playing competitive ball for so long and go to Kwajalien for 2 years and miss the opportunity to stay competitive.

     Every parent has dreams and believes that their child is destined for the big-leagues.   I am a realist, so I will not feed you with an inflamed parental opinion.   That's an assessment an unbiased coach or an instructor has to make, not the parent.   But, I will guarantee you one thing: my son is a solid player (infielder) with a good fundamental background and has a grasp of the game (Both the art & science as well as the individual and collective tasks).

     He is respectful and extremely easy to coach, always giving maximum effort.   If you could point me in the right direction, I would greatly appreciate it and more importantly he would benefit from it more so than anyone else.


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     My biggest concern for fourteen year old baseball pitchers is that, when they become high school juniors, they have not deformed the bones of their pitching arms because they pitched too much, too hard, too early.   I prefer that they master how they apply force to their pitches and how they release their pitches.

     With regard to baseball pitching, I recommend that you and he work together on how I teach baseball pitchers to apply force and release pitches.   On my website, you and he can read my Coaching Baseball Pitchers book and you and he can watch my Baseball Pitching Instructional video.

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220.   We are going to see his sports orthopedist in the next week or two, and have our son's growth plates checked.

At 8:00PM PDT, on March 22, 2005, HBO ran its Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel program.    In 18 minutes, they talked about "ligament replacement surgeries".    There were a lot of shocking statistics and comments, but the most shocking came from a surgeon that used to do a couple of ligament replacement surgeries a year on under 19 year olds.    Now, he does several a month, and some as young as 9 years old.   I made a copy of the show.   I could make one for you.

     The thing that sparked my interest in this entire subject was a local phenom, a local high school sophomore was already being scouted last year because his pitcher teammate received a full ride to Stanford, and was personally recruited by the head coach.

     In my opinion, the sophomore was/is a much better "pitcher" because he has mastery of several pitches, and doesn't just throw hard.    The problem, as I heard it, was that during the fall tournament season, he was invited to participate in a showcase game.

     In one particular game, he was the starting pitcher.    In the first two innings, he struck out all 6 batters he faced, 30 pitches total.    On the 32nd pitch, a curveball, he heard a "snap," but felt no pain.    On his 33 pitch, he felt something strange and started walking off the mound.    Two weeks later, he had, to the best of my knowledge, Tommy John surgery.    Now, though he still bats as the DH for his team, he will not pitch until next season, his senior year.

     I don't want my son to have to go through that, so we have put a very rigid restriction on his weekly pitch count, and we will do everything we can to follow your learned advice and build his arm properly.    He doesn't know what it really means to be an "athlete" yet, particularly when it comes to preparation and training, because he has not had to work at it yet, and everyone still pats him on the back because he still is the best.    But, I know the day is coming, probably this summer, when he will hear and learn about his weaknesses and what he will need to do to correct them, and also start to prepare for his sophomore-senior years of play.


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     Are there worse horror stories than nine year olds needing Ulnar Collateral Ligament replacement surgeries?   It is time for not only parents to be concerned about their youth pitchers, but the organizers of youth baseball leagues.   If it is not too much bother, I would like the video of Bryant Gumbel's show.

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221.   I'm 48 years old and have pitched in a men's league baseball league for several years.    I had surgery on November 9, 2004 to repair a detached labrum and partially torn rotator cuff in my left, throwing, shoulder.    I have since been going to physical therapy for rehab.

     Since February, I have noticed an increase in pain.    The pain is greatest when I reach out to hold something (ex., if I am sitting in my car and try adjust the side view mirror controls on the left-side dashboard, the pain is great; it's like a burning pain from the top of my shoulder leading to the top of the bicep).    My P.T. thinks I might have bursitis.    I went back to the surgeon in March for a follow-up and he prescribed an anti-inflammatory.   He also said to avoid painful movements with the shoulder.
,br>      I'd love to know what you think.    I was hoping to return to the mound this summer, but that is unlikely.


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     What would you call a person who does the same thing again and expects a different result?   You injured your pitching arm with the 'traditional' pitching motion.   Do you cannot expect to use the same pitching motion?

     Physical therapists do not understand how to train baseball pitchers.   They use generic exercises that have no relevance.

     If you want to pitch again, you must change how you apply force to your pitches and how you train.   I recommend my pitching motion and my interval-training program.

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222.   I did see you pitch back in Los Angeles.

     If I recall correctly, Dr. Adair suggests that it is not the seams which induce curves, but the spin itself.   Note that table tennis (ping-pong) balls have extremely exaggerated curves applied to them and they are seamless.   Tennis balls also curve to the extremes without extended seams.   Golf balls perhaps exhibit exaggerated curve movements with no seams.

     I used the term muzzle velocity since it applies to tennis, batting a baseball, etc.

     Do I recall correctly that your specialty pitch was a screwball?


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     Apparently, Professor Adair did not read Professor Magnus' treatise on what makes a baseball change direction in flight.   It is called, the Magnus Effect.   Check with any credible Kinesiology text or Chapter Nineteen of my Coaching Baseball Pitchers book.   The key is surface friction.   Ping pong balls have little weight and allot of surface friction.   Golf balls have dimples that act like the seams on baseballs.   Billiard balls have little surface friction, throw a curve with one and watch how well it breaks.

     I prefer to say that my specialty pitch was whatever pitch would get batters out.   However, because batters have a great deal of difficulty hitting screwballs and throwing them are very, very easy on the pitching arm, I did throw a variety of screwballs.

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223.   My son is 18 and pitches for a high school team, or, at least, he did.   He has signed with a Division I team and has been recognized as a possible draft pick.   He throws over 90 and has been a successful player at many positions.   However, last year, he has a Medial injury and went through rehab for the past year, but, recently, has apparently injured it more seriously.   We will know more tomorrow when we see the doctor of the nearby major league baseball team.

     I have been trying to find someone who seemed to know how to teach a kid to throw with minimum risk.   Everyone seems to think they are an expert and there are as many ideas about what is correct as there are people.   I am no expert and don't have a clue, but my son pitches from that 3/4 angle and has somewhat a floppy arm movement which everyone claimed was his strength and why he could get the movement and velocuty on the ball.   I was always concerned about it and now my concernes are realized.   Baseball is everything to this kid, as is many.

     So we likely will have the surgery, and go through the process.   I would be interested in your ideas about the surgery and his possibilities for being a successful candidate.   They speak of it being simple, but I know that no surgery is simple or exact.   The fact his arm didn't recover over the year of rehab also brings concern for me because it would seem if he was going to be able to recover, he would have during that time.

     In any case, please send your information and I am extremely interested in my son about to work with an expert such as yourself, should pitching continue to be his option.


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     Sorry about the problems that your son is having.   They are all directly attributable to the 'traditional' pitching motion.

     If the doctor says that he has ruptured his Ulnar Collateral Ligament, then he needs surgery.   When the doctor says that he can start rehabilitation, then he needs to join my 2005-066 interval-training group.

     The rehabilitation people have no idea what to do for pitching arm injuries.   The first thing that they should do is to discard the 'traditional' pitching motion.   But, since they do not know a better way to apply force, all they do is worthless, non-productive activities.   I know a better way to apply force and how to rehabilitate baseball pitchers.

     If you and he are interested in training with me, then please let me know and I will send you my materials.

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224.   It was confirmed that the UCL was torn and he has surgery on June 10, 2005, after his season.   He is going to continue to play 1st and bat for his team to get through his senior year.   The doctor for the nearby major league team is doing the surgery.    Are you familiar with him?

     Yes, I am very interested in your program and would love to get him at least some exposure to your training.    At a minimum I would like to make sure you agree with whatever they are doing with him at the doctor's rehab center.   My son has MLB potential and probably would have been drafted if this had not happened.

     In any case now, we are looking to a college career at the Division I college in baseball, if we can get him the right program to rehab.

     Also, my younger son is just starting to pitch in High School and I really want it done right.


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     I recommend that he has the surgery as soon as possible, not in two months.   I recommend that they use the tendon of the Palmaris Longus muscle from his glove forearm, not his pitching forearm or, better yet, the tendon from his knee.

     I do not know your doctor. When I see a need for surgery, I call another doctor.

     I do not give 'at least some exposure' to my training.   I either do the entire 315-Day Adult Baseball Pitchers Interval-Training Program or nothing.   I will not do anything remotely similar to whatever they did at your rehabilitation center.   You can find my program under Pitcher Training Programs on the home page of my website at www.drmikemarshall.com.

     My 2005-06 group starts on Saturday, July 16, 2005.

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225.   Here in my region of the country, the Ulnar Collateral Ligaments injuries just keep rolling along.

     One of my past high school pitching students, who left me pronating 75% of his pitches with no problems with any pain, inflammation or tendonitis, just got out of reconstruction surgery on his UCL.   Evidently, when he arrived at his Pac-10 university on scholarship, his pitching coach immediately changed his driveline and pitch releases.   Within 5 months of supinating his releases with cutters and sliders, he was injured.   Sadly, he knew better because I taught him not to supinate these releases and the reasons why this problem would arise.   Yet, the pitching coach made it mandatory instead of letting him pitch with what got him there.

     Another situation involves an x-major leaguer, who had UCL replacement surgery and his son, who now has injured his arm, just won't believe anything about your shortened up timeline for recovery.

     Here is his statement on a message board at baseballresource.com.:

     "Just wanted to clear up the misinformation. xxxxx will undergo surgery on Tuesday April 26th.   Dr. Yocum will be performing his surgery.   We have the utmost confidence in him as he did my transplant surgery in 1982.   He is a great doctor and a great friend.   I am amazed at the incorrect recovery times I have been reading about.   xxxxx will not pick up a baseball for a minimum of 9 months.   It takes 12 months for the blood to regenerate through the transplanted tendon.   Anyone who picks up a ball sooner than that is taking a huge risk.   My son will not be one of them."

     This is another statement following by someone else:

     "As far as the other baloney being stated on recovery time due to the angle of the dangle and driveline forces etc., I am glad you stepped in and helped state the facts.   The last thing any kid needs while recovering is to read some amateur hocus pocus and think he can comeback as early as was being stated."

     My question to you is:   Can you give us a short timeline from Ulnar Collateral Ligament replacement surgery until you start rehab and then start picking up a ball using your protocol?


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     Similar to how long it takes for a bone fracture to heal, Ulnar Collateral Ligament replacement patients have to wait for the bone tissue that surrounds the hole through which the surgeon threaded the replacement tissue to completely close the hole around the new tissue.   At that time, the surgeon clears the patient to begin rehabilitation.

     The rehabilitation has two major goals.

01.   To change from the force application technique that ruptured the Ulnar Collateral Ligament to a force application technique that minimizes the stress, not only on the Ulnar Collateral Ligament area on the inside of the pitching elbow, but also in the four muscles in the pitching shoulder that contribute to the 'rotator cuff.'

02.   To strengthen the bones, ligaments and tendons associated with the baseball pitching motion, such that pitchers can maximally apply the appropriate stress to these tissues without fear of injury.

     My 315-Day Adult Baseball Pitchers Interval-Training Program achieves both of these goals.

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226.   I will certainly look into the suggestions with the surgeons.   Our doctor studied under your doctor, so I feel pretty good about his credentials, even though your doctor is no doubt the best known for this surgery.

     Waiting to have the surgery is not our desire, but he is in the middle of his senior high school season and continues to contribute significantly to the team and we didn't want to cost him that opportunity if we didn't have to.   I assume there is some increased risk of further damage, but hopefully not much.

     I am very interested in your program and would love to find out more.   We live about six hundred miles from your place, so logistically I am not sure how that would be worked out.   But, what I would like to do is sometimes over the next few weeks, perhaps come to Florida and meet with you, if that would be convenient, so I can get an idea of what is involved.

     As you can imagine this is a confusing time, and we have a lot of information and advice coming from many different directions.   There are as many ideas about what should be done, as there are people and discerning the correct direction is a little tough.   Your credentials on the website are certainly impressive when it comes to baseball and medical issues relating to such.   Certainly, we want the best for our son and whatever will give him the best chance for a strong recovery.


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     If your son ever has to throw the baseball, without his Ulnar Collateral Ligament to stabilize his elbow, he could do considerably more damage.   But, more importantly, if your son waits until June to have his surgery, then the doctor will not clear him to start his rehabilitation until September.   My 2005-06 group starts my 315-Day Adult Baseball Pitchers Interval-Training Program on Saturday, July 16, 2005.

     We welcome visitors any time.   My 2004-05 group completes my program on the fourth Saturday in May.   After that, I will only have a few pitchers who are returning for advanced work to show what we do.

     I understand your confusion.   With so many baseball pitching wannabes out there who want to steal your money and so many well-meaning, but incompetent with regard to the baseball pitching motion, physical therapists out there, it is hard to find someone to trust.   Perhaps a letter that the father of one of the kids I am presently training wrote will help.   It is question 205 in my 2005 Question/Answer file.   If you are interested, I am sure that he would talk with you.

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227.   I am 33, and haven't pitched since I was a kid.   I'd like to get back into it, purely because I love pitching.   It is something that I miss every day and I figured, what the hell.

     I am thinking about trying to find a pitching coach where I live or close by and I am just curious about how strong a pitcher I could become at this point.   Maybe play in some old farts league.

     What do you think?   If I contacted a local college, do you think that I could get their pitching coach to spend some time with me for a fee?


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     I am sure that there are many pitching coach wannabes in your area who will take your money and destroy your pitching arm.   I recommend that you read my Coaching Baseball Pitching book and watch my Baseball Pitching Instructional video and teach yourself how to pitch.

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228.   How do baseball pitchers get late movement on a pitch?   How do they make the ball move right before it hits the strike zone?

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     The five variables that contribute to the movement of baseball pitches are: spin axis, spin velocity, horizontal velocity, take-off angle and air molecule density.

     With regard to spin axis, to move late, four seam breaking pitches must have with horizontal spin axes.

     With regard to spin velocity, to move late, four seam breaking pitches with horizontal spin axes must have very high spin velocity.

     With regard to horizontal velocity, to move late, four seam breaking pitches with horizontal spin axes must have very high horizontal velocity.

     With regard to take-off angle, to move late, four seam breaking pitches must have a zero or negative take-off angle.

     With regard to air molecule density, to move late, four seam breaking pitches must have low temperatures at sea level.

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229.   I have an almost 16 year old son, who wants to learn your four pitches.   So, he is going to do one of your 60 day programs this summer once school is out.   The thought is to do a 60 day program in June and July, the month when he turns 16.   He will then take August and September off and do another 60 day program in October and November and then have December and January off before he starts baseball for his school in February.   I have always tried to be very careful with his arm, so I really appreciate your work.

     Your videotape and written materials are fascinating, but somewhat daunting at first glance.   So, I have spent considerable time studying those materials in order to help and supervise my son.   I have tried to summarize your important concepts (such as elbow angle, punching, not moving the foot until reaching drive-line height, etc.), each of the four basic pitches and each of the 12 exercises so he (and I when I am with him) can take the summaries outside to the practice area.

     One thing that would be quite helpful is if you sold still pictures with such a summary.   For instance, seeing a still of you holding each pitch prior to release would be helpful.   Also, maybe a still of the ball just prior to release might also be helpful.

     If you think summaries of some sort might be a product that you would want to sell, let me know and I will be glad to email my summaries to you so you can use them in any way you desire or at least see how I attempted to summarize the points that I thought were important.   I am sure anything you prepare would be a much better product; perhaps seeing mine would just give you a perspective on what at least one father gleaned from your present materials, so you could gather what other parents or coaches might miss or misconstrue.

     I think you are providing a great service to boys and young men and I want to thank you very much for it.   I will let you know how my son does at the end of your program.


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     First, I assume that your son is sitting beside you when you are studying my video.

     When young men do not start my program until they are sixteen years old, they do not need to do each of the 60-Day programs separately.   You and he should do my 120-Day program.   If you examine my 120-Day High School Baseball Pitchers Interval-Training Program, you will notice that it includes all of the drills that I use in each of my 60-Day programs.   You will also notice that I have reduced the number of drills from twelve to five.   Therefore, you and your son should start in June and complete the program one hundred and twenty days later.

     The five drills that I now recommend are:

01.   Pickoff with Step body action; Slingshot glove and pitching arm actions.
02.   Wrong Foot body action; Slingshot glove and pitching arm actions.
03.   Wrong Foot body action; Pendulum Swing glove and pitching arm actions.
04.   Crow-Hop body action; Pendulum Swing glove and pitching arm actions.
05.   Wind-Up Set Position body action; Pendulum Swing glove and pitching arm actions.

     The only drill that I did not include in my 2004 Baseball Pitching Instructional video is my new Crow-Hop body action; Pendulum Swing glove and pitching arm actions.   I hope that the description that I provide in my recently edited Chapter Thirty-Six appropriately explains the drill.   I also plan to complete my 2005 Baseball Pitching Instructional video this summer and, when I do, I will send you a copy.

     I am always interested in hearing from my readers about any ideas that they have for learning my pitching motion faster and easier.   I work every day toward that goal.   Please send your materials to me and I will pass them along to other readers.

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230.   Here is a description of the Teres Minor muscle from your 2005 questions:

     "The Teres Minor muscle arises from high on the axillary border of the Scapula and attaches immediately behind the Infraspinatus muscle on the posterior aspect of the head of the Humerus bone.   During the deceleration phase, the Teres Minor muscle outwardly rotates the pitching upper arm.   When 'traditional' baseball pitchers supinate their releases and pull their pitching arm downward and across the front of their body, they unnecessarily stress the attachment of their Teres Minor muscle.   To prevent injury, baseball pitchers must powerfully pronate their pitching forearm."

     I was watching a game this weekend and the pitcher violently pulled his pitching arm down and across his body.   Interestingly, I could not see the forearm flyout, but certainly could see the arm whipping across his body.   Since bones, muscles, ligaments and tendons do not stretch and given the position of the Teres Minor muscle how does the muscle handle this kind of stress even once?   How is the arm allowed to travel that far without tearing the muscle?


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     Because our eyes see at thirty frames per second, when baseball pitchers accelerate their pitches through release, we cannot see what happens.   However, because whatever happens during the acceleration phase continues during the deceleration phase, we can deduct what happened during the acceleration phase.   Therefore, when we see pitchers arms come horizontally across the front of the pitchers body, we know that, during the acceleration phase, it was at the same horizontal angle out to the pitching arm side of the body.

     Your point is well taken.   How does the tiny Teres Minor muscle deceleration the entire pitching arm that is rapidly moving horizontally across the front of the pitchers body?   I am amazed that it lasts as long as it does.

     When I see Barry Zito slap his back with his pitching hand on the glove side of his body, I wonder how many more times he can do this without serious injury.   With the continual pounding of his olecranon process into its fossa and the associated continual pulling of his Brachialis muscle on its coronoid process, he must have already lost several degrees of pitching elbow flexion and extension range of motion.

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231.   My question concerns your step 2 of your pitching drills, "Wrong Foot Body Action; Slingshot Glove and Pitching Arms Action," which I see in Chapter 37 of your Free Book.

     You say, "To start the drill, pitchers raise both arms to shoulder height extended straight forward with their thumbs turned downward."   I believe the pitcher is facing home plate at this point.   No problem there.

     Then you say, "From this position, pitchers bring their pitching hand straight backward to beside their pitching side ear in the same manner that archers draw back their bow."   No problem there.

     Then, you go on to tell how to position the arm and fingers for your various pitched.   After you do this you say, "From this position, pitchers simultaneously 'load' their pitching arm Slingshot and reverse rotate their shoulders, such that they move their acromial line to point at second base, but no farther."

     I do not understand this move.   If you were doing this drill on a pitching mound as I see it you would be turned toward third base at this point.

     Then you say, "When pitchers have their pitching elbow at the height of their pitching ear with their pitching forearm horizontally pointing backward reaching as far toward second base as they can, they have 'loaded' their Slingshot."

     If they have reverse rotated their acromial line toward second base as you state earlier, how can they point their forearm toward second base?


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     With my Wrong Foot body action, Slingshot glove and pitching arm actions drill, I do want pitchers to start with their acromial line perpendicular to the driveline to home plate and their feet pointing at home plate.

     When I say, "From this position, pitchers simultaneously 'load' their pitching arm Slingshot and reverse rotate their shoulders, such that they move their acromial line to point at second base, but no farther," I want pitchers to reverse rotate their acromial line ninety degrees from perpendicular to the driveline to parallel with the driveline, such that they have their glove arm pointing at home plate and their pitching arm pointing at second base.

     Remember, pitchers must never take their pitching elbow behind their acromial line.   With their pitching arm, the idea is for pitchers to reach straight back toward second base.   If they point their acromial line at second base and they do not take their pitching elbow behind their acromial line, then, as soon as they 'lock' their pitching upper arm with their body, they are ready to drive their pitching hand straight toward home plate.

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232.   Did I read it right, they replace a Ligament with a Tendon in UCL replacement?   Are they made of the same material composition?   Does blood travel through them the same way as muscle?   I always thought ligaments had no blood vessels?   How do they receive nutrients for life or recovery?   How do they grow and get stronger at the start of rehab?

     The reason I ask these questions is I plan to offer your training and mechanics program in its entirety starting this summer for the willing and I’m always being asked these types of questions.   I also think I should have the parents sign a disclaimer agreement if they want Arm destroying Traditional mechanics.   For these people I will still tweak their mechanics toward your teachings, I have already done so and have had tremendous results!


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     Yes, they use the tendon of the Palmaris Longus muscle to replace the Ulnar Collateral Ligament.   They are both connective tissue.   The Palmaris Longus muscle only tightens the Palmar Aponeurosis, it does not move bones.   However, I still prefer that they use the Palmaris Longus tendon from the glove arm.

     The rest of your questions are harder to answer.   Until I see research, I can only speculate.   If someone knows of some studies, please let me know.   I know that doctors say that the replaced tissue becomes vascularized.   Maybe, when they repeat the Ulnar Collateral Ligament replacement surgery after pitchers rupture their UCL for a second time, they can check for new blood supply.

     If you get pitchers to raise their pitching hand to driveline height without any late pitching forearm turnover, minimize the reverse pitching forearm bounce and minimize their pitching forearm flyout, you will go a long way to preventing pitching arm injuries.   However, if they still use the 'balance position' pitching rhythm, then they will never achieve a vertical pitching forearm at release and, as a result, will never achieve their maximum release velocity, release consistency or pitch quality.

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233.   I have an 11 year old, who came out of a game with a sore elbow.   He apparently pitched to about 12 players in one disastrous inning with about 6 fielding errors.   I was late to the game and didn't know that he had pitched so many pitches.

     Anyways, we took him to a sports orthopedist and the X-ray was negative.   No tears/fractures.   The doctor's diagnosis was "Little League Elbow".   My son's been resting for about 6 weeks and has had no pain for the last 2 weeks.   Couple questions:

1)   After swinging at whiffle balls the other day, he felt slight discomfort on the "crease" of his elbow.   It lasted for about 10 seconds and went away. Should I discontinue batting practice?

2)   Will this "Little League Elbow" have a long term affect on his pitching?

3)   Should he stop pitching all together until next year?

4)   We've had 3 kids go out with elbow injuries the last 4 months.   What would you say to our coach?


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     At biological eleven years old, the ossification center for the olecranon process in your son's pitching elbow has just appeared.   The olecranon process it the tip of the elbow on the posterior side.   That means that most of his olecranon process is still growth cartilage to which the powerful Triceps Brachii muscle attaches.

     I do not know where you mean when you say the 'crease' of his elbow.   Little League Elbow refers to the growth plate of the medial epicondyle, which is on the inside of the elbow.

     If you have read my Question/Answer files, then you know that I recommend that until the growth plate for the medial epicondyle completely matures at biological sixteen years old, youth baseball pitchers do not throw baseballs for more than two consecutive months per year, until the growth plate for the capitular end of the Humerus bone completely matures at biological thirteen years old, do not pitching competitively and pitch only one inning per game no more than twice a week.

01.   Because your son experienced discomfort with his swing at whiffle balls, I suspect that he 'locked' his olecranon process into its fossa.   To prevent this injury, as he drives the bat through contact, he needs to learn how to pronate his rear forearm.

02.   Any time that baseball pitchers place more stress on the growth plates in their pitching elbow, they interfere with the normal growth and development of those bones.   They will cause permanent deformation in these bones.   As a result, they will never be as good as they should have been.

03.   I recommend that, to learn the proper way to apply force to and release their pitches, youth pitchers complete my First, Second, Third and Fourth 60-Day Youth Baseball Pitchers Motor Skill Acquisition Programs.

04.   The pitching elbow injuries that the youth pitchers on your team are suffering are because they are using the 'traditional' pitching motion and because they have open growth plates that cannot withstand the stress of throwing too hard, too often for too many days.

     Parents must take charge and protect their youth pitchers.

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234.   I know that muscle, ligaments, tendons, etc don't stretch.   You did tell me once when I visited your facility that you can stretch muscles when you injure them. I'm not sure if I am quoting you accurately.   Is there some middle ground between a healthy muscle, ligament, tendon and the time you tear them.   If this is accurate, can you expound on this type of "stretching" I envision it as the muscle, tendon and/or ligament getting lax.

     As an aside, this is not scientific, but I am impressed by how many kids are keeping sore arms from their parents and coaches in my area.


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     I think that, what I might have said is, if athletes place sufficient stress on the contractile units of muscle fibers that they actually become longer, then they have torn them.   I cannot ever recommend any type of 'stretching' activity.

     To prepare to throw baseballs as hard as they can, I recommend that baseball pitchers complete my minimum number of wrist weight and iron ball exercises.   Then, when they start throwing baseballs, I recommend that they use my 'Crow-Hop' body action; Pendulum Swing glove and pitching arm actions and gently and gradually increase their intensity.   After they 'feel' their releases, then I recommend that they use my 'Wind-Up Set Position body action; Pendulum Swing glove and pitching arm actions.

     I assume that the local baseball pitchers do not tell their parents and, presumably, their coaches of their sore pitching arms because they know that their parents would not permit them to pitch.

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235.   Wow!   Thank you for such a quick and concise reply.   I am going thru your treasure trove of information.   I just finished the FAQ 2005 and I'll be reading the other years.   I just wished I found out about you sooner.   You were referenced quite extensively in "Savings the Pitcher" by Will Carroll and that's how I found out about you.

     I will take your advice and not have my son pitch until 13.   With such injury, is he done as a pitcher?   Should we focus on batting?   He just wants to play ball at a high school level, anything beyond that would be a bonus.

     Also, when I said discomfort on the "crease" of his elbow, I was referring not to the inner part of his elbow, but rather more to the middle part, the joint between the medial and lateral epicondyle.   He also felt the same discomfort for about 2 minutes when he was carrying his trumpet case the other day, but went away when he put the case down.   So, no pitching until 13, but give up altogether on pitching?


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     I again recommend that you and your son complete my First, Second, Third and Fourth Youth Baseball Pitchers Motor Skill Acquisition Programs.   Because he is eleven year old, to have him ready to pitch competitively at biological thirteen years old, you will have to shorten each program from sixty to thirty days and complete two each year.

     If he masters the drills and skills, then he will learn how to throw high quality pitches.   Then, when he pitches competitively, he pitches only one inning per game and throws strikes with these pitches in the proper sequences, he will find out how successful he will be.   Then, at biological sixteen years old, he should complete my 120-Day High School Baseball Pitchers Interval-Training Program.   With his skill and the baseball pitching fitness that he gains from that program, he will become the best high school baseball pitcher that he can be.

     The additional information that you have given me about his discomfort convinces me that he jammed the olecranon process of his Ulna bone into the olecranon fossa of his Humerus bone.   To prevent this from ever happening again, he needs to learn how to pronate all the releases of his baseball throws and his rear arm during his swing.   Pronation means to rotate the thumb side of the forearm toward the little finger side of his forearm, such that the thumb points downward.   I do not believe that this incident, it not repeated, will meaningfully influence his pitching future.

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236.   I have just read your research abstract. Excuse my lack of knowledge, but my 9.5 y/o son wants to pitch.   He has thrown 10-50 pitches 3 times/wk for the past 8 months.   I encouraged him & took him to the pitching camps with a very kind coach.

     My son also loves to throw a football and does so frequently.   He usually stretches before throwing.   He says his arm never hurts.   He says he will not throw if his arm hurts.    I believe him.   Recently, I have had to ask him to stop throwing.   He pitched his first game this week, 76 pitches in 3 innings.    He did not want to stop.   I am impressed with his strength & enthusiasm, but I'm concerned he may be injuried, without obvious sign & symptoms.

     Is that possible?   Of note, our coach is from our intense baseball town.   He too began pitching at age 9.    I wonder if his surguries resulted from remote childhood injury.   I can X-ray my son now & again before his 10th.


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     You and your son are about to embark on a great journey, this is, working together to help him become the best baseball pitcher that he can be.    He does the work, you do the guiding.   To protect and help your son, you have a lot to learn.

     The first thing that you have to learn is that the bones in the pitching arms of nine and one-half year old boys differ from the bones in the pitching arms of adults.   The bones of nine and one-half year old pitchers have cartilaginous growth plates and, with regard to their olecranon process and lateral epicondyle, only growth cartilage.   Because critical baseball pitching muscles attach to these growth plates and growth cartilages, they cannot withstand much stress without dramatically changing their normal growth and development pattern.

     The second thing that you have to learn is that adolescence is a time for skill development, not competition.   I recommend that, until all growth plates in his pitching elbow completely mature at biological sixteen years old, your son throws baseballs for only two consecutive months each year, waits until he is biologically thirteen years old to pitch competitively in games against opponent hitters and, between biological thirteen and sixteen, he pitches no more than one inning per game twice a week.

     Too much baseball pitching for extended time periods destroys growth plates and stretches the ligaments that hold the pitching elbow and shoulder bones together.   When these injures occur, he may experience little discomfort, but the damage will result.

     We want him to be the best high school junior baseball pitcher that he can be.   To that end, you must carefully guide and teach him.   I have the programs that you need to follow and I will answer any questions that you have along the way.

     Have fun.

     The pitching coach suffered his injuries from doing precisely what he is teaching your son and others to do.   What do you call people who continue to do things the same way over and over, but expect a different result?   He may be a nice guy, but, just as he destroyed his own pitching arm, he will destroy your son's pitching arm.

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237.   If I may follow up and perhaps be more clear on stretching ligaments to injure arms.   You have referred to stretching the gleno-humeral ligaments because of incorrect force application.   When I questioned you about that statement in terms of ligaments not being able to stretch, I believe you said that ligaments could stretch if you injure them.   I may be misquoting you.   My question is can ligaments, etc. stretch from injury.,br>
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     By throwing too hard, too often for too many months per year, youth baseball pitchers can lengthen their Ulnar Collateral Ligament and Gleno-Humeral Ligament.   As a result, these joints become unstable.   I suspect that adolescent ligament elongation explains why, as adults, John Smoltz and 'The Rookie' had to have ligament replacement surgery and why they threw harder after their surgery.

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238.   I am writing you for the second time and would like to update you on where I am.   I was aware of you, your study and your pitching.   I played NCAA baseball and was a Physical Education major and enjoyed my Kinesiology classes in part because of you and the awareness you brought through your many radio interviews.

     I am now 52 and have been instructing pitching and batting for 27 years.   I used to try and mimic you in college, but every coach I came in contact with would say pitching that screwball would destroy your elbow, so I quit working on it.   The, when Fernando came along and would go past nine innings sometimes and make major league batters look foolish, I knew that you were right.

     I've tried to listen to all of your radio interviews through the years.   Thank God for the internet!   Since I've found you online 5 years ago, I have been working on your driveline techniques and releases into my own personal and student teachings.   Wow, you really put me on the tight rope because now I have to sit the parents down and tell them how I'm going to destroy little Johnnies arm or keep it healthy by what they let me do with him.

     The X-ball players are the hardest one to convince.   I just send everybody over to your website.   The ones that are willing and let me show them how to turn the ball over are really fooling the batters.   I am getting incredible success stories about strikeout totals from all the parents.   It's starting to snowball.

     The wall of ignorance from the other professional instructors, coaches and scouts is mind-numbing.   Remember, I'm down here right next door to Tom House and when I shoot down traditional mechanics to the establishment here they look at me as if I was the anti-Christ.

     In the last four years at the high school level, I've had 7 first team all-conference pitchers (4 divisions) all throwing the screwball.   Two led in strikeouts, thanks to you.   One lefty's screwball breaks what looks like 14 inches and you should see the righty batters' butt fly out when trying to hit this crazy pitch.   Most of these kids were doubling up the screwball and the batters still can't hit it.

     I want to thank you for resurrecting my pitching arm.   I now pitch to my batters every day.   Of course, not maximum effort, but I get in between 400 and 1000 pitches every day in 10 minute batting practices every half hour in a 6 hour day.   No pain and no late night cramps as before.   I do have one big problem now, "My kids can;t hit me anymore."
,br>      I really enjoyed your first video and looking forward to the next one.   I need two copies, one for the shop and one for my briefcase.   I'm ready to take the next step into full Marshall mechanics and have started to build my heavy ball catching backstop.


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     I will get my 2004 Baseball Pitching Instructional video out to you as quickly as possible and, when I complete my 2005 video with my extensive Flaws and Solutions section, I will personally priority mail two copies to you.   You are what I hope all baseball pitching coaches would be, always searching for the best way to help and protect youth baseball pitchers.

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239.   Is there a particular netting manufacturer or supplier that you prefer to use?

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     Standard Marine Supply
     Box 477
     Fernandina Beach, FL 32034
     (904)261-3671

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240.   Does batting practice also injure the growth plates?   Outside of the 2 months of playing baseball, is it ok to work on the swing by hitting once a week or so?   I had heard from one of my son's teammates who had a fractured growth plate that batting is one of the worst things you can do for an injured growth plate.

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     For adolescent athletes to injure their growth plates, they must use muscles that attach to the ossification centers that have growth plates.

     In baseball pitching, five prominent baseball pitching muscles attach to the ossification center for the medial epicondyle.   Therefore, the growth plate for the medial epicondyle receives considerable stress and is highly susceptible to injury.

     In baseball batting, the tendon of the Triceps Brachii attaches to the ossification center for the olecranon process.   Therefore, while its growth plate receives stress, it is not near as much as the medial epicondyle does from baseball pitching.   I would not consider it susceptible to injury.   However, the possibility does exist.   Therefore, just to be cautious, I would limit baseball batting to two consecutive months per year.

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241.   What do you think about this article?

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Arm Surgery `Almost Like a Rite of Passage' for Pitchers

By Nick Sortal, South Florida Sun-Sentinel

     As baseball pitchers mature, their arm injuries can be more severe, graduating from "Little League elbow" to career-threatening ligament damage.   When pre-pubescent children pitch, they have open growth plates, and the cartilage and bone inside the elbow joint can be overstressed.   That causes what is commonly known as Little League elbow.

     Adults need to monitor the number of pitches, what kind of pitches are thrown and a pitcher's mechanics, especially when they're young, says Dr. Len Remia of the Cleveland Clinic in Weston, Fla. Because there's only one remedy for those sore arms.   "Immediate shutdown," Remia says.   "And that's difficult down here, because you can play baseball year-round."

