Questions/Answers 2007

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001.  I am interested in offering your 60-day youth baseball pitchers motor skill acquisition programs to biological 9-12 year olds in my area.  If I were to do this, I would require the following:

1.  I would meet with the parents before the beginning of the program to explain your philosophies, to explain the program, and to have them watch your instructional video.

2.  Before beginning the program, I would require all participants to participate in your research study by getting X-rays of their throwing and glove arms to determine their biological ages.

3.  I would correspond with you about any questions that myself, the kids, or the parents have before beginning the program and while going through the program.

Would you mind if I used your materials to do this?


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     To eliminate pitching injuries in youth baseball pitchers, we need thousands like you across the world.

01.  For parents to make informed decisions, they need to understand the dangers and benefits in what their children do.  This is exactly the first step that all who teach children anything should take.  If 'traditional' baseball pitching coaches told parents the truth about what the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion does to their children, then parents would never entrust them with the well-being of their children.

02.  For the parents to understand the relationship between chronological age, biological age and how youth baseball pitching influences the growth and development of the growth plates in the pitching elbows of their youth baseball pitchers, they need to have the X-rays taken within one week of their sons' birthdays.  With this one difference, I strongly agree with this requirement.  You should also train the parents on how to 'read' the X-rays.

03.  I will be happy to participate in these coaching endeavors in any way that I can.  You should give the parents my email address and tell them that if they ever have any questions about my baseball pitching motion, the 60-Day programs or whatever, they can talk with me directly.

04.  This last requirement is not on your list, but an extremely good idea.  On Saturday, January 13th and Sunday, January 14th, 2007, I am holding a Certification Clinic for all interested in how to teach my baseball pitching motion and my Motor Skill Acquisition and Interval-Training Programs.  I recommend that you and as many other youth baseball pitching coaches as you know or can find to join us in beautiful Zephyrhills, FL.

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002.  I have copied an article below about Tommy John becoming a manager.  Do you think he will give your guy Jeff Sparks or any other pitchers who use your motion a shot?

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The Bridgeport Bluefish have reached a three-year managerial contract with baseball legend Tommy John.

John won 288 games pitching for the New York Yankees and several other ball clubs over a 26-year career.  He has the most wins of any pitcher in the history of Major League Baseball not to be inducted into the Hall of Fame, and he has the fifth most wins of any lefthander in major league history.

John is equally known for becoming the first professional athlete to undergo ulnar collateral ligament reconstruction.  Now known as Tommy John surgery, the procedure replaces damaged medial ligament in the elbow with a ligament from another part of the body.


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     Thank you for the heads up.

     TJ stopped by my Pitching Research/Training Center last spring.  He was certainly impressed with the quality of the pitches that my guys threw and my training program.  As I have already written, to help in his rehabilitation from Ulnar Collateral Ligament replacement surgery, I showed TJ how to do some of the program that I teach today.  Therefore, he is well aware of the benefits of my baseball pitching motion and interval-training programs.

     I will send him my congratulations and see what he has in mind.  However, Jeff was recently accepted into Fireman Training School in Tampa.  Therefore, although he still trains every day, I'm not sure that he is interested.

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003.  Thank you for your support.

I saw that you are hosting a certification clinic on the 13th and 14th of January.  I definitely want to attend.  However, I have another commitment on those days that I will not break.  Will you host another clinic in the near future?


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     Today, I am focused on preparing the materials for my Pitching Anatomy discussion.  Therefore, I have no thoughts about when, or even if, I will have another Certification Clinic.  Sorry that you cannot attend, but I wish you every success coaching youth baseball pitchers my baseball pitching motion.  I will help in any way that I can.

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004.  Thank you very much for sharing your pitching knowledge.   As a youth baseball coach and former high school coach, I have found your published work to be very helpful.

My oldest son is a southpaw who is destined, in light of his height and weight (both at or above the 95th percentile), to be an offensive lineman in football.   I am concerned lifting large amounts of weight will be detrimental to his development as a pitcher.   What type of weight training can he pursue that will help him develop as both a pitcher and an offensive lineman?

Once again, thank you very much.   Our telephone conversation several years ago was very encouraging and any further advice that you can provide will be very much appreciated.


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     To me, all weight training is specific.  This means that if your son does my interval-training programs, then he will strengthen the bones, ligaments, tendons and muscles associated with baseball pitching.  If he also trains to be an offensive lineman in football, then he will strengthen the bones, ligaments, tendons and muscles associated with offensive linemen in football.

     Your question is whether the weight training that he does to be an offensive lineman in football will somehow interfere with the weight training that he does to be a baseball pitcher.  My answer is that, unless he does something in the weight training to be an offensive lineman in football that injures muscles that are critical for baseball pitching, he should be able to do both.

     For example, to be an offensive lineman in football, they might want him to do bench presses.  If, in doing these bench presses, he takes his elbows behind his acromial line, then he can injure the attachment of the posterior head of his Triceps Brachii muscle.  This injury would severely diminish his baseball pitching ability.