     Upon maturing, older pitchers face the more severe ulnar collateral ligament damage, which means reconstructive surgery, often a year of rest, and then months of holding your breath to see if it worked.   Through medical advancements, the procedure has become more routine than it was 30 years ago when it saved the career of Major League pitcher Tommy John:   11 members of the Florida Marlins' pitching staff, including ace A.J. Burnett, have had the surgery in the past three years.

    " It's almost like a rite of passage," says Remia, who studied under "Tommy John" surgery creator Dr. Frank Jobe.   "But it shouldn't be as necessary with young (amateur) pitchers as it is."   He, and others, blame young pitchers' reliance on curve balls and sliders, which cause an unnatural twist of the arm.   The American Sports Medicine Institute in Birmingham, Ala., studied 476 pitchers ages 9 to 14 during one season and says the curveball increased shoulder pain risk by 52 percent; the slider increased elbow pain 86 percent.   Some doctors have a general rule on pitchers' maturation: If you're not shaving, you're probably too physically immature to throw a curve ball, they say.


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     'Little League Elbow' is only one of the serious pitching arm injuries that youth baseball pitchers can suffer.   At five biological years old, the ossification center for the medial epicondyle appears.   At sixteen biological years old, the growth plate of the medial epicondyle matures.   Five muscles critical to baseball pitching attach to the medial epicondyle.   As a result, between five and sixteen biological years old, when youth baseball pitchers throw baseballs for more than two consecutive months, pitch competitively before they are thirteen biological years old and pitch more than one inning per game twice a week, prematurely close, avulse, dislocate and fracture their medial epicondyle.

     Rather than securely attaching to the Capitular end of the distal end of their Humerus bone, the head of the Radius bone hangs in a sling-like structure.   The head of their Radius bone and the Capitulum end of the adjoining distal end of the Humerus bone have growth cartilage.   When all baseball pitchers throw baseballs, they also throw the Radius bone of their pitching forearm.   After the sling-like structure decelerates the forward movement of the Radius bone, the head of the Radius bone recoils backward to slam into the Capitulum.   As a result, the growth plate of the head of their Radius bone prematurely closes or enlarges.   This is where bone chips break loose, which leads to bone spurs.

     Unfortunately, Dr. Len Remia, thinks that the remedy lies in counting pitches, banning breaking pitches and teaching the 'traditional' pitching motion.

     The whole pitch count scenario is a fraud.   The American Sports Medicine Institute asked coaches and doctors how many pitches they thought youth pitchers should throw, averaged those numbers and presented them as scientific fact.   That is not research.   Nobody knows how many pitches youth baseball pitchers can throw before they interfere with the normal growth and development of the growth plates in their pitching arm.

     Dr. Remia quotes research from the American Sports Medicine Institute.   When nine to fourteen year old youth pitchers throw curves, fifty-two percent suffer from increased shoulder pain.   When nine to fourteen year old youth pitchers throw sliders, eighty-six percent suffer from increased shoulder pain.   Therefore, saying that these pitchers cause an unnatural twist of the pitching arm, Dr. Remia says that we must ban youth baseball pitchers from throwing curve and sliders.

     When baseball pitchers of all ages use the 'traditional' pitching motion to throw breaking pitches, they supinate their pitching forearm and release the baseball over top of their index finger.   As a result, they slam their olecranon process into its fossa.   When my baseball pitchers use my pitching motion to throw breaking pitches, they pronate their pitching forearm and release the baseball under their middle finger.   As a result, they do not slam their olecranon process into its fossa.   Therefore, it is not necessary to ban youth baseball pitchers from throwing breaking pitching.

     Dr. Remia admits that major league baseball pitchers rupture their Ulnar Collateral Ligament.   All these pitchers used the 'traditional' pitching motion.   Yet, Dr. Remia advises parents to make sure that youth pitchers learn how to properly perform the 'traditional' pitching motion.   Every season, the 'traditional' pitching motion destroys thousands of adult pitching arms.   I recommend that we ban the 'traditional' pitching motion.

     Dr. Remia calls pitching arm surgery, a 'rite of passage.'   After all, in the past three years, eleven members of the Florida Marlins pitching staff have had surgery.   That is stupidity.   The 'traditional' pitching motion causes these surgeries.   Yet, these pitchers continue to use the 'traditional' pitching motion and expect different results.   They need to take charge of their career and stop using the 'traditional' pitching motion.   If everybody mastered my pitching motion and completed my 315-Day Adult Baseball Pitcher Interval-Training Program, we would eliminate all adult pitching arm injuries.   If the parents of youth baseball pitchers followed my recommendations, then we would eliminate all youth pitching arm injuries.

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242.   I recently acquired a video on Amazon.   It is "The science of pitching." by Wes Stock, former major league pitching coach.   I will withhold my opinions of it for the time being.   If you have seen it, let me know your comments.

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     I have not seen it.   I do not know Mr. Stock.   Nevertheless, I seriously doubt that he has any idea how to scientifically analyze baseball pitching.   Unless you like to learn what not to do, I am afraid that you wasted your time and money.   I look forward to debunking what he thinks is science.

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243.   I just finished watching the "The science of pitching" video by Wes Stock.   The thing that struck me most profoundly was that whoever was doing all the talking lacked articulation and command of the English language.   Also, he, like many other would-be coaches, was a victim of many myths that surround the science of pitching.

     I recall having a book many years ago by Ferguson Jenkins, which I viewed as a good pitching manual.   I also recall a book or portion of a book which included pitching instruction by Nolan Ryan.   I recall seeing an advertisement for a video that promised to put 10 mph on a fastball.   I might even have a brochure somewhere in my archives.

     I taught Little Leaguers to stride directly towered the target, so that their forward step was in a direct line between the instep of their pivot foot and the target zone.   I feel that using this method is inappropriate for the high school level and would cost them 10% of their pitching velocity.   I see some kids on the current local high school team who are landing on their forward foot (for right-handers), to the third base side of their pivot foot.   This mechanics, in my opinion costs them something in velocity.   What works in Little League may not work in high school.
,br>      I coached baseball in Little League for the past 10+ years.   I went to overseas several years ago to coach baseball.   I coached baseball in Europe last year, and this year, I will be going to two different countries to coach baseball.

     My biggest pet peeves about most pitching coaches are:

1.   Good Follow thru equals control,
2.   The windup step is to the 1st base side of the rubber.
3.   Speed (velocity) comes from the push-off.
4.   Kids are allowed to short-arm the motion.

     Other myths:

1.   There is such a thing as a rising fast ball.

     I think that I first got in touch with you via your web site.   I might ask a favor of you.   Might I get your video and other materials at some reasonable discount, so I might use this material for my trip?

     Might you be willing to visit the glorious tourist site to donate some of your time to the local youth and the local adults.   We have an MSBL team that travels out-of-state every year.   To have such an esteemed person to visit our humble community would be a blessing.

     We have a kid on the high school team who, I believe to be an outstanding prospect.   He will be off to college in the fall.   We have another kid who I taught how to pitch when he was 9 years old, who lacks in size, but is very trainable, who I would give an arm and a leg to make him a good college prospect.

     I am wondering if you acquired your PhD before your active baseball career or after.


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     Professional baseball is filled with pitching coach wannabes, who have no idea that they have no idea.   Mr. Stock is but one of hundreds of examples.   In 1964, I played with Ferguson Jenkins.   I consider him a friend.   However, he has no idea.   Mr. Ryan had the best pitching arm I have ever seen.   However, he has no idea.

     Pitchers I have trained have increased their release velocity as much at ten miles per hour, but I only promise that, if they complete my 315-Day Adult Baseball Pitcher Interval-Training Program, master my force application technique, continue to pitch competitively and complete my advanced interval-training programs, they will add five miles per hour to their fastball release velocity.

     It does not make a difference whether athletes are lifting very heavy weights or throwing baseballs.   For every human activity, science shows that there is one perfect way to apply force.   It does not matter whether the athletes are eight years old or fifty-eight years old.

     To insure that baseball pitchers move their center of mass straight toward home plate, baseball pitchers must step straight toward home plate with their glove foot and with their pitching foot.   If they step to their pitching arm side with their glove foot, then they will move their center of mass toward their pitching arm side and, thereby, introduce a lateral force their they will have to overcome with their pitching arm action.   However, I doubt that this action reduces their release velocity by ten percent, but it does reduce it and, more importantly, it unnecessarily stresses the front of the pitching shoulder.

     With regard to your pet peeves:

01.   There is no such thing as follow-through.   Where the pitching arm goes after baseball pitchers release their pitches depends on how they applied force before they released their pitches.   I call it, centripetal imperative.

02.   I never heard of the wind-up step having to go to the first base side of the pitching rubber.   I have always heard that baseball pitchers should step across the front of their body.

03.   Release velocity equals the amount of toward-home-plate uniform force that baseball pitchers apply to the baseball multiplies times the time that they apply their force.

04.   You will have to explain what you think 'short-arming' the motion is.

     With regard to your myth:

     Gravity accelerates airborne objects back to earth at thirty-two feet per second squared.   The Magnus Effect of Bernoulli's Fluid Flow equation cannot generate sufficient force to overcome gravity.

     Every year, I train twelve recent high school graduates and college baseball pitchers with at least two years of college eligibility remaining.   At this moment, if your young men want my guidance, then I still have spaces available.

     The Academic Credentials file on the home page of my website shows that I started college in the fall of 1960 and I started my professional baseball career in the spring of 1961.   I earned my doctoral degree in June 1978.   Without my academic career, I would never have had a major league baseball career.

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244.   My son is 9 years old and his baseball throwing style is predominately sidearm.    Local coaches have advised him that if he doesn't correct this and learn to throw over the shoulder that he'll have no chances for making high school teams.    I have emphasized to him that he needs to work at thinking through a correct throw and he is primarily the one who has to correct the problem.   Can you suggest any particular drills or tips for him that might help retrain his throwing motion?

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     I wrote my Coaching Baseball Pitchers book and made my Baseball Pitching Instructional video for just this purpose.   At nine years old, you and your son are ready to start my First 60-Day Youth Baseball Pitchers Motor Skill Acquisition Program. This program uses my Pickoff with Step body action; Slingshot Glove and Pitching Arms actions and my Wrong Foot body action; Slingshot Glove and Pitching Arm actions to teach you and your son how to properly apply force to and release his pitches.

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245.   I am the coach/manager for my son's 9/10 year old baseball team.

     When I was a kid, I threw with a deep sidearm because nobody ever told me differently (or I didn't listen).   Needless to say, I now have problems with my elbow and shoulder and have to be very careful to very slowly get up to speed even to just throw around with my kids.   I don't want my guys to have the same problems.

     I just came across your site and have been reading it carefully and as quickly as I can, but I wanted to know if you could point me to any material I should pay particular attention to given that my guys are 9/10 year-olds (I have already printed out Chapters 36 & 37 and Section VII).

     Also, it seems that you really don't think kids the age of my guys should be pitching (which I agree with).   However, given that they are, do you talk anywhere about what I can do to limit the possibility that they suffer any permanent damage?   Should I limit them to 1 or 2 innings per week?   Should I watch pitch counts?   What general things can I watch for in their motions and try to fix (keeping in mind that these are 9 and 10 year olds who don't like to listen or be taught things).   Are there 3 main things they should or shouldn't do given their ages?

     Whatever you say, I have no problem doing.   The challenge is applying your lessons given the reality of my situation.


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     I wrote my Coaching Baseball Pitchers book and make my Baseball Pitching Instructional videos just for nine and ten year old youth baseball pitchers.   I want them to learn how to properly use their glove and pitching arms.   You and your sons should be working on my First 60-Day Youth Baseball Pitchers Motor Skill Acquisition Program, not pitching competitively.   They should throw baseballs for only two consecutive months per year.

     With this program, they will use my Pickoff with Step body action; Slingshot Glove and Pitching Arm actions and my Wrong Foot body action; Slingshot Glove and Pitching Arm action to learn how to properly grip, drive and release their fastballs, curve and screwball.   Then, next year, they should work on my Second 60-Day Youth Baseball Pitchers Motor Skill Acquisition Program, which uses my Wrong Foot body action; Pendulum Swing Glove and Pitching Arm actions.

     By the time that they finish my four youth baseball pitchers programs, they will be twelve and thirteen years old.   At biological thirteen years old, they can pitch one inning per game twice a week until they are biologically sixteen years old.   Then, they should complete my 120-Day High School Baseball Pitchers Interval-Training Program.   If they have mastered the grips, drives and releases of my pitches and followed my advice, then, as high school juniors, they will be the best high school junior baseball pitchers that they can be and without any damage to their pitching arms.

     If you learn the drills and skills along with them, then you will not have any pitching elbow or shoulder problems.

     If you show them the X-rays of the destroyed pitching elbows of thirteen year old youth baseball pitchers, then, maybe, they will realize that youth baseball pitching is not harmless fun.

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246.   I have attached the latest version of the summaries that I prepared for my son.   I am enjoying the revised Chapter 36.

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Maxline True Screwball

01.   Glove side of rubber.
02.   Where loops in laces curl in closest to one another (the horseshoe) is the part of the ball facing you.
03.   Middle finger runs along the glove side on the top seam of the horseshoe.
04.   Index finger is separated from the middle finger.
05.   Little and ring fingers form a platform that is greatly separated from middle finger.
06.   Thumb is underneath, pushing strongly against ring finger.
07.   Turn thumbside of wrist forward.
08.   The ball is released when your forearm, wrist, hand and fingers are vertical, but pronate through release.
09.   Drive index side of middle finger through the seam while pronating.
10.   Ball moves to pitching arm side of home plate.

Maxline Fastball

01.   Glove side of rubber.
02.   Loop facing the glove side (will be directing horseshoe toward pitching arm side of home plate).
03.   Imagine a line drawn through middle of the loop.
04.   Middle finger is on the line with the index finger to the glove side.
05.   Push index finger tightly against middle finger.
06.   Ring finger is just below loop and forms a platform with the little finger.
07.   Thumb is on the lower seam and push with thumb against middle finger.
08.   Turn anterior side of wrist slightly outward with fingers vertical.
09.   The ball is released when your forearm, wrist, hand and fingers are vertical, but pronate through release.
10.   The ball comes off the top of the middle finger.
11.   Ball moves to pitching arm side of home plate.

Maxline Pronation Curve

01.   Pitching arm side of rubber.
02.   Loop facing away from glove side (will be directing horseshoe toward glove side of home plate).
03.   Middle finger is running along the top seam and facing toward glove.
04.   Index finger is underneath but not on the seam.
05.   “Tuck” thumb under the ball.   However, to learn the proper release action, youngsters can remove their thumb from the baseball and lay it against the their index finger.
06.   Turn little finger side of wrist forward, keeping pitching side of forearm inside of vertical.
07.   Drive middle finger through seam as pronate AND ulnar flex the wrist (pointing fingers outward).
08.   Make sure the smooth pronation starts before the release.
09.   Ball moves toward pitching arm side of home plate. Torque Fastball

01.   Pitching arm side of rubber (will be directing horseshoe toward glove side of home plate).
02.   Loop facing away from glove side.
03.   Imagine a line drawn through middle of the loop.
04.   Middle finger on one side of line and index on the other, hooking seams with finger tips.
05.   Push ball tightly with thumb against the ring and little finger platform.
06.   Turn anterior side of wrist inward.
07.   Fingers are horizontal pointing at the head.
08.   Powerfully pronate.
09.   Drive off tips of middle AND index finger.
10.   Ball moves toward glove side of plate.

Basic Concepts

01.   Pronation is the key to avoiding injury.   When you pronate, it is a smooth gradual pronation through the “punch delivery.”   That means that you want your arm to act like it is threaded like a bolt, so the pronation is occurring at an equal rate through the punch forward.   When you complete your pronation, your thumb will be facing straight down or even turned slightly to the outside of your body.   If your thumb is not at least straight down, you have not sufficiently pronated.

02.   In addition to pronation, both upper arms must be fully raised to drive line height (your pitching upper arm will be straight out, at a 90 degree angle with your torso).

03.   You want your forearm to be at about a forty-five degree angle above your elbow.   Do not allow the angle of your forearm to get outside of vertical.   At release for all pitches, your forearm is inside of vertical.   To achieve vertical forearms at release, you will have to tilt your shoulders to the glove side at the end of your acceleration phase.

04.   You punch forward with your arm (while pronating through the punch) and that punch is straight at home plate with your arm fully extended, just like you were punching somebody.

05.   Do not lead with your elbow, just punch straight toward home plate with your hand.

06.   You will end up in the Finishing Position.   Your pitching arm is pointing directly at home plate, your acromial line (a straight line that runs between the tips of both shoulders) is also pointing toward home plate.   Your toes are turned outward, away from home plate.

07.   If you are twisting around, so you don’t end up in the Finishing Position, you are not punching straight toward home plate and you may be letting your elbow fly out or you may be leading with your elbow.   Whatever is the cause, you are not punching straight toward home plate.

08.   At start, your feet are both facing forward toward home plate.

09.   You turn your right palm outward as you are raising your arm to the Ready Position; arms at driveline height, glove hand palm down, thumb toward ground pointing at the plate, and pitching arm at driveline height, when fully extended, palm has turned from facing out to facing up.

10.   When you step forward, keep your foot low to the ground and step onto the heel of the foot, just like when you walk, and punch straight toward home plate while driving forward with the balls of your right and left feet.   The goal is to punch and pronate with the ball, while pushing with the balls of both feet, so that you are driving your body ahead of the glove foot.

11.   Pull with your glove hand.   It is raised pointing at the plate (with your hand flat and your thumb pointing down) and the glove will be pulled straight back as you punch forward.   As you pull back, the thumb rotates upward.   Note the opposite forces; just like your pitching arm feels like it is a threaded bolt, your glove arm should feel the same and you have a smooth action of “turning the bolt” in each arm (both arms are turning counterclockwise).

12.   Complete your punch and pronation.

     a.   Did you feel the ball coming off your fingertips properly?
     b.   Is your arm pointing straight at your target?
     c.   Is your thumb facing at least straight down?
     d.   Is your acromial line facing straight at your target?

Step 1:   Pickoff with Step Body Action, Slingshot Arm Action (former step 3)

01.   Stand normally with feet and body 90 degrees to left of home plate (facing first baseline).
02.   Raise both arms straight up with palms down and arms fully extended.
03.   Turn your wrist into the proper position for whatever pitch you are throwing.
04.   Then pull pitching arm into just behind ear.
05.   Turn your shoulders toward plate (leaving feet planted away from home plate).
06.   Now “load the slingshot”, meaning that you leave the elbow in place and tilt your hand backwards toward second base.
07.   Note that the extra loading of the slingshot places the ball well behind your ear.
08.   Step forward with your pitching arm leg, and punch and pronate.

09.   As you punch with your pitching arm, pull back with glove arm, feel the smooth “threaded like a bolt” actions in both arms, your glove stays close to your body and it turns to the outside so your thumb on glove is facing up.

10.   As you punch with the ball and pull with the glove, your body will turn back to the starting position; meaning that it is again facing toward first baseline.

Step 2:   Wrong Foot Body Action, Slingshot Arm Action (former step 4)

01.   In this drill, you start facing home plate, with both feet facing toward the plate.
02.   Pull hands straight up, turn wrist for the pitch you are going to practice.
03.   Pull pitching hand back.
04.   Load the slingshot.
05.   Step forward with the ball of your right foot with foot landing with toes facing about 45 degrees away from plate towards first base line.
06.   Pull and punch.
07.   You again end up 90 degrees from home plate (toward first baseline), shoulder facing straight at home plate.

Step 3:   Wrong Foot Body Action, Pendulum Swing Glove and Pitching Arm Actions (kind of like former no. 12)

01.   Start facing home plate, feet pointing toward home plate with glove foot one step in front of pitching foot.
02.   Raise both hands to shoulder height and reverse rotate 45 degrees (turn shoulders 45 degrees toward 3d base).
03.   Do the pendulum action, so that glove is pointing straight at home plate and pitching arm is at the Ready Position, driveline height with palm facing outward.
04.   To ensure continuous motion, when you start to turn pitching palm outward (as your arm is starting up), you should lift the PITCHING foot off the ground to step forward.   When the pitching foot contacts the ground, you should have moved the pitching arm from ready position to the loaded Slingshot position.
05.   As soon as the pitching foot contacts the ground, start your glove action (your glove action is a trigger) which will start rotating your acromial line toward home plate and then initiate your pitching arm action.
06.   You again end up in the Finishing position.

Step 4:   Crow-Hop Body Action; Pendulum Swing Glove and Pitching Arm Actions (This is a new drill.)

01.   The rhythm of the crow-hop throwing motion is designed to delay the forward step of your glove foot until you have moved your pitching arm to the Ready Position.
02.   Start facing home plate with both feet pointing toward home plate but glove foot is one step behind the rubber and pitching foot is one step behind your glove foot.
03.   Simultaneously swing both arms forward and upward to shoulder height while step straight forward with pitching foot onto the rubber and simultaneously reversing rotating 45 degrees (turn shoulders 45 degrees toward 3d base) like you did in Step 3.
04.   Perform the pendulum to arrive at the Ready Position and this time to ensure continuous motion, when you start to turn right palm outward (as your arm is starting up), you should lift the GLOVE foot off slightly off the ground to step forward.   When the glove foot contacts the ground, you should have moved the pitching arm from ready position to the loaded Slingshot position.   You are going to land on your heal and powerwalk forward to generate forward power with your glove foot.
05.   As soon as the glove foot contacts the ground – heel first, powerwalk with your left foot, drive your body forward with your right foot while starting your glove action which will start rotating your acromial line toward home plate and then initiate your pitching arm action.
06.   You again end up in the Finishing position.

Step 5:   Wind-Up Set Position Body Action; Pendulum Swing Glove and Pitching Arm Actions

01.   Start facing home plate with both feet pointing toward home plate but glove foot is one step behind the pitching foot which is on the pitching rubber.
02.   Simultaneously swing both arms forward and upward to shoulder height while step straight forward with pitching foot onto the rubber and simultaneously reversing rotating 45 degrees (turn shoulders 45 degrees toward 3d base) like you did in Steps 3 and 4.
03.   Perform the pendulum to arrive at the Ready Position and this time to ensure continuous motion, when you start to turn right palm outward (as your arm is starting up), you should lift the GLOVE foot off the ground to step forward.   When the glove foot contacts the ground, you should have moved the pitching arm from ready position to the loaded Slingshot position.   You are going to land on your heal and powerwalk forward to generate forward power with your glove foot.
04.   As soon as the glove foot contacts the ground, powerwalk with left foot and drive forward with your pitching foot, while at the same time starting your glove action which will start rotating your acromial line toward home plate and then initiate your pitching arm action.
05.   You again end up in the Finishing position


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     I and your son greatly appreciate the effort that you put into understanding and teaching him my pitching motion.   I will pass your work along to my readers.

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247.   I am an athletic training student.    I have been asked a question by my professor about muscle co-contraction.    The question is: if we have the Law of Reciprocal Inhibition, how can we have the ability to have Co-contraction?   Also, what cells allow for co-contraction to occur?

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     Co-contraction means that antagonistic muscles simultaneously contract.   For example, when you hold your elbow at ninety degrees and simultaneously contract your Biceps Brachii and Triceps Brachii muscles.   Under normal circumstances, co-contraction only occurs without concomitant action, that is, the bones to which the muscles attach do not change positions.

     However, sometimes during high-intensity movements, antagonistic muscles contract.   When this happens, the weaker of the two muscles tears.   For example, when athletes 'pull' their hamstring muscle, they had a co-contraction of the short head of the Biceps Femoris muscle and the four muscles that contribute to the quadriceps muscle group.   In this case, the co-contraction occurs due to the delay in the inhibition signal from nerve that supplies the short head of the Biceps Femoris muscle, such that it is still contracting when its antagonists powerfully contract.

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248.   Have you heard from the Cubs?   With Fox and Wood going down and Pryor obviously hurting, they have to do something.

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     Before any major league team would ask me for help, Hell would have to freeze over.

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249.   I understand why I so often hear that major-league pitchers are converted outfielders, shortstops, or third basemen.   The kids who start out as pitchers end up hurting themselves as they age.

     If you have the chance, I'd appreciate it if you could answer a few follow-up questions.   I want to make sure I really understand the risks and do a good job explaining this to the parents on my team.

     First, you repeatedly make the point that you don't think younger kids should be pitching "competitively" until they are biologically 13.   I'd be interested in learning exactly if/why you seem to be stressing the word "competitively" (I assume you are contrasting that with pitching in pickup games of indian ball or wiffle ball).   Is it the added velocity that poses the risk?   Is it the temptation to throw curves balls that poses the risk?   Do I reduce the risk to my guys if I emphasize location and control over velocity and try to keep my hard throwers from throwing harder than 80% (and not pitching them if they can't throttle back)?

     Second, when you use the phrase 60 days, are you talking about limiting things to a total of 60 days of practices and games across a season or are you talking about limiting things to a two-month season?   I ask because I can make a 60-day season work, but run into a problem if it's a hard two months.    Would I still be able to stay within the 60-day guideline if I stretched the season but held practices and games to two or so days per week?


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     At biological thirteen years old, the growth plate for the Capitular side of the distal end of the Humerus bone matures.   While the growth plates for the lateral epicondyle, olecranon process, radial head and medial epicondyle remain open, at least baseball pitching will no longer stunt the long bone growth of the distal end of the Humerus bone.

     Until youth baseball pitchers are biological sixteen years old, I recommend that they do not throw baseballs for more than two consecutive months each year.   That includes everything.

     Until youth baseball pitchers are biological thirteen years old, I recommend that they do not pitch competitively.   They can complete my 60-Day programs.   They can pitch to catchers.   They can throw batting practice.   But, they should not pitch against batters in baseball games, where the emotion of winning and losing might stimulate them to exceed the limitations of the cartilaginous tissue to hold the ossification centers to the shaft to their bones.

     Without any discomfort, too much stress on these growth plates cause them to prematurely close.   Without any discomfort, too much stress on the ligaments that hold the bones of the pitching elbow and pitching shoulder cause them to elongate.   As a result, they have significantly deformed their pitching arm and decreased their adult baseball pitching potential and all without any discomfort.

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250.   Are you anticipating the release of a new training video or the “Flaws and Solutions” video in the near future?

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     I hope to start work in June.   In the meantime, I will provide you with the rough draft of my script for that section.

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         2005 Flaws and Solutions
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A.
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(SceneA01):   Me standing by my X-rays display.

     In 1967, my rookie year in the major leagues, I pitched for the Detroit Tigers.   Although I sometimes felt tightness in my pitching elbow, I pitched the entire season without meaningful discomfort.   I had a decent season. However, after the season, I noticed that I could not tightly bend or fully extend my pitching elbow.   I immediately went to the doctor for X-rays.

(A001):   X-ray of Marshall’s extended elbow graphic.

     With maximally extended glove and pitching elbows, I determined that my glove elbow had an extension range of motion of one hundred and eighty-four degrees and my pitching elbow had an extension range of motion of one hundred and seventy-two degrees.   Therefore, I lost twelve degrees of the extension range of motion of my pitching arm.

(A002):   X-ray of Marshall’s flexed elbow graphic.

     With maximally flexed my glove and pitching elbows, I determined that my glove elbow had a flexion range of motion of thirty-four degrees and my pitching arm had a flexion range of motion of forty-six degrees.   Therefore, I also lost twelve degrees of my flexion range of motion.   I lost twenty-four degrees of my one hundred and fifty degrees of pitching elbow range of motion.   While I would have preferred no loss, I can thank the cold weather in Michigan and adjusting my pitching motion for my minimal loss.

(SceneA02):   Me standing by my film projector.

I immediately borrowed a four hundred frames per second high-speed camera from the Agriculture Engineering Department at Michigan State University and a sixty-four frames per second high-speed camera from my Kinesiology Professor, Bill Heusner.

(A003):   Front view 1967 film that shows pitching elbow flyout and pitching elbow lockout.

     The front view shows that the ‘traditional’ pitching motion caused me to sling my pitching forearm laterally away from my body. As a result, my olecranon process slammed into its fossa. With every pitch, I could not straighten my pitching elbow as far as I used to.

     To stop my olecranon process from slamming into its fossa, I had to flex my pitching elbow.   My Brachialis muscle, which attaches to the coronoid process on the front of my elbow, pulled as hard as it could.   As a result, my coronoid process gradually grew longer.   With every pitch, I could not bend my pitching elbow as far as I used to.

(SceneA03):   Me standing by my film projector.

     In only two years of professional pitching, I lost twenty-four degrees of my pitching elbow range of motion.   It would not be long before I could not use my pitching arm at all.   I had to do something.

(A004):   Front view 1967 film that shows pitching elbow flyout and pitching elbow lockout.

     I found the solution in the front view film of my slider.   I noticed that, immediately after I released my slider, my pitching forearm pronated, that is, I turned my pitching thumb downward.   I knew that the Pronator Teres controls pronation.

(SceneA04):   Me sitting at my computer.

     I found that, when I extend my pitching elbow and supinate my pitching forearm, I slammed my olecranon process into its fossa.   However, when I extend my pitching elbow and pronate my pitching forearm, I did not slam my olecranon process into its fossa.   Therefore, all I had to do was pronate the release of my pitches.

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B.
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(SceneA05):   Me sitting at my computer with a Kinesiology textbook open to Newton’s three laws.

     I knew that I had to have objective, quantifiable scientific criteria with which to evaluate the quality of the baseball pitching motion.   I decided that Sir Isaac Newton’s three laws of motion best explained how athletes should apply force.

(A005):   Newton’s first law of motion graphic.

     Sir Isaac Newton’s first law of motion says: ‘Unless external forces act on them, objects prefer to remain at rest or in straight-line motion.’

(A006):   Marshall’s first law of force application graphic.

     My first law of force application says: ‘Baseball pitchers should apply straight-line force to their pitches.’

(A007):   Newton’s second law of motion graphic.

     Sir Isaac Newton’s second law of motion says: ‘Velocity equals force multipled by time divided by the mass of the object.’

(A008):   Marshall’s second law of force application graphic.

     My second law of force application says: ‘Baseball pitchers should apply ever-increasing force over greater distances.’

(A009):   Newton’s third law of motion graphic.

     Sir Isaac Newton’s third law of motion says: ‘Every action force has an equal and oppositely-directed reaction force.’

(A010):   Marshall’s third law of force application.

     My third law of force application says: ‘Baseball pitchers should apply greater force toward second base.’

     With my three force application laws as our guide, let’s look for the flaws in ‘traditional’ pitching motion and what are our solutions.

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C.
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(SceneA06):   Me sitting at film projector.

     In 1971, I took synchronized high-speed film of me throwing my fastball from the rear, side and overhead views.

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(A011):   Flaw: Pitching Foot Parallel to The Pitching Rubber graphic.

(A012):   Overhead high-speed film of me up to after I turn my pitching foot parallel with the pitching rubber (BMMOVMF).

     ‘Traditional’ pitchers turn their pitching foot to parallel with the pitching rubber.   As a result, when they reverse rotate their hips and shoulders, they take the baseball laterally behind their body.   That’s a flaw.

(A013):   Solution: Pitching Foot Points Toward Home Plate graphic.

(A014):   Video of Jeff up to when he lifts his glove foot (bbjsfvmf).

     My pitchers point their feet toward home plate.   As a result, they do not take the baseball laterally behind their body.   That’s a solution.

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(A015):   Flaw: Lifting Glove Foot Before Pitching Arm Ready graphic.

(A016):   Side view high-speed film of me when my glove foot contacts the ground (BMMSVMF).

     ‘Traditional’ pitchers lift their glove foot off the ground first.   As a result, their pitching arm is not at driveline height when they start to forwardly rotate their shoulders.   That’s a flaw.

(A017):   Solution: Move Pitching Arms Before Lifting Glove Foot graphic.

(A018):   Video of Jeff up to when he starts to lift his glove foot (bbjsfvmf).

     My pitchers start their pitching arm backward before they lift the glove foot off the ground.   As a result, their pitching arm is at driveline height when they start to forwardly rotate their shoulders.   That’s a solution.

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(A019):   Flaw: Horizontal Pitching Forearm Take-Away graphic.

(A020):   Rear view high-speed film of me up to when my glove foot contacts the ground (BMMRVMF).

     ‘Traditional’ pitchers take their pitching forearm back horizontally.   As a result, they generate sideways backward forces that they have to overcome before they can apply force toward home plate.   That’s a flaw.

(A021):   Solution: Vertical Pitching Forearm Pendulum Swing graphic.

(A022):   Video of Jeff up to when his pitching hand arrives at ‘Ready’ (bbjsfvmf).

     My pitchers take their pitching forearm back vertically.   As a result, they do not generate backward do not generate sideways backward forces that they have to overcome before they apply force toward home plate.   That’s a solution.

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(A023):   Flaw: Point the Glove Arm Behind the Pitching Arm-Side Batter graphic.

(A024):   Overhead view high-speed of me up to when I start my pitching upper arm forward (BMMSVMF).

     ‘Traditional’ pitchers point their glove forearm behind the pitching arm-side batter.   As a result, when they pull their glove arm backward, they generate sideways force.   That’s a flaw.

(A025):   Solution: Point the Glove Arm At Home Plate graphic.

(A026):   Video of Jeff throwing his fastball up to when he starts his pitching arm forward (bbjsfvmf).

     My pitchers point their glove forearm at home plate.   As a result, when they pull their glove arm backward, they do not generate sideways force.   That’s a solution.

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(A027):   Flaw: Step to the Pitching-Side of the Pitching Leg Driveline graphic.

(A028):   Overhead view high-speed film of me up to when my glove foot contacts the ground (BMMOVMF).

     ‘Traditional’ pitchers stride to the pitching arm side of the line from the pitching foot straight toward home plate.   As a result, they move their center of mass sideways, which, to throw strikes, forces them to pull their pitching arm across the front of their body.   That’s a flaw.
(A029):   Solution: Step to the Glove-Side of the Pitching Leg Driveline graphic.

(A030):   Video of Jeff up to when his glove foot contacts the ground (bbjsfvmf).

     My pitchers step forward to the glove-side of the pitching leg driveline.   As a result, pitchers do not move their center of mass sideways, which means that, to throw strikes, they do not have to pull their pitching arm across the front of their body.   That’s a solution.

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D.
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(A031):   Flaw: Stride Seventy to Ninety Percent of Standing Height graphic.

(A032):   Side view high-speed film of me up to when my glove foot contacts the ground (BMMSVMF).

     ‘Traditional’ pitchers stride seventy to ninety percent of their standing height.   As a result, they cannot move their center of mass forward through release.   That’s a flaw.

(A033):   Solution: Step Like Power Walking graphic.

(A034):   Video of Jeff up to when his glove foot contacts the ground (bbjsfvmf).

     My pitchers step forward the length of a power walking stride.   As a result, they move their center of mass forward through release.   That’s a solution.

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(A035):   Flaw: Pitching Elbow Behind Acromial Line graphic.