     My advice is that, to make certain that he does not injure any of the thirty-six primary baseball pitching muscles, he needs only to be mindful of any weight training associated with his pitching arm.

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005.  Three things.

First, I guess I got to Mr. Wolforth because he blocked all my return emails, even the ones to Mr. Strom.  However I think one did get through because it wasn't sent back.  In that one, I invited him and Mr. Strom to come to your clinic on the 13th.  I think you should invite them personallly, because Wolforth has said to me 3 times how he would love for you to come to Houston and speak.

Second, even though Strom sees the difference as he says and I quote, "I am aware of the changes," he doesn't want to ask HOW CLEMONS DOES IT.  He wants to act like he and Wolford discovered it and want all the CREDIT.  THESE SMUCKS ARE SO EGOTISTICAL IT A SIN.

If A GUY LIKE ME WITH A TENTH GRADE EDUCATION CAN GET all of your theory, WHY CAN'T THE REST OF THE WORLD.  I ACTUALLY WENT TO COLLEGE BUT THE TRUTH IS I NEVER PICK UP OR OPENED A BOOK SINCE 10TH GRADE.  THEY JUST PASSSED ME EVERY SEMESTER.

Third, MY COLLEGUES WANT FILM OF YOUR BEST 3 STUDENTS PITCHING OFF A MOUND, FRONT VIEW, SIDE VIEW AND REAR ALSO.

I WILL MADE A DEAL WITH YOU, IF YOU MAKE ONE CD OF THEM AND GIVVE IT TO ME WHEN I COME DOWN, I WILL TAKE IT HOME AND MAKE COPIES AND GIVE IT TO THEM.  ALSO I WILL DISTRIBUTE THIS CD TO ALL YOUR READERS THAT REQUEST IT FOR COSTS.  I CAN GET THE ATHLETIC OFFICE TO ALMOST DO IT FOR NOTHING.  LET ME KNOW.

I THINK THIS WOULD BE THE BEST and cheapest WAY TO MARKET YOU THEORY, ONCE PEOPLE SEE THAT YOUR DELIVERY ISN'T FROM MARS OR JUPITER THEY WILL TRY IT, ESPECIALLY THE ONES WHO CAN'T PITCH A DAMN.


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     Do I send my invitation to attend my Certification Clinic to Mr. Wolford and Mr. Strom at PitchingCentral.com?

     I do not care that they believe that they discovered the benefit of baseball pitchers applying straight line force to their pitches.  I am not in this for ego or money, I am in it to eliminate pitching injuries.  As long as they properly apply my baseball pitching force application theories, let them think that they make the Sun rise every morning.

     I just upgraded my video studio.  Therefore, it will take me some time to get up to speed with this new software.  However, I have thousands of feet of high-speed film, much of which shows my baseball pitchers throwing high-quality pitches.

     A couple of weeks ago, I high-speed filmed and videotaped Jeff Sparks throwing my six basic pitches.  I am in the process of making a video.

01.  To show the movement of each pitch, at normal speed, I will show the rear view video of each pitch.

02.  To show what the hitters see, at normal speed, I will show the front view video of each pitch.

03.  To show how Jeff released each pitch, I will show the front view high-speed film of each pitch.

04.  To analyze each pitch for biomechanical flaws, I will show the side view high-speed film of each pitch.

     I have many high-speed film clips of my baseball pitchers throwing high-quality pitches.  Unfortunately, most are only from the front view from thirty feet away.  While these close-ups provide a great view of how they released the pitches, they do not show how the pitches moved.

     When I took these clips of Jeff, I also took the same high-speed film and video of another young man.  Unfortunately, I only had enough high-speed film to have him throw my four four-seam pitches.  In some ways, he throws better Maxline pitches than Jeff.  If I can learn how to use this new software in time, I might be able to do the same with him.

     At five hundred unreimbursed dollars for every four hundred feet of high-speed film that I shoot, I cannot afford to shoot front, side and rear views of my baseball pitchers throwing my six basic baseball pitches.  At most, I can only get twenty-four pitches on every four hundred feet of film.  However, if your friends want to finance my shoots, then I will gladly take more high-speed film.

     As my Baseball Pitching Instructional Video showed, the overhead view is the best view with which to biomechanically analyze the baseball pitching motion.  Unfortunately, to build the required twenty foot high platform would cost more than I can afford.

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006.  I received your email address from a post on Baseball-Excellence.  I will copy & paste my post so you can see it.  Any response would be greatly appreciated.

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My 14 year old son was recently diagnosed with a stretched UCL in his elbow.  He is currently going through physical therapy.  He will not be throwing for a minimum of three months.  I am hoping he will be able to recover so he can play again.  Not really concerned that he pitches again but just to be able to throw without pain in his elbow.  Anyone else have any experience with overcoming a stretched UCL/MCL?

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The way your son has been throwing the ball has permanently deformed his arm.   He will need to change the way he throws or else more damage will occur.  Send an email to Dr. Mike Marshall.  He might be able to help your son correct his mechanics.  drmikemarshall@earthlink.net.


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     I am sorry to hear that your son has pitching arm problems.  Unfortunately, the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion has injurious flaws that destroys pitching arms of all ages.

     You say that your son is chronologically fourteen years old.  But, with regard to injuries to the pitching elbow, his biological age is what is important.

     If your son is also fourteen biological years old, then the growth plates for the olecranon process, Radial head and medial epicondyle are still open.  Too much youth baseball pitching and the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion prematurely closes these growth plates and worse.  Premature closure permanently stops further long bone growth.

     Too much youth baseball pitching and the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion permanently lengthens the Ulnar Collateral Ligament and the Gleno-Humeral Ligaments in the pitching shoulder.  By permanently, I mean that no rehabilitation program will return these ligaments to their proper length.

     The best that your son can do is stop using the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion and strengthen his Pronator Teres muscle.  To do this, he needs to complete my four 60-Day Youth Baseball Pitchers Motor Skill Acquisition Programs.

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007.  My tenure with you has been progressing without any confirmation from the source.  Physically, this makes the certification clinic a must do and the opportunity tremendously appreciated.  To me, it seems that this the one very best program you could possibly do to bare your works.  The check is in.  I am hopeful that you will find yourself having to do certification clinics more often.

Your college and High school coaches better get on board because this thing works.  What is really pleasing to me is all of the non-genetically gifted kids are mowing down batters and the joy for them of just playing this frustrating sport has gone up exponentially.

Most of the kids I work with are of high school age and you should see us dance.  The subterfuge we have to think through is an embarrassing reality as of now.  I can’t imagine the things you’ve had to go through and strategic career planning for most of your past students.

My biggest problem is getting these teenagers to shut up and have some tact when talking to college recruiters and scouts about what they are doing.  Most adults have a problem with 17 and 18 year olds that know 10-fold more about force application than they do.  Now, there are the pre-teens of which I now have three full Marshall mechanic devotees', who know more than the teen’s do.

Of the 20+ H.S. kids I work with, about half of them are doing the 120 day high school interval training program.  All started around Oct. 1st.  Their pre-season starts on the 12th of February.  All will be asked to throw bull pens and pitch in scrimmages for two weeks then the season starts March 1st.

When they finish the 120 day training February 1st, what for this age group should immediately begin in training and what should be done for the next 5 months, which includes summer play, which ends for most Aug 1st, I have to let them go on Feb. 12th.  Then, they will be on there own, accept for explanations during discussions.


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     You make my heart sing.

     It will be a great pleasure to have you here in January.  You will make the experience better for me and all who attend.  I have had only one eight-week session with high school baseball pitchers.  Therefore, I have much to learn from you.  It would seem to me to be extremely valuable to have you host Certification Clinics for those who coach high school baseball pitchers.

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008.  I found your site from Chris O'Leary's site, unfortunately because my 10 year olds elbow started to feel funny.  I was amazed to find nobody really seems to know how to really throw a ball.  Your instructions are the best I could find and you can document it as well.

He says it feels funny when he releases the ball, by his funny bone.  That was in early September.  I believe he did NOT pronate his arm; he probably supinated it.  We had his elbow X-rayed, no problems found.  He has not pitched or catched since than.

He has been doing strength work with a physical therapist for about 2 months, the long green rubber band deal.  He threw, not pitched, the ball about a dozen times last week and said the feeling was still there.  We will be going to the doctor again in about a week.  It seems there is a gap between doctors, therapists and pitching instruction.  Any help or the right questions to ask would be great.

He seemed to pitch using the power "L" with the hand behind his elbow at the half way point in his form.  I now know this is not the safe way.

Does your video show the safe way to throw?  And if the 2006 is not ready, does the 2004 version show this?  The written version is difficult for me to visualize/follow.

Is there anything besides us parents attempting to safe guard the kids from hurting thier arms?  Seems pitch count alone doesn't work.

Thank you for your site and demanding that we parents protect our sons.  I only wish I had protected him better and even from myself and possible over use and poor form sooner.


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     The Ulnar Nerve lies in a groove on the posterior surface of the Humerus bone behind the medial epicondyle. In the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion, just before they start to accelerate their pitching elbow forward, baseball pitchers bend their pitching elbow tight to their head, such that their pitching forearm and hand transcribe a circle that moves backward and laterally away from their body.  This action unnecessarily stresses the Ulnar Nerve.

     The funny feeling that your son experiences is the tingling that goes from the elboe down the little finger side of his pitching forearm to his little finger and the little finger side of his ring finger.

     To minimize the stress on the Ulnar Nerve, baseball pitchers need to pendulum swing their pitching arm up to driveline height and lock it with their shoulders before their glove foot contacts the ground.  My baseball pitching motion does this.