(A036):   Overhead view high-speed film of me up to when I start my pitching upper forward (BMMOVMF).

     ‘Traditional’ pitchers take their pitching elbow behind their acromial line.   As a result, they stretch the tendon of their Subscapularis muscle around the head of their Humerus bone.   That’s a flaw that causes serious front of the pitching shoulder problems.

(A037):   Solution: Pitching Elbow In Front of Acromial Line graphic.

(A038):   Front view high-speed film of Jeff up to when he starts his pitching upper arm forward (BJSFVMF).

     My pitchers do not take their pitching elbow behind their acromial line.   As a result, they do not stretch the tendon of their Subscapularis muscle around the head of their Humerus bone.   That’s a solution that prevents front of the pitching shoulder problems.

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(A039):   Flaw: ‘Late Pitching Forearm Turnover’ graphic.

(A040):   Side view high-speed film of me up to when I start my pitching upper arm forward (BMMSVMF).

     ‘Traditional’ pitchers raise their pitching upper arm to shoulder height before their pitching hand.   As a result, before they can throw the baseball, they still have to move their pitching hand above their pitching upper arm.   That’s a flaw.

(A041):   Solution: Raise Pitching Hand Before Upper Arm graphic.

(A042):   Front view high-speed film of Jeff up to when he starts his pitching upper arm forward (BJSFVMF).

     My pitchers move their pitching hand to driveline height at the same time that they raise their pitching upper arm to shoulder.   As a result, they have their pitching hand ready to throw the baseball.   That’s a solution.

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(A043):   Flaw: ‘Pitching Elbow Drop Under’ graphic.

(A044):   Front view high-speed film of Pat Howe up to when his acromial line is perpendicular to the driveline (BPHFVMF).

     When they start their pitching arm forward, some ‘traditional’ pitchers drop their pitching elbow downward.   As a result, they do not ‘lock’ their pitching upper arm with their body.   That’s a flaw.

(A045):   Solution: ‘Lock’ the Pitching Upper with the Body graphic.

(A046):   Front view high-speed film of Jeff up to when his acromial line is perpendicular to the driveline (BJSFVMF).

     When they start their pitching arm forward, my pitchers immediately assume my ‘Loaded Slingshot’ position.   As a result, they ‘lock’ their pitching upper arm with their body.   That’s a solution.

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(A047):   Flaw: Start Pitching Upper Arm Forward Before Pitching Hand Stops Moving Backward graphic.

(A048):   Side view high-speed film of me up to just after I start my pitching arm forward (BMMSVMF).

     When they start moving their pitching upper arm forward, ‘traditional’ pitchers are still moving their pitching hand backward.   As a result, they rupture their Ulnar Collateral Ligament.   I call this, ‘Reverse Pitching Forearm Bounce.’   That’s a serious, injury-producing flaw.

(A049):   Solution: Pitching Hand Stopped When Pitching Upper Arm Starts Forward graphic.

(A050):   Front view high-speed film of Jeff up to just after he starts his pitching arm forward (BJSFVMF).

     When they start moving their pitching upper arm forward, my pitchers already have their pitching hand at driveline height.   As a result, they do not ‘bounce’ their pitching forearm.   That’s a solution.

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E.
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(A051):   Flaw: Pitching Forearm Loop graphic.

(A052):   Side view high-speed film Shaun O’Connor throwing his fastball up to release (BSOSVSPTTF4).

     Some ‘traditional’ pitchers move their pitching hand close to their pitching ear before they start their pitching upper arm forward.   As a result, they circle their pitching hand behind their head.   I call this, ‘Pitching Hand Looping.’   That’s a flaw.

(A053):   Solution: Keep their Pitching Arm at Full Length graphic.

(A054):   Front view high-speed film of Aubrey up to release (BABFVMF).

     Until they start their pitching upper arm forward, my pitchers keep their pitching arm extended.   As a result, they do not circle their pitching hand behind their head.   That’s a solution.

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(A055):   Flaw: Horizontal Centripetal Force graphic.

(A056):   Rear view high-speed film of me up to release (BMMRVMF).

     ‘Traditional’ pitchers use their pitching upper arm to pull their pitching hand forward.   As a result, pitchers generate horizontal centripetal force.   That’s a flaw.

(A057):   Solution: Drive the Baseball Straight Forward with the Pitching Hand graphic.

(A058):   Front view high-speed film of Jeff up to release (BJSFVMF).

     My pitchers do not use their pitching upper arm to pull their pitching hand forward.   As a result, my pitchers do not generate horizontal centripetal force.   That’s a solution.

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(A059):   Flaw: ‘Pitching Forearm Flyout’ graphic.

(A060):   Side view high-speed film of me up to release (BMMSVMF).

     Because ‘traditional’ pitchers generate horizontal centripetal force, they sling their pitching forearm, wrist, hand, fingers and the baseball laterally away from their body.   I call this, ‘Pitching Forearm Flyout.’   As a result, they slam their olecranon process into its fossa.   That’s a loss of range of motion injury flaw.

(A061):   Solution: Drive the Pitching Hand Straight Toward Home Plate graphic.

(A062):   Front view high-speed front view film of Aubrey Buchanan up to release (BABFVMF).

     Because my pitchers do not generate horizontal centripetal force, they do not sling their pitching forearm, wrist, hand, fingers and the baseball laterally away from their body.   As a result, they do not slam their olecranon process into its fossa.   That’s a solution.

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(A063):   Flaw: No Independent Pitching Forearm Force graphic.

(A064):   Side view high-speed film of me up to release (BMMSVMF).

     Because they use their pitching upper arm to pull their pitching hand forward, ‘traditional’ pitchers cannot use their pitching forearm to independently accelerate the release of their pitches.   That’s a flaw.

(A065):   Solution: Independent Pitching Forearm Drive graphic.

(A066):   Front view high-speed film of Aubrey Buchanan up to release (BABFVMF).

     Because my pitchers do not use their pitching upper arm to pull their pitching hand forward, my pitchers can use their pitching forearm to independently accelerate the release of their pitches.   That’s a solution.

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(A067):   Flaw: No Pitching Elbow Extension graphic.

(A068):   Side view high-speed film of me up to release (BMMSVMF).

     Because ‘traditional’ pitchers sling their pitching forearm, wrist, hand, fingers and the baseball laterally away from their body, to prevent their olecranon process from slamming into its fossa, they cannot use their powerful Triceps Brachii muscle to accelerate the baseball through release.   That’s a flaw.

(A069):   Solution: Pitching Elbow Flexion Safe graphic.

(A070):   Front view high-speed film of Aubrey Buchanan up to release (BABFVMF).

     Because my pitchers do not sling their pitching forearm, wrist, hand, fingers and the baseball laterally away from their body, they can use their powerful Triceps Brachii muscle to accelerate the baseball through release.

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F.
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(A071):   Flaw: Leaving the Pitching Knee Behind graphic.

(A072):   Side view high-speed film of me up to release (BMMSVMF).

     At release, ‘traditional’ pitchers have their pitching knee between their center of mass and the pitching rubber.   As a result, they shorten the length of their driveline.   That’s a flaw.

(A073):   Solution: Move the Pitching Knee Forward graphic.

(A074):   Side view high-speed film of Jeff at release (BJSFVMF).

     At release, my pitchers move their pitching knee to beside their glove foot.   As a result, they increase the length of their driveline.   That’s a solution.

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(A075):   Flaw: Rotate Shoulders to Perpendicular to Driveline graphic.

(A076):   Overhead view high-speed film of me up to release (BMMOVMF).

     ‘Traditional’ pitchers only forward rotate their shoulders to perpendicular to the driveline to home plate.   As a result, they shorten their driveline.   That’s a flaw.

(A077):   Solution: Rotate Shoulders Beyond Perpendicular to Driveline graphic.

(A078):   Front view high-speed film of Jeff at release (BJSFVMF).

     My pitchers forwardly rotate their shoulders beyond perpendicular to the driveline.   As a result, they lengthen their driveline.   That’s a solution.

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(A079):   Flaw: Drive the Baseball Perpendicular to the Shoulders graphic.

(A080):   Overhead view high-speed film of me up to release (BMMOVMF).

     Because ‘traditional’ pitchers only forward rotate their shoulders to perpendicular to the driveline, they throw their pitches to the front of their body.   As a result, they cannot use powerful muscles that drive their pitching hand away from their body.   That’s a flaw.

(A081):   Solution: Rotate Shoulders Beyond Perpendicular to Driveline graphic.

(A082):   Front view high-speed film of Jeff up to release (BJSFVMF).

     Because my pitchers forwardly rotate their shoulders beyond perpendicular to the driveline, they throw their pitches to the pitching arm side of their body.   As a result, they use powerful muscles that drive their pitching hand away from their body.   That’s a solution.

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(A083):   Flaw: Bend at the Waist Ground graphic.

(A084):   Side view high-speed film of me up to release (BMMSVMF).

     Because they stride too far, ‘traditional’ pitchers have to bend forward at their waist.   As a result, they shorten their driveline.   That’s a flaw.

(A085):   Solution: Stand Tall and Rotate graphic.

(A086):   Front view high-speed film of Jeff up to release (BJSFVMF).

     Because they move their pitching knee to beside their glove foot, my pitchers stand tall and rotate.   As a result, they lengthen their driveline.   That’s a solution.

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(A087):   Flaw: Zero Degrees of Separation graphic.

(A088):   Rear view high-speed film of me at release (BMMRVMF).

     Because ‘traditional’ pitchers generate horizontal centripetal force, they completely straighten their pitching arm at release.   As a result, they have zero degrees of separation between longitudinal axes of their pitching upper arm and forearm.   That’s a flaw.

(A089):   Solution: High Degrees of Separation graphic.

(A090):   Front view high-speed film of Justin Steinbach at release (BJSTFVMC).

     Because my pitchers do not generate horizontal centripetal force, they do not completely straighten their pitching arm at release.   As a result, they have high degrees of separation between the longitudinal axes of their pitching upper arm and forearm.   That’s a solution.

(A091):   Front view high-speed film of Jeff Kubenka at release (WWJKFVMF).

     For some reason, when, instead of five and one-quarter ounce baseballs, my pitchers throw their fifteen pound wrist weights, they achieve ninety degrees of separation.

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G.
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(A092):   Flaw: Pitching Forearm Outside of Vertical at Release graphic.

(A093):   Rear view high-speed film of me at release (BMMRVMF).

     With zero degrees of separation, ‘traditional’ pitching motion cannot release their pitches with their pitching forearm vertical.   As a result, they cannot throw four-seam fastballs, curves and screwballs with horizontal spin axes.   That’s a flaw.

(A094):   Solution: Pitching Forearm Vertical at Release graphic.

(A095):   Front view high-speed film of Justin Steinbach at release (BJSTFVMC).

     By adding glove side lean to their pitching arm degrees of separation, my pitchers can release their pitches with their pitching forearm vertical.   As a result, they can throw four-seam fastballs, curves and screwballs. That’s a solution.

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(A096):   Flaw: Supinate the Curve Release graphic.

(A097):   Front view high-speed film of Dwayne Wagnon through release (BDWFVSPMC).

     When they throw curves, ‘traditional’ pitchers turn their thumb upward through release (supinate).   As a result, they injure their pitching elbow.   That’s a flaw.

(A098):   Front view high-speed film of Justin Steinbach through release (BJSTFVMC).

     When they throw curves, my pitchers turn their thumb downward through release (pronate).   As a result, they never injure their pitching elbow.   That’s a solution.

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(A099):   Flaw: Downward Inward Rotation of the Pitching Upper Arm graphic.

(A100):   Side view high-speed film of me to the end of my deceleration phase (BMMSVMF).

     ‘Traditional’ pitchers pull their pitching forearm down.   As a result, they inward rotate their pitching upper arm beyond its limit.   That’s a top of the shoulder injury flaw.

(A101):   Solution: Straight Forward Inward Rotation of the Pitching Upper Arm graphic.

(A102):   Front view high-speed film of Jeff Kubenka to the end of his deceleration phase (WWJKFVMF).

     My pitchers do not pull their pitching forearm down.   As a result, they do not inward rotate their pitching upper arm beyond its limit.   That’s a solution.

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(A103):   Flaw: Follow-Through Across the Body graphic.

(A104):   Rear view high-speed film of me to the end of my deceleration phase (BMMRFMF).

     The continuing horizontal centripetal force requires ‘traditional’ pitchers to decelerate their pitching arm while it moves across their front of their body.   As a result, they decelerate their pitching arm with their tiny Teres Minor muscle.   That’s a back of the shoulder injury flaw.

(A105):   Solution: Drive the Pitching Arm Straight Toward Home Plate graphic.

(A106):   Front view high-speed film of Aubrey to the end of his deceleration phase (BABFVMF).

     My pitchers drive their pitching arm straight toward home plate.   As a result, they decelerate their pitching arm with their large Teres Major and Latissimus Dorsi muscles.   That’s a solution.

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(A107):   Flaw: Pull the Pitching Arm Downward graphic.

(A108):   Rear view high-speed film of me to the end of my deceleration phase (BMMRVMF).

     Because they bend forward at their waist, ‘traditional’ pitchers pull their pitching arm downward.   As a result, they apply force along curved drivelines.   That’s a flaw.

(A109):   Solution: Drive the Pitching Arm Straight Forward graphic.

(A110):   Front view high-speed film of Aubrey to the end of his deceleration phase (BABFVMF).

     Because they stand tall and rotate, my pitchers drive their pitching arm straight forward.   As a result, they apply force along straight drivelines.   That’s a solution.

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251.   Point of interest.   The son of a major league pitcher is pitching against the son of a former major league pitcher in a local baseball field.   My grandson, a sophomore is starting shortstop and has six home runs and can pitch.   That is why we are interested in the video.   Also, the son of the major league pitcher has two five inning no-hitters.

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     This all sounds so very exciting.   Unfortunately, all I hear is youth baseball pitchers pitching too much, too soon, for too long and destroying their pitching arms.

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252.   Question 1:   I usually get pain in the top front part of my shoulder.   We have discussed the reverse rotation that is causing this pain.   I am trying to not reverse rotate and not let the ball go behind my acromial line.   I powerfully extend my tricep and pronate with my shoulder "locked" in place.   Now when I throw, I get soreness in the muscles on the inside part of my forearm and the back of my shoulder.   It is muscle soreness, not pain.   It feels as though my muscles have been stretched.   On video, I am generating little, if any force across my body (right to left after I release).   Should I attribute the soreness to straight line force and improved mechanics or am I still using improper force techniques?

     Question 2:   A trainer at my college claims that increased flexibility in the hamstrings, lower back, and hip flexors can help increase leg strength output and, in turn, velocity and is encouraging me to get stretched out daily.   Is there truth to this?


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     The discomfort that you feel on the inside part of your pitching forearm is the normal training effect of working your Pronator Teres muscle harder.   The Pronator Teres muscle prevents olecranon process/fossa damage and takes stress off the front of your pitching shoulder.   Because baseball pitchers can never pronate too hard, I hope that you always have some discomfort in your Pronator Teres.

     The discomfort that you feel on the back of your shoulder is the normal training effect of working your Teres Major muscle harder.   The Teres Major muscle decelerates your pitching upper arm.   Because baseball pitchers can only accelerate their pitching arm to the limit of their ability to safely decelerate their pitching, I hope that you always have some discomfort in your Teres Major.

     Muscles do not stretch, but they do get better able to apply force.

     Baseball pitching coaches should never watch what the baseball does after release.   Instead, they should watch what the pitching arms of their baseball pitchers do after release.   With my pitching motion, the pitching arms of my baseball pitchers should inward rotate, extend and pronate directly toward home plate.   My pitchers should never have their pitching elbow move across the front of their body.   And, they should never have their pitching elbow lower than their pitching hand.

     From your description, I believe that you have normal training discomfort and are progressing well.

     With regards to your trainer's claim; he does not know what he is talking about.

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253.   MY SON JUST STARTED PLAYING BASEBALL AFTER A TWO YEAR ABSENT AND HAS A STRONG ARM, SO I LET HIM PITCH.   HE IS ALMOST 14 YEARS OLD, SO I THOUGHT IF HE ONLY PITCHED ON A PITCH COUNT OF FORTY PITCHES IN A GAME, HE WOULD BE FINE. WELL, I DID THAT.

     HE HAS PAIN IN HIS ELBOW, PLUS HE HAD A SMALL LUMP ON THE INSIDE OF HIS ELBOW, WHICH IS GONE NOW.   HE SAYS IT BURNS.   HE HAS STOP PLAYING BASEBALL AND WE ARE WAITING FOR DOCTOR TO SEE HIM NEXT WEEK.


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     At fourteen years old, your son has open growth plates.   Unfortunately, pitch counts don't overcome the flaws in the 'traditional' pitching motion.   The injury that you describe comes from the 'pitching forearm flyout' in the 'traditional' pitching motion.   He needs to learn how to drive the baseball straight at home plate.

     The trip to the doctor is a waste of time.   He has no idea what to do.   He will recommend that your brother not throw for awhile, then go through rehabilitation, which will not help.   What he needs is to learn how to properly apply force to his pitches.   Therefore, he needs to complete my First, Second, Third and Fourth Youth Baseball Pitchers Motor Skill Acquisition Programs.   I am working on my 2005 Baseball Pitching Instructional video, in which I show the drills that he needs to master.

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254.   I have a question regarding energy shifts during pitching.   To be more precise, I am focusing on which part of the body should the most energy come from when pitching.   How could I improve my whip when pitching?

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     I believe that baseball pitchers should apply force to their pitches in straight lines toward home plate over as great a distance as possible with as much oppositely-directed force as possible.   Therefore, except that each body segment applies force to which the next segment adds it's force, I do not see a whip action.

     In my pitching motion, I teach baseball pitchers to pendulum swing their glove arm to shoulder height pointing at home plate and their pitching arm to driveline height pointing at second base.   From this position, I teach them to pull their glove hand straight backward toward second base and drive their pitching hand straight toward home plate.

     In my order of body segment contributions:

01.   the pitching leg pushes the center of mass of the body straight forward,
02.   after the glove foot contracts the ground, the glove leg pulls and the pitching knee drives the center of mass of the body straight forward,
03.   after the center of mass moves beside the glove foot, the glove arm pulls straight backward toward second base and, thereby, starts the forward rotation of the hips and shoulders,
04.   the pitching upper arm, which is 'locked' with the shoulders, moves in front of the body to point toward home plate and, lastly,
05.   the glove foot pushes back toward second base while the pitching forearm, wrist, hand and fingers drive through release straight toward home plate.

     For a complete description, see my Coaching Baseball Pitchers book and my Baseball Pitching Instructional video.

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255.   My meeting with another district athletic director went well this morning.    I'm attempting to convince him to give me a vacant head coaching job in order to make wholesale change.   I found him receptive.   We'll see.

     In recent weeks, I have compiled still pictures that illustrate points in the traditional pitching mechanic where injuries occur.   Your flaws and solutions video will be much more effective as a presentation tool and I am eager to see it, but for now this works pretty well.


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     I will get that Flaws and Solutions section together as quickly as I can.

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256.   I thought you might like to see this Chicago Tribune article.   No doubt you know that Kerry Wood is on the DL.   Gee, I wonder what the odds are that it will happen again?   And again?

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  Film critic Rothschild to study Wood mechanics

By Paul Sullivan
Tribune staff reporter
,br> May 3, 2005, 10:47 PM CDT

MILWAUKEE   Cubs manager Dusty Baker said pitching coach Larry Rothschild will study film of Kerry Wood's mechanics to prevent Wood from incurring further arm injuries.

     Wood was placed on the 15-day disabled list Tuesday with a strained muscle in his right rotator cuff, the sixth time he has been disabled in his major-league career.   The only Cub with more stints on the DL was Rick Sutcliffe, who was disabled eight times in 1985-91.

     "This is one of the things [Rothschild] is going to evaluate and watch some film and see exactly why he keeps going on the DL," Baker said.   "[Wood] doesn't like it.   We don't like it.   But there's a reason for it."

     Wood will miss at least five to six weeks and won't be assured even then that the problem will not occur again.   The injury causes no pain unless Wood is throwing, so he won't pick up a baseball for three weeks.

     "It could've been worse," Wood said. "There were no tears, no fraying, and nothing is blown up in there."

     What makes the Cubs so confident this soreness won't crop up again after Wood gets back to throwing in late May or early June?

     "Hopefully we're going to let this thing heal completely and then move forward and strengthen it up and get him going again," trainer Mark O'Neal said. "I'm very comfortable it won't come back, but you never know.

     "We'll just have to play it by ear and see how things go."


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     Thanks for the Tribune article.   Permit me a quick story to explain how I became involved with Mr. Wood's baseball career.   Several years ago, immediately after Mr. Wood struck out a lot of batters, a Chicago Sports Writer telephoned me to get me to verify that Mr. Wood was an incredible baseball pitcher and would be for many, many years.   Unfortunately, I told him that Mr. Wood was in for many, many pitching arm injuries.

     The Cubs wait until the sixth time that he goes on the disabled list to try to figure out why?   Isn't that a find way to run a business?

     Now, they decide that Larry Rothchild should look at some film.   What kind of film?   If it is videotape, then it is thirty frames per second and nobody can see the extreme 'pitching forearm flyout' that Kerry Wood has.   Even if it were five hundred frames per second high-speed film, Larry Rothchild would not understand what he is looking at.

     The doctors told Mr. Wood to not touch a baseball for three weeks.   Great idea.   Not only does he have a serious flaw in his pitching motion that his pitching arm is not strong enough to withstand, they want to weaken his pitching arm even more with inactivity.   Rest causes atrophy, not healing.

     I don't know about you, but the trainer's comments:   "Hopefully we're going to let this thing heal completely and then move forward and strengthen it up and get him going again," trainer Mark O'Neal said.   "I'm very comfortable it won't come back, but you never know.   "We'll just have to play it by ear and see how things go.", do not convince me that he has any idea what he is doing.

     I feel sorry for Mr. Wood.

     Needless to say, I know exactly what to do.   If Mr. Wood does what I say, he will never have to go on the disabled list ever again.   If Mr. Wood relies on the Cubs to help him, he will see many more trips.

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257.   Question 246 cleared a lot of questions for me regarding the pitching motion.   In the question it is stated that the maxline screwball and the curveball both break to the pitching arm side of home plate.   I thought the curve broke to the glove side?

     What is the specific mechanism that forces the two pitches to break to different sides of the plate?   Is it the circle of friction?   How does the release cause the circle of friction to orientate itself for the desired lateral movement of the ball.


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     When I say Maxline to describe any pitch, I mean that we apply force that causes the baseball to move toward the pitching arm side of home plate.   When I say Torque to describe any pitch, I mean that we apply force that causes the baseball to move toward the glove side of home plate.

     With regard to lateral movement, whether my pitchers throw pitches with their index and middle pitching fingers across the four seams or across the two seams makes no difference.   They can make both types of pitches move in either direction.   However, because the two-seam pitches have a larger circle of friction than the four-seam pitches, the two-seam pitches move laterally more dramatically.

     With regard to my four-seam pitches, Maxline Fastball, Torque Fastball, Maxline Pronation Curve and Maxline True Screwball, two factors control toward which side of home plate the baseball moves.   First and foremost, at release, baseball pitchers must have their pitching forearm vertical or inside of vertical.   Second, at release, the baseball pitchers must have their pitching hand outside of home plate and apply lateral force to the baseball in the desired direction.

     Because they achieve significant degrees of separation between the longitudinal axis of their pitching upper arm and forearm, when, at release, my pitchers lean the line across the top of their shoulders to their glove side such that the total of the two angles equal or exceed ninety degrees, they will achieve vertical pitching forearms.   For example, if my pitchers have thirty degrees of separation and lean sixty degrees, then they have vertical pitching forearms at release.

     When my pitchers stand on the glove side of the pitching rubber and step straight forward with their glove foot to the glove side of the driveline for their pitching foot, such that they drive the baseball directly toward home plate over that driveline, they release their pitches with their pitching hand to the glove side of home plate.   As a result, they can apply force toward the pitching arm side of home plate.

     Because of the 'pitching forearm flyout' flaw in the 'traditional' pitching motion, 'traditional' baseball pitchers cannot get their pitching forearm vertical.   That 'pitching forearm flyout' flaw also prevents 'traditional' baseball pitchers from ever releasing the baseball outside of the glove side of home plate.   For these reasons, 'traditional' baseball pitchers cannot drive the baseball to the pitching arm side of home plate.   Therefore, not only does the 'traditional' pitching motion destroy the pitching arm, but it also limits the variety of movements that they can make their pitches do.

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258.   My question is about the pitching arm.   When pitching, should I pay apply more force on my shoulders (which will pull my arm) or should I apply more force on arm itself.

     I ask this because when I replay videos of MLB players they seem to use arm power.   But, when I pitch I turn my chest and shoulders, and allow my arm to follow through.   I get more accurate and faster pitches that way.


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     My baseball pitchers do not use their pitching upper arm to drag their pitching forearm forward.   That is what causes 'pitching forearm flyout' that destroys the olecranon process and fossa of the pitching elbow.   Instead, my baseball pitchers drive their pitching hand in straight lines toward home plate.   To accomplish this, I teach my pitchers to 'lock' their pitching upper arm with their upper body, such that when they forwardly rotate their shoulders, they end up with their pitching elbow in front of their body.

     The key to maximum pitching hand velocity at release is the power of the pitching forearm drive through release.   I teach my pitchers to inwardly rotate their pitching upper arm, extend their pitching elbow and pronate their pitching forearm, wrist, hand and fingers.   With each providing acceleration on which the following builds, the pronation of the pitching forearm, wrist, hand and fingers is the final, critical force.   Baseball pitchers can never pronate their pitching forearm, wrist, hand and fingers too hard.

     You have to stop looking to major league baseball pitchers for how to apply force to your pitches.   They use the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion that destroys pitching arms.

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259.   Did you see this article?

----------------------------------------------------

May 3, 2005

     Former major league pitcher Tom HOuse used steoids during his career and said performance-enhancing drugs were widespread in baseball in the 1960s and 1970s, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

     House, perhaps best known for catching Hank Aaron's 715th home run ball in 1974 in the Atlanta Braves' bullpen, said he and several teammates used amphetamines, human growth hormone and "whatever steroid' they could find in order to keep up with competition.

     "I pretty much popped everything cold turkey," House told the Chronicle in a story published Tuesday.   "We were doing steroids they wouldn't give to horses.   That was the '60s, when nobody knew.   The good thing is, we know now.   There's a lot more research and understanding."

     House, a former pitching coach with the Texas Rangers and co-founder of the National Pitching Association near San Diego, is one of the first players to describe steroid use as far back as the 1960s.

     He was drafted in 1967 by the Braves and pitched eight seasons for Atlanta, Boston and Seattle, finishing his career with a 29-23 record and 3.70 ERA.

     House, 58, estimated that six or seven pitchers per team were at least experimenting with steroids or human growth hormone.   He said players talked about losing to opponents using more effective drugs.

     "We didn't get beat, we got out-milligrammed," he said.   And when you found out what they were taking, you started taking them."

     House said he gained almost 30 pounds while using steroids, blaming the extra weight for contributing to knee problems.   He said the drugs helped improve recovery time and conditioning but did not add velocity to his fastball.

     "I tried everything known to man to improve my fastball and still didn't go faster than 82 miles per hour," House said.   "I was a failed experiment."

     House said he stopped using steroids after learning about the long-term harm they could cause.

     "I'd like to say we were smart, but we didn't know what was going on," he said.   "We were at the tail end of a generation that wasn't afraid to ingest anything.   As research showed up, guys stopped."


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     This story explains allot to me.   Mr. House will do anything to win.   He will cheat, break the law, whatever.   Now, I understand why it does not bother Mr. House that he has destroyed thousands of pitching arms.   It is all about winning, getting more money.   If he will jeopardize his health, why would he worry about the health of baseball pitchers?

     I made it to the major leagues in 1967.   I learned about baseball players using amphetamines.   I learned about trainers giving anti-inflammatories to pitchers after games.   In my entire major league career from 1967 through 1981, I never heard of steroid use, much less saw, anybody using steroids.

     I researched the long-term effects of amphetamines and anti-inflammatories and rejected them.   I decided that the only way to improve my game was to research baseball pitching with high-speed film and use Physiology of Exercise research to develop an interval-training program specific to baseball pitching.   I did not out-milligram House and his cheating teammates, I out-worked them and I kicked their butts.

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260.   This Brewers article that mentions you.

Pitching Injuries and How to Prevent Them: A Q&A with Will Carroll

by Bill Batterman
on 04/14/2005

     The Brewers have been plagued by injuries to their young pitchers for more than a decade. Prospect after hard-throwing prospect has signed on the dotted line, eager to fulfill their big league dreams and anxious to one day climb the bump at County Stadium or Miller Park, but precious few have survived their apprenticeship in the organization's minor leagues.   For that, the Brewers have paid a heavy toll.   Without the financial resources to acquire top-notch free agent hurlers, the team's failure to safely and successfully develop young pitchers has contributed in no small way to their ongoing 12-year losing streak.

     things are beginning to change.   Or at least that's what Doug Melvin, Gord Ash, Reid Nichols, and the rest of Milwaukee's braintrust are hoping for.

     And it's not just hope -- they're doing something about it.

     Over the past few seasons, the organization has undertaken a comprehensive review of its player development system with an eye toward improving the health of its pitchers.   From the Arizona League to Triple-A to the big leagues, the Brewers are attempting to rectify the ills of the past while implementing an innovative, common-sense approach to pitching injury prevention from the top of the organization to the bottom.

     But will it work?   Will serious pitching injuries -- or the majority of them, at least -- become a thing of the past?

     To help find the answer, Brewerfan.net consulted Will Carroll, a pioneer in the field of baseball injury analysis and reporting. A writer at Baseball Prospectus (where he pens the popular column "Under The Knife") as well as The Juice, a weblog he co-authors with Scott Long, Carroll is the author of a forthcoming book about steroids in baseball entitled The Juice: The Real Story of Baseball's Drug Problems as well as Saving The Pitcher, "a revolutionary analysis of pitching injuries and how to prevent them."   The host of Baseball Prospectus Radio, he is quickly becoming a fan of the team from the Beer City.

Brewerfan.net:   The Brewers have implemented a "piggyback," eight-man rotation at Single-A West Virginia this season that pairs two starting pitchers with one another and limits their pitch counts in consecutive outings to 80 and 40 pitches, respectively. A similar system was developed in the mid-1990s by Grady Fuson while he was with the Athletics and has since been implemented by the Rangers (thanks to Fuson) and Reds (thanks to Dan O'Brien, who worked with Fuson in Texas).   According to the Washington Post, those three teams were the only ones in Major League Baseball to use the system in any form as of May 2004.

     Have other organizations begun to implement similar programs?

Will Carroll:   Actually, the system is more a product of research by Bob Cluck, now the pitching coach with the Tigers, than anyone else.   There have been a number of teams have considered what I call the "tandem system" but only those you mention have committed to it.   I believe it's a very effective system with proven results.   The hardest part is getting the pitchers themselves to buy in while also strengthening their arms.   Pitchers focus on wins, not things like efficiency and really have to be taught to understand why this system works and how it won't retard their progress.   I think the Brewers understand this.   I'd like to see the system at High-A and even at the start of the season in Double-A as well.   Someday -- maybe in the next revision of Saving The Pitcher -- I'll write up the best way to develop pitchers.   I'll be wrong of course, but it will make for a conversation starter.

Brewerfan.net:   Proponents of the system cite several benefits in both injury prevention and pitching effectiveness.   Fuson, for example, argues that "the 18- to 22-year-old arm is not prepared to pitch the way people traditionally think.   Their arms are not fully grown and mature.   They're not prepared to take the torque that major league guys can.   This system eases them into it."   Do you agree?   In your opinion, will the implementation of this system result in a reduction in pitching injuries?

Will Carroll:   I completely agree and believe that this will system reduce injuries.   Nate Silver's research on the injury nexus, Mike Marshall's work with biological age, and Glenn Fleisig's work on biomechanics all point to the same thing.   It's difficult to put it all on age -- it's maturity, not age.   Worse, the more stresses that are put on arms at a young age, the more damage there is.   We're seeing younger and younger pitchers needing overuse treatments like Tommy John surgery.   At some point, we have to do something to stop that.   In the interim, we have to protect them where we can and the minor leagues is one.

Brewerfan.net:   Of course, there's also the idea that college pitchers are safer bets.

Will Carroll:   That's true, but we're also seeing some insane pitch counts.   Part of the value of college pitchers is predictability and the fact that they survived the experience while pitching on someone else's dime.   From a purely developmental perspective, I'm not sure that's best.   If I could predict with anything resembling certainty which pitchers would develop, I'd draft high school pitchers.

Brewerfan.net:   Another benefit of of the program, its advocates argue, is that it helps develop pitchers who are aggressive in the zone and comfortable "pitching to contact."   Reds' Director of Player Development Tim Naehring contends, for instance, that "coming out of college, with aluminum bats, these guys are used to pitching away from contact.   We're trying to teach these young pitchers at an early age to pitch to contact, which means trying to command the fastball and get the hitter out early in the count.   When you only have 75 pitches, you better be pretty effective with the way you use your pitches if you want to stick around until the fifth and sixth innings."

     Is this something that you foresee the Brewers emphasizing?   How important do you feel it is for young pitchers to learn how to effectively manage their pitch counts?

Will Carroll:   It all gets back to efficiency. If you have X pitches to throw, it makes you think about "wasting one."   There will be times that you do, that the pitch accomplishes something.   Doing it on 0-2 has never made any sense to me.   I'm not sure any team teaches the theory of pitching well.   In my opinion, it comes back to command.   I'd rather have a team of soft tossing guys who can hit spots than a fastballer who relies on blowing someone away.

     The "pitching to contact" idea to me might lead to problems.   You have to have a good defense and seems to have a groundball bias.   It's antithetical to some stated orthodoxy, but I think pitchers occasionally need to say "I need a groundball" and pitch to that.   At other times, they better be pitching for strikeouts.

Brewerfan.net:   Another interesting experiment being implemented in the Brewers' farm system this season is an inversion of typical pitching roles wherein relief pitchers start the game and are later relieved by starters.   In an interview with MLB.com, Doug Melvin explained that successful big league starters (like Curt Schilling) go deep into games and don't rely on middle or long relievers to bridge the gap to the closer.   On the other hand, "there's a lot of minor league pitchers who never see the ninth inning because of pitch counts," he said, arguing that working in the late innings will help develop a pitcher's mental toughness.

     Are you familiar with any other organizations that have attempted a similar role-inversion?   Is this program a good complement to the "piggyback" system mentioned earlier, insofar as it allows pitchers to work later into games without elevating their pitch counts? How important do you feel it is for young pitchers to work in the late innings?

Will Carroll:   I love this idea in some ways, hate it in others.   I think Melvin's exactly right that some pitchers won't reach it and that this might have some real tactical advantages, but I'm not sure that we really know how the ninth inning is any more valuable than the fifth or first.   Pitching is pitching, an out is an out, and if you need some artificial construct to get you on the ball, I worry.   I'll tip my cap to Melvin and his staff for thinking outside the box and wait to see how it works out.

Brewerfan.ner:   The Brewers have suffered through injury after injury to their young pitching prospects over the past decade.   From Tyrone Hill to Jeff D'Amico to Kyle Peterson and from J.M. Gold to Nick Neugebauer to Mike Jones, Milwaukee has been disturbingly unable to develop healthy young hurlers.   To what do you attribute the club's inability to protect the arms of its pitchers?   Is the organization's tendency to draft pitchers with high injury risks (like Peterson and Gold) at the root of the problem?   Or does the team's player development system deserve more of the blame?

Will Carroll:   It's partly the selection and partly a lack of commitment to preventing injuries.   That's changed, albeit at a high cost.   It doesn't make Neugebauer feel any better that Mark Rogers might survive because he didn't, but at least the Brewers are learning.   They have a proactive medical staff with Roger Caplinger and Bill Raasch.   They've invested in great medical facilities.   They do high speed video on all their pitchers.   They're considering injury prevention at every step, from draft to Triple-A.   They're willing to look in any direction -- even mine -- to try to improve something they acknowledge as a weakness.   That's a great sign.

Brewerfan.net:   In your book Saving The Pitcher, you argue that "there's no reason a pitcher should ever be injured."   Traditional baseball thinking holds that serious arm injuries are just part of the game.   Brewers Assistant GM Gord Ash, for example, commented that "any time you have significant injuries, you can't be happy about it.   But it's not just an affliction of the Milwaukee Brewers.   Injuries are part of the game."

     Given that the origins of many pitching injuries can be traced to a player's time in little league, high school, or college, to what degree can Major League organizations prevent pitching injuries?   Are they more preventable than Ash and others believe?

Will Carroll:   Forgive a little hyperbole on my part.   We know what causes injuries and theoretically we can prevent them all.   Of course, we'll never be able to do that in the real world.   There are always going to be freak incidents, a pitcher that breaks down well below the level we'd predict, and the fact that we can't control all elements of the game.   We need legislation to protect young pitchers -- coaches can't do it because they need to win.   We need more organizations willing to protect arms like the A's, Indians, Blue Jays, and Brewers are doing.   Injuries are part of the game; I like to believe we can make them a lot smaller part of the game.

Brewerfan.net:   Kansas City-based writer Bradford Doolittle argues that "injury management is just another area where small-market clubs can develop a competitive advantage against the rich teams, much in the same way statistical analysis can help them to build a lineup or a bullpen."

     Do you agree with Doolittle?   What are some of the most important things that organizations like the Brewers can do to prevent pitching injuries at the minor league level?   At the Major League level?

Will Carroll:   Absolutely!   I think just the commitment to the process is the biggest thing.   There's a major league team that's made an organizational decision NOT to prevent injuries.   The GM said he's going to "ride his horses" and then send them to Jim Andrews.   That's going to back fire, even if I can understand the thinking on some level.   When we see Tampa and Milwaukee at the top of the charts for "medhead stats" that's a nice sign.   Injury prevention and management is very cheap, has a great rate of return, and doesn't require significant changes to the organization.   Things like assessment of risk, managing risk, and understanding risk are the most important parts.

Brewerfan.net:   One of the biggest debates in discussions about baseball's Amateur Draft is the comparative desirability of selecting players from high schools or colleges.   The Brewers have tended to focus on prep players, and prep pitchers in particular, although they have struck a balance between the two schools of thought.   If you were running a Major League organization, would you advise your scouting department to concentrate more on high school or college pitchers? In your opinion, which demographic is more likely to suffer an arm injury?

Will Carroll:   Younger pitchers suffer more injuries, but heal quicker.   I'd look for pitchers with reasonable workloads, a good work ethic, and healthy results.   I'd look high and low, not eliminating anyone until I'd given them a chance.   Tall, short, fat, skinny, high school, college -- to me, it doesn't matter.   I want pitchers.   Mark Rogers is a great example -- he hasn't pitched much because of his location (Maine) yet really has a great arm, good work ethic, and Tony Blengino really took the time to understand what he could do.   Great use of scouting.

Brewerfan.net:   A related issue with regard to amateur scouting is the divide between pitchers from northern climates and those from the South, who often play year-round and accumulate much more experience during their prep careers.   The Brewers drafted two high school pitchers last June with their first two picks:   Mark Rogers from Maine and Yo Gallardo from Texas.   Placing yourself in the same position as before (at the helm of a big league organization), would you recommend concentrating on more experienced pitchers from warm climates or less experienced (but less overworked) pitchers from the North?   Is there a tangible difference between the injury risks presented by prep hurlers with significantly different high school workloads?

Will Carroll:   I'd point to my answer above.   I wouldn't eliminate anyone.   I know a good bit about Rogers, not so much about Gallardo (Though you've gotta love a guy named "Yo"!).   When you can look at a pitcher holistically, you have a much better chance of accurately assessing his performance potential and his risk potential.

Brewerfan.net:   One of the organization's most promising young hurlers, Mike Jones, has suffered through a number of serious injuries during his tenure as a Brewer.   You described his latest, a SLAP lesion of the labrum in his pitching shoulder, as "baseball's most fearsome injury" 8 and one from which "only a small percentage of players ... are able to successfully return.

     Does Jones have a chance to be one of those in that small percentage?

Will Carroll:   I hope so.   Jones has some great stuff.   We're learning more about labrum injuries and even seeing some returns (and odd side effects of those returns.)   I think Jones has a great chance because of the organization, just how good he was (at 80% of his former self, he could still have value), and because Jim Rooney and his minor league staff really understand what's going on.   It's going to be difficult and I can't give any sort of percentage of his chance of return, but I will say Jones has hope.   Just a couple years ago, he'd need to be thinking about a new career.

Brewerfan.net:   A sincere "thank you" to Will Carroll for sharing his time and expertise with the Brewerfan.net community!

References:
Dustin Gouker, "System Counted On To Protect Pitchers," The Washington Post, 05-20-2004.

Ibid.
Tony Jackson, "Minor-league starters will be on pitch counts," The Cincinnati Post, 01-15-2004.
Doug Melvin, "GM Doug Melvin on the Brewers," Interview with MLB.com, 03-08-2005.
Will Carroll, "Preface," Saving The Pitcher, 2004, p. 8.
Tom Haudricourt, "Sore season continues in minors," Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, 07-16-2004.
Bradford Doolittle, "Hurt pitchers haven't cost KC much money," The Kansas City Star, 04-01-2004.
Will Carroll, "Labrum, It Nearly Killed Him," Slate.com, 05-20-2004. Supra Note 5, p. 53.

Bill Batterman is a writer for Brewerfan.net.   You can get in touch with him via email at batman@brewerfan.net


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     Rather than determine the cause of baseball pitching arm injuries, these well-meaning, but uninformed gentlemen are trying to manage the effect.   The flaws in the 'traditional' pitching motion injure the pitching arms of baseball pitchers. Not only do these flaws place unnecessary stress on their pitching arms, but they also prevent baseball pitchers from meaningfully training their pitching arms to withstand that stress.

     The solution is to ban the 'traditional' pitching motion and properly train the pitching arm to withstand to the necessary stress of baseball pitching.

     I have designed a pitching motion that removes all of the unnecessary stress inherent in the 'traditional' pitching motion.   As a result, my interval-training program can strengthen the pitching arm well beyond whatever stress pitchers could ever apply.   In this way, without discomfort or loss of quality on their pitches, my starting pitchers can pitch three times through the lineup every fourth day and my relief pitchers can pitch once through the lineup every other day.

     In my forty years of researching baseball pitching and training pitchers, no pitcher has ever suffered a pitching arm injury.   Instead, without stiffness, soreness or fatigue, my pitchers can throw baseballs every day for as many years as they want.   I did.

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261.   Thank you much for sending the copies of You Must Relax by Edmund Jacobson and your baseball hitting articles.   It is so gracious of you to do this.   Realizing that this was many years ago I have some questions:

     You recommend in the article that youngsters do not do your baseball hitting weight lifting drills until they are 15.   Is 15 still ok?   It seems like 16 is the magic age for you these days.

     You recommend that kids do their other exercises including "stretching" as well as your weight lifting drills.   I am curious as to how and when you came to the realization that muscles do not stretch as it appears that in 1967 you recommended stretching.

     I have read some of You Must Relax.   Would it be fair to say that with the techniques in this book, that a baseball pitcher or hitter could recognize stress and do exercises to relieve it before a game or at bat?

     Thank you again.   I hope to write to every major league baseball team by the end of June to see why they do not embrace your theories.   It looks like the Yankees could use a couple of your guys.


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     Baseball batting does not place the stress on growth plates that baseball pitching does.   Therefore, with the olecranon process completely matured at biological fifteen years old, I feel that youngsters can safely train with minimal weights at that time without problem.   I am not against youngsters with open growth plates using minimum weights, but, in a concern for caution that they will think that more is better, when more is actually hazardous, I say no weights.

     I was not the author of this article.   He said stretching was necessary, not me.   Even in 1967, I would not have recommended stretching.

     The ability to control unnecessary muscle tension is valuable for all types of human performance.   Differential tension control means that athletes differentiate between which muscles require muscle tensions and which do not.

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262.   I have your information and it is very interesting.    Certainly your programs would be very valuable to aspiring pitchers.    Do you know if there are any of the Major League Baseball Pitchers who currently use your methodology for pitching.   I would love to see the method in action and provide my boys some good examples to watch on TV.

     As I mentioned earlier, my older son was a top prospect pitcher throwing low 90's and injured his arm last year and now will have Tommy John's surgery this spring, prior to entering college.    And my younger son who is 15 is just now starting to pitch for his high school.    He has pitched in younger leagues but not very much.

     I was thinking of taking him to the local center where they do the surgeries and teach kids to pitch using various video tracking equipment, but I haven't seen anybody using the methodology you employ.    There needs to be more publicity for your methods, so kids and parents can employ this idea earlier.

     It is difficult for most parents to understand all of what you teach and usually by the time they take the time to figure it out, it is late in the game and possible damage already done.    It will not happen in the younger leagues, on a large scale until it is either mandated by rules and laws or it happens in the big leagues, because kids and parents tend to want their kids to do it like the pros because they believe that is the best way.

     Now that my son has this issue, I am super sensitive to the problem, but even now it is hard to take control of the process that is already in place and attempt to override the system, because when you do, you are not well received and doors are closed.    I guess my second question then is:   Are there centers in other places around the country, that might be more convenient to get to, that would understand your methods enough to teach them?

     With respect to the surgery:    You mentioned taking the tendon out of the glove arm if possible.    That seems like common sense to me, and any doctor who has done so many of these surgeries would do it that way, but based on your suggestion, I get the impression that is not the case.    Why would a doctor do it any other way?


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     All baseball pitchers I have not trained use the 'traditional' pitching motion.   No pitcher I have trained presently pitches in the major leagues.   Remember, I don't get to train draftable high school or college pitchers.   Nevertheless, two have pitched in the major leagues.   But for the resistance to my pitching motion, one would be in the major leagues today.

     Unfortunately, until their sons suffer some pitching arm injury, most parents do not understand that they need to take control of the pitching training that their sons receive.

     I am continually working on my teaching methods to make it easier for parents and sons to learn my pitching motion.   When I finish my 2005 video, I will send you a copy.   Other than my Pitching Research/Training Center in Zephyrhills, FL, I do not have any places that teach my pitching motion.

     When repairing a ruptured Ulnar Collateral Ligament, it is easier for the surgeon to work on only one arm.   Many simply take the tendon of the Palmaris Longus muscle from the wrist of the pitching arm and use it to replace the ruptured Ulnar Collateral Ligament.   Because the Palmaris Longus muscle attaches to the palmar aponeurosis in the palm of the hand, they do not believe that it contributes to applying force to baseball pitches.   They are wrong.   While he will have both arms recovering from surgery, it is still better for his pitching career if he keeps the tendon of the Palmaris Longus muscle in his pitching arm.

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263.   An old high school friend of yours said I might want to ask you this question.   I think a preset pitch count for major league pitchers is a bunch of crap.   I have coached for years at the high school level and I think I am in tune with my pitchers, they are all different.

     You need to know the strengths and weaknesses of your players and not abuse them.   But, this major league trend toward pitch count is driving me nuts.   Your friend and his son say that it is necessary.   Bill James says in his research, there is no correlation between pitch count and future injury.   What's your take?


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     Pitch counts treat the symptoms, not the cause of pitching arm injuries.   Because major league pitching coaches, trainers and doctors do not understand why their baseball pitchers injure their pitching arms, they mistakenly believe that if they limit the number of times that their pitchers stress their pitching arms, that is, limit the number of times that they throw baseballs, they will lengthen the time before they injure their pitching arms.

     Physiology of Exercise teaches us that the more physical activity we have, the better the body gets at withstanding the stress of that activity.   Therefore, in all other sport activity, to get the athletes to perform better, we train the athletes harder.

     Unfortunately, with baseball pitching, when they train their pitchers harder, they injure their pitching arms sooner.   As a result, they train their pitchers less and less until their pitching arms become so weak that they cannot perform.

     The cause of baseball pitching arm injuries is twofold.   First, the 'traditional' pitching motion has flaws that destroy the pitching arm.   Second, they cannot train the pitching arm to withstand these flaws.

     The solution is to change how baseball pitchers apply force to their pitches, that is, remove these flaws.   Then, they need to design an interval-training program that strengthens the bones, ligaments and tendons to easily withstand the maximum possible stress that pitchers could apply.

     Fortunately, someone has done that.   For the proper way for baseball pitchers to apply force to their baseball pitches, you should read Chapter Thirty-Seven of my Coaching Baseball Pitchers book.   For how to perform the drills in my Interval-Training Programs, you should read Chapter Thirty-Six of my Coaching Baseball Pitchers book.   For the specifics of my High School Baseball Pitchers program, you should go to my Pitcher Training Programs file.

   The answer to your question is; I disagree with pitch counts, but I also disagree that coaches 'need to know the strengths and weaknesses of your players and not abuse them.'   If coaches are still teaching their pitchers to use the 'traditional' pitching motion, then they are already abusing them and it is just a matter of time before their pitchers injure themselves.

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264.   I'm the new baseball coach in a brand new school due to open in the fall of 2006.   I am sending a $100 money order today for your video/book/copies of still pictures/anything else you endorse.   I too am a believer in the science behind baseball, and have a conducted an unpublished study comparing selected strength measurements to baseball velocity in pitchers that I used to coach in the Texas/Louisiana League of independent baseball.   It was part of my thesis.    I say all of that not for my own benefit, but to explain my enthusiasm for your research.    I will be putting in your scientific approach and methodology in my new baseball program.    I'm looking forward to communicating with you at a later date after viewing your materials.

     One quick question:    Which, if any, current major league pitchers would you endorse as "mechanically sound" according to your findings?    I'm going to start collecting video footage.


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     Because all current major league baseball pitchers use the 'traditional' pitching motion, all of them do not have 'mechanically sound' pitching motions.   The reason why baseball pitchers continue to destroy their pitching arms is that they continue to copy the same injury-producing 'traditional' pitching motion.

     My Baseball Pitching Instructional videotapes will explain how baseball pitchers should apply force to their pitches, such that they minimize the unnecessary stress and maximize their release velocity.   In June, I will start on my 2005 video in which I will explain the flaws in the 'traditional' pitching motion and my solutions to those flaws that enable baseball pitchers to minimize unnecessary stress and maximize release velocity, consistency and movements.

     To teach my pitching motion and train your pitchers, you will want to use my 120-Day High School Baseball Pitchers Interval-Training Program.   You can find it in my Pitchers Training Programs file on my home page of my website.

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265.   I am a college baseball pitcher who has going off your video.   I am now starting to see the difference in my velocity and my pitches are also alot more sharp.   We are almost done with our season, but I would love to work more on your techniques to make me a better pitcher.   I was wondering if there was any workouts, drills, or things I could do in the off season to increase my velocity?   People on the team were always ripping on us cause of pronating, but now alot of them are starting to look into it because we are getting better.   It definitely shows something!

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     For college baseball pitchers, I recommend that they complete my 315-Day College Baseball Pitchers Interval-Training Program.   You can find it in my Pitcher Training Program file on the home page of my website.   In Chapter Thirty-Six of my Coaching Baseball Pitchers book, I explain how to perform my drills.   In Chapter Thirty-Seven of my Coaching Baseball Pitchers book, I explain how to perform my pitching motion.   As you know, in my Baseball Pitching Instructional video, I show what I write in these chapters.

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266.   I am the person who sent a local sportswriter and other San Francisco-based media personalities an e-mail regarding your philosophy.   Of course, the e-mails praised your work.

     Coincidentally, during my childhood years, I insisted that any pitcher who throws a curve must also throw a screwball.   So many high school and college coaches thought that I was nuts!   Little did I know that what I insisted originally came from you!   But little did I know that I would be correct until I stumbled into your website.

     A relative of mine is a Dodgers fan and showed me highlights of your appearances vs. the Oakland A's in the 1974 World Series.   I must have gotten the idea of balancing breaking pitches with reverse breaking pitches from you as well as from Christy Matthewson, Carl Hubbell and Fernando Valenzuela.

     Although I no longer pursue a chance to play baseball, I find your philosophy worthwhile.   It makes a baseball fan more informed than other fans.   Although I am a fan of the Oakland A's, I will watch other teams, college, Olympic, MLB or Japanese in my spare time.
,br>      The late Leonard Koppett and Joe Morgan stated that a major league bullpen should carry at least 2 closers, one lefty and one righty.   I have a grander scheme; closer by rotation.   One assumption is that each closer would follow your repertory; fastball, breaking pitch and reverse breaking pitch.   As for days to work, the bullpen will be treated like a four-man starting rotation; each closer will have 2 or 3 days designated to pitch in the game or work out in the bullpen.

     As for the term 'closer' in this scenario, he will be more or less a change reliever.   This harkens back to the pre-1950s when Joe Page and other relievers would finish a game when the starter leaves, even in the first inning!

     In other words, the 2000s era bullpen would be better off if each major league team would resurrect the closer by rotation.   Please respond.

     Ideally, a cash-strapped team like the Oakland A's would be better off with a four-man rotation, a four-man bullpen and your pitching philosophy.   The pitchers who are the weakest links who would exit the team would be replaced by much needed bench players.   Another possibility is that this type of team could finally afford one or two superstar players at a needed position.

     Your ideas would save millions of dollars and not just from player salaries.   Count the players who will NOT appear on the disabled list and the resources spent for that situation.   Radio time would shorten since the pitchers will finish more innings at a faster rate.   Thus, because the air time will shorten itself, the team will create a demand!   More people would attend games since the average playing time will be shorter than usual.

     As for your philosophy, how would the following batters tackle your type of repertory; Barry Bonds, Ichiro Suzuki, Manny Ramirez, Todd Helton and Vladimir Guerrero?

     I will save issues about rotations of the lineup, the crowding the plate and other issues on other e-mails.


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     'Treat the bullpen like a four-man starting rotation.'   I agree.   'Closer by rotation.'   I agree.

     However, critical to this concept is that all pitchers must complete my 315-Day Adult Baseball Pitchers Interval-Training Program, master my pitching motion, my variety of pitches and continue to train with my 60-Day Off-Season 'Recoil' training cycles.

     To start and go no more than three times through the line-up, I would select the four pitchers with the best fastballs, breaking balls and reverse breaking balls abilities.   Of course, if they are not in the fifth inning when they face the lead-off man for the third time, then they would not get to go the third time through the line-up.

     To relieve and go no more than one time through the line-up, I would select the next four next best fastballs, breaking balls and reverse breaking balls for my bullpen.

     I also agree that developing baseball pitchers would greatly equalize the financially-strapped teams.   Unfortunately, no team owner appears to understand that the 'traditional' pitching motion and those who teach it are costing them big money and ruining the game.   If, after they complete my program and master my pitching motion and pitches, any pitcher ever required surgery, other than from a pre-exiting condition, I would return my entire salary.   Will any other pitching coach do that?

     With regard to how I would have my pitchers pitch to Barry Bonds, Ichiro Suzuki, Manny Ramirez, Todd Helton and Vladimir Guerrero:

     I have not seen much of Mr. Helton or Guerrero, but the first three times that we face all these hitters, I would treat them as pull hitters.   If they show that they can and will go the other way, then we have a chess match.   That is, before we throw every pitch, we have to determine what they want to do and not let them do it.   We would always minimize the damage that they can do, but never give in to them.

     I believe that all batters have 'tells.'   That is, they do something that gives away whether they plan to turn on the baseball or hit it to the opposite field.

     Mr. Bonds loves to turn on the baseball.   I would make him go the other way.   When he shows that he is going the other way, my right-handers and left-handers would come inside with my two-seam Torque Curve and two-seam Maxline Screwball, respectively.
,br>      Mr. Suzuki loves to slap and run.   I would make him turn on the baseball.   When he shows that he is going to turn on the baseball, my right-handers and left-handers would go away with my four-seam Maxline Fastball and four-seam Torque Fastball, respectively.

     Mr. Ramirez loves to turn on the baseball.   I would make him go the other way.   When he shows that he is going the other way, my right-handers and left-handers would come inside with my two-seam Maxline Screwball and two-seam Torque Curve, respectively.

     From what little I have seen of him, Mr. Helton appears to hit the baseball to the opposite field easily.   I would pitch him similar to how I would pitch Mr. Ichiro.

     From what little I have seen of him, Mr. Guerrero appears to turn on the baseball. I would pitch him similar to how I would pitch Mr. Ramirez.

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267.   I've written to you about my 11 year old son before and I sincerely thank you for your advice.

     Yesterday, he told me that he had a slight pain around his medial epicondyle area for about 15 minutes.   It has been about 7 weeks since he stopped pitching due to sore elbow.   Until yesterday, he had been pain free in the medial epicondyl area for 3 or 4 weeks.   The doctor says he's fine, but after scouring through all of your FAQs, I now know that growth plate injuries do not show up on Xrays/MRIs too well.

     Does this reoccurrence mean something more serious/long term?   I ordered your video last week.   When can he safely start the 60 day Youth programs?


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     The 'reverse pitching forearm bounce' of his 'traditional' pitching motion causes his medial epicondyle area discomfort.   He has to learn how to pronate the releases of all pitches.   That is what my First Youth Baseball Pitchers Motor Skill Acquisition Program teaches.   He also has to learn how to get his pitching hand up to driveline height without having to turn him pitching forearm over.   That is what my Second Youth Baseball Pitchers Motor Skill Acquisition Program teaches.

     You should print out my First Program, study Chapter Thirty-Six in my Coaching Baseball Pitchers book and, to complete my football and baseball throwing drills, when my video arrives, watch it carefully for how to perform my Pickoff with Step body action, Slingshot Glove and Pitching Arm actions.

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268.   After looking at your website, I am quite impressed with both your practical knowledge of pitching from a “users” view, and from the physiological perspective.    Since the major thrust of my current pursuit is to be able to provide my soon-to-be 15 year old with sound fundamental (and safe) instruction, I am interested in your programs.

     I did not see any reference to you working with pre-high school graduates.    Do you ever have instruction for younger players, like my son?


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     I tried working with to-be high school juniors and seniors, but, with the forty-five weeks that I train recent high school graduates and college pitchers, it took too much of my time.   However, we welcome visitors and I answer all emails.

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269.   Reading your book is doing a great deal of improvement for me.   Hopefully my pronation curveball will reach 80mph by the end of this summer.   I believe that the change-up is not included in your grip release descriptions.   Could you please write something on the grip and release of the changeup pitch?

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     I teach four-seam and two-seam Maxline Fastballs, four-seam and two-seam Torque Fastballs, four-seam and two-seam Maxline True Screwballs, four-seam and two-seam Maxline Pronation Curves, two-seam Maxline Fastball Sinkers and two-seam Torque Fastball Sliders.

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270.   You recently replied to one of my questions regarding soreness in my pronator teres and my teres major.   You described to me that this is a normal response to proper force applications.   In your response you wrote "My pitchers should never have their pitching elbow move across the front of their body.   And, they should never have their pitching elbow lower than their pitching hand."

     I understand that the pitching arm should powerfully extend towards home plate, but could you clarify for me what you meant when you said the elbow should not be lower than the pitching hand.   Do you mean that the elbow should extend above the hand forcing the triceps, forearm and wrist to extend in a downward/straightline rather than upward fashion?


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     When baseball pitchers powerfully pronate their pitching forearm, wrist, hand and fingers, they also inwardly rotate their pitching upper arm.   As a result, the pitching thumb moves to point downward and the pitching elbow moves to point upward.   Therefore, after release, the pitching elbow should be higher than the pitching hand.

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271.   We got your partnership agreement and associated paperwork in the mail yesterday.    My son is going to get it filled out today and by tomorrow we should have it notarized and back in the mail to you (along with the deposit).

        I have a question.    With my son being 21, but not having actively participated at the collegiate level (other than red shirting his first year), which program do you recommend the 280 or 315 day?


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     The difference between my 280-Day and 315-Day programs is that the 315-Day program includes my 60-Day eight pound iron ball recoil cycle, which considerably increases the quality of the pitching forearm, wrist, hand and fingers ability to apply force through release.   I prefer to have all pitchers complete my 315-Day program.

     However, because I have to have all pitchers finish my program by the fourth Saturday in May, to complete my 315-Day program, they have to start my program on the third Saturday in July.   Because recent high school graduates want to play Legion baseball during the summer after their graduation, they cannot start in July.   Therefore, I offer my 280-Day program, which starts five weeks later on the third Saturday in August.

     I hope to see your son on Saturday, July 16, 2005.

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272.   It's been a while since I contacted you.   Over the past year, I have had more success using your principles in hitting instructions than pitching instructions.   Pitchers are very hesitant to change any thing even when they are hurting and even though they have no velocity and control.   They pay attention only if a famous individual is giving or endorsing instructions, or there are immediate results from a suggested change.

     In hitting instructions, I get immediate results because all I do is change the timing of the batter body mechanics to the timing of the pitchers mechanics, and I mean IMMEDIATE RESULTS.

     SO, I CONCLUDED THAT IT IS THE TIMING OF THE PITCHING MECHANICS ALSO THAT CAUSES ALL THE MECHANICAL PROBLEMS AS WELL.

     What I have notice over the last 4 years in using your methods, is that your methods correct the timing of the pitcher's motion.   All other methods, and I mean all of them, skip toooooo many frames, they take shortcuts, and the result is RUSHING THE MECHANICS TOOOOOO SOON.   The same is for hitting.

     Once I started to put your theories and method in baseball language, I started to get through to my players.   This last spring, all my pitchers pitched without pain and all of them increased their control by 50%.   Two of my pitchers now throw 90 mph.   All this happened because I changed their timing.

     In hitting, most freshmen can't hit an 80 mph fastball and any off-speed pitch, regardless of speed.   By changing their timing mechanics, they now can hit speed of fastball up to 90 mph and finally can lay off swinging at off-speed pitches.

     If you are interested, I will describe what changes I made in pitching, but first, I want to hear what you think of this email so far.


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     It is sad, but true that, even when it hurts, youth baseball pitchers want to throw with the same pitching motion as the major league pitcher du jour.   It is not an easy battle we fight.

     When baseball pitchers apply force to their pitches, they have to uniformly accelerate the baseball.   If they apply too much force too soon, then they cannot apply force through release.   If they apply too little force early, then they cannot achieve their maximum release velocity.   With every ballistic activity, rhythm is everything.

     With my pitching motion, baseball pitchers have to get their pitching hand to driveline height at precisely the right moment.   That moment is immediately before they start to forwardly rotate their upper body.   If they get their pitching hand to driveline height too early, then they have to hold their arm in that position for too long and they lose the momentum of their pitching hand.   If they get their pitching hand to driveline height too late, then, like with the 'traditional' pitching motion, their pitching hand cannot catch up with their body and apply force through release.

     Where baseball pitching is an Initiator skill, baseball batting is a Responder skill, which means that whereas baseball pitchers can determine when they want to perform their skill, baseball batters cannot.   Therefore, baseball batters have to make sure that they are ready to perform their skill at the proper moment after baseball pitchers perform their skill.

     From what you say, it appears that you have shown baseball batters how to be ready to perform their skill.   All skills, Initator and Responder, need a 'trigger' action that precedes the performance of those skills.   For baseball batting, I recommend 'loading' the rear arm much in the same way that boxers get ready to punch straight forward with their rear hand.   That is, a subtle reverse rotation of their acromial line.

     With my baseball batting motion, baseball batters have to get their rear hand in proper straight rear hand punch position at precisely the right moment.   That moment is immediately before they start to forwardly rotate their upper body.   If they get their rear hand in position too early, then they have to hold their hand in that position for too long and they lose the momentum of their rear hand.   If they get their rear hand in position too late, then their rear hand cannot catch up with their body and apply force through contact.

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273.   Just out of curiosity, why do you not teach the change-up?

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     I disagree with those who believe that to have pitching success, baseball pitchers must precisely locate their pitches or throw their fastballs over ninety miles per hour.   I believe that baseball pitchers have to throw pitches with a variety of movements and velocities.

     Change-ups are ten miles per hour slower than fastballs without movement.   When baseball batters correctly anticipate change-ups, they hit them very hard.   I don't teach pitches that, when baseball batters correctly anticipate them, they can hit them very hard.

     My Maxline Fastball Sinkers and Torque Fastball Sliders are also ten miles per hour slower than my Maxline and Torque Fastballs, but, when baseball batters correctly anticipate them, they still difficulty hitting them.

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274.   My son is a 20 year old sophomore starting RH pitcher at a NCAA Division I university.    Like most Div I players, his dream is to someday play professional baseball.

     The reason that I am writing is that I think he needs your help to reach his true potential.    He has very good stuff, however, his fastball tops out at 88, and he has been unable to pitch much the last month or so because he has a lot of soreness in the front of his shoulder.    For the past month or so he has been on anti-inflammatory pills and had a shot of cortisone in his shoulder.

     Prior to this soreness (which he also had his junior year in high school), he was selected as one of the Collegiate Baseball players of the week for striking out 15 in 7 2/3 innings.    So, I think he has some potential to go to the next level.    However, with his velocity under 90 (scouts criteria) and his recurring arm soreness (MRI done & no tears), he will never get the chance.

     Can you please help him?    Do you see pitchers one-on-one during the summer?


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     As I explain in my Pitching Instruction file, the only way that I work with college pitchers is for three hundred and fifteen days.   This year, I start on Saturday, July 16, 2005 and ending on the fourth Saturday in May, 2006.   If anybody tells you that they can meaningsully train your son in less time, then they have no idea what they are talking about.   With my program, we become partners in his pursuit of excellence.

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275.   I read through your outline for your new flaws and solutions video that was in last Sunday's letters.   I would suggest that:

01.   You go into great detail on locking the upper arm to the shoulder and getting into your slingshot position.

02.   I think it would be good to show how the forearm is already turned over when your pitchers reach driveline height with their palm facing outward.

03.   I think it would be good to show at what point the pitchers get into the Maxline fastball position from the ready position.      I believe in your last video the hand was already positioned for the pitch before your pitchers reached drive line height.

04.   I also would like to see the 5 drills that you now advocate.

     I know you are limited on how much time you have, but maybe you could show another certification workout where your pitchers are flipping their hip and releasing their pitches closer to home plate.

     Although you had trouble with the CD version on the last tape, I still would like to get the new tape in a CD.


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     I will definitely show and explain how baseball pitchers must 'lock' their pitching upper arm with their body before they start their pitching hand toward home plate.

     After the pitching arm of my baseball pitchers passes behind their body, the outward rotation of their pitching upper arm and supination of their pitching forearm, wrist and hand during my Pendulum Swing Glove and Pitching Arm actions insures that their pitching hand is higher than their pitching elbow when the pitching elbow reaches shoulder height.   In this way, my pitchers avoid the whole 'late pitching forearm turnover' problem.

     You are correct, Sir.   I used to teach my pitchers to position the pitching forearm, wrist, hand and fingers for their pitch selection before they reached my 'Ready' position.   However, when they threw my Maxline Pronation Curve, because they had to turn their pitching hand to face toward their body, they would also take their pitching hand laterally behind their body.   Therefore, I now teach them to have their pitching palm face away from their body at 'Ready,' and, during the time when they are moving their body forward and when they start the forward rotation of their acromial line, I want them to position their pitching forearm, wrist, hand and fingers for their pitch selection.

     I will definitely show and explain the five drills that I use to teach the critical elements of my pitching motion.   With the exception of my Crow-Hop body action, I included those drills in my 2004 video.   Until I finish my 2005 video, I explain how to perform by Crow-Hop body action in Chapter Thirty-Six of my Coaching Baseball Pitchers book.

     With all the trouble that I had with the DVD version of my last video, I do not plan to try that again.

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276.   Lately, I kept seeing batters get hit by a pitch.   Then, I notice that many of them reach up to the borders of the batter's box.   This is a major problem that no analyst or sports talk show host ever mentions.

     The only notable person who mentions this problem is Bill James in his Historical Baseball Abstract (2005 and 2000).   Hit by pitches (HBP) and crowding the plate is legalized cheating!   Barry Bonds is the worst offender of this.   I'm not saying this just because I am an A's fan who could care less about the Giants!

     Anyway, Bonds, and others take away the inner half of the strike zone.   This is great for the batters, but this is a death knell to pitchers, even the good ones.   Even the good pitchers must pay attention to the location of each pitch for four reasons:

01.   Adding a base runner greatly increases the chance of losing a game.

02.   Second, umpires these days are less inclined in the "you hit my batter and I will hit yours to be even" philosophy and third, the benches will clear and the pitcher will be ejected thereby be relieved by an inferior pitcher who will lose the game.

03.   Taking away the inside to the middle of the plate area of the strike zone hinders pitching from Little League all the way to the professional levels.   These are some of the reasons why pitchers of today do not pitch inside very well unlike pitchers of your era.

04.   Taking away one part of the strike zone makes predicting the location of pitches easier for the batter.   This is unfair for pitchers.

     Other problems with HBP exist.   HBP slow the pace of the game.   The stop in the action prolongs the game and makes the fan feel bored.   An obvious problem caused by HBP is adding a player to the disabled list.   To the cash-strapped team, that is a lot of money!

     Bill James proposes in his book that each batter's box should be moved away from the plate.   I would suggest at least by three inches because I use Mr. Bonds as an example.   I picked three inches since Mr. Bonds is 6'3".   He would still hit the outside area of the strike zone, but he will not be able to crowd the plate as much as he does now.   If three inches are not sufficient, the plate can be backed up to a point where Mr. Bonds cannot crush the outside pitch more than 40% of the time so that pitchers have a chance to get batters out.

     One minor flaw in Mr. James' proposal is that shorter players, those shorter than 5'8", will be forced into early retirement since they cannot reach the outside are of the zone.   But the counter is that each succeeding generation of athletes grows taller than the previous generation.