     I recommend to the parents of all youth baseball pitchers that, within one week of their son's birthdays, they have radiologists take front and side view X-rays of their son's glove and pitching arms from the mid-upper arm to the mid-forearm, make copies and send them to me.  I will email back what their son's biological age is and whether I see any differences in the growth and development of the growth plates in their arms.  In this way, parents can monitor the effect the youth baseball pitching is having on the normal growth and development pattern of their son's pitching arm.

     I also recommend to the parents of all youth baseball pitchers that they have their son's complete my four 60-Day Youth Baseball Pitchers Motor Skill Acquisition Programs.  These programs will teach their sons how to properly apply force to their pitches without unnecessarily stressing the Ulnar Nerve or any of the growth plates.

     My training programs are on my website free for all to use.  My Coaching Baseball Pitchers book is on my website free for all to use.  To get your copy of my Baseball Pitchers Instructional Video, you need to click on the Baseball Pitching Instructional Video icon that is on the home page of my website.

     You are wasting money and time with the physical therapist and seeing the doctor.  They have no idea what the problem is or how to solve it.

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009.  Any clips I can get from any view will be fantastic.  Although, it would best to see the movements on the pitches, like the Sparks' pitches on your lastest video.  These guys up here want to put your pitchers in a side by side setting on my computer with guys that pitch the traditional motion and compare them both frame by frame from start to finish at the same time.  I have that capacity on my software.

So, just one pitcher will do and either front back or rear any way and then I will distribute them to anyone that requests one.


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   That sounds like fun to me.  I am working as hard as I can to get that video and many other materials ready for my Certification Clinic.

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010.  Thanks for your reply to my message.  I am interested in your 60 day program.  How do I go about getting my son on this program?  Also, as an fyi, I doubt seriously my son will pitch anymore from this point forward.  But, he understand he needs to make some changes to continue playing as a position player.

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     My four 60-Day Youth Baseball Pitchers Motor Skill Acquisition Programs and Coaching Baseball Pitchers book are free on my website for all to use.  For you and your son to learn how to perform the drills that teach the skills of my baseball pitching motion, you will need to get my Baseball Pitching Instructional Video.  To learn how to get it, click on the Baseball Pitching Instructional Video on the home page of my website.  Then, while you and your son are working your way through my training programs, if you have any questions, you can email me and we will help your son together.

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011.  I have run across a number of instructors who teach kids to point the ball to second base before they throw.  I watch a lot of baseball and never see big league pitchers or fielders do this.  Is this a sound way to throw the ball?

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     Absolutely not.  While I agree that baseball pitchers should not take their pitching arm beyond second base, the combination of the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion and pointing the baseball at second base still unnecessarily stresses their pitching arm and cause irreparable damage to the pitching elbow.

     When baseball pitchers point the baseball at second base, the palm of their pitching hand faces toward second base.  When baseball pitchers release their pitches, the palm of their pitching hand faces toward home plate.  Therefore, from when they pointed the baseball toward second base to when they release their pitches, baseball pitchers have to rotate their pitching forearm one hundred and eighty degrees outward at the same time that the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion is slinging their pitching forearm and hand laterally away from their body (Pitching Forearm Flyout).  These two actions insure that they will slam the olecranon process of their pitching elbow into its fossa, thereby injuring the olecranon fossa.

     I recommend that baseball pitchers stop their 'Pitching Forearm Flyout,' by stop using the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion and stop pointing the baseball at second base with the palm of their pitching hand facing second base.  Instead, baseball pitchers should learn my baseball pitching motion where I recommend that they point their entire pitching arm at second base with the palm of their pitching hand facing laterally to the pitching arm side of their body.

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012.  Thanks, you can't be more gracious than letting them take credit for what you have taught for over thirty years.

However, I have an interesting point to make here.  Up until a half a year ago, I still didn't get the force-coupling in your baseball pitching motion.  I actually got it thru your hitting instructions, where you said that, in hitting, the center of mass was the area between the hands and, in pitching, it was between the shoulders.

This information coupled with a report my daughter gave me on 5 scientists evaluating 1500 professional baseball swing from 1880 to 1980 turned on the light bulb.  It all came together then.  And, you know I have been emailing you for 5 years.  I sure hope you can be quicker getting your point across with future coaches than it took with me.


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     Forty years now (1967 to 2007), but who is counting?

     I will try.  However, like I say when I coach baseball pitchers, I never take credit for those who master the skills that I teach because then I would have to take the blame for those who do not.  I simply root for everybody and continue to help in any way that I can.

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013.  I finally linked to your web site and found the site very informative and of great value.  I just sent the money order for your video and eagerly await its arrival.  I have a great love for the game and with that love and passion want to teach the kids I come in contact with the proper and correct way of learning the game of baseball.  Thus I have read, reviewed, attended clinics, and discussed mechanics with so called baseball pitching and hitting gurus.  Needless to say, I have come to the conclusion "that a little bit of knowledge is dangerous" and, with regard to youth baseball pitching, harmful.

I recently had a discussion with a so called informed baseball instructor, who stated that weight training (dumbbell exercises of 3 lbs for kids under 13) are harmful to their growth plates and control problems can be corrected by a 60 degree/20 degree arm angle (I am not sure if he was referring to arm angle or not).

What is your take on the above and one last question, I have heard that a tight grip on the ball does reduce the speed of the ball by a pitching instructor; is this correct?


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     I suppose that if pre-teens were to do a thousand of some type of exercise at very high intensity with three pound dumbbells, then they might do some harm.  But, I am not sure what they gain by doing exercises with three pound dumbbells.  I recommend that biologically ten year old youth baseball pitchers use my drills to throw two pound iron balls at rebound walls forty-eight times every day for sixty days.

   I know that pre-teens can do pushups every day without harming the growth plate for the ossification center for the olecranon process to which the Triceps Brachii attaches and I bet that they weigh more than two pounds.

   I have no idea what this fellow meant with 60 degree/20 degree.  I know that, when they use the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion, the longitudinal axes of their pitching upper arm and forearm align, which means that their pitching elbow is fully extended.

   At release, to maximally transfer the velocity of the pitching hand and fingers to the baseball, baseball pitcher must grip the baseball as tightly as they can.  To do otherwise would reduce the efficiency of the transfer of force.

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014.  I had the following email exchange with Brent Strom who works with Ron Wolforth who has blocked my emails.

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Hi Mr Strom,

I appreciate you returning an email to me asking about Roger Clemons.

I have a bad habit of taunting people who hold clinics about pitching just to see what they are made of.  You and Mr. Wolford are the only ones to come back at me.  That to me tells me both of you are sincere.

I actually thought I was sending the previous email to the people in Almonte, FL but to have a dialogue with a man of your stature was worth the trouble I went through, even if it did make Mr. Wolforth mad at me.

I was always curious why no one has ever tried to investigate the change in Clemons delivery ever since he left Boston.  At least you noticed part of the changes he made.  And I love to discuss it further.

First I would like to know, are you still connected with the Washington Nationals?  If not what major league team do you work for?

Your comments on Clemons mechanics are right on, but there is more to it.  You said you were aware of the changes, but my questions deals with more than that perception.  They deal with why did he make the change.

The reason was that he was definitely his way to Tommy john surgery if he continued throwing his original way.  But the question is why did he choose his new style so quickly?

I believe that the team doctor and his physical therapist heard a speech about using force-coupling in the pitching delivery to eliminate elbow injuries.  They passed this info to Roger and he then investigated this theory and changed his mechanics from what I call the Boston mechanics to the Toronto mechanics.

But the pitching coach at Boston didn't agree with Rogers decision and told the Gm, Dan Duquesne, who informed Roger that if he didn't go back to his old mechanics, they would not resign him.

OK with that bit of history established, lets look at why he went to force-coupling versus lateralization.

What is lateralization?  That is the basis of what Tom house, Dick Mills and Paul Nyman use in their pitching theories.

If you look up the definition of lateralization in a science book, it would state that all lateral movement {side to side} CAN NEVER BE EQUAL.  BECAUSE IT CAN NEVER BE EQUAL, THERE IS ALWAYS A GAP BETWEEN THE STRONG SIDE AND WEAK SIDE OF THE BODY

IN PITCHING, THIS CAUSE RUSHING, THUS THE PROBLEMS WITH ELBOW AND SHOULDER INJURIES.

HOWEVER THERE IS ONE WAY TO OVERCOME THIS NATURAL ACTION BY THE HUMAN BODY AND THAT IS TO USE FORCE-COUPLING.  THEN BOTH SIDES OF THE BODY WILL BE EQUAL UNTIL THE FRONT LANDS.

I FEEL THAT YOU AND MR. WOLFORD ARE SINCERE IN YOUR EFFORTS AT PITCHING CENTRAL.  BUT YOU MUST ABANDON TEACHING PITCHING MECHANICS BASED ON THE PRINCIPLES OF LATERALZATION AND START USING MECHANICS BASED ON FORCED-COUPLING AND THE COMBINATION OF BOTH PRINCIPLES THAT ROGER CLEMONS INVENTED.

IT IS REAL EASY TO UNDERSTAND.  I FINALLY GOT IT AND SO DID ROGR CLEMONS.

WE HAVE 3 WAYS TO PITCH A BASEBALL.  ONE USES MECHANICS BASED ON THE PRINCIPLES OF LATERALIZATION.  ONE USES MECHANICS BASED ON THE PRINCIPLES OF FORCE-COUPLING.  AND THE THIRD IS THE ONE ROGER CLEMONS DEVELOPED ON HIS OWN USING A COMBINATION OF BOTH OF THESE PRINCIPLES.