     Once the batter's box is backed away, fewer nonsense solutions will come about.   Too many people, even Joe Morgan and Whitey Herzog say "raise the mound".   But that causes too many problems, such as having Randy Johnson strikeout 400 batters per season maybe permissible.   But having Average Joe on the mound strikeout 300 batters is absurd!   Allowing the "hit my batter, I hit your batter" does not work either.

     As for now, you are the only person who has the answer to crowding the plate: screwballs and "cutters".   (I do not remember what your name of the pitch that counters the slider; it might be a True Sinker.   Please forgive me.   I will just name that opposing pitch a "cutter" to be consistent with the baseball analysts and announcers.)

     I can't think of any good batter who can handle a screwball as proficiently as a curve from the same pitcher, even if the batter crowds the plate!   A good curve or screwball can approach the inside half of the strike zone without hitting the batter.   Why don't pitching coaches from college or professional leagues realize this?

     In addition to your training and philosophy, the backing away of the batter's box will launch the strategy and practice of pitching into a new era.   This is especially important for the college level.   More people would be fans of the college game if not for the metal bats.   Backing away the batter's box will remove many of those inflated offensive statistics (.400 averages for example).   Batters will force themselves to make more of an even batting stance, so that they can hit the inside of the zone as well as the outside area.   This new rule will also allow pitchers to develop by being allowed to safely deliver pitches to the inside of the strike zone.   If desired, this new rule could be called the Barry Bonds rule.   As for now, since none of the baseball officials have considered this counter for crowding the plate, I will deem your strategy for countering crowding the plate as the Dr. Mike Marshall Counter.


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     I do not see 'crowding the plate' as a problem for pitchers.   Home plate remains seventeen inches wide.   If baseball pitchers do not have sufficient control, then they should not be pitching.   However, except for the batting helmet, I would ban the use of protective gear for any part of the body.   When they have big pads to protect their elbows and hands, they do not mind getting hit.

     I think that umpire over-reaction to inside pitches and batter attempts to intimidate pitchers is the problem.   Umpires cannot tell the difference between pitches that got away and real attempts to hit batters.   The game would be better off if they forgot about inside pitches and hit batters.   And, today's batters get mad even when they get hit by non-fastballs.   The first batting skill that batters need to learn is how to get hit without getting hurt.   When I coached college baseball, I taught my batters how to get hit, such that they not only did not mind getting hit, but they would allow themselves to be hit.   I think that crowding the plate is not only legal, but an important part of the game.   To prevent clearing the benches, I would impose a seven day suspension for any member of the hitting team that crosses the base lines as a result of a hit batter.

     Because I did not have sufficient fastball velocity to scare batters away from the plate, I had to pitch inside to right-handed batters.   I mastered a very nice, two-seam Maxline Fastball that worked very well for me, especially since I also threw a two-seam Maxline Fastball Sinker and two and four-seam Maxline True Screwball.

     Major league pitchers do not throw screwballs because nobody, except me, knows how to teach them how to throw it.   In fact, pitching coaches wrongly think that throwing screwballs injures the pitching arm.   However, because to throw screwballs, pitchers have to pronate their pitching forearm, wrist, hand and fingers, it is the safest pitch that they can throw.

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277.   Man, WOW.   What you have written down is in the last email, is terrific, great information.   It explains the true faults of all the pitching and hitting methods that are being swallowed up by youth instructors, high school, college and 90% of all professionals organizations.

     You are right on about my approach, it's all timing.   I teach 3 timing triggers all are a fraction of a second behind certain points in the pitchers delivery that I designate.   You have now given me the ammo I need to battle the methodologys that present instructors believe are absolute truth.

     I can now prove with your explanations in this email, that their so called absolute truths are nothing more than relative truths attacking you from various sides and sometimes in opposite directions of your teachings {which are the absolute truths}.   Their relative truths cannot attain the absolute truth of your instructions and must be exposed.   By exposing their bits of truth and encircling them, I can bring your point of views as the correct ones.   It's a matter of bringing your views into baseball language, which is what I saw in the email.

     Thank you soooooo much.


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     I am glad that I am able to help.

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278.   I was wondering of using your adult training program.   My only concern is that I am only 17 years old and I am considering in doing rigorous training for the next year.   I am not doing any sports for my last high school year.   Is this a smart move?

     Another question; does chapter 37 describe all the workouts or do I need to purchase your training video?


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     At seventeen years old, you need to complete my 120-Day High School Baseball Pitchers Interval-Training Program.   In Chapter Thirty-Six of my Coaching Baseball Pitchers book, I explain the five drills that I now use to teach the critical elements of my baseball pitching motion.   I recommend that you get my 2005 video when I finish it.   However, if you get my 2004 video, without additional cost, I will send you my 2005 video.

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279.   I own a fitness club for men.   One of my members plays baseball at a local university.   He felt the workout was a great way to maintain his strength during the off season without building bulk.   However, he chose not to follow the recommended stretching after working out.   When I asked why, he indicated that you did not promote stretching and in fact stated that muscles won’t stretch.

     From experience, we see a tremendous benefit and increased flexibility in our members who do stretch.   Would you please explain your rationale?   (Our members range in age from 14 -70.)


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     Muscle fibers and the connective tissue that surrounds them are finite length tissues that, without tearing, do not change their length.   They certainly do not 'stretch.'   Therefore, stretching is dangerous.   Even a the Center for Disease Control recently reported that 'stretching' caused more harm than good.

     What you call 'stretching' is not stretching at all, it is learning how to use fewer contractile units to maintain a specific joint position, thereby giving the false impression that the muscles are getting longer.   This learned skill is specific only to precisely whatever position the subjects are in when they learn this skill.   It has absolutely no relationship to any other position or movement.

     When athletes perform sport skills, they learn how to use the minimum number of contractile units to maintain a joint position that again is specific to the sport skill.   Statically 'stretching' does not help them.

     Like all skills, 'stretching' is highly specific.   For example, when subjects practice touching their toes, they become better at touching their toes.   This does not help them to punt footballs.   In addition, the muscles that toe touchers allegedly 'stretch' are the four muscles that make up what lay people call the 'hamstring' muscle group.   However, when touching our toes, to maintain our posture, we have to contract those same muscles.   You have to know that we cannot 'stretch' muscles that are contracting.

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280.   A research report I read gave this report; "If a batter is .015 thousands of a second early or late on his swing, he will miss hitting the pitch on the sweet part of the bat.

     Will this .015 thousand of a second apply also to being late or early on getting their arm to precisely perfect drive line height?


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     Let me see.   If, from the moment that they start their rear hand forward until the elbow of that rear arm fully extends, baseball batters drive the center of mass (sweet spot) of the baseball bat straight toward the baseball, then they would have that distance in which to contact the baseball.   I would estimate that distance at about two feet.   Since baseball pitches that leave the pitchers hand at ninety miles per hour (one hundred and thirty feet per second) decelerate to about seventy-eight miles per hour (one hundred and fourteen feet per second), then, during those two feet of contact zone, they would have two feet divided by one hundred and fourteen feet or 0.0175 seconds in which to contact the baseball.   It looks like they came pretty close.

     My baseball pitchers have over six feet of driveline in which to apply their force.   From the start of their pitching hand toward home plate, they apply force for about 0.7 seconds with about 0.2 seconds of dramatic force application during the rapid forward rotation of their acromial line.   These are entirely different circumstances that have no similarities to baseball batting.

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281.   I read the posting #250 on the proposed script for flaws and it seems quite thorough.   But, it does not convey the real problems with the traditional pitching motion in a manner in which sell the audience.    I believe your new release has to attack the traditional pitching motion problems first.    Use statistics of pitching injuries in colleges, pros, big name examples and so on.    Perhaps using some of your question and answer files you could describe how a specific injury occurred by the improper application of force.    Sell the fact that the traditional method of pitching is bad.    That way the viewer will be inclined to want to watch more.

        As a customer of yours, I have release one and two, I am convinced that what you are teaching is a solution.   But, I have difficulty selling this concept to others and really want help in explaining why the current method is bad, and dangerous to others.    If your new video will accomplish this then I plan on inviting baseball coaches in our area together to view and discuss your concepts.    Perhaps you would like the same repeated across the land.

        In summation; Market the concept by attacking the competition (traditional motion), provide a solution with your method using your credentials, and scientific technique and then provide the details.

        Thank you for taking the time to consider the suggestions, and thanks for all of your work in this endeavor, it is much appreciated.


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     I agree that we have to show that the 'traditional' pitching motion is broken and we have to fix it.   I welcome all verifiable pitching injury data for youth, high school, college and professional baseball pitchers that you and all other readers can provide.   I do plan to use arrows at the injurious moments in the 'traditional' pitching motion to show why baseball pitchers rupture their Ulnar Collateral Ligament and so on.

     I will do my very best, but I need my readers to critique and recommend.   It is difficult to have a conversation of one and include everything that I should include.

     Without the help of others, such as yourself, I can never educate the parents, coaches and pitchers.   Perhaps, you could provide insights as to how you conduct these sessions and how well they go.

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282.   I recently started coaching a 10 year old rec league baseball team.    As part of the program I was required to attend a brief clinic intended to help newbies structure a practice and give some pointers on basic skills, etc.   I have also done some research on the internet to find further info about correct technique and effective ways to convey that info to 10 year olds (which eventually brought me to your site).

     Much of what I read on your site runs counter to what was taught at the clinic and to things I have read on other sites (I gather from some of the Q&A on your site that you're considered something of a heretic).    On the other hand, many of the same ideas that clash with "traditional" pitching techniques line up nicely with what I was taught about javelin throwing when I competed in high school: arm straight back with palm up, accelerating in a straight line, pointing the glove foot straight at home plate, driving with the pitching foot and continuing to drive with the glove foot, 180 degree rotation of hips and shoulders, following through with the pitching foot continuing past the glove foot.    Have you ever analyzed javelin technique and compared it to your pitching techniques?    It might be interesting.

     Also, my 9 year old is very interested in pitching and I would like to find him a coach.   Are there any coaches in our area who are familiar with your techniques and willing to coach?


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     I agree that the technique that you learned when you threw the javelin has direct carry-over to how baseball pitchers should apply force.

     I know just the right guy to coach your son how to use my pitching motion.   You, with my help.   To help, I wrote my Coaching Baseball Pitchers book.   You should start by reading Chapter Thirty-Six.   Then, you should go to my Pitcher Training Programs file and copy my 60-Day Youth Baseball Pitchers Motor Skill Acquisition Program.   Then, you should get my 2005 Baseball Pitching Instructional video (I will start it in June. Until then, you could get my 2004 video and, when I complete the 2005 version, I will send it to you).   If you ever need help, just email me with your question and I will immediately answer.

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283.   Today, I discovered your tremendous web site.    I read where the proper throwing motion is thumb down.   This is my son's natural delivery motion and is great for movement on the fastball and change.    However, he struggles throwing his curve.    It seems turning his arm the other direction is a problem.    Is this just a matter of poor mechanics or should he just go with the natural motion and learn a screwball?

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     When baseball pitchers pronate their pitching forearm, wrist, hand and fingers, they not only protect their pitching elbow, but they also apply more force.   They must pronate the release of every pitch.   This means that, even with the 'traditional' pitching motion, the screwball is the safest pitch for baseball pitchers to throw.   However, my pitching motion makes throwing all pitches much safer.   Your son has to learn my way of releasing his curve.   We pronate.

     My 2004 Baseball Pitching Instructional video includes high-speed film of my pitchers release my Maxline Pronation Curve.   You will see how they drive their pitching hand toward release with the back of their pitching hand facing forward.   Then, immediately before they release their curve, you will see how they drive the side of their middle finger horizontally through the top of the baseball with a powerfully pitching forearm, wrist, hand and finger pronation action that, immediately after they release the baseball, leaves their pitching thumb pointing downward.

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284.   Thanks for the calculations.   Your figures even work better than that report.   The software I use to slow down the the hitter or pitcher that I filming has a timing meter that measures each frame at .0175 a second, so now I can accurately tell a batter that when he is 5 frames ahead or behind in his swing, he is .0875 thousand of a second off in time.   It's the top hand that usually that cause it to be too early or late.

     In pitching, I need your assistance.   I feel the glove hand has a lot to do with the pitching hand being early or late applying force when the pitchers is correctly taking the ball back to driveline height.   When the pitcher is incorrectly taking the ball back to drive line height, it's the throwing hand that causes the problem.

     So, with your calulations on the pitching hand of the pitchers, I can see if my hunch is applicable.

     Once again, your genius has been a tremendous help.


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     The key to perfect timing in my pitching motion is the 'Crow-Hop' pitching rhythm.   When position players use the 'Crow-Hop' throwing rhythm, they hesitate on their pitching foot to allow their throwing arm to move downward, backward and upward to driveline height.   They do not step forward with the glove foot until after their throwing arm moves past their pitching hip.   As a result, when their glove foot contacts the ground, they have moved their pitching hand to driveline height.

     At this point, to move their center of mass forward, my pitchers push powerfully off the pitching rubber with their pitching foot and pull their center of mass forward with their glove foot.   After they move their center of mass to beside their glove foot, they are ready for the rapid forward rotation of their acromial line.

     To initiate this action, my pitchers pull their glove hand straight backward.   After they forwardly rotate their acromial line to where their pitching elbow is in front of perpendicular to the driveline, they simultaneously push back toward second base with their glove foot, drive their pitching knee straight forward and powerfully inwardly rotate their pitching upper arm, extend their pitching elbow and pronate their pitching forearm, wrist, hand and fingers straight forward through release.

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285.   A man had his 17 yr old son had the boy take his left glove arm and put it behind his back as if he were being arrested, but then the boy took his forearm and was able to lift it so his fingertips could almost reach the back of his neck.   His forearm was in a right angle.   He then took his right throwing arm and did the same maneuver.   His reach was about 6-8 inches lower below his neck.   The father wondered if the apparent difference in flexibility was due to pitching.

     I had my 14 yr old son do the same drill.   My son could not even come close to the base of his neck with his glove arm fingers.   Is the young man's differences in flexibility due to pitching?


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     The range of motion that permitted this young man to touch the back of his neck with the back of his fingers in this manner is the outward rotation of his shoulder joint.   The limiting factors are the muscles that arise from his scapula; notably his Teres Major and Latissimus Dorsi muscles.   Because these muscles decelerate the pitching arm, they would be more developed in the back of his pitching arm.   Therefore, I would agree that baseball pitching caused this difference in this range of motion.   I would add that it is a good thing.

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286.   Perfect timing as you say, comes from the crow hop along with the perfect involvement of the other factors you described.   But the glove hand is the key as I see it.

     These kids are all taught the flying T, Flex T, scapula loading T, well before you or I get them and you got to eliminate this T crap.   One of my favorite answers to my eliminating procees of the T is from one of my pitchers" coach if the T is wrong, then why did my dad spend over 1000 bucks each of the last 4 years for these coaches to teach it to me.   How can you convince these kids to stop the dreaded T?

     I tried every conceivable explanation to get thru to this kid and after 2 years, what do you think did it?   I took a picture of a famous pitcher, who has arm problems, and from a rear angle from the 1st base side for a right handed pitcher, I drew a crucifixion cross, on his back and told the kid that the Romans used this Fabulous T position to crucify Jesus Christ, 2000 years ago.

     Still confused, I ask the kid if he knew why crucifying was the most terrible way to die?   He didn't know.   When I told him that after a couple of hours in that tee position, your lungs collapse, he was in complete disbelief.   But when I told him that the same Great T position of Tom House, Dick Mills and others would produce the same results, he finally got my point.

     So, literally, the flex T is crucifying our youth pitchers.

     What I do to correct their T mechanics is to stop the glove hand from pointing to home plate.   With that they have a choice to keep glove hand against their chest, point it to 3rd base, or take it back like you suggest.   Either way, the improvement to velocity and control is tremendous, so every time I see a pitcher with a pitcher in the flex t or simular position, I draw a cross on it.

     I see alot of people copying your methods.   I see more arms going straight back.   I see a crow hop being used.   But, I still see the glove hand in T position almost on everybody.   When will they finally get it?


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     If baseball pitchers have their pitching forearm vertical when they start their pitching elbow forward, then, while their pitching elbow moves forward, their pitching hand moves backward.   At some moment, their pitching hand has to follow their pitching elbow.   I call this moment, 'reverse pitching forearm bounce.'   This bounce ruptures Ulnar Collateral Ligaments, breaks the Humerus bone of the pitching upper arm and causes other serious pitching arm injuries.

     To convince my pitchers not to do this, I put one hand on the back of their pitching elbow with my other hand on the front of their pitching hand and gently simulate the 'reverse pitching forearm bounce.'   With one demonstration, they understand that this action places considerable stress on the front of their pitching shoulder and inside of their pitching elbow.

     My Pickoff with Step body action with my Slingshot Glove and Pitching Arms actions teaches my pitchers how to properly use their glove and pitching arm actions.   Then, my Wrong Foot body action with my Slingshot Glove and Pitching Arms action teaches my pitchers how to lay their pitching forearm back and avoid any part of the 'reverse pitching forearm bounce.'

     I teach my pitchers to point their glove forearm at home plate to help them point their acromial line at home plate and second base, not to prevent 'reverse pitching forearm bounce.'   Please have your pitchers point their glove arm at home plate.

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287.   My son is seven years old and has been a baseball addict since he was a toddler.    Literally, he saw the players on TV and was throwing and hitting small soft balls since the time he could walk.

     He currently plays in a coach-pitch league which, fortunately, has a relatively short season.    If I counted how many throws he makes in a week during the season and included regular practice, playing catch with me, plus throws against a wall, it would be a huge number.

     He also practices his throwing a lot in the off season either against a wall or playing catch.    We live below the freeze line, so the weather permits a lot of throwing in the off-season.

     He plays soccer in a youth league and pick-up basketball at school, but baseball is his first love and he will want to play the game as long as he can.    He is not a tall kid and has batting and fielding skills that are advanced enough that coaches are unlikely to perceive him as a natural pitcher.    But, he also throws well enough that I could see coaches wanting to have him pitch.

     For the moment, I have simply told him not to pitch or practice pitching and I probably can enforce that for a number of years still.    But, I also have been letting him throw more or less as much as he wants.    I have never charted how much he throws, but I am concerned that he might be damaging his arm by all of the practice that he does voluntarily.

     Assuming for the moment that significantly limiting his throwing weren't a viable option, am I correct from reading your site that you would recommend that he learn to throw the Maxline Fastball as a way to mitigate the potential damage that lots of throwing might cause?

     And, ultimately, am I correct that we should limit how much baseball throwing he does in the off-season?


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     It sounds as though you have your hands full with lots of fun for the next nine years or so.   When he becomes biologically sixteen years old, the growth plates in his throwing elbow will have matured and we do not have to worry as much about deforming his pitching arm.

     I recommend that you start now searching for sport skills and recreational activities with which to fill his time.   They should last about two months each and expose him to as many different activities as possible.   He should learn how to swim, play golf, hike, camp, fish, play basketball, water ski, skate board, run track, kick footballs, play soccer, tumble, karate, high jump, paint, take pictures and whatever else you can find.   Adolescence is the time to broaden their skill and activity base.   However, at the center of these activities should be two months each year devoted to perfecting his baseball skills.

     With regard to his baseball pitching skills:

     For the first year, I recommend that he complete my First Youth Baseball Pitchers Motor Skill Acquisition Program.   It teaches pitchers how to properly use their glove and pitching arms to apply force and, with an appropriately-sized football and baseballs, how to properly grip, drive and release my Maxline Screwball, Maxline Fastball, Maxline Pronation Curve and Torque Fastball.

     For the second year, I recommend that he complete my Second Youth Baseball Pitchers Motor Skill Acquisition Program.   It teaches pitchers how to properly pendulum swing their pitching arm to driveline height and extend the length of their driveline with the skills that they learned in my First program.

     For the third year, I recommend that he complete my Third Youth Baseball Pitchers Motor Skill Acquisition Program.   It teaches pitchers how to use the Crow-Hop body action that enables pitchers to get their pitching arm to driveline height before they start the powerful forward rotation of their shoulders through release.

     For the fourth year, I recommend that he complete my Fourth Youth Baseball Pitchers Motor Skill Acquisition Program.   It teaches pitchers how to use my Wind-Up Set Position body action that they will use when they pitch competitively.

     In this way, when he is biologically thirteen years old and ready to pitch one inning per game twice a week against opposing teams, he will have the skills with which to become the best pitcher he can be.

     Then, when he is biologically sixteen years old, he should complete my 120-Day High School Baseball Pitchers Interval-Training Program and when he is biologically nineteen years old, he should complete my 315-Day Adult Baseball Pitchers Interval-Training Program, where he will learn how to properly grip, drive and release my Maxline Fastball Sinker and Torque Fastball Slider.

     If, as an adolescent, he does not deform his pitching arm, but learns the skills, then, as an adult, he will be able to become the best baseball pitcher that he can be.   That is your job and joy, Dad.

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288.   Six months ago, I finally got some of my pitchers to stop reverse rotation their pitching motion.   The unanimous conclusion was that, after they pitch without reverse rotation, "their arms didn't hurt, no pain in the elbow, rotator cuff or shoulder.

     Then, 2 months ago, I stopped them from taking their throwing elbow from going above their throwing shoulder with major improvement in velocity and hardly any improvement in control.

     Two weeks ago, I stopped them from using the glove hand in the T position all together, and immediately there was more improvement in velocity and major improvements in control.   One pitcher went from 80 to 89 and from less then 50% accuracy to 80%.

     I convinced them by using the old expression, your right has to know what the left hand is doing.

     The plain truth is, I was using your principles all along, and, now, you can be assured of this.

     YOUR INSTRUCTIONS ARE NOW BEING USED SUCESSFULLY ON THE PLAYING FIELD OF A DIVISION 3 COLLEGE BASEBALL PROGRAM WITH DRAMATIC IMPROVEMENTS to every pitcher who uses them.   MY 21 PLAYER ROSTER CONSISTS OF 2 SENIORS 1 JUNIOR AND THE REST ARE FRESHMAN AND SOPHMORES.   IN OUR 1ST YEAR IN OUR LEAGUE, WE MISSED THE PLAYOFFS BY ONE GAME.

     IF the kids listened a little sooner we would have made the playoffs, all other teams starting line up were mostly seniors 2/3 and juniors 1/3.

     I hope this make you feel as good as I do.


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     You should feel proud and your players should feel appreciative.   You have earned your title of 'Coach.'

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289.   I have a son left-hand pitcher threw 88-89 in college.   He was drafted in 2003 and used as middle reliever and closer.   Prior to that had been a starter.   Over the last 2 seasons, his velocity has decreased dramatically even though he follows a strict work out routine.   He was released this season because his speed was down.

     We are not sure why but I have reason to believe it is because at their advice and by following their advice of pitch counts, days to pitch, time off to rest and so on.   He has pitched less in the last 2 years then at any other time.   Everyone argues with me that he did everything they told him to and I answer back that you can't get better or even stay the same without throwing.   I have read that the Japanese players throw every day.   This kid needs help.

     If you can offer anyplace to go or anything to do please help.


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     You are absolutely correct.   In their efforts to save their pitching arms, professional baseball teams slowly destroy their pitching arms.   If he has a burning desire to become the best baseball pitcher that he can be, he needs to join my next 315-Day Adult Baseball Pitcher Interval-Training Program.   You and he can learn more in my Pitching Instruction file on the home page of my website.

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290.   Recently, I came across an article co-written by retired pitcher Dave Baldwin in the May-June issue of American Scientist.   He along with faculty members of the University of Arizona wrote about "Predicting a Baseball's Path".

     A few problems do arise from this article.   For example, the article does not explain the necessity for a pitcher to master a reverse breaking pitch as well as a breaking pitch.

    This article is also found in the Internet: the Web address is:
http://www.americanscientist.org/template/AssetDetail/assetid/42392?fulltext=true

     Before the Yankees at A's game at the Coliseum yesterday, Bill Nye, the Science Guy, mentioned that a batter should use a dark colored bat for night games.   Does that help the batter in any way?

     The host of the program short never asked Mr. Nye about various subjects related to pitching such as differences between the movements of a slider versus a curve.   I wished that the host would ask more difficult but basic questions, but he didn't.


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     One of my readers gave me the 'Predicting a Baseball's Path' article.   I prefer Chapter Nineteen of my Coaching Baseball Pitchers book and my 2004 Baseball Pitching Instructional video.   In them, I do discuss the difference between my Maxline Pronation Curve and my Torque Fastball Slider.

     Mr. Baldwin probably incorrectly believes that reverse breaking pitches harm the pitching arm.

     The color of the baseball bat does not influence a batter's ability to hit baseballs.

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291.   I am a high school journalism student writing an article on the effects pitching has on an arm.   I was wondering if I could e-mail you a few questions for my story.

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     Absolutely.   You can email me with your questions.   You can follow up with more emails and/or telephone me at (813)783-1357.   If you cannot afford to call me, give me your telephone number and a good time to call and I will call you.

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292.   Do you have a title that I can use for quotes in the story?

01.)   How important is a pitch count in terms of injuring an arm and fatigue?
02.)   What kinds of pitches can cause stress on an arm?
03.)   What should be the pitch limit for a pitcher around 10-16 years old?
04.)   What kind of short term damage can pitching do to an arm?
05.)   What kind of long term damage can it cause?
06.)   What should be done to an arm after pitching to avoid injury?
07.)   What should be done before pitching to prepare it?
08.)   Should children pitch in Little League and Babe Ruth leagues?
09.)   How can pitching injuries be corrected medically?
10.)   How much do pitching mechanics play into injuries?
11.)   What percentage of major league pitchers would you predict get a pitching injury in their career?
12.)   How much time should be in between pitching sessions?
13.)   Why are pitches such as the curveball dangerous for young pitchers?


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     By 'title,' I assume that you are asking about my academic credentials.   If you go to my website at www.drmikemarshall.com, you will see my Academic Credentials file.   If you click on it, then you will learn that I earned a doctoral degree in Exercise Physiology, with a minor in Physiological Psychology and specialties in Kinesiology/Biomechanics and Motor Skill Acquisition.

01.   When baseball pitchers use my pitching motion and complete my training programs, they can throw without concern for pitching arm injuries or fatigue.   However, when baseball pitchers use the 'traditional' pitching motion, whether they use pitch counts or not, they should always have concern for pitching arm injuries and fatigue.

02.   When baseball pitchers use my grips, drives and releases, they can as easily throw my Maxline Pronation Curve as they can throw my Maxline Fastball, Maxline Screwball, Torque Fastball, Maxline Fastball Sinker and Torque Fastball Slider.   However, when baseball pitchers use the 'traditional' pitching motion, because they supinate their pitching forearm at release, the curve, slider and cut fastball cause much greater unnecessary stress on the pitching arm.

03.   I recommend that, until baseball pitchers are biologically sixteen years old, they do not throw baseballs for more than two consecutive months each year, do not pitch competitively until they are biologically thirteen years old and pitch only one inning per game twice a week.

04.   During the adolescent growth years, baseball pitching can injure the growth plates in the pitching elbow and permanently deform their pitching arm.   These injuries last a lifetime, not short term.

05.   See answer four.

06.   See answer three.   When youth baseball pitchers pitch too hard, too much for too long, they cannot do anything after pitching that will change anything.

07.   Before they pitch competitively, youth baseball pitchers should wait until they are biologically thirteen years old and the growth plates for the distal (elbow) end of the Humerus bone of their pitching upper arm completely matures.

08.   Until youth baseball pitchers are biologically thirteen years old, they should not pitch competitively.   At twelve chronological years old, 8.3% of adolescent males are biologically thirteen, fourteen and fifteen years old.

09.   Nobody and no procedure can correct the damage to their growth plates that youth baseball pitchers suffer.

10.   The 'traditional' pitching motion has flaws that unnecessarily stresses the pitching arm and destroys it.   However, even with my pitching motion, which only necessarily stresses the pitching arm, pitching too hard, too much for too long will still damage growth plates.

11.   I do not keep the injury list statistics for major league pitchers.   Nevertheless, it is very rare for major league pitchers not to injure their pitching arms at some time during their high school, college and professional baseball careers.

12.   When I train my adult pitchers, we train every day for three hundred and fifteen days and I expect them to throw every day for as long as they want to pitch competitively.

13.   When baseball pitchers of all ages supinate (turn their pitching thumb upward) their pitching forearm, they slam the olecranon process of their pitching elbow into its fossa.   That injures their pitching elbow.

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293.   If we assume for the moment that my seven year old son is only interested in being a position player and that we can keep his baseball coaches from having him pitch, which aspects of your program do you recommend for non-pitchers?

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     I recommend that, except for throwing my Maxline Pronation Curve and Maxline True Screwball, position players also complete my programs.   All they have to do is double the number of Maxline Fastball and Torque Fastball repetitions.

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294.   I am proud and they kids are starting to appreciate what I'm doing with your instructions.   The best sign is that they don't think I am a kook anymore.   Also, in the last 2 days, I got commitments from 2 players from the best baseball programs in my area.   When I asked them why they choose my school over other schools that give scholarships and grants in aid, they said that they heard that I have a great new baseball program.   I just tickled that I stayed with you all these years, it's finally kicking in hitting and pitching.

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     That is why I am here.   You and they will only get better.

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295.   Will Carroll did an analysis of the mechanics of SI's 20 best young pitchers in this web site.   I'd like to hear your views.   http://thejuice.baseballtoaster.com/archives/174471.html

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     I've been reading Sports Illustrated more lately as I realize it's become (while I wasn't watching) the smarter alternative to ESPN's coverage.   They're also more visual, being, you know, 'Illustrated' and all.   So, I thought I'd have a little fun with one of their slideshows, this one on the Top 20 Young Picture.   I won't even debate the rankings.   Instead, let's look at what we can see on these twenty pictures when it comes to mechanics.

01.   Johan Santana:   He is partially obscured, but we have a nice follow through and his eyes are locked on the target.   He seems on balance and his glove is in proper position.   He does seem to be off to the third base side a bit, but that could be perspective.

02.   Mark Buehrle:   Now, that's pronation.   You'd think he just tossed a screwball as quickly as he turned over, tho I don’t think he throws one.   Not sure what the pitch is.   Don't expect elbow problems from someone with this pronation.   Very nice.   Head and glove over knee as well.   A+

03.   Carlos Zambrano:   He has his temper under control in this picture.   He's very 'long in the back,' reaching towards second base.   He does come up in his delivery, cocking the elbow before release, but it's something I'd rather see him clean up.   He reaches forward with his glove, keeping his front arm out of out of position.

04.   Mark Prior:   His head is just a bit behind ideal.   His glove looks to be directly over his knee and his head will likely be in great position at release.   His arm is in perfect position, upper arm parallel and locked to the hip turn, forearm inside of vertical.   The uniform is coming forward as the energy is being transferred upwards.

05.   Ben Sheets:   Great perspective.   Sheets leans to the first base side, but keeps his head on line.   His back leg is down at release, anchoring him and his stride is a nice safe length.   Nice pronation here as well.

06.   Jake Peavy:   His back leg is up, swinging around in an arc.   That's energy not going into the ball and more pressure put on his elbow.   He seems leaned to the first base side and a bit upright.   He may come up quickly out of the follow through.

07.   Josh Beckett:   Nice ligaments, Josh.   His arm is horribly straight, stressing the elbow and shoulder.   He's leaned to the first base side to clear his arm through, forcing his head over.   Glove-knee-head is in decent alignment, but his foot is already coming up before release.

08.   Dontrelle Willis:   Not much to see here.   Everyone loves that high knee lift, but the look on his face is pure comedy.   Caption contest!

09.   C.C. Sabathia:   This is nearly the picture that made Jim Andrews cringe at the ASMI Conference.   His arm is well back of vertical.   The front arm is the same.   I'm told it's not that bad, forced back to balance him because he's, you know, fat.   He just has to be 'Livaning' it, not throwing at full effort on most of his pitches.

10.   Barry Zito:   A mish-mash of styles:   Zito's leg collapses in the back, his back elbow is low, but his posture is great.   The curveball's coming.   I'd love to see Zito work on a cutter.

11.   Rich Harden:   The force he gets in his delivery is evident in his necklace.   Good external rotation, glove is in decent if not great position and nice stride.   The perspective makes it impossible to tell if he's leaning to the glove side to clear his shoulder but it does show his exceptional late hip turn.

12.   Oliver Perez:   Nothing to see here.   He's good, but has a complex delivery that will often get a bit out of whack.   He's still going to get better and better until he understands his delivery, or blows out his elbow.
,br> 13.   Jon Garland:   Interesting.   His stride is short, very different from the past or maybe it's just this pitch.   Nice pronation, good posture.   His uni popping forward shows good solid legs.

14.   Brett Myers:   I'm not sure what this pitch is.   Someone more familiar with Myers' stud might tell me, but it looks like a slider.   His head is horrible, his arm overextended, his knee short of 90 and his foot up at release.   He's sure pitching well for someone as messed up as this picture looks.

15.   Brandon Webb:   I'd love to know the perspective on this.   I'm guessing it's slightly to the right of home plate.   That would make his back arm more in line with the driveline, rather than looking 'chicken winged' here.   His scapula is not retracted, so it doesn't look like he really is.   He's got a very long, circular takeaway, but note the grip.   It almost looks like a splitter from this view.

16.   Jason Marquis:   His face just screams high effort.   His knee isn’t very good, well short of 90, leaving his shoulder back.   His head is slightly glove side and he's not getting much external rotation.   His shoulder is probably already losing some of its mobility.   His hips are also already square to the plate, well ahead of release.

17.   Erik Bedard:   Name!   That!   Pitch!   Bedard has extended the arm a bit ahead of release, not terrible.   His glove and head are in good position and while we can't see the knee as well in this, the uni popping is a good sign.   His back foot is up slightly, making me think he'll bring it up and around.   Throws slightly across his body, something his posture takes care of.

18.   Jeremy Bonderman:   Nice extension.   This reminds me a lot of Clemens with the retracted arm, the solid back leg, and the head slightly behind but whipping forward.   (At release, he's over the knee.)   Great late hip turn gives him the velocity.   I don't like the retraction a lot, but we'll assume Bob Cluck has his doing it properly.   Look at his back leg, that's perfect.

19.   Cliff Lee:   He's slightly off to the glove side, clearing for a two-seamer.   Great external rotation and posture.   His elbow looks extremely high, something I haven't noticed, so it may just be the picture.

20.   Jeff Francis:   Love this kid.   Slight over rotation out of the driveline.   Nice knee lift and a very smooth lefty delivery from the little I've seen of him.   Eyes locked on the target, which is a key.

     Wow, this was fun, at least for me.   If you see interesting pictures like these, send me a link and we'll do this some more.   I know we have some pitching gurus reading this, so tell me what you see.


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     I went to the Sports Illustrated site and looked at the pictures.   They are single snapshots of each pitcher in various portions of their pitching motions.   As a result, we do not know how they got to these positions or where they went from there.

     We know that all these pitchers use the 'traditional' pitching motion.   Therefore, they will all have late pitching forearm turnover, reverse pitching forearm bounce and pitching forearm flyout.   This means that, with every pitch, they are destroying their pitching arms.