I CAN TEACH ALL 3 WAYS AND THAT'S EXACTLY WHAT YOU SHOULD BE DOING AT PITCHING CENTRAL.  YOU SHOULD SHOW YOUR STUDENTS ALL 3 WAYS AND LET THEM DECIDE WHICH ONE TO USE.

80% OF MY PITCHERS CHOOSE THE WAY CLEMONS DOES.  20% USE THE 100% FORCE-COUPLING METHOD.  NOBODY CHOOSES THE LATERALIZATION METHOD, MAINLY BECAUSE AFTER USING THAT METHOD THEIR ARM HURT LIKE HELL.

THERE IS A SAYING I HEARD ON PUBLIC TV, IT GOES LIKE THIS:  WHEN YOU CHANGE THE WAY YOU LOOK AT THINGS, THEN THE THINGS YOU LOOK AT CHANGE.

I AM MAINLY A HITTING INSTRUCTOR AND I USE THE SAME 3 WAYS TO TEACH HITTING.  ONCE MY STUDENTS UNDERSTAND THE PRINCIPLES OF FORCE-COUPLING IN HITTING, THEY UNDERSTAND HOW IT WORKS IN PITCHING.

RIGHT NOW I FEEL I SAID ENOUGH, YOU EITHER THINK I AM A KOOK OR SOMEONE WHO STUMBLED ON TO SOMETHING INTERESTING.

SO LET ME KNOW WHAT YOU THINK.

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Mr. Smull,

I am always trying to learn so I will make this as clear as possible.

As far as your habit of taunting people regardless of whether it was not meant for Ron Wolforth or not and the fact that you were supposedly sending it to the people in Alomonte Springs makes no difference.  It was in bad taste regardless for whom it was intended.  That being so if in the course of this dialogue we disagree lets just keep it as a disagreement.  There is no point to make any of this personal.  It serves no purpose.

As far as my stature, I have none.  I am and have always been trying to learn and the fact that I have been hired and fired countless times should indicate to you that I am not a company man, just keeping my thoughts to myself.  Belief systems being what they are and they are important are what we base our teachings on and if shown to be deficient then one should make the necessary adjustments and just get better.  No I am not connected with the Nationals anymore and in fact not associated with any club currently.

Before we move on it is important that definitions be exact.  For example I have little idea as to what constitutes Lateralization.  Is this linear movement of the body as emphasized by extension etc.  I am familiar with Houses teachings, dismiss Mills and have no idea who Paul Nyman is.  When you say lateralization (side to side) can never be equal, what are you trying to say?

Forced Coupling.  My idea of forced coupling is with one action there is an equal and opposite reaction.  As the throwing arm goes into external rotation and the arm comes forward the lead leg makes a corresponding movement in the opposite direction.  They happen together.

Rushing.  Your definition of rushing is correct as I see it but it is mainly a product of lack of synchronization.

As far as us teaching using lateralization I am not sure what you mean.  Are you sure you completely understand what we teach.  We are into guided discovery, allowing the body to find its way.  We do not place people into positions.  We are concerned with movements and movements are not positions.

I can only surmise from your verbiage that you follow what Mike Marshall teaches.  There is some excellent information to be gained from Mike.  That said, you and I will both be dead by the time, if it comes that Mike's teaching of the delivery will find itself in the major leagues.

I have tapes of Clemens in Boston and Toronto and have them sequenced to ball release and I can't see what the difference is.  I am open to hear where I am missing the movement.  The big difference is between what he did at U of Texas and with Boston and his subsequent career.

Your 3 ways of teaching I assume eliminate rotational forces or I may be reading something into that I shouldn't.

I don't believe in counter rotation, do believe in forearm flyout among other things.  I do believe that rotation is power and the ability to load the body up, unload it correctly (coil and uncoil) are important.

Anyway, this will do for now.  Give me any thoughts you find appropriate.  Ron and myself are not attempting to hurt anyone.  That said if there is a better way then I am open.

Have a good day.

Brent Strom


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       The Brent Strom email is interesting.  He appears to be trying to understand baseball pitching.  Unfortunately, like you, he still believes that analyzing successful major league baseball pitchers will show him the way.

     As you suggested, I will use the email address on his email to you to invite Mr. Strom to my Certification Clinic.  (See below)

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Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Dear Sir,

     Joe Smull emailed me that he has enjoyed communicating with you and asked me to personally invite you to attend the Certification Clinic that I am hosting on Saturday, January 13 and Sunday, January 14, 2007.  We will start the proceedings at 9:00AM Saturday, January 13th at my Pitching Research/Training Center in Zephyrhills, FL.  The clinic is free.  Attendees need to secure their own housing.  In Zephyrhills, we have a Best Western, a Quality Inn and several locally owned motels.

     I welcome your attendance and your challenging inquiries.  It would make the discussions learning experiences from which we all can learn.

     Mr. Smull also asked me to invite Mr. Wolforth, which, if I knew how to contact him, I will gladly do.