     Nevertheless, how pitchers applied force during their acceleration phase determines what their pitching arms do after release.   So, I will be able to make some comments.

01.   Mr. Santana's snapshot captures his pitching motion at the end of his recovery phase.   He has his glove near his glove shoulder, which, depending on how it got there, could be a good thing.   However, because he is bending forward at his waist, he undoubtedly used the 'traditional' pitching motion, which means that he did not pull his pitching forearm straight backward to this position.   Mr. Santana's pitching hand is just below his glove elbow very near the glove side of his body.   This means that he pulled his pitching elbow downward after the centripetal force of his pitching forearm flyout moved his pitching arm laterally away from his body.

02.   Mr. Buehrle's snapshot captures his pitching motion at the end of his deceleration phase.   While he has his glove tight to his glove shoulder, I doubt that he pulled it straight backward.   His pitching forearm, wrist and hand is in full pronation.   However, after release, all pitchers involuntarily pronate their pitching forearms.   The question becomes did they pronate before release?
,br> 03.   Mr. Zabrano's snapshot captures his pitching motion about half-way through his transition phase.   As a right-handed pitcher, Mr. Zabrano has his glove arm pointing toward third base.   This means that he will pull it toward first base.   As a result, he will generate a lateral force that will exacerbate the centripetal force that slings his pitching forearm laterally away from his body.   Mr. Zabrano's pitching hand faces downward with his pitching elbow higher.   This shows that he will raise his pitching elbow to shoulder height before his pitching hand, which cause late pitching forearm turnover and so on.   These typical 'traditional' pitching motion flaws are destroying his pitching arm.

04.   Mr. Pryor's snapshot captures his pitching motion about half-way through his acceleration phase.   His pitching forearm is about to fly laterally away from his body after completing the 'pitching forearm loop' behind his head.

05.   Mr. Sheets' overhead snapshot captures his pitching motion at the end of his deceleration phase.   It shows Mr. Sheets well after he released the pitch.   His pitching foot is still within six inches of the pitching rubber.   Because the pitching rubber is six inches wide, we can determine that his glove foot is less than five feet in front of the pitching rubber.   Because high-speed film shows that 'traditional' baseball pitchers release their pitches behind their glove foot, like all 'traditional' pitchers, Mr. Sheets has a very short driveline.

06.   Mr. Peavy's snapshot captures his pitching motion glove at the end of his recovery phase.   His glove is at his waist behind his body.   This means that he not only did not pull his glove straight backward, but he also pulled it downward.   As a result, he generated sideways and downward forces.   To counter these forces, his glove leg has to swing upward and to his pitching arm side.

07.   Mr. Beckett's snapshot caught his pitching motion just before he released his curve.   His pitching in the typical 'traditional' pitching motion full pitching elbow extended position of their pitching forearm flyout flaw.   The stress on the inside of his pitching elbow is obvious.   He is a serious pitching arm injury in waiting.   Did I read somewhere that ten of the Marlin pitchers have already had surgeries?

08.   Mr. Willis' snapshot caught his pitching motion in the 'balance position' of the 'traditional' pitching motion.   He has his glove foot almost at shoulder height with his pitching hand still inside of his glove.   He will not start his pitching arm backward until after he starts his glove leg forward.   The forward force that he will generate with his glove leg will seriously stress the front of his pitching shoulder as it tries to catch up with his body.

09.   Mr. Sabathia's snapshot caught his pitching motion near the end of his transition phase.   His glove is lower than his glove elbow, which is at shoulder height, and his pitching hand is lower than his pitching elbow, which is also at shoulder height.   Mr. Sabathia is about to pull his glove elbow downward to his side and, while he turns his pitching forearm over, he will start his pitching elbow forward.   As a result, he will move his pitching elbow forward while he moves his pitching hand backward.   As a result, his 'reverse pitching forearm bounce' will eventually destroy the inside of his pitching elbow.

10.   Like Mr. Sabathia, Mr. Zito's snapshot caught his pitching motion near the end of his transition phase.   His glove is also lower than his glove elbow, which is at shoulder height, and his pitching hand is lower than his pitching elbow, which is also at shoulder height.   Mr. Zito is also about to pull his glove elbow downward to his side and, while he turns his pitching forearm over, he will start his pitching elbow forward.   As a result, he will move his pitching elbow forward while he moves his pitching hand backward.   Mr. Zito has a curve grip and is about to generate the same unnecessary stress of the 'reverse pitching force bounce, that Tony Saunders did when he twice broke the Humerus bone of his pitching upper arm throwing his curve.

11.   Mr. Harden's snapshot caught his pitching motion near the end of his acceleration phase.   With his index and middle fingers separated, I suspect that he is throwing a splitter.   While, in this snapshot, he appears to have his pitching elbow bent at ninety degrees.   However, years of watching high-speed film of 'traditional' baseball pitchers, I know that this position is merely a moment on the way to full pitching elbow extension as a result of his 'pitching forearm flyout.'

12.   Mr. Perez' snapshot caught his pitching motion while he is looking in for a sign from the catcher.

13.   Mr. Garland's snapshot caught his pitching motion milliseconds after he released his pitch.   His pitching forearm is starting the involuntary pronation that all pitchers have.   He has his glove waist high in front of his body.   Clearly, he does not understand how to force couple his glove and pitching arms.

14.   Mr. Myers' snapshot caught his pitching motion just as the baseball is leaving the tip of his index finger.   His pitching elbow is locked straight in the typical 'traditional' pitching motion 'pitching forearm flyout' position.   Because he has his head turned to his glove side, it is obvious that Mr. Myers pulled his pitching arm forward.   At release, Mr. Myers' pitching toe has barely left the ground inches in front of the pitching rubber.

15.   Mr. Webb's snapshot caught his pitching motion in the middle of the 'late pitching forearm turnover' immediately before he starts his pitching elbow forward.   He has his pitching elbow at shoulder height and his pitching hand lower.   He points his glove forearm toward his pitching arm side and is about to pull it back toward his glove side and downward.

16.   Mr. Marquis' snapshot caught his pitching motion during the rapid 'pitching forearm flyout' at the end of his acceleration phase.   His glove is below his waist in front of his body and his pitching toe is still touching the ground inches in front of the pitching rubber.   With his pitching leg holding his body back, he cannot release the baseball more than five feet in front of the pitching rubber.

17.   Mr. Bedard's snapshot caught his pitching motion very close to release.   As a result of his 'pitching forearm flyout,' his pitching arm is locked straight with his pitching elbow parallel to the line across the top of his shoulders.   The flaccidity of the Triceps Brachii muscle in his pitching upper arm proves that he is using his Brachialis muscle to decelerate his 'pitching forearm flyout.'   His glove is above his waist in front of his body.   His pitching toe is a few inches off the ground, but still near the pitching rubber.   His center of mass has stopped about half-way between this glove and pitching feet.

18.   Mr. Bonderman's snapshot caught his pitching motion about half-way through the 'late pitching forearm turnover' of the 'traditional' pitching motion.   His pitching elbow and pitching hand are at shoulder height.   His glove elbow is at shoulder height with his glove lower.   His pitching foot still touches the pitching rubber as his glove foot is about to contact the ground.   His center of mass is stopped about half-way between his pitching and glove feet.   When his glove foot contacts the ground, he will start his pitching elbow forward while his pitching arm continues to move backward.   He is pointing his pitching upper arm at the opposite mid-infielder.   He has moved his pitching elbow behind his acromial line.   This action unnecessarily stresses the Subscapularis attachment to the lesser tuberosity of the head of his Humerus bone.

19.   Mr. Lee's snapshot caught his pitching motion about half-way through the 'pitching forearm flyout' flaw inherent in the 'traditional' pitching motion.   He has pinned his glove to the front of his body above his waist.

20.   Mr. Francis' snapshot caught his pitching motion at the top of his 'balance position.'   He has his pitching hand inside of his glove and his glove knee waist high.   He has reverse rotated his acromial line to forty-five degrees beyond the driveline toward home plate.   As a result, he will be able to forward rotate his acromial line to perpendicular to the driveline toward home plate.

     At the end of his article, Mr. Carroll challenged others to also comment on the pitching motions of these twenty pitchers.   You have my permission to forward my comments to Mr. Carroll.

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296.   Thanks for your answers!   Do you think that I could call you tonight (Wednesday the 18th) around 7:00 to ask about some of your pitching?

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     Typically, I answer my emails before 8:00AM every morning.   Therefore, because you did not email me until after 11:00AM, I did not see this email.   If I had, I would have suggested 7:30PM on Wednesdays as a good time to call.   However, I see that you emailed me again with questions.   I will go to that email and answer them.   Just in case, 7:30PM on Thursdays is also a good time to call.

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297.   I assume you have not read your e-mail today so I will e-mail the additional questions as well, instead of calling you tonight.

1.)   What did your arm feel like after pitching in 13 consecutive games?
2.)   During your career did you do anything special to your arm before games?
3.)   After?
4.)   Are you currently coaching and where?


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     I always read my email every day, but I do so before 8:00AM.

01.   Because I had designed a pitching motion that eliminated most of the unnecessary stress to my pitching arm and I had properly trained to be able to pitch every day, during those thirteen consecutive games as well as the one hundred and six regular season games and all five of the World Series games, my pitching arm never felt stiff, sore or tired.   I believe that I could have easily pitched at least one inning in every game.   To make sure that I maintained my fitness and command of my pitches, if I did not pitch in a game, the next day I threw ten minutes of batting practice.

02.   Before every regular and post-season game, with my force application techniques, I completed my wrist weight exercises, my iron ball throws and threw a minimum of thirty-six baseballs.   During every day of every off-season, I completed many more wrist weight exercises at increased weights, threw more heavier iron balls and at least doubled the number of baseball throws.   If 'traditional' baseball pitchers tried to similarly train with their force application, they would destroy their pitching arm.

03.   After every game, I made sure to wash my pitching arm and take it home with me.

04.   Currently, I operate my Pitcher Research/Training Center in Zephyrhills, FL where I teach my pitching motion to college and twelve recent high school graduate baseball pitchers for forty-five and forty consecutive weeks starting the third Saturdays of July and August, respectively.

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298.   I am currently a 25 year-old, avid slowpitch softball player (4-5 days a week), who has always had a yearning to pitch baseball.   Thing is, I never pursued it.   I was always a position player, even though I wanted to give it a chance.

     A couple of months ago, I stumbled upon Tim Wakefield's story about how he played high school and college baseball as a 1st baseman, then got converted to a knuckleballer after he got drafted.   This kind of inspired me to look more into pitching.

     I came across your website and was blown away by what you have to offer.   I am even contemplating spending a year with you in Florida.   In my opinion, I am totally moldable.   I have no prior pitching experience (not counting a couple games 10 years ago), which might help eliminate the "incorrect" pitching mechanics.

     I do, however, experience a sore shoulder every year playing softball, probably due to my "incorrect" throwing mechanics.   So my question to you is, is it worth it?   Does a 25 year old with no prior pitching experience, have a legitimate chance to go to the bigs?

     In one year, can I develop the pitching skill to throw superior amateur ball (possibly the professional independent league in this area?   Yeah, I'm shooting high, but I have to.   I have a superior work ethic and a quick, strong arm (years of 3rd base).   So in you honest opinion, would it be worth a year of my time and $3K?


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     In the forty-five weeks that I will guide your training, I promise to teach you what you have to do to become the best pitcher that you can be.   Whether you become that pitcher and how good of a pitcher that is depends on how hard you work, how well you learn and what genetics your parents gave you.   At the very least, you will know that you gave your dream every opportunity to become real.   In a best case scenario, I believe that it takes pitchers a minimum of three years to master all they need to be the best that they can be.

     Unless you have a ninety-five mile per hour pitching arm, I suspect that the best you can expect is your local summer league baseball.   Whether that is worth the time and expense is entirely up to you and what you want from your life.

     I prefer to train recent high school graduates and college baseball pitchers with at least two years of athletic eligibility remaining.   So, before I give up one of my twelve spaces to you, we would have to talk.

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299.   My son is a 17 year old varsity pitcher, who in February was practicing with his team to get ready for the upcoming season.    The team's catcher was out with the flu and a secondary catcher was still playing basketball, so the coach asked my son to catch, as he knew my son has also played catcher previously.    The pitcher threw a pitch that hit the top of his mitt where his thumb was, and injured his left thumb, that is, it chipped the bone on either side of the knuckle, and tore the tendon away from the bone.    He was casted for 6 weeks, and wore a splint under his glove when he returned mid season.

     A week ago, he was pitching the first inning when a line drive ball came back at him on the mound and hit the fatty tissue on the palm of his right hand and fractured the bone of his right thumb above the wrist.   He is once again casted for six weeks, and told not to throw a baseball for approximately three weeks after that.    Therefore, his summer American Legion baseball playing is probably not going to happen.

     What are your suggestions to get both of his thumbs back to a healthy state?    I had seriously considered sending him to your program this summer, as he graduates high school in 3 weeks, however he is still 17 and you indicated in you Q & A that you prefer your students to be 18-22 years of age, and he doesn't turn 18 until Sept., which could present a problem for me (his Mom) were the need to seek medical attention for any reason arise, as we live in California.    He will attend a Junior College in our area, and will continue to consider coming to Florida next summer.    In the meantime, any suggestions that you have to help strengthen his right and left thumb would be greatly appreciated!


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     Casted properly set broken bones need time to heal.   When the X-rays show the doctor that the breaks have healed, then he needs to strengthen the muscles that operate his thumbs.   I recommend that he always carry a squeezable ball in each hand and, every few second, squeeze them tightly.

     To stay on your insurance, your son has to be a full-time college student.   If he attends at home, then he still has to attend when he is here.   Therefore, rather than lose another year of athletic eligibility, if he is serious about finding out what he has to do to become the best pitcher he can be, then I recommend that he attend a local community college full-time and train with me for forty-five weeks starting July 16th.

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300.   My son will be graduating from high school later this month and will be 19 years old in August.   He has been accepted and offered a partial scholarship at a small NAIA college as a middle infielder.   He has not pitched a single inning since he was a freshman.   He has average velocity.

     I am wondering if he would be better off training with you for a year before he plays college baseball.   Training with you would give him more opportunities and even if he couldn't make it as a pitcher, a stronger arm would have to make him a better infielder.   Would he qualify for your training or are you only interested in players with more pitching experience and above average velocity?


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     As a Pitching Research/Training Center, I am interested only in pitchers who will work hard every day to get as strong as they can and master the skills that I teach.   If your son will do these things and be a good citizen, then I will gladly work with him.   The question is; how committed is he?   Whether he eventually pitches or plays a position, he will have the strength and skill to throws baseballs the best he can.

     In addition to baseball skills, those who train here learn how to take care of themselves, work a demeaning, menial job and spend their time productively.

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301.   My son is 13 years old and has pitched 3 years in the Little League system.   He has had a problem off and on of pain in his upper arm in the outside and inside.   I took him to see his physician and he recommended rest and to reduce the fastballs.   My son does throw fastballs 98% percent of the time.   He also throws as hard as he can when he throws from third to first.   My son is a big strong kid who plays sports all year round and never has had problems with pain except with pitching.   Can you really throw too fast and injure your arm?

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     When you tell me that your son is a 'big, strong kid,' I immediately think that he is a biologically accelerated young man.   What I mean is that, while he is chronologically thirteen years old, he is probably biologically older.   At thirteen biological years old, the growth plates at the distal end of the Humerus bone of his pitching upper arm matures.

     The problem with your son's pitching shoulder is not that he throws ninety-eight percent fastballs, it is because he uses the 'traditional' pitching motion and throws too much, too hard for too long.

     When pitchers of all ages experience discomfort in the front of their pitching shoulder, it means that they have taken their pitching elbow behind their acromial line.   When pitchers of all ages experience discomfort in the back of their pitching shoulder, it means that they have excessive 'pitching forearm flyout,' supinates the release of their pitches and pull their pitching arm across the front of their body.

     To prevent these flaws in the 'traditional' pitching motion, he needs to learn how to only take his pitching arm as far as second base and, from these, drive his pitching hand straight toward home plate while he pronates the releases of all pitches.   In short, he needs to learn my pitching motion.

     On my website, I have pitcher training programs.   He needs to start with my First 60-Day Youth Baseball Pitchers Motor Skill Acquisition Program and master how to properly use his glove and pitching arms and how to release my pitches.   Chapter Thirty-Six in my free Coaching Baseball Pitchers book explains how to perform my drills and my Baseball Pitching Instructional video how to grip, drive and release my pitches.

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302.   I have a young son who is a pitcher.   I have been using the Dick Mills information for the past 3 years and my young man is getting pretty good at the technique.

     However, I started reading you website information in more detail recently and you certainly have gotten my attention.   Check out the attached photo and it looks like we (he) are doing everything opposite of the "Marshall" method.

     Please let me know what the additional postage is to Canada for your Pitching Video.


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     The snapshot of your son caught his pitching motion just before he started his pitching elbow forward, near the very end of his 'late pitching forearm turnover,' just before his 'reverse pitching forearm bounce.'   This action will lead to 'pitching forearm flyout,' will unnecessarily stress the inside of his pitching elbow and will destroy his pitching arm.

     Your son has to get his pitching hand to driveline height before his gets his pitching elbow to shoulder height.   Only my Pendulum Swing Glove and Pitching Arms action does this.

     I can also see the he pulls his glove forearm laterally toward his glove side and downward.   This force adds to the centripetal force that slings his pitching forearm laterally away from the pitching arm side of his body.   He has to learn how to point his glove arm at home plate and pull his glove forearm straight backward.

     My video guy says that he needs an extra ten dollars to send my video into Canada.   If you get my 2004 video, when I finish my 2005 video, I will send it to you.

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303.   My son is making outstanding progress on all pitches, except the curveball.   He has finally ironed out the driveline height in back.   This helps him keep from collapsing the elbow forward and downward on the backside, eliminating the 'elbow wobble.'   Today, out of 48 torque fastballs and sliders, I saw him 'pull' the elbow only twice.   Not so on the curve, but it too will come.   I finally saw fastball after fastball and slider after slider in the strike zone.   The movement is exhilarating!!!

     Velocities are also increasing substantially.   In the past two days, some fastballs got to the plate quickly enough that they startled me a bit.   He is also making excellent progress on using the glove side more efficiently.   From his high-speed film, it is easy to see what needs correcting.   It is the greatest teaching tool I have ever seen.

     I would appreciate your feedback on something.   When my son throws the curveball I see inconsistency in how he curls his wrist into the release position.   When he tries to find the wrist/hand position too early he flexes his elbow, preventing him from ever getting to the slingshot.

     It appears that he does not isolate flexion of the wrist from flexion of the elbow.   On the occasions this happens, it also appears to me that he does not start his pronation early enough.   Then, he drives the ball into the ground or throws it into the net five feet above the strike zone.

     When I see him hit the slingshot, then fluidly find the pitch, he usually throws a great curve.   Does this make sense to you?   The curveball is the one pitch I still have trouble visualizing well.   Any suggestions you can provide would be greatly appreciated.   By and large, he is throwing the screwball with 12/6 rotation consistently, whereas the curve breaks down and in on a righthanded batter.

     I am having much too much fun.   It is great having my son back home, and I am grateful for your influence.   I do not have words sufficient to express my gratitude for all you have done and continue to do.   Thank you will have to suffice.


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     Remember the promise that I make to all who train with me.   At the end of my program, you will know what you have to do to become the best pitcher you can be.   I am only a guide, they have to do the heavy lifting.   our son's success is his success.   When my young men leave, I know what they can be.   With his hard work, can do attitude, your son will be so much better at this time next year that you will not recognize him.

     With his Torque Fastball and Torque Fastball Slider, your son is recognizing the 'feel' that he has to have.   Unfortunately, the 'feel' of his 'traditional' curve is still interfering with my four-seam Maxline Pronation Curve and two-seam Torque Curve.

     I presently teach that, at 'Ready,' I want pitchers to have their pitching palm facing away from their body with their thumb on top.   I used to teach that I wanted their pitching palm facing upward with their thumb inside.   The reason is anatomical.

     When pitchers have their pitching hand at 'Ready' with their pitching palm facing upward, they have outwardly rotated the head of their Humerus bone such that they can easily take their pitching hand laterally behind their body toward their glove side.

     However, when pitchers have their pitching hand at 'Ready' with their pitching palm facing away from their body, they have not outwardly rotated the head of their Humerus bone.   As a result, the skeletal structure of their shoulder prevents them from taking their pitching hand laterally behind their body toward their glove side.   Try it.

     From my new 'Ready' position, until the start of the rapid forward acceleration of their acromial line, I want pitchers to position their pitching forearm for whichever pitch that they wish to throw.

     For my Maxline True Screwball, pitchers do not have to make any adjustments to the position of their pitching forearm, wrist, hand and fingers.   In my 'Ready' position, they are already properly positioned for my screwball.   This, plus the fact that, to throw my Maxline True Screwball, pitchers have to voluntarily pronate their pitching forearm, wrist, hand and fingers, makes this pitch, not only the safest pitch to throw, but also the easiest.   All they need is the strength to throw it.

     For my Maxline Fastball and Maxline Fastball Sinker, pitchers have to rotate their pitching forearm, wrist, hand and fingers ninety degrees from the pitching palm facing away from the body to the pitching palm facing upward position.

     For my Torque Fastball and Torque Fastball Slider, pitchers have to rotate their pitching forearm, wrist, hand and fingers one hundred and eighty degrees from the pitching palm facing away from the body to the pitching palm facing toward the body position.   From your description of his strike percentages, your son is mastering this adjustment.

     For my four-seam Maxline Pronation Curve and two-Seam Torque Curve, pitchers have to rotate their pitching forearm, wrist, hand and fingers two hundred and seventy degrees from the pitching palm facing away from the body to the pitching palm facing downward with the back of the pitching hand facing forward position.   This, plus the fact that the 'traditional' pitching motion taught him to supinate his curve release, makes this pitch, not only a dangerous pitch to throw, but also the most difficule.

     Your son has two problems:

     One, he starts to position his pitching forearm, wrist, hand and fingers to throw my Maxline Pronation Curve too early.   That is, rather than wait until his pitching hand starts forward from 'Ready' with the pitching palm facing away from his body, he turns the pitching palm to face upward.   This frees his pitching shoulder to enable him to take his pitching hand laterally behind his body toward his glove side, which causes a loop, which he tries to correct by pulling his pitching elbow downward and inward.

     Two, he remembers the 'great' curve, not true, that he used to throw, so he returns to the old 'feel' and yanks his pitching elbow downward and inward.

     To throw my four-seam Maxline Pronation Curve, he has to use the 'feel' of my Maxline Fastball drive with my Maxline Pronation Curve grip and release.   To throw my two-seam Torque Curve, he has to use the 'feel' of my Torque Fastball drive with my Pronation Curve grip and release.

     Because your son is left-handed and because all pitchers have to force batters to hit the baseball to the left side of playing field, which requires that all pitchers master pitches to the third base corner of home plate, he needs my four and two-seam Torque Fastballs, Torque Fastball Slider and two-seam Torque Curve.   With the occasional four and two-seam Maxline Fastball, Maxline Fastball Sinker and four and two-seam Maxline True Screwball to keep batters honest, he will do well.

     You should have noticed that I did not mention my Maxline Pronation Curve.   The only times that left-handed pitchers need my Maxline Pronation Curve is when they have two strikes on pitching arm side spray hitters and, in that situation, my Maxline True Screwball and four-seam Maxline Fastball are better pitch selections.

     With two strikes on glove side spray hitters, he could change the two-seam Torque Curve, which does move toward the glove side of home plate, to a four-seam Torque Curve.   The additional downward movement with these batters trying to hit back up the middle and to the opposite field increases his chances for a positive outcome.

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304.   I am a struggling 16 year old pitcher whose career looks to be fading fast.   My fastball is well-below average, my change is so-so and I can't throw a curve or slider to save my life.   Do you think at my stage in body development it would be wise to start taking the screwball seriously?

     I would like to take my pitching career as far as it will go and right now it's coming to a dead-end.   I should have mentioned this earlier, I'm 16 years of age, I'm recently cut from my high school baseball team, my weight shifts around in the mid 170's and I'm 6 foot even.


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     I agree that the screwball is a great pitch.   However, your problem is not the types of pitch that you throw, it is how you apply force to your pitches.   You need to stop using the 'traditional' pitching motion and learn how I teach pitchers to use their glove and pitching arms.

     To learn how to do the drills that I use to teach the skills that pitchers need, please read Chapter Thirty-Six of my Coaching Baseball Pitchers book.   If you want to see my pitchers perform these drills, to see what you need to do to get your copy, go to my 2004 Baseball Pitching Instructional Video file.   Until you master my pitching motion, with my grips, drives and releases, you will never know what kind of a pitcher you can be.

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305.   I was talking to a guy from an electronics company about your problems with your DVD's on your last video.   He thought that you might be using standard CD's.   He said you have to use commercial CD's.   I believe he said that commercial CD's have 9 gigabytes of space.   Standard DVD's have 2.5 I believe he said.

     I gathered that these ones have encoding to handle all types of players.   He did say they cost more.   I will buy whatever format you choose, but I think you should consider the DVD's and charge more.   You may want to ask your video guy about this or maybe some of your readers can weigh in.   VHS is going the way of the traditional pitching motion.   It won't be around much longer.


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     I will send your email to my video guy.   As I said before, I don't know whether the problem was how we made them or with what my friends played them.   I do know that I do not have time to mess with the returns.

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306.   My wife and I are seriously contemplating buying a piece of property that would provide enough space to train pitchers.   In order to make this work, I need to charge for my time because I have a family to support.   Please know that I am not simply interested in making a buck.

     I thrive on working with young men and believe you know that my heart comes alive when I am teaching pitching.   What better way to support a family than by doing what you enjoy?   What better way to make a living than helping educate young men and their parents in a worthwhile endeavor?

     I wish to make a difference in the lives of young men, and baseball provides superior opportunities for learning lessons about life.   Ultimately, this is why I coach. I also see this endeavor as an incredible opportunity to encourage fathers to spend time with their youngsters.   I do not wish to replace dad.   You have provided a vehicle for all of the above.

     Have you given more thought to what a certification program for teaching your pitching mechanics looks like?   I know that you already have more than enough on your plate and also realize that my request is self-serving.   You are aware that I know that your program is the real deal and have already invested considerable time in pursuing my love, teaching your pitching mechanics.

     While I will never be Dr. Mike Marshall, I do not wish to be a wannabe.   Rather, I wish to be competent and certified as such.   Last time I checked, you are the only pitching coach worth emulating.

     I always look forward to hearing from you.   (Today, after working out, my son carefully washed his pitching arm and took it home with him.   Novel idea.)


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     To teach others how to teach my pitching motion, I have thought about weekend clinics at my Pitcher Research/Training Center.   With my five-step program, where each step builds on essential skills that students master in previous steps, I believe that all can succeed.

     However, I first need to complete my 2005 Baseball Pitching Instructional video.   Not only will it explain and demonstrate my five-step program, it will explain the flaws in the 'traditional' pitching motion, why and where those flaws injure pitchers and how my pitching motion solves those flaws.   Then, when pitchers complain of discomfort, they will understand what caused the discomfort and what to do about it.

     After I complete this video, I need to know the best time to provide clinics.   We have youth baseball coaches, including dad coaches, high school baseball coaches, college baseball coaches and those, such as you, who want to teach baseball pitchers of all ages.   I would certify their course completion and provide support services.

     Perhaps readers can provide information about interest in such clinics and what time of year works best.

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307.   Any time works well for me.   I simply need advance notice and can adjust my schedule accordingly.   I suspect that fall and/or the Christmas holidays would work well for many folks.   Hopefully, others will chime in.

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     We will see.

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308.   My son is currently a pitcher in a Division 1 program.    After being recruited as having perfect mechanics, the pitching coach left and the head coach is constantly making changes that this year resulted in a three week layoff due to a hyper-extended elbow.    Prior to the injury my son was reaching 91 on occasion and consistently between 86-89.    His curve and change up have not been effected by the layoff but he wants to shut down for the summer and work out, regain his original mechanics and increase his velocity.

     The one factor with him his whole life is that every coach who has worked with him has gotten results because he listens and respects the game and the work necessary to compete.    He will be entering his Junior year next season and has two years of eligibility remaining.    His desire is to be the first pitcher ever drafted from his school, but he also knows that he has a lot of work to do before he even gets that chance.

     Are there any suggestions regarding what can be done over the summer as far as working with him for a brief period and then setting him up on your workout program?     The one thing he does do is follow recommended workouts because he knows the benefits to him over the long-term.

        As a fan, thanks for the career example you set.    It's something kids should follow if they're really serious about the highest level of the game.


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     When you say that your son 'hyper-extended' his pitching elbow, I assume that you mean that he slammed his olecranon process into its fossa, such that it was painful for him to fully straighten his pitching elbow.   If so, this means that he is using the 'traditional' pitching motion and supinating his pitching elbow through release.

     However, you then say that 'his curve and change up have not been affected by the layoff.'   Typically, 'traditional' baseball pitchers slam their olecranon process into its fossa when they throw curves.

     His problem is the 'traditional' pitching motion and the pitching forearm supination that it uses.   To injury-proof his pitching arm and learn my pitching motion takes much longer than a summer.   To properly strengthen the bones, ligaments and tendons of the pitching arm takes two hundred and sixty-six days of my 315-Day Adult Baseball Pitchers Interval-Training Program.   To master the grips, drives and releases for my Maxline True Screwball, Maxline Fastball, Maxline Curve, Torque Fastball, Maxline Fastball Sinker and Torque Fastball Slider requires intelligence and a serious long-term commitment.

     However, if he ever expects to become the best that he can become, he has to stop fooling around with the 'traditional' pitching motion and coaches who do not know the difference between a rotator cuff and a trouser cuff.

     My 315-Day program starts on Saturday, July 16, 2005 and ends on Saturday, May 27, 2005.

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309.   I have what I think is an interesting question on pitching mechanics.   While at the various college showcases for pitching my son was told to stand tall when pitching.   He has tried that, but pitches so much better when he drops a couple of inches on the pivot leg before he starts forward.   His accuracy and velocity are both better when he drops down a bit and he says it gives him better balance as he strides.   I would be interested in your opinion on the subject of standing tall or dropping for the delivery.

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     Whether we lift boxes or throw baseballs, all human movements have bio-mechanically perfect techniques.   To determine these perfect techniques, rather than watch the most successful humans perform, we have to understand human anatomy and how to maximize the forces that we have to apply.

     For baseball pitching, from the moment the baseball starts toward home plate, we should apply force in as straight a line as possible.   Any force that we apply laterally, we have to overcome.   Therefore, we do not want to apply force upward or sideward.

     For baseball pitching, we have to apply force over as great a time period as possible.   Release velocity equals the force the pitchers apply multiplied by the time that they apply that force.

     For baseball pitching, we can only apply as much force to the baseball toward home plate as we apply force toward second base.

     For baseball pitching, we can only raise our pitching upper arm to a line parallel with the line across the top of our shoulders.

     Now, I can answer your question.

     I teach my pitchers to stand tall and forwardly rotate their acromial line.   In this way, they can apply force straight toward home plate.   If pitchers bend at their waist or bend their pitching knee, they cannot apply force straight toward home plate.   Instead, they apply upward and downward forces that they have to overcome, which decreases release velocity and release consistency.

     I teach my pitchers to only bend their pitching knee as much as they do when they walk.   When we walk, we move our center of mass straight forward.   We should do the same when we pitch.   When we bend our pitching knee, we lower our center of mass, which may give us more stability, but it also creates a downward force that we have to overcome.

     Everybody feels more comfortable performing skills whatever way they have always done.   However, that does not mean that they are performing those skills bio-mechanically perfect.   The closer athletes come to performing skills bio-mechanically correct, the fewer unnecessary forces they have to overcome to achieve their best result.

     The major problem that you son has is that he uses the 'traditional' pitching motion.   The 'traditional' pitching motion generates many unnecessary upward and sideward forces that not only decreases their release velocity and release consistency, but also insidiously destroys their pitching arm with every pitch.

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310.   Thank you for your usual kind generosity this week.   I appreciate you taking the time to answer my questions.   Once again, parents interested in the well-being of their sons should make the trek to Zhills.

     As a suggestion for your new video, you may want to show how your pitchers lock their upper arms to their shoulders, just like you showed me.   In other words, demonstrate it on one of your pitchers.   I found it very useful showing me exactly how the arm gets locked.


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     As you know, we love to show off.   But, your point is absolutely correct.   Anybody interested in pitching without pain or injury should find their way to Zephyrhills, FL.

     I will make sure to carefully and thoroughly show my video viewers precisely how pitchers 'lock' their pitching upper arm with their body.

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311.   Let me first say thank you so much, words cannot describe how much I am grateful and how much my son has improved his game.   In August 2004, he had pain in his shoulder, no confidence, no pitch quality and lacked velocity.   Now, only 9 months later, he is bigger, stronger, more confident, and the velocity and pitch movement improving daily.

     He continues to work hard, with intensity, trains every day and his pitches are finding the strike zone more often.   I'm really impressed with his knowledge of the motion, grips, releases and his ability to throw hard every day.   He laughs at the kids on his legion team whose arms are hanging, and often helps them understand what flaws in there motion are causing the pain.   The catcher's back of shoulder is killing him, my son says, 'it's because you pull your arm across your body.'   The catcher says, "I can't pull my arm across because I'm throwing from my ear."   They don't get it, but they are amazed he can throw batting practice, play the outfield and throw well and pitch to me after practice.   Because the player/coach doesn't think he has the control to start at pitcher, we continue to work on control.

     His velocity is up probably 15% from when he showed up.   His torque arsenal is very good, real nice slider, good movement, location improving.   I love the maxline fastball, awesome, I really need to concentrate when catching it to avoid getting wacked.   It just powers in through the hitting zone.

     To my questions:   His sinker and screwball need work, he knows it, but he can't seem to get the spins axis correct.   The sinker "circle" appears on the right hand side of the ball when I'm catching him, his glove arm side.   His screwball axis is closer to 2 to 8 than 12 to 6.   He leans a bit too much, he said, after we watched the high speed film.   What a great tool.   I'm sure your well aware of this, any suggested improvements/drills we can continue to work on?


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     The screwball requires great pitching forearm, wrist, hand and finger strength.   When pitchers come to me, they have never thrown any pitch like the screwball.   As a result, they do not have any strength.   It also requires hand size with a wide split between the middle and ring fingers.   To achieve the proper screwball spin axis, pitchers have to release the baseball between their middle and ring fingers.   That takes big hands or considerable training to expand the opening.

     Your son should do my 60-Day Eight Pound Iron Ball Recoil Cycle program.   When he has one hundred and eight open days, he needs use my Wrong Foot body action, Slingshot Glove and Pitching Arm actions drill and increase his iron ball throw repetitions from a total of twenty-four per day to ninety-six per day with six repetition increases every six days.   Then, after thirty days of ninety-six repetitions per day, he changes to my Wrong Foot body action, Pendulum Swing Glove and Pitching Arm actions drills.   These drills with strengthen his pitching forearm, wrist, hand and fingers for all pitches, but his screwball grip, drive and release needs it most.

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312.   I like to refer back to your previous email of May 26 subject video.   On the 2nd line of 3rd paragraph, I changed my instructions of your theory from 'at precisely the right moment' to 'at precisely the right FRACTION OF A SECOND.'   This change of wording is having a tremendous effect in getting across your message of reverse rotation.   Also, I am being asked what law of Physics is this opinion derived from, I don't even know if it is physics.   Can you enlighten a non-scientific mind?

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     I have reread your emails from May 12, May 13, May 13, May 14, May 15, May 16 and May 17, and I cannot find the paragraph to which you refer.   I did not receive an email from you on May 26.   In those earlier emails, we discussed the proper timing for when pitchers should start their pitching hand forward.   I told your that I use the 'Crow-Hop' pitching rhythm that enables pitchers to get their pitching hand to driveline height before they move their body forward.

     I recommend that pitchers get their pitching hand up to driveline height before they start the rapid forward rotation of their acromial line.   With the 'traditional' pitching motion, pitchers start the forward rotation of their acromial line while they are still in the process of their 'late pitching forearm turnover.'   That causes their 'reverse pitching forearm bounce,' which ruptures their Ulnar Collateral Ligament and breaks the Humerus bone of their pitching upper arm.

     Therefore, I assume that the fraction of a second to which you refer is that fraction of a second when pitchers should start the forward rotation of their acromial line with regard to their pitching hand.   With my pitching motion, pitchers get their pitching hand above shoulder height before their pitching elbow.   This eliminates 'late pitching forearm turnover.'   Then, when their glove foot contacts the ground, they do not have to worry about 'reverse pitching forearm bounce.'

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313.   Always a pleasure to get some expertise from a teacher like you.

     I have read your book, got your VHS, so I know what to do to throw the screwball correctly.   I was wondering though if it is physically possible to throw a sidearm screwball (9-3).   Not that I care throwing it but simply by curiosity.   I Know that sidearm fastball tail down and in to RHB.

     I saw somewhere that in the old time, a submarine pitcher was throwing a screwball?   More like a sinker to me because it's impossible physically.   It's like overhand slider.   If you really go at OH+, it's almost impossible to give the ball a side(spiral) spin.


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     When we define what pitches pitchers throw, we only examine how the baseball spins and how pitchers release them from their hand.   With my Maxline True Screwball, the spin axis is horizontal with the top of the baseball moving forward and pitchers release the baseball with their pitching thumb forward off the outside of their middle finger.   To accomplish this, pitchers need to have their pitching forearm slightly inside of vertical at release.   Therefore, when pitchers have their pitching forearm horizontal at release, they cannot possibly achieve the same spin axis.

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314.   You are very perceptive.   That's exactly what I was refering to and your explanation is very understandable even without diagrams.   Now, one other question, what laws of science does this explanation come under for the sake of argument with some of my colleagues, if there is one of course or can you catagorize it into another area?

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     Pitchers must appropriately blend the end of the Pitching Arm Pendulum Swing Phase and start of the Pitching Arm Acceleration Phase such that they continue by uniformly accelerating their Pitching Arm until they enter the rapid acceleration of the forward rotation of their acromial line.   Scientifically, we call this, Conservation of Momentum.

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315.   This is terrific info, it's exactly the explanation I have been looking for.   Now, this conservation of momentum can be applied to any sports motion, say throwing a football, shooting a basketball, throwing a bowling ball, shooting a hockey puck, etc.

     Getting back to the pitching motion: the pendulum swing.   I use acceleration of body with the pendelum swing, by accentuating the accleration of the body from the accleration of the arm, my pupils finally get the whole picture.   Is this correct and or is there a better way, or just use yours without this input?


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     My pitching motion has a series of blended actions that I designed to have a continuous flow of the baseball.

01.   During the start of the Glove and Pitching Arms Pendulum Swing, pitchers keep their center of mass as far behind the pitching rubber as possible.

02.   When their pitching arm is about forty-five degrees behind their body, in order to continue the pendulum swing straight backward toward second base, pitchers have to outwardly rotate their pitching upper arm.

03.   It is at this moment that, to start their center of mass straight forward toward home plate, pitchers should lift their glove foot off the ground.      This is the way that I recommend that pitchers continue the momentum of the baseball from the pendulum swing going forward into the start of the acceleration phase.   As a result, while they raise their pitching hand from about waist high to driveline height, they are also moving their center of mass forward.

04.   When their glove foot contacts the ground, pitchers should have their pitching hand at driveline height with their pitching forearm properly positioned for whatever pitch they wish to throw.

05.   To initiate the rapid forward rotation of their acromial line through release, pitchers first powerfully push off the pitching rubber with their pitching foot.

06.   To continue the rapid forward rotation of their acromial line through release, pitchers simultaneously pull their glove hand straight backward and drive their pitching knee straight forward.

07.   When their pitching knee is slightly ahead of their glove knee, pitchers simultaneously push back toward second base with their glove foot and

         a.   powerfully inwardly rotate their pitching upper arm,

         b.   then powerfully extend their pitching elbow,

         c.   then powerfully pronate their pitching forearm,

         d.   then powerfully flex, radially flex or ulnarly flex their pitching wrist and,

         e.   lastly, flex or pronate their pitching middle finger.

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316.   Several weeks ago, I contacted you in regard to my nephew's Grade III shoulder separation he sustained while playing hockey.   Thanks in part to your advice my nephew's recovery was quick and relatively pain free.   It has been 8 weeks since the injury and my nephew still claims he has little or no pain and it seems he has a full range of motion.   However, since the initial swelling has subsided the associated deformity of the Grade III separation has revealed itself to be quite pronounced.   Even his GP has been shocked by the severity of this deformity and has arranged an appointment with a specialist.

     I realize that a shoulder separation normally has little to do with the mechanics involved in the throwing motion, but my nephew's coach believes that his throwing velocity has greatly diminished since the injury.   I also realize that surgery is rarely recommended for this type of injury, but at 15 years old, he had developed into one of the best players on his 19 and under rep team and it has been suggested that a college scholarship may lie in his future.   As such, I thought it would be prudent to examine all the possibilities.

     Is it possible that his shoulder separation and the severity of the associated deformity could be the cause of the lost velocity?   Do you think surgery could possibly help?


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     A shoulder separation means that the acromial process of the Scapula bone (shoulder blade) has pulled away from the Clavicle bone (collar bone).   The Humerus bone of the pitching upper arm articulates with the glenoid fossa of the Scapula bone, which lies below the acromial process.   The Clavicle bone attaches to the Sternum bone (breast plate) in the anterior, middle of the thorax (chest).   Therefore, without the solid connection between the acromial process and the Clavicle bone, baseball pitchers cannot apply force to the baseball.

     During the healing process, these structures should closely approximate.   The deformity that you see the acromial-clavicular (AC) joint results the body attempting to reconnect these two structures over whatever distance they were set.   With my 120-Day High School Baseball Pitchers Interval-Training Program, his AC joint should strengthen more than sufficiently to permit your nephew to regain his release velocity.   In addition, if he masters my force application techniques and releases, then he will minimize any unnecessary force that he presently generates.

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317.   First, I wanted to thank you for your site and work.   It has really opened my eyes to the mistakes my (10-year-old) guys are making and will hopefully save their arms.

     For example, I had one RH pitcher who in his first outing (just 1 inning) was absolutely wicked.   He didn't have great velocity, but he could send the ball in low and then, just in front of the plate, seemingly drop it almost straight down onto the plate.   However, ever since that outing, he had been complaining of pain in his elbow.   As it turned out, the reason he was so wicked (and why his elbow hurt) was that he was accidentally throwing a curveball.   Trying to figure out what was going on with his elbow, I stood behind him as he pitched and noticed that as his forearm passed from the vertical to pointing at home plate, he would supinate his thumb (rotate it clockwise as seen from behind the pitcher looking at the catcher) and then finish with his R arm on his L knee.   Both the supinating of the thumb and the finish on the L knee imparted a ton of topspin on the ball.

     I have also noticed that one of my guys (who also happens to have the strongest arm) basically arches his back when he reaches the cocked position (maybe he's trying to "reach back"), putting both his glove hand and ball hand 6 or so inches behind his acromial line.   Aside from probably contributing to his wildness (he often ends up throwing at an angle to the optimal drive line), I believe that this will eventually ruin his shoulder.   As a result, I am going to watch this carefully.

     I am trying to identify and remedy other problems like these in my guys and had a follow-up question about the proper position of the forearm and ball relative to the acromial line.

       Basically, my question is whether the ball (and thus the hand and the hand-end of the forearm) should ever pass behind the acromial line.

     When I look at some big-leaguers, when they are roughly half-way to the plate (e.g. when their acromial line is pointing at 3B), I see that their forearm is not vertical.   Instead, it is angled back toward 2B.   In other words, the angle between the ball, the elbow, and a line drawn from the pitcher's mound to 2B is roughly 45 degrees.   Is this bad?   It seems like it would be.   However, some people say that it's a good thing because it basically gives you a double snap and thus greater power upon release.   First, you snap forward the forearm and then you snap forward of the wrist.

     Of course, that raises the question of whether you think there should even be a snap of the wrist (or of the elbow) upon releasing the ball.   My sense is that you would say no, but I want to be sure.   Instead, I believe that you would argue for a steady and long-duration application of force rather than the sudden application of force that you would get from snapping the wrist (or elbow) forward.

     The confusing part is that I find that a wrist snap did help with my tennis serve and didn't seem to cause any problems with my elbow back when I played more (and seems to be what you have to do to put the proper backspin on a 4-seam fastball), but I don't know if the idea is applicable to throwing a pitch.


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     In question 295, I discuss the twenty major league pitchers to whom you refer.   They all use the 'traditional' pitching motion.   They are all destroying their pitching arms.   If you have your kids copy their pitching motion, then they will destroy their pitching arms.

     The mistake that all other pitching gurus make is that they assume that because these guys are major league pitchers, they must be using perfect mechanics.   Wrong.   The only way to determine the effectiveness and efficiency of their force application technique is to measure the amount of force that they apply toward home plate (X-axis) and the time over which they apply that force.   Any force that pitchers apply upward (Y-axis) and laterally (Z-axis) unnecessarily stresses the pitching arm, such that it not only decreases their effectiveness and efficiency, but also destroys their pitching arms.

     When baseball pitchers raise their pitching upper arm to shoulder height before they raise their pitching hand to shoulder height, they destroy the inside of their pitching elbow.   When baseball pitchers take the distal end of their pitching upper arm behind their acromial line, they destroy the front of their pitching shoulders.   When baseball pitchers supinate their pitching forearms, they destroy their pitching elbows.

     These are just three serious injury-producing flaws in the 'traditional' pitching motion.

     With my pitching motion, baseball pitchers pendulum swing their glove hand downward, forward and upward to shoulder height and their pitching hand downward, backward and upward to driveline height, such that their pitching hand reaches driveline height at the same time that their pitching upper arm reaches shoulder height.   With my pitching motion, baseball pitchers point their glove arm at home plate and point their pitching arm at second base with their acromial line directly between them.   With my pitching motion, baseball pitchers pronate the release of all pitches.

     What you call 'wrist snap' actually involves the pitching forearm, wrist, hand and fingers.   Therefore, I call the action of the pitching forearm, wrist, hand and fingers, 'Pronation Snap.'   An essential ingredient of the high-quality release is the power of my 'Pronation Snap.'   The reason why the 'wrist snap' that you used in tennis did not hurt you was that you pronated your serving forearm.   These kids are supinating.   If they do not change immediately, they will destroy their pitching elbow.

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318.   Over the holiday, I read over all your emails for 2005 and have a couple of Questions and comments:

1.   I cannot believe the treatment from the pro tryouts you went to, was one of them in Bradenton at the Pirates compound?

2.   Add this to all the comments on Mark Pryor.   I had that SI photo of him and Kerry Wood on my kitchen table last May.   My daughter, who has her doctorate in medicine, looked at it and asked who they were.   After I told her, she said, "Well their both going to get tendenitis in the rotator cuff.   Two months later, Pryor went down with exactly what my daughter described and, this winter, Woods had the same problem.   My point is, if my daughter who hardly follows baseball can predict these injury just from a still picture, then what the hell is going on with the people in Chicago?

3.   Two of your emails had a reply from you that a batter must control the pathway of the center of the mass of the bat, and the key to successful hitting is contact with the baseball is weight, can you expand on this?

4.   There is mention of a new video, this summer, please include diagrams or still frames of your entire view of your straight line pitching motion.


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     Thank you for taking the time to catch up with my Questions/Answers sections.   I always put my very latest thoughts into those questions.   The day after I update my Coaching Baseball Pitchers book and my Baseball Pitching Instructional video, they become obsolete.

01.   No, it was not in Bradenton at the Pirates compound.   But, I think that their reaction is generic and it would have been the same there.   My guess is that you are a disgruntled Pirates fan.

02.   You probably had the Sports Illustrated article on Greg Maddox that included side-by-side photographs of Kerry Wood and Mark Pryor, where they were caught near the moment of release with their pitching elbow locked straight at the end of severe pitching forearm flyout.   Anybody with any understanding of the anatomy of the elbow would instantly know that it could not withstand this type of stress for long.

03.   Like with the baseball in baseball pitching, baseball batters must apply force to the center of mass of their baseball bats in straight lines from the moment that it first moves toward the baseball until after it contacts the baseball.   This requires that baseball batters keep the center of mass of their bats above and as close to the top of the strike zone as possible, such that they minimize the amount of vertical adjustment they need to make to intercept the flight of the baseball.

     When baseball batters hold their bat upright, they increase the distance between the center of mass of the baseball bat and the strike zone.   As a result, similar to the centripetal force that baseball pitchers generate the causes their pitching forearm flyout, when baseball batters start their baseball bat toward the thrown baseball from an upright position, they generate a centripetal force that causes the center of mass of their bat to loop downward, such that they have to raise the center of mass to the contact line.   This action results in pop-ups, fly balls and outright misses where the baseball passes above the bat.

04.   I am taking behind-the-catcher views of my pitchers at five hundred frames per second.   To show their drivelines, I can freeze frame the film at critical intervals.   However, because my pitching motion is theoretical, no one pitcher will be perfect at all intervals.   Nevertheless, many do some things very well.   I will explain both what they do that is good and what they do that they have to improve.

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319.   How is Florida?   It's finally really nice here.

     I'm sure my dad told you this, but we made our back yard into a training center!   It's pretty cool.   We got a huge net, so I can throw into that when I'm not throwing to catchers and I throw my iron ball into a huge cottonwood tree.   I'm tearing it apart!

     Everything is going well.   I'm making allot of progress everyday!   I think I've pretty much fixed my "elbow bounce" and my velocity is coming up.   The screwball is starting to get really dirty.   I love it.   I just got to get used to throwing it to a catcher.   The sinker and slider are so fun to throw!   My curveball is coming along, but I don't think I'll be throwing in competition quite yet.   I'm using my thumb on it now and really working on driving it straight out.   It WILL come!

     I got a full ride to a junior college and can't wait to get started there in the fall.   I have a good friend that goes there and the coach will let me throw this way, not questions asked.

     This summer should be fun here too.   My "pitching coach" used to pitch in the minors until he tore his labrum and hurt his ulnar nerve.   They ended up moving his nerve to the other side of his elbow!   I told him about the motion and he seemed pretty interested.   I think the only way people will take me seriously though is if I throw well.   So, that's my mission this summer, to try to amaze people.

     I'm not going to think about that too much because I know it's a process.   It's fun to talk with people about it though.   I love telling people I can throw everyday!   They always give me weird looks.


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     Thank you for the update.

     I thought that your dad might put together a backyard training center for you.   In my Coaching Baseball Pitchers book, I devote a chapter to how to construct one.

     Speaking on behalf of the Cottonwood tree, making a rebound wall is not that difficult.   All you need are some concrete blocks, ready mix, one-half inch rebar, some two by six by eight foot boards, three-quarter inch plywood and a couple of four by six feet horse stall mats.

     I am glad to hear of your skill improvements.   With the high-speed film that I took, your exit videotape, your dad's help and your commitment to excellence, I am confident that you will master all pitches.   I find it interesting that, even though you are still a work in progress, the baseball coach recognized that you will be a talented pitcher for him.   I hope that he keeps his word and let's you pitch our way.

     We had an interesting development occur here recently.   The baseball coach at the nearby Community College for whom you tried out visited the training center.   I had every pitcher throw with him sitting behind the net as though he were their catcher.   He marveled at the movement of the pitches and expressed interest in three of the guys.   However, he only said to have them call him.

     Irritated with the coach's they-have-to-come-to-me attitude, one of the guys dad, who has been in constant communications with his son's coach at the college he attended before he injured his pitching arm, called him and the coach wants his son to return there and pitch for him.   During the conversation, the dad brought up another pitcher.   The coach said that he would also take him.   Then, the dad started talking about some of the other pitchers.   Then, the coach said that he would take them all.

     In fairness, this is a Division III school without scholarships.   But, the coach will help them get financial aid and housing.   He even offered one of our professional pitchers a graduate assistantship to coach the pitchers.   I don't know what will come of this, but, at present, as many as eight kids, including a couple from last year's group, are considering it.   Who knows what the professional pitcher will do?   He loved pitching in Puerto Rico last winter and still has that job offer.   But, I do know that this coach will let my pitchers pitch our way.   I have agreed to advise.

     I agree that baseball people will take you seriously only after you humiliate batters.   You are less than one year into my pitching motion.   You had twelve years with the 'traditional' pitching motion.   It is remnants of the 'traditional' pitching motion that are delaying your perfection of my Maxline Pronation Curve.   Because you never threw sinkers, screwballs or sliders or my two fastballs, you do not have to fight the flaws of the 'traditional' pitching motion to learn them.   That 'pull down the window shade' flaw is hard to overcome.

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320.   I was wondering where I could get a copy of You Must Relax.

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     McGraw-Hill last published 'You Must Relax' in 1976.   It sold for $8.95.   I have not checked with a book store recently, but I suspect that it is out of print.   However, I have about a dozen unused copies left over from the last Tension Control class that I taught.   I have no idea what they are worth today, but if you send me cash, cashiers check or money order for fifty dollars and I will priority mail a copy to you.

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321.   My son, a high school pitcher and quarterback (18 yrs old), would like to your 315 day training program.    However, there really is not enough time to do the complete 315 days that are required.    Would he be able to do the 10# WW / 6# IB and 15#WW / 8#  IB this year and the 20# WW / 10# IB and 25#WW / 12# IB the following year?    Also, keep in mind he will be practicing and playing football for approx 12-14 weeks during this period.

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     If your son is a high school student, he should do my 120-Day High School Baseball Pitchers Interval-Training Program.   Then, after he finishes high school, he will have the time to complete my 315-Day program.

     Because of the increased injury potential, I would never advise that someone complete my 315-Day program while trying to compete in any other sport.   I would also never advise completing one-half of the program, stopping and, then completing the other half.   Once they start, they need to complete the entire program.   Otherwise, the body loses the micro-anatomical adjustments it makes to continue responding to the training stress.

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322.   Wow!   That sounds like a great opportunity for all the guys down there to get to throw in college!   And, if the professional pitcher was the pitching coach and you helped that would be ideal!   I hope that all works out!

     The coach at the junior college seems like a real stright up guy.   I don't think he'll change his mind.   If he does, I'll let him know about it! I think this coming school year will be a blast though.

     I'm on a summer team as I told you in the last email.   It is so much fun!   Yesterday, as I was sitting in the dugout, I started doing iron ball fingertip spins.   I got the strangest looks!   Kids were asking me what "it was all about".   I told them about it and how I was trying to get my middle finger stronger because it's what gets the ball to spin.   They looked at me like they had no clue what the middle finger was for!

     I love it when I throw a bull pen too!   First of all, I'm always asking the catcher to catch a bullpen and they're like, "didn't you throw one yesterday?" and I keep having to explain that I can throw everyday.   All the guys watch me throw out of the corner of their eyes.   Yesterday, I had four guys ask me when I'm going to throw.   Every time the catcher catches me, he always seems confused, but he never lets me know it!

     When I first started throwing to catchers, it was the same way, but I found out later that he told his mom to come watch me throw because " this guys really good!   That did my heart good.

     I have not yet gotten to throw to hitters.   I was supposed to today, but it rained a bunch and there was a tornado warning!   Saturday will be my shot.   I'm really excited about it, but also a little nervous.   I know I can do it though because I've been working my butt of and I've made so much progress.

     You should really see me!   No more elbow bounce.   I'm keeping my lock and I'm transitioning into the slingshot real well.   When I do it right, man, the ball takes off!   The catcher thought I was throwing at least in the mid to high 80s.   There were a couple that he thought were in the 90s, but I'm not going to take his word for it.   It doesn't matter anyway!   I got a ton of movement!

     The curveball is making a bunch of progress!   It's starting to get exciting.   I think I'll have it by the end of this summer for sure.   To me, that seems like the pitch that really gets the people attention.   Although the screwball has gotten a few funny looks at and some ohhs and ahs!

     Well, I hope all is going well and I can't wait to come back down and get stronger!


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     When you and your dad came down to see what we do here, I promised that at the end of my 315-Day Adult Baseball Pitchers Interval-Training Program that you would know what you had to do to become the best pitcher that you can be.   Well, you are doing that.   Keep it up.

     I look forward to your throwing to hitters report.   I suggest that you throw eight pitches to each batter and keep track of your balls and strikes.

     To your pitching arm side batters, I want you to throw:

01.   Torque Fastball Slider
02.   Two-Seam Torque Fastball
03.   Maxline Fastball Sinker
04.   Two-Seam Maxline Fastball
05.   Maxline Pronation Curve
06.   Four-Seam Maxline Fastball
07.   Maxline True Screwball
08.   Four-Seam Torque Fastball

     To your glove side batters, I want you to throw:

01.   Maxline Fastball Sinker
02.   Two-Seam Maxline Fastball
03.   Torque Fastball Slider
04.   Two-Seam Torque Fastball
05.   Maxline True Screwball
06.   Four-Seam Torque Fastball
07.   Maxline Pronation Curve
08.   Four-Seam Maxline Fastball

     Later, after you determine which hitters are spray hitters, you should throw my Two-Seam Torque Curve instead of my Torque Fastball Slider and my Two-Seam Maxline True Screwball instead of my Maxline Fastball Sinker.

     Master the circle and these ten pitches and you will have the pitches with which to get the best hitters in the world out.

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323.   This is an email from my asst coach at the college.   He is 33 yrs old now and pitched div 2 baseball and never threw over 80mph.   He is a lefty, he honestly admits that he threw the tall and fall style ala Tom House and Dick Mills.   He also admits that all the years he pitched in high school his arm was hurting all the time and that he pitched sore every outing of his high school and college career.

     He has been with me 4 yrs and we connected at a summer camp where he and I formed a mutual admiration society for your style of instructions.   We been applying your theories to hitting and pitching ever since our 1st meeting, after which I hired him as a asst.   So, we took your instructions which we now call your formula for success in pitching and hitting, and call them "step to pitch and step to hit."

     That's why there are equal amts of email on hitting as well as pitching.   We can't say it's your theory because we don't have video and illustrations to know exactly what ypu perfect mechanics are but I feel we are dammed close.   I like you to see this email I like to hear your comments on it.

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     It took until yesterday but I now have it all figured out.   My missing piece came from you saying "step to hit."   I transferred that into "step to pitch."   NO cocking until my landing leg was on the ground.   Instant 5 to 10 MPH!   No arm pain at all just some muscle soreness.   It absolutely corrected my timing and lined everything up.   My proof is that the thigh of my landing leg is sore like my arm from landing firmly and flexing it.   That has never happened before.   This is awesome!   I am blown away.


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     It sounds like the two of you are having a good time.   I have felt this way since I took my first high-speed film of baseball pitching in 1967.   I apologize for keeping it to myself for over thirty years.

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324.   Thanks for your reply.   I wasn't real clear on how I worded my email to you.   My son will be turn 19 during his senior year.   Also, I meant when he finished one half, he would continue to do the maintenance phase until the next half began.   Does that make any sense?

     The reason for doing 1/2 of the program is his senior year of baseball begins in February which would not allow to finish the entire program.   The 120 day would need to start in October which also coincides with football.   I don't want him doing anything that could be harmful.


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     Once he starts either program, his body will prepare to meet the training overload.   To be able to meet the training overload, his body requires about three weeks of every day training.   Once he stops training, such as dropping down to my maintenance levels, his body loses the ability to meet the training overload.   As a result, he would have to again prepare his body to meet the training overload with three more weeks of every day training.   During these adjustments, it is very easy for him to exceed his body's ability to withstand the stress and injure himself.

     I hoped that high school to-be-juniors and seniors baseball pitchers would start my 120-Day program immediately after their spring season.   In that way, they could complete the program before school resumed in the fall.

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325.   Thanks for the pitch sequencing advise.   I can't wait to throw to hitters.   They are all so stupid.   Just watching them get confused because someone throws a 3-2 curveball makes me laugh.   Sometimes, I think the hitters think that pitchers always throw the same pitches in each part of the count.   I can't wait to make them look stupid!

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     You must always throw every pitch with maximum intensity.   If you can throw two of three of every type of pitch for strikes with decent quality, no hitter will ever hit the baseball hard.   Therefore, your challenge is not the hitters, but only yourself and the strike zone.

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326.   I want to ask you about some discomfort I'm having.   The front part of my shoulder has some discomfort about an inch away from my armpit.   I also have some discomfort in the back of the shoulder.   What is causing the discomfort?

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     The discomfort on the front of the shoulder is the attachment of the Subscapularis muscle.   All muscle discomfort means that athletes have placed greater stress on a specific area than it can handle.   The Subscapularis muscle arises from the entire anterior under-surface of the Scapula bone and its tendon wraps around the head of the Humerus bone to attach to its lesser tuberosity.   When baseball pitchers forwardly rotate their shoulders (acromial line), the Subscapularis muscle pulls the Humerus bone forward.

     In the 'traditional' pitching motion, when pitchers point their pitching arm at the opposite mid-infielder, they take their pitching elbow behind their acromial line.   This 'loaded Scapula' position places tremendous unnecessary stress on the attachment of the Subscapularis muscle.   In your case, I believe that your work on moving directly from my 'Ready' position to my 'Loaded Slingshot' position has caused this discomfort.   Therefore, I believe that it is appropriate training discomfort, which means that as you continue to train, the attachment of the Subscapularis muscle will adapt and you will train through it.

     Discomfort in the back of the pitching shoulder, whether Latissimus Dorsi or Teres Major are signs that you are accelerating your pitching arm to greater release velocities than before and these deceleration muscles are adapting.   I believe that it is also appropriate training discomfort, which means that as you continue to train, the Latissimus Dorsi and Teres Major muscles will adapt and you will train through it.

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327.   My son is a D1 collegiate pitcher entering his senior year next fall.   He has had a couple of private pro scout workouts and hopes to go on to the next level following college.   He has recently been diagnosed with a partial tear of the UCL.   However, the doc recommends rehab instead of surgery.

     He is playing in a summer wood bat league, and since he is a good hitter/outfielder plans on playing outfield for a few weeks as he rehabs.   Can you comment on the success rate of rehabilitation?   Should he stop throwing entirely for now?   Our biggest fear is that he starts his senior year and suffers a rupture after he has used his final year of eligibility.


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     With its 'late pitching forearm turnover' and 'reverse pitching forearm bounce, the 'traditional' pitching motion inappropriately stresses the Ulnar Collateral Ligament.   That is why so many 'traditional' pitchers rupture this ligament.   It sounds to me that your son is on his way to UCL replacement surgery.

     The success rate for UCL rehabilitation is zero.   They do not have a viable rehabilitation program for the UCL.   It is a ligament, not a muscle.   The only answer is to stop using the 'traditional' pitching motion; to stop the 'late pitching forearm turnover,' to stop the 'reverse pitching forearm turnover.'

     He needs to complete my 315-Day Adult Baseball Pitchers Interval-Training Program.   He needs to learn my pitching motion.

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328.   I anxiously await your next video, and hope it fills in the rest of the blanks.   Thanks again for everything.   I have some more thoughts on getting your message out to the public, will get them to you shortly.

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     After nearly forty years of researching the pitching motion and how to teach my pitching motion, I have answered all the questions that I have about how pitchers should apply force to their pitches and how pitching coaches should teach them how to do it.   I will work as hard as I can to make my information easy to understand.   After this video, my work becomes getting this information out to all dads and baseball coaches.

     I appreciate all help whether it is suggestions on how to make the video better, how to get the information out or anything else.

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329.   Thank you for your quick reply.   I actually found a copy (papeback) at a used bookstore yesterday for 75 cents.   I appreciate your offer.

     F.Y.I.: I think you are the sole voice of reason in a field of subjective hogwash.   I was a former college pitcher and wish I could have come across your work when I was still playing.


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     Congratulations on your find.   As you can tell, unless buyers show that they are serious about using them, I am not anxious to sell these books.

     I appreciate your encouragement.   With your help and others, we will get rid of the subjectivity and introduce science and verifiable objectivity to the all levels of baseball.

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330.   I want to thank you for giving me throwing instruction a few weeks back.    I was the guy from Traverse City, Michigan (and currently living in Lakeland, Florida).

     Your dedication to the science of pitching and to those young men you assist is admirable.

     You did solicit feedback on your website and the only possible refinement I could see is to include pictures in your online book; especially in regards to pitching or exercise motions.    For example, as an athlete myself (and having taken various classes on sports), I have probably heard the terms pronation and supination 50 times.    For some reason, I can never remember which is which.    Anyway, a picture here and there would be worth many words, as they say.

       I don't know if I can return the favor for your instruction; perhaps edit a chapter of your book or something.   Thank you for your kindness to a stranger.


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     We appreciate that you took the time to visit us.   Please come back whenever you can.

     I agree that pictures with my online Coaching Baseball Pitchers book would be great.   I would love to do it and have explored and continue to explore putting all the segments of my 2002, 2004 and to-be-completed 2005 video on my website.   However, it appears that the best way would be for me to host my own website.   Until then, my videos will have to be the pictures for my book.

     I always accept editing assistance.   When I finish with my next video, I plan to revisit my entire book, some chapters of which I have not read for over twenty years.   If, after I post my revised chapters, you want to edit any or all chapters, I would appreciate it.

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331.   I should tell you a couple things about myself.   I never, ever, ever threw a pitch in a competetive baseball game.   This is probably why I understand your pitching theories better than anybody else.   I am not indoctranated with the pitching conclusions of non-scientific minds.   I am also a person who tells it like it is and also one who, when he is wrong, will admit it.

     I have a son and a daughter who are doctors.   I have 2 other sons who are jocks with college degrees.   My 2 jocks still believe you are way out there.   They followed you at St Leo's and believe all the negative input they heard about you.   However, my 2 doctors in the family think you are a genius which you truly are.

     My 2 jocks still play baseball in 3 different leagues and they are close to 40 yr. old now.   I accept, without any hard feelings, that will never see eye to eye with me on these new changes that are coming in pitching abd hitting instructions.   They are indoctrinated with the traditional ways of baseball.

     So, if I have to live with this in my own family, then I certainly can live with it outside of my family.   And, that's what happening in the professional baseball world to you and you program.   To overcome this we must continue to plug along and be cordial and understand the defiance against you is strictly bad human behavior.

     With that said, we must attack the jocks with continued scientific rebuttals that they understand.   So, when I approach you in the future, it is to break down some of your language so people can clearly see what your saying not assuming what you mean.

     I am the perfect interpreter you need, being that I have 2 scientific people and also 2 jocks in my family.   I already have the experience on how to handle their differences and I hope I can do the same here.   Your work effort over the past 40 years must not be in vain.


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     After, in my 2005 Baseball Pitching Instructional video, I explain the flaws in the 'traditional' pitching motion and the solutions in my pitching motion, I expect your two jocks with join us.   I never want blind acceptance.   I want everybody to question everything.   I believe that we can answer them.   Now, if they would only be as demanding with the 'traditional.'

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332.   What do you think of these conclusions on hitting?   There 4 spatial dimensions; height, width, depth and time.   To perform a perfect sports motion the motion must be timed perfectly in all 3 dimensions.   In hitting a baseball on a vertical plane {height}, there is a margin of error of one inch, the center of the ball in the impact zone.   On a horizontal plane {width}, there is a margin of error of 4 inches.   This is commonly called the sweet spot of the bat.

     When the ball reaches the impact area, {depth} a pitch on the inside corner is hit on front of the plate, a ball down the middle is hit farther back, and the ball on the outside corner is still hit farther back, when you draw a line from the inside pitch to the outside pitch it turns out to be at a 45 degree angle.   This is call the impact plane and the ball can be hit at a infinite number of locations along this plane.

     I use these studies to teach hitting and use this with another study that states if your are .017 thousands of a second late or early your missed the sweet spot.   This is very effective in giving hitting instructions because it gives scientific info in easy to understand baseball language.

     I was wondering if it is possible to create margins of error in all 4 dimensions of your pitching motion?   For example, the stride is the depth dimemsion, the shoulders the width, and bending the knee for height.


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     I think that our time is better spent trying to figure out how baseball batter should apply force to drive the center of mass of their baseball bats in straight lines to intersect with thrown baseballs.

     However, in 1965, after I took my high-speed film of baseball batting, I did verify the forty-five degree contact line.   Somewhere around here, I am sure that I have the report that I wrote on that study of baseball batting.

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333.   First of all, I threw yesterday!   I didn't do well though.   I walked 4 in one inning of work and they took me out.   It was a league game so, they wanted to try and win it.   The coach was understanding that it was my first time facing hitters in a game situation throwing this way.   He said he knew the first outing was going to be kind of rough, but not to upset about it.

     I was missing consistently high and my sinkers and sliders were in the dirt.   I never was way out of control though.   They were all chest high or at the ankles.   The hitters were so weirded out by the technique that they just sat in there and watched!   I got to 2 strikes on one guy, but then walked him.

     But, I can see how wigged out they were and how if I just throw strikes they wont hit at all!   Allot of people said I was throwing hard too.   So, that's good.

     Today, my arm has some major discomfort!   The back of my shoulder right by the armpit is really sore.   I guess you could say and when I press on it I can feel it in the front of my shoulder too!   I did my workout today and it feels a little better, but it's still really tender.   I also feel discomfort in the back of my shoulder, kind of under the deltoid.   If you could tell me what it is that would be great.

     I know I haven't hurt myself, but I've never felt this much discomfort before.   Its worse then the ulnar groove fascia!


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     The coach said that you should not be upset about not having perfect control.   You should be upset that he did not give you more pitches.   This is summer league.   Who cares about wins?   It was more important for you to learn how to get your fastballs lower and your sinker and sliders higher.   If he expects you to improve, then he needs to give you at least five batters every time you pitch.