     Sincerely,

Dr. Mike Marshall

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015.  Dr. Marshall,

Thank you for the invitation.  While I would like to attend the clinic I will be in Salt Lake City that weekend.  I will forward your e mail onto Ron Wolforth and perhaps he can have you out as a speaker in the future down in Houston.

Sincerely,

Brent Strom


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Thursday, January 04, 2007

Dear Sir,

     Thank you for your email.

     I think that those of us who teach baseball pitching should find a way to discuss what we teach.  That is, I think that we should have a baseball pitching clinic just for the baseball pitching gurus.  After all, we are responsible for the baseball pitching lives of baseball pitchers from ten to fifty years old.  Rather than compete, we need to cooperate.

     I will gladly share my ideas with you, Mr. Wolforth and anybody else whenever and wherever I have the opportunity.  We have much to learn for each other.

     If you would provide me with your mailing address, then I will send you a copy of my Baseball Pitching Instructional Video for you to critique.  I will do the same for Mr. Wolforth.

     Sincerely,

Dr. Mike Marshall

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016.  This was great!  Thanks so much.

I played 3 years of minor league ball with the Giants and now have been teaching baseball for about 6 years.  I have often told parents that pointing the ball to second base or centerfield is an arm injury waiting to happen.  Thanks for putting the physiology behind it for me.


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     We need more coaches to question what we teach our youngsters.

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017.  Can you tell me why lifting in sets is not good for you as opposed to lifting between 20-40 reps.   My little brother wants to know and I want to know the reason so when I am at this college up here, I can explain and teach to those that want to listen.

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   When athletes start to train, the muscle fibers involved in whatever movement they are doing do not know how many repetitions they will have to do.  Therefore, to resynthesize the adenosine-tri-phosphate molecules that they need for muscle contraction, the muscle fibers metabolize all of the substrate that they have stored in the muscle cells.

   When athletes use my training method of only one set to exhaustion, they can do whatever number of repetitions that the amount of substrate they have in the muscle fibers allow them to do.

   However, when athletes do more than one set, they will still try to use muscle fibers that have metabolized all their substrate.  Without adenosine-tri-phosphate molecules on some of their myosin cross-bridges, this forces the muscle fiber to still try to contract when not at full strength.  As a result, the stress is greater than these muscle fibers can withstand and their myofibrils and connective tissues tear.

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018.  I will be down for the weekend of January 13-14.  I would like ask you to cover some topics that you may not have already considered:

1.  typical mechanical flaws you have seen with students and how to correct them.

2.  cover all 10 pitches, releases, spin axis and common difficulties students have shown in mastering them.

3.  a bit about the proper drills/exercises to use for position players.

4.  briefly touch on your hitting force coupling techniques.

Thanks for all you do.........


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     Thank you for your list of topics that you want me to include in my Certification Clinic.  I will make sure to discuss every one.

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019.  Two more of my friends will be attending your clinic!   That will make four of us total.  You talked to one of these guys on the phone a year or so ago when you helped us build our iron ball rebound wall.   Will me letting you know be OK, or should I send the $200 for them?

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     That is great.  I look forward to meeting all four of you.

     I have required the one hundred dollar deposit to make sure that some last minute change of heart does not keep attendees away.  If nothing else, they will come to get their money back.  To remain fair to all, I would appreciate it if they would also send me their refundable check.

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020.  I would like to do another telephone seminar for my members.  Would you be open to doing a live phone seminar, probably in the next 6 weeks or so?

Thanks,

Paul Reddick


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     Absolutely.

     Sincerely,

Dr. Mike Marshall

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021.  You mentioned that a professor at the University of South Florida was publishing a paper on your pitching motion vs the traditional pitching motion.  Has it been published?

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     I have no idea.  The last time I met with Professor Maitland, he said that he was leaving the University of South Florida for the University of Washington.  He told me about the raw data of his research where my baseball pitchers achieved their maximum release velocities with about one-half of the stress on their pitching elbows as the baseball pitchers from the baseball pitchers on the University of South Florida baseball team, but he has not told me that he has published those findings. He said that we could continue to work with his assistant at USF.

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022.  I have read some of your articles about pitching mechanics while at Steven Ellis's web site.  I am very interested in your ideas.  Where can I see a video of a pitcher using your methods?  I have a 12 year old who loves to pitch and has taken lessons from very good instructors and players at the college and professional levels.

Last year, my son developed a problem with a growth plate in his pitching elbow, not serious according to the sports doctor.  Time off from pitching and a strengthening program has put him back in the game.

He did not pitch at all last year but now it is time for baseball once again.  I thought he had what we called as near perfect mechanics as possible for a youth pitcher who only threw fastballs and an occasional change up and we monitored his pitch count and games.  Do you think I should have him stop pitching and wait until high school and then start pitching again?


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     I have a Baseball Pitching Instructional Video that shows and explains my baseball pitching motion and shows and explains the drills that I use to teach the skills of my baseball pitching motion.