     Your control problems sound to me like you did not pitch to enough batters in batting practice and game simulations.   Also, vertical inconsistency indicates that, rather than standing tall and rotating, you are bending at your waist.   I suspect that you are pulling your glove arm down to your waist, which forces your shoulders downward.   Your old habits die hard.

     All the discomforts that you mention relate to the natural increase in intensity that you placed on your body when you first pitch to hitters in game situations.   If you had first thrown to catchers off the game mound, then, thrown to batters in batting practice and, then, thrown to batters in game situations, you would have had several smaller regressions with lesser degree discomforts.   Unfortunately, you appear to have skipped these steps and dramatically jumped your intensity level.

     As a result, you may require several days for your body to overcome this discomfort.   To speed the recovery process, you must continue to train every day, but at reduced intensity.   Then, when the discomfort is gone, you should throw to catchers off the game mound, then throw to batters in batting practice, where you basically throw only fastballs, and then, throw to batters in simulated games.

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334.   Here's one you may find interesting.   Note: "Perfect Game" is the largest scouting/evaluation service in the country for ametuer baseball.

MOTION DNA JOINS PERFECT GAME:

     Motion DNA Corporation has joined the developmental forces of Perfect Game USA to bring innovative scouting technology to the baseball world.   Under the agreement, many professional and collegiate baseball prospects in 2005 and 2006 will receive a new analysis designed specifically to help measure the potential career longevity of a player.   Administered by a licensed Motion DNA professional, the test generates two scores for the athlete based upon the data from the player's motion.

     The first score, called the Biomechanical Efficiency Rating (BER), compares the player's motion DNA patterns to ideal biomechanics.   The BER gives the player an indication of potential unnecessary stress that may be absorbed by the player's joints and muscles while running, hitting, or pitching.   Based upon the results, the players receive an Injury Risk Score (IRS), which indicates the risk of injury every time the player performs that specific skill.   (Example: A pitcher who throws 100 balls a day, and receives an IRS of 46.5 is at risk for injuring his elbow or shoulder almost every other time he throws the ball.

     "This is great for baseball," said Frank Fulton, Director of Business Development for Perfect Game USA.   "This test is very beneficial to the players.   It can reduce a player's need for surgical procedures that are happening way too often, especially to younger athletes."

     "This assessment can identify for an athlete early in their career the need to either get stronger in specific areas, or make small changes to their mechanics," added Zig Ziegler, President of Motion DNA.   "A lower score does not mean a player is not a good prospect.   It is an indication that the player may need more time to recover from high output training and playing days. By knowing they are at risk, a player can quickly work to improve their score because our assessment can tell them exactly what areas they need to work on."

     Over the last three years, over 35,000 baseball and softball players have received Motion DNA's analysis.   Currently priced between $250 and $500 per test, the assessment should help developing players reach their potential in professional or college sports up to three times faster than the average.   With regular Motion DNA testing, development time related to physical skills can be cut to one year or less.


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     With regard to how baseball pitchers should apply force to their pitches, I suspect that these guys believe that the 'traditional' pitching motion is their 'ideal biomechanics.'   As a result, their Biomechanical Efficiency Rating (BER) is without merit.

     Don't waste your money.

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335.   I found a new motion analysis tool that might come in handy when explaining your motion in your videos.   Thought you might be interested.   It is called Motion Pro and accoring to claims can be used by almost any camera system.   It is also quite inexpensive.

     I am using a plastic clothesline tied between two trees to teach your drive line.   So far it is working pretty well.   I have my son start at the back of the drive line with the plastic clothesline between his index and middle finger.   He slowly follows this line to the position where the ball would be released and then pronates his arm while still at release height.   Oh yeah, I have him start his motion with his glove foot forward.   I am still learning too, but I am getting better!

     Also, I am using a 3 lb ball from Danskin sold by Wal-Mart for my iron ball routines (about the size of a softball),   It is easier to grasp and I can work indoors with it.   I am also not quite strong enough to use the heavier balls.   It is helping me get better spin on the ball and it is increasing my forearm and triceps muscles.   My son is not using the ball for drills, but just tosses it from hand to hand when watching TV to help strengthen his forearms a bit.

     Question: Are there diminishing returns on the ball spin on moving pitches like the screwball and curveball?   It seems the faster it spins, the less it seems to break or is that just my lack of ability?


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     Thanks for the information.   However, to analyze the force that my pitchers apply to their pitches, I use high-speed sixteen millimeter film, not videotape.

     At the early stages, the clothesline idea might help.   With my wrist weight exercises, I have my pitchers work into a mirror.   When he practices my drills, you might have your son look into a mirror.   He needs to see where his pitching arm and whether it agrees with where he feels it is.

     In my next video, I am going to recommend that biological ten year olds use two and one-half pound wrist weights and biological thirteen year olds use five pound wrist weights.   I believe that the additional, but limited weight, will help them become more proprioceptively aware.   I already recommend that biological sixteen year olds use ten pound wrist weights and a six pound iron ball.   I will also recommend that biological thirteen year olds use the three pound iron ball, but the one that is the size of a baseball, not softball.

     I have no problem with your son using the three pound iron ball to do my Middle Fingertip Spins drill.

     The greater the spin velocity of correctly spinning Maxline Pronation Curves and Maxline True Screwballs, the more that they will change direction on their way toward home plate.   Therefore, either you have incorrectly analyzed their spin velocity, their movement or you do not have the correct spin axes, where the seams collide with the air molecules.

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336.   My 13 year old son (biologically I suspect he is older) is a catcher for his Middle school team ( a 10 week season, four days a week) and also plays competitive water polo in the spring and summer (2 days a week during baseball season and 5 days a week during the summer.

     I have trained him to the best of my ability with your throwing technique for the last 2 years using your DVD.   He has not complained of any elbow problems of shoulder problems, with exception of an occasional elbow icing after a practice, i.e., 2 or 3 times this past season.   Does it make sense to have his arm X-rayed just to keep an eye on any potential problems?   I would like to stay ahead of the curve.   If so, what should I request from the orthopedist?


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     Unless he suffers some traumatic event for which a physician requires an X-ray, I recommend that you only have X-rays taken of his glove and pitching elbows lateral and anterior within one week of his birthday from eleven years old through sixteen years old.

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337.   Stay with me on this, I can't get it all down in 1 email:   it will probably takes a couple of them.

     I totally agree that that first priority is to apply force to the center of mass of baseball bats in a straight line to intersect the ball.   But, the hitter must have a specific area of a movable target to aim at and where to put the bat to hit the ball in the center of percussion of this movable target.   The batter must time the bat to the timing of the ball and he has to make adjustments, when he sees that the ball is not moving in a straight line.

     For example, what do I tell a 9 year old hitter, when his youth baseball coach has taught him for 2 years to swing straight down on top of the ball, he even has specific drills for this style of hittin?   I want to correct him to hit the center of mass of the ball, one square inch with a downward swing.   He certainly would think that I saying the same thing as his youth coach if I give him oral instructions, so I present photos and drawing to point out the difference in what I teach from his youth coach.

     Same with pitching:   Say I giving instructions to a 9 year old, the pitcher first and foremost must drive the center of mass of his pitching motion in a straight line.   But, he has to throw the pitch in a target area {strike zone} and it is obvious he can throw perfectly every time, but how much margin of error does he have to stay within the perimerters of staying on target even when he throwing in a straight line motion?


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     For baseball batting, I recommend that batters drive the center of mass of their baseball bat horizontally through the contact zone.   I have my batters first practice with balls thrown at the top of the strike zone and away from where they stand.

     Because I have my batters hold their baseball bat horizontal slightly above their shoulders, they do not have to lower the center of mass of the bat to reach the top of the strike zone.

     Also, because, during the early learning stages, I want to minimize the body action, I have my batters first practice with balls thrown on the opposite side of home plate from where they stand.

     Also, to not have either arm control the actions of the other arm, I have my batters swing with only their rear arm and with only their front arm.

     I would have young batters start with the ball on an appropriately placed tee with whiffle balls and a whiffle bat.   After they showed sufficient fitness and skill to correctly hit the teed ball through the infield opening between either the first and second basemen or the third baseman and shortstop, I would have skilled whiffle ball throwers throw the balls to the top of the strike zone on the side of home plate away from where they stand (high and away).

     After they show sufficient fitness and skill to correctly hit the thrown ball to the proper infield opening, I would have skilled whiffle ball throwers throw the balls to the middle of the strike zone on the side of home plate away from where they stand (middle and away) and again tell the batters to hit the ball through the proper infield opening on the opposite side of the field.

     I would continue this process for the bottom of the strike zone on the side of home plate away from where they stand (low and away) and again tell the batters to hit the ball through the proper infield opening on the opposite side of the field.

     I would proceed to pitches high, middle and low in the middle of home plate and tell batters to hit the ball through the infield opening between the second baseman and shortstop.

     I would proceed to pitches high, middle and low on the inside of home plate and tell batters to hit the ball through the infield opening between either the third baseman and shortstop or first and second basemen on the pull side of the field.

     I would repeat the process with tennis balls and a striking implement that weighs about one-half the weight of their baseball bat.

     Lastly, I would repeat the process with baseballs and baseball bats.

     I would never tell them that they have to place the center of mass of their baseball bat to within one inch of the center of mass of the baseball with a downward swing.

     With regards to baseball pitching:   I would tell my baseball pitchers to drive the baseball straight toward home plate.   Because they can see where the baseball goes, I would not mention margins of error.

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338.   That's terrific info.   I hope you don't mind me using it.   I will give you full credit whenever I teach it.   Also, I have invented a new batting tee, where I can implement all your hitting spots without using chairs for high pitches and moving the tee for lower pitches and outside pitches etc.   I can even move the ball to simulate hitting breaking pitches so there is no need to throw or even soft toss.   So your hitting drills come at a perfect time.

     To move on to another subject:   Is it better to have a slow rather than a fast rhythm, on the momentum of the lower and middle body parts, before a batter and a pitcher acclerates their arm to hit and pitch?


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     I recommend that batting coaches only use tees for the initial phase of the youngsters learning how to properly use their rear and front arms.   After that, I prefer that they only hit balls thrown from the direction of the pitching rubber and thrown on straight lines to the appropriate locations.   I have my throwers sit behind a heavily reinforced chain link fence metal front stop protector, such that, after they throw the balls over the top, the front stop completely protects their throwing arm and all other parts of their body.   Batters must respond in practice to the same stimuli that they see in competition.

     On ballistic sport skills, such as pitching and batting, the acceleration graph of the critical center of mass should show uniformity until it reaches the moment of ballistic action.   For example, the moment of ballistic action for baseball pitching starts with the rapid forward rotation of the acromial line.   Then, the acceleration graph should have a steep upward slope through release.   It is critically important that baseball pitchers enter that steep upward slope from a positive velocity.

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339.   So, if it is 2 months after his 13th birthday, do I have him X-rayed now, or wait until 14?

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     I recommend that parents X-ray their youth pitcher's glove and pitching elbow within one week of their birthdays from eleven years old through sixteen years old.   In your case, I would X-ray him now and again within one week of his fourteenth, fifteenth and sixteenth birthdays.   Then, you and he can better understand the growth and development of his growth plates and make informed decisions about how much he pitches.

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340.   The attached photo shows one of the pitchers on our Legion baseball team as he is about to release the ball.   Is this an example of "Reverse forearm bounce"?   He is 15 1/2 years old and is a rising junior in high school.

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     No, it is not an example of 'reverse pitching forearm bounce.'   The 'reverse pitching forearm bounce' occurred earlier when he started his pitching elbow forward while his pitching forearm still had not completed his 'late pitching forearm turnover.'

     The snapshot caught your son's pitching arm half-way through the 'pitching forearm flyout' flaw of his 'traditional' pitching motion.   I hope that he was not trying to use my pitching motion.

     You should recognize that:

01.   The toe of his pitching foot still contacts the ground a little more than six inches in front of his pitching rubber.

02.   The closed stride of the 'traditional' pitching motion:
     a.   stopped the forward movement of his center of mass,
     b.   forced him to move his center of mass toward his pitching arm side and
     c.   prevented him from forwardly rotating his hips and shoulders.

03.   He turned the toe of his glove foot inwardly, which also prevented him from forwardly rotating his hips and shoulders.

04.   He pulled his glove hand downward to his waist, which forced him to bend forward at his waist.

     Next time, get a picture from behind the catcher of his release.   You will see how the centripetal force he generates by using his pitching upper arm to pull his pitching forearm forward slings his pitching forearm laterally away from his body, such that he slams the olecranon process of his pitching elbow into its fossa.

     Isn't the 'traditional' pitching motion wonderful?

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341.   I'm using your video as a reference.   My screwball has improved  nicely since.    But, I can't get any significant change of speed by using the 2-S and 4-S grip.   Bill Stoneman, who had a great curve then (you must remember) was able to change speed and break as much as 4-5 times.   What can I do other than using 2 different grips with my screwball to change speed?

      I know you threw your screwball with different spins, but were you changing speed then?


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     When baseball pitchers throw baseballs as hard as they can, but, rather than drive through the middle of the baseball, they apply force to the edges, the result is that the baseball assumes higher spin velocities with lower horizontal velocities.   When baseball pitchers apply force closer to the edge of the baseballs, they achieve greater spin velocities and lesser horizontal velocities.   If baseball pitchers throw the baseball with two seams colliding with air molecules, then the air molecules will not decelerate the baseball as much as it would were four seams colliding with air molecules.

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342.   Stay with me on this:

     If all motion travels in a straight line, then to make motion go in a crooked line it must be acted on by an outside force.   In pitching a baseball, the outside forces that make the pitcher in a circular motion are his hips and his shoulder joint since they are circular forces.

     If a mass of motion gains velocity by an uninterrupted flow of motion and loses velocity by friction stopping or slowing down the motion, then reverse rotation and any premature flexion of the joints will be the cause of loss of velocity and control in a pitchers' motion.

     Once the center of mass moves the muscle flow, uninterupted from the feet up through the pitching hand, when does the center of mass transfer from the pitching hand to the ball?

     I hope this isn't toooo juvenile.


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     Sir Isaac Newton talked about how objects moved.   He was concerned with the laws of motion.

     His first law of motion stated;   A body continues in a state of rest or in uniform motion unless an unbalanced force acts on it.   This means that;

01.   when an object is not moving (at rest), unless someone or something applies force to it, will continue to not move, or

02.   when an object is moving, unless someone or something applies force to it, will continue to move in a straight line (uniformly).

     I talk about how athletes should apply force to objects.   I am concerned about how athletes should apply force.   I call these, my laws of force application.

     My first law of force application states:   Athletes should apply force to the center of mass of objects in straight lines.

     It does not matter that hips and shoulders rotate.   The only thing that matters is how athletes apply force to the center of mass of the object in question.   If athletes apply force to the center of mass of objects along a curved pathway, then, as Newton said, because the center of mass of the object will continue to move in a straight line, they will have to take force, that they could apply to increase release velocity, to keep the object on the curved pathway.

     You wrote, "If a mass of motion gains velocity by an uninterrupted flow of motion and loses velocity by friction stopping or slowing down the motion, then reverse rotation and any premature flexion of the joints will be the cause of loss of velocity and control in a pitchers' motion."

     When athletes apply force to objects, they accelerate those objects.   When objects are in flight in Earth's atmosphere, air molecules and gravity apply forces to them and the objects decelerate and stop.   When baseball pitchers reverse rotate their acromial line beyond a straight line toward home plate, they cannot apply force to the baseball in a straight line toward home plate.

     When, during the portion of the acceleration phase that precedes the rapid forward rotation of the acromial line, baseball pitchers flex their elbow joint, they move the baseball forward too soon, such that when they start the rapid forward rotation of their acromial line, the baseball briefly stops moving forward.   As a result, they actually decelerate the baseball, which means that they only add whatever force they generate during the rapid forward rotation of their acromial to that decreased velocity.

     If, during the portion of the acceleration phase that precedes the rapid forward rotation of the acromial line, baseball pitchers keep their pitching arm in my 'loaded slingshot' position, then when they start the rapid forward rotation of their acromial line, the baseball would have a positive velocity on which to add that force.

     I hope that my explanation is not toooo scientific.   However, because I am the only biomechanist to have studied this phenomenon, I suspect that it is.

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343.   Thank you for responding to my question and clarifying when the reverse pitching forearm bounce occurs in the traditional pitching motion.   I didn't realize that it was as soon as you described.

     The boy in the picture is not my son.   He's a boy I coached in basketball a few years ago and is now on the same Legion baseball team as my oldest son.   His parents were telling me how dissapointed they were in the lack of pitching mechanic instruction he was getting from his high school coach.   I told them that I was happy my son was not pitching in high school because of the strain the traditional pitching motion places on the bones and tissues of the pitching arm.   I informed them about your research and pitching mechanics and recommended that they visit your website for more details.

     I'll pass your comments on to them.   Maybe your comments will spur them to start reading your website.


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     I should have read your email more carefully.   You did say that the young man was one of the pitchers on your Legion team.   Sorry.

     I also apologize to everybody that have not put a video together that shows and explains the flaws in the 'traditional' pitching motion.   In my defense, I thought that, before I show and explain those flaws, to be taken seriously, I should have solutions to those flaws.   With the work that the kids in my 2004-2005 315-Day Adult Baseball Pitchers Interval-Training group and I accomplished this past year, I feel that I can answer any question that anybody can have, including myself, about how baseball pitchers should properly apply force to their pitches.   Now, I only need to find the time to do it.

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344.   Would you say that throwing a baseball over-handed is an unnatural motion for the human body to perform?   If your answer is yes, then would you say then that most human beings use the wrong instincts when he throws the ball overhand.   If the answer is no, I have another question in my next email.

     I like to play DEVIL'S ADVOCATE.   If, as you say that, during the portion of the acceleration phase that precedes the rapid forward rotation of their acromial line, baseball pitchers keep their pitching arm in YOUR slingshot position, then they will have a positive velocity on which to add force.

     Well, if you take another look at that famous Sports Illustrated picture of Kerry Wood and Mark Pryor, it looks like they have their arms in a slingshot position.   I admit it's above the acromial line and the acromial line is perpendicular to home plate.   So, what else is different from your slingshot position and that particular picture?


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     The criteria that I use to determine whether any movement that humans perform is natural or unnatural is:   Do the majority of muscles about the joint in question positively apply force, either mioanglosly or plioanglosly, without unnecessary stress that would eventually damage the involved bones, ligaments or tendons?

     Using that criteria, with regard to baseball pitching, the thirty-six muscles directly involved with my pitching arm do all positively apply mioanglos and plioanglos force.   Therefore, my baseball pitching motion is an extremely natural movement for humans to perform.   That is why no pitcher that I have trained can throw every day and has ever injured his pitching arm.

     'Traditional' pitching coaches cannot say the same.   They should be ashamed of themselves.

     Whether most human beings use the wrong instincts when they throw baseballs overhand, I would say no.   Infielders and outfielders use the 'Crow-hop' throwing rhythm without damaging their throwing arms.

     'Traditional' pitching coaches and the mis-interpretation of the baseball rule book regarding the necessity of the Set Position interfere with the natural instincts that young human beings have about how to throw over-hand.   It is the 'balance position' pitching rhythm of the 'traditional' Set Position that causes the problem.

     If baseball pitchers use the 'Crow-hop' rhythm, raise their pitching hand to driveline height at the same time that they raise their pitching elbow to shoulder height, point their glove arm at home plate, point their pitching arm at second base and drive their pitching hand straight toward home plate, then they would not damage their pitching arms.

     After all, it is because so many 'traditional' pitchers injure their pitching arms that 'experts' incorrectly state that over-hand throwing is unnatural.

     The Sports Illustrated side-by-side photographs of Kerry Wood and Mark Pryor captured both gentlemen near the moment that they would release their pitches.   Release of the baseball occurs at the end of the acceleration phase.   These photographs demonstrate the extreme 'pitching forearm flyout' flaw of the 'traditional' pitching motion.

     My 'Loaded Slingshot' position occurs at the start of the acceleration phase.

     The acromial line is the line between the acromial tips of both shoulders that extends outwardly in both directions.   We can only view from overhead.   The shoulder line is the line across the top of the shoulders that also extends outwardly.   We can only view from the back, front or side views.

     These pictures demonstrate that all baseball pitchers can only raise their pitching upper arm to a line that is parallel with the shoulder line.   Therefore, because no 'traditional' baseball pitchers can achieve any degrees of separation between the longitudinal axes of their pitching upper arm and pitching forearm, they cannot have their pitching forearm vertical at release.

     Any degrees of separation between the longitudinal axes of the pitching upper arm and the pitching forearm of 'traditional' baseball pitchers occurs due to the loss of their pitching arm extension range of motion, which results from their 'pitching forearm flyout' continually slamming their olecranon process into its fossa.

     With my pitching motion, because of the powerful pitching forearm pronation action that I teach, my pitchers typically achieve thirty degrees of separation between the longitudinal axes of their pitching upper arm and pitching forearm.   As a result, with only sixty degree leans of their shoulder line toward their glove side, my pitchers can achieve vertical pitching forearms at release.

     As a result, they can throw my Maxline Pronation Curve and Maxline True Screwball with over-spin, such that the baseball spins not only with a horizontal spin axis, but beyond.   That, along with the lateral force that they apply toward the pitching arm side of home plate, explains why these pitches move to the pitching arm side of home plate.

     However, your observation that, at release, Mr. Wood and Mr. Pryor only forwardly rotate their acromial line to perpendicular to their driveline toward home plate is right on the money.   Because my pitchers release their pitchers with their acromial lines forwardly rotated well beyond perpendicular to home plate, they release their pitches closer to home plate.

     Remember, before the 2004 spring training, when Tom House received all that attention from ESPN and others about how he was teaching pitchers how to release their pitches closer to home plate?   On ESPN, Randy Johnson said that, now, his fastball will get to home plate even earlier than before.   He expected even greater success.

     Instead, he injured his glove knee, required surgery and missed most of the season.

     You see, instead of teaching Mr. Johnson how to forwardly rotate his acromial line beyond perpendicular to his driveline to home plate, Mr. House told Mr. Johnson to stride farther with his glove foot.   All this did was to put more stress on his glove knee at a less stable angle and his knee buckled.

     Mr. Peterson, then pitching coach for the Oakland Athletics, also taught Mr. Mueller and Mr. Hudson to stride farther.   As a result, Mr. Mueller suffered a hairline fracture of his glove hip and Mr. Hudson injured his back.

       Once again, Mr. House does not know what he is talking about, injures pitchers and, what is worse, shows no concern.   Perhaps, along with the six or seven pitchers from his and all other major league teams during the 1970s, he can blame it on all the steroids that he took, or, was it that he and his teammates did not take enough?

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345.   There is no reason for you to apologize about anything related to your research!   Without you, there would be absolutely no scientific information available explaining why pitching arm injuries occur.

     Baseball has been in the Dark Ages since the 1800's regarding proper pitching mechanics and it's only through your research that that period is about to end.   I just hope you live to see the acceptance of your research by baseball coaches and players at all levels.

     I don't mean to be morbid, but its ridiculous how organized baseball has consistently rejected your research as hundreds of players each year hurt their arms pitching at all levels of baseball.   Its also ridiculous how parents, players, and coaches have come to accept "Tommy John" surgery as an acceptable treatment for high school pitchers.   That is beyond my comprehension.

     Those same people reject out of hand the possibility that a different way of throwing a baseball exists and could prevent arm injuries in the first place.   I don't know what event will have to take place to open their eyes to your research.   Maybe you need to mail your thesis and videos to the door of Commissioner Bud Selig's office to start the Reformation of Baseball.


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     I am doing everything that I can to insure that I live all the years that this body can achieve.   However, with the Wall of Ignorance fighting me at most high schools, junior colleges and colleges and all professional levels, I think that I will have to wait for today's ten year olds to master my pitching motion and refuse to change, then star in high school and knock of college doors.   I will try to hang on.

     I am very excited about the Flaws and Solutions section of my 2005 Baseball Pitching Instructional video.   I have high hopes that it will turn the tide.

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346.   Your explanation was not tooo scientific, it is pppppperfect.   I think I have been writing you for 4 or 5 years.   Five years ago, it would be over my head.   Toooo bad everybody that writes you doesn't have the knowledge I have learned from emailing you.   I enjoy these instructive emails very much.   More to come.

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     Without you and others like you, I would not be able to explain baseball pitching, as I understand it, to everybody.   You and they make my day.

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347.   Again, Great Stuff.   I understand everything clearly, but I am fuzzy on the last 2 paragraphs.   I wish you had diagrams or pictures frames to show me.   THIS IS THE LAST PIECE OF THE REMBRANDT YOU DESCRIBE.

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     These are the last two paragraphs of the last email that I sent you.

     "With my pitching motion, because of their powerful pitching forearm pronation action, my pitchers typically achieve thirty degrees of separation between the longitudinal axes of their pitching upper arm and pitching forearm.   As a result, with a sixty degree lean of their shoulder line toward their glove side, my pitchers can achieve a vertical pitching forearm at release.

     Therefore, they can throw my Maxline Pronation Curve and Maxline True Screwball with over-spin, such that the baseball spins not only with a horizontal spin axis, but beyond.   That, along with the lateral force that they apply toward the pitching arm side of home plate, explains why these pitches move to the pitching arm side of home plate."

     If you place a compass on either Mr. Wood's or Mr. Pryor's pictures, you will see that their pitching forearm is about forty-five degrees above horizontal.   Because of the extreme pitching forearm flyout flaw of their 'traditional' pitching motion, except for their loss of pitching elbow extension range of motion, the longitudinal axis of their pitching forearms line up with the longitudinal axis of their pitching upper arms.   Therefore, they have leaned their shoulder line about forty-five degrees to their glove side.

     With zero degrees of separation between these longitudinal axes, neither Mr. Wood nor Mr. Pryor can get their pitching forearm vertical at release.   This means that they cannot throw pitches that require a horizontal spin axis.   That is, they cannot throw my Maxline Fastball, Maxline Pronation Curve, Maxline True Screwball or Torque Fastball.   Therefore, they not only injure their pitching arms, they cannot throw high-quality pitches with a variety of movements.

     My pitchers commonly achieve thirty degrees of separation.   As a result, to get their pitching forearm vertical at release and throw my high-quality pitches with a variety of movements, they can lean sixty degrees to their glove side.

     The math is simple.   Thirty degrees of separation plus sixty degrees of lean equals ninety degrees.   Ninety degrees from horizontal is vertical.

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348.   I believe you say that your pitchers pronate throughout the driveline on all their pitches.   If you could explain this on your video it would be great.

     If the anterior surface of the wrist is turned slightly outward as you start toward home plate for your maxline fastball, I don't understand how a pitcher could pronate any more than that until after he released the pitch.

     Have you ever tried having the anterior surface of the wrist turned inward 45 degrees to start the maxline fastball?   It seems to me that, if you did that, you would be able to pronate throughout the driveline and still release the ball with the wrist turned slightly outward.


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     In my 'Ready' position, which is just before my pitchers start their acceleration phase, I want them to have their pitching palm facing away from their body.   This means that I want the anterior surface of their pitching wrist facing away from their body.

     The reasons are twofold:

01.   When baseball pitchers have their pitching palm facing away from their body before they start their acceleration phase, the anatomy of their pitching elbow prevents them from taking their pitching forearm, wrist, hand and fingers laterally behind their body.

02.   When baseball pitchers have their pitching palm facing away from their body before they start their acceleration phase, the start of all pitches appear the same and batters have to wait to see the spin on the baseball before they can react to the pitch.   Too late.

     But, your question asks whether baseball pitchers could pronate their pitching forearm more if they positioned their pitching forearm differently in my 'Ready' position.

     It is true that in my pitching palm faces away from the body position, my pitchers can only pronate one hundred and eighty degrees from palm facing outward with the pitching thumb on the top to palm facing outward with the pitching thumb on the bottom.

     It would appear that if we had baseball pitchers have their pitching palm facing downward in my 'Ready' position, then they could pronate two hundred and seventy degrees.   Unfortunately, that would result in 'late pitching forearm turnover,' which would generate 'reverse pitching forearm bounce,' which, as we know, causes very serious pitching arm injuries.

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349.   You had a reader in last week's questions thank you for helping him with his team's hitting.   He mentioned your step to hit technique.   I go to a local park to hit with my son.   His high school team has him hit with an open stance and not step.   So that is how he has been hitting.   He had been coming real close to hitting the ball over the fence, but could not quite do it.   I had him try taking a step then swinging and after about 50 pitches he lined a couple of ball about 20 feet over the fence.   Once again, thank you.

My questions:   Do you decide then step or step then decide?   I have read that you should step on every pitch then decide if you want to swing.   Do you subscribe to this?   Also, when your hitters step does their weight come forward as they step?


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     That reader uses the 'step to hit' language, not me.   While I agree that baseball batters have to start their center of mass forward with every pitch, I would talk about the rear arm action as though batters were throwing a straight rear arm punch in boxing.   I teach that batters should drive their rear shoulder into the baseball and, when the baseball enters the contact zone, they should extend their rear elbow and pronate their rear forearm, wrist, hand and fingers.

     Then, if they properly time their front arm pullback, they will create a force-coupling between their two arms that will greatly increase the forward movement of the center of mass of their baseball bat.

     Like boxers 'load' their rear arm in anticipation of the proper moment to throw their straight rear arm punch, baseball batters should 'load' their rear arm in anticipation of recognizing where the baseball will enter the contact zone.   Then, when they see the baseball enter the contact zone, they should attack it.

     I suppose that I want baseball batters ready to step, but, until they recognize where the pitch will enter the contact zone, they should wait to step.

     With their center of mass 'loaded' over their rear foot, as soon as they step forward with their front foot, they should drive their center of mass forward with a powerful push off their rear foot as they start to forwardly rotate their hips and shoulders.

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350.   We met "Goose" Gossage today!   It was pretty neat.   Our team played and Goose has a son on the other team.   I asked my dad to go talk to him to see if he knew you.

     Well, my dad ended up talking to him for the whole game.

     I threw a bull pen during the game and he came and watched.   He said it was the funkiest thing he had ever seen.   The cool part was he didn't ever know what I was throwing!   I was throwing torque fastballs and he could not believe the movement I was getting.   He kept telling my dad that it moved more then a slider.   He also said that my screwball would get hitters out all the time, but he thought it was a curveball.   When my dad told him it was a screwball, he just gave me a funny look and shook his head.   I'm getting 12/6 spin on it and its breaking hard down and a little away.

     It was fun to talk about the mechanics though.   He couldn't understand how I was getting the velocity I was getting though.   He said it looked like I wasn't using my lower half.   My dad explained it to him, but I'm not sure if he got it though.

     He gave me some advice.   He said to throw the ball belt high in the middle of the zone and let it move.   Man, I haven't heard that before!

     It was really funny though because I was watching him work with this guys mechanics and he seems like he is trying to get the same things we are (hand up before body starts forward, incorporating the crow hop, not reverse rotating, having separation and not flying out etc.).   But, he just doesn't know how to get the pitchers to do that.   He can't, throwing traditional.

     My dad really made him think though.   He was very interested!   So, I thought that was pretty cool.   I also asked him if he knew you and he said "oh yeah!".   He said you were a freak!

     Pitching is going well.   I still have discomfort in the back and front of the shoulder and, now, the tricep and finger flexors too!   I just keep throwing though and it is getting better.   I just can't wait until I come out of it and throw hard.   With no more elbow bounce, my velocity as well as accuracy has improved.

     I'm really working on throwing it to the middle of the strike zone and letting it move.   I just got to trust it is going to move!   I stilll have the traditional frame of mind lodged deep in my brain.   I keep thinking of hitting my spots and throwing away alot.   I'll get it out of there though.   After observing alot of hitters, I realize no one likes high inside strikes.   Most guys don't even swing!

     As soon as this discomfort comes down, I'm going to start pitching in games consistently.   I can't wait.   I am really excited to see hitters look dumb.


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     You guys are having way too much fun.

     As an example of what is worst about the 'traditional' pitching motion, I am sure that Mr. Gossage did not have any idea what you were doing.

     I am pleased to hear that he recognized that our Torque Fastball moves more than 'traditional' sliders, but with fastball velocity.   However, his response to our Maxline True Screwball surprised me.   Most baseball people think that our Maxline Pronation Curve is a screwball, not that our Maxline True Screwball is a curve.   But, it shows that you are achieving the horizontal spin axis that we want.

     I also do not understand how he could say that you do not use your lower half.   You almost jump forward with your pitching leg.   He must think that, to properly use your legs, you need to twist your hips backward and swing your glove leg way backward.   He, like most other 'traditional' pitching coaches do not realize that all that does is generate centripetal force that slings the pitching forearm laterally away from the body.

     I find it interesting that he would immediately try to incorporate some of our basic concepts.   If he incorporates the 'Crow-hop' throwing rhythm, then he will teach his kids how to get their pitching hand up to driveline height before they start their body forward, which will prevent 'reverse pitching forearm bounce' and protect the inside of their pitching elbow.   If he gets his kids to stop taking their pitching arm beyond second base, then he will protect the front of their pitching shoulder.   If he gets his kids to pronate their pitching forearm, then he will prevent 'pitching forearm flyout,' get some degrees of separation and protect the back of their pitching elbow.

     I assume that your dad told him about my website.

     The way that baseball people tried to diminish my accomplishments was to say that I was a physical freak, that nobody else could ever do what I did.   In that way, they can ignore me as an aberration and keep me out of the Hall of Fame.   Mr. Gossage was a great pitcher.   But, look it up.   Neither he, Fingers, Eckersley or any other closer ever came close to doing what I did.

     I am glad to hear that you have learned how to move from my 'Ready' position to my 'Loaded Slingshot' position.   That will increase your release velocity and consistency.   Now, you just have to pitch my sequences.   Trust them, they worked for me and you throw more pitches that I did.

     You need to keep throwing bullpens, batting practice and simulated games.   The regression discomfort that you feel comes from trying to do too much too soon.   But, as you continue to train through it, it will go and you will be stronger for it.

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351.   Are or do the last 2 paragraphs pertain to the beginning of the rapid acceleration movement?   Also, when this rapid accleration is over and the pitch is released, what position are the shoulders? Are they perfectly parallel with home or is the left shoulder 10 degrees, 20, 30 0r even 40 leaning toward glove side?

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     When I talk about degrees of separation, I am referring to the position of the pitching forearm relative to the pitching upper arm at the moment that pitchers release their pitches.

     As soon as pitchers release their pitches, they should start decelerating their pitching arm.   Therefore, release is the end stage of the acceleration phase.

     If pitchers have the line across the top of their shoulders horizontal (what you call, parallel), their pitching upper arm would also be horizontal.   This is an anatomical reality.   It does not matter whether they use the 'traditional' pitching motion or mine.

     However, with the 'traditional' pitching motion, unless they have already lost some pitching elbow extension range of motion, their pitching forearm cannot be any higher than the line across the top of their shoulders.

     With degrees of separation, my pitcher can get their pitching forearm above the line across the top of the shoulders.   Therefore, with the proper lean of the shoulder line to their glove side and sufficient degrees of separation, my pitchers can have their pitching forearm vertical at release.

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352.   The unnatural movement I was