     What that injury to your son's pitching arm should have shown you is that the 'traditional' pitching motion destroys pitching arms.  They knowingly and fraudulently claim that they are teaching your son the perfect baseball pitching motion, but the thousands of injuries to the pitchers who use it prove otherwise.

     First, need to know about your son is what, is his biological age.  Second, we need to know whether the injury he had last year prematurely closed that growth plate.  I assume that it was the growth plate on the inside of his pitching elbow, the growth plate for his medial epicondyle.  Third, because my baseball pitching motion eliminates the injurious flaws inherent in the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion, we need to start to teach him my First 60-Day Youth Baseball Pitchers Motor Skill Acquisition Program.

     To determine his biological age, within one week of his birthday, you need to get front and side view X-rays of his glove and pitching arms from mid-upper arm to mid-forearm, make copies and send them to me.  I will email you with his biological age and whether I find any differences in the growth and development of the growth plates in his glove and pitching arms.

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023.  Paulreddick@aol.com

Great.  I will get back to you in the next week or so with details.


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     Great, I am looking forward to it.

     We need to gather those who believe that they know how baseball pitchers should apply force to their pitches together and see whether we can all agree.  While we want maximum genetic release velocities and a wide variety of high-quality pitches, the critical criteria is the elimination of pitching injuries.

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024.  I hope to get over to see your guys work out next Friday morning.  I'm looking forward to that and the Certification Course on Saturday and Sunday.

I am picking a couple of guys up at the Tampa airport around 7 PM Friday, so if anyone else needs a ride have them give me a call @ Steve 770-490-6115.  We are staying at the Best Western but I assume the other hotels are pretty close.


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     Zephyrhills, FL is a small town, althought without sidewalks.

     We will see you on Friday, January 12, 2007.

     Travel safe.

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025.  My son said he thinks that, due to his prior shoulder injury, he just can't seem to overcome the feeling that once he lays his arm back his brain is telling his body its going to hurt so brings the hand closer to the head.  Could it be one of those inhibitions that has to be "unlearned" and will only be overcome with continually doing the drills until his brain overcomes this inhibition?  I think I answered my own question.  YES!

Now does one lead to the other, meaning if he could keep that arm back a bit longer that would give the shoulder/hip more time to get through and rotate, hence somewhat delaying the release, thereby lengthening the driveline?  I realize we don't want the hand/arm to wait, so the timing here seems critical.  Are there any other cues, or mental notes, or "feels" that may help him connect the dots?

He said his body feels confused, he knows what he has to do and "feels" like he's doing it, but in actuality he's not.  As always I told him to keep doing the drills, and hopefully he will get the feel of it.  Sometimes all it takes it one throw and bingo, the lights go off.  There is no magic, just old fashioned hard work, but I'm sure, after all the effort he's put in, frustration is starting to mount even more.


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     The only way to overcome the flaws that years of the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion taught baseball pitchers is the hard work of doing the four drills that I use to teach the skills of my baseball pitching motion.

     In my 280-Day Adult Baseball Pitching Interval-Training Program, I devote about equal time to each of the four drills.  Unfortunately, when a flaw is as deeply ingrained as the 'grab' flaw that your son has as a result of the pain he experienced from his pitching injury, he needs to continually repeat those drills.

     Therefore, I designed each of my 72-Day Adult Baseball Pitchers Wrist Weight and Iron Ball Recoil Interval-Training Programs to repeat my first three drills for twenty-four days each.

     As I told your son, he needs to practice those drills.

     Unfortunately, as you corrected determined, he becomes so frustrated that he gets in his own way.

     Last year, I saw a movie that, although they couched it in Eastern mysticism, taught athletes how to get out of their own way.  Like Hoosiers, I strongly recommend it to coaches and athletes.  It was a small movie that stayed only one week at Tampa Theater, the only exclusively foreign and independent film theater in Tampa.  Go to your movie DVD provider and ask for 'Peaceful Warrier.'

     My Step Back Wrong Foot body action; Slingshot glove and pitching arms action drill places his pitching shoulder in a very strong and secure position.  Therefore, he will not have any fear of feeling the pain in his shoulder that he used to have.

     My Step Back Wrong Foot body action; Loaded Slingshot glove and pitching arms action drill will have his pitching arm fully extended toward second base.  This is the position from which, when he started to forwardly rotate his hips and shoulders, he had severe pain in the front of his shoulder.  As a result, to protect the front of his pitching shoulder, he now brings his pitching hand tight to his head.

     To overcome this mechanical flaw, I believe that he has to gently learn how to supinate the palm of his hand, which outwardly rotates the head of his Humerus bone in its Glenoid Fossa and, thereby, 'locks' the pitching upper arm with the shoulders.

     To help my baseball pitchers with this concept, while they are holding my 'Loaded Slingshot' pitching arm position, I will gently hold their pitching wrist and tell them to slowly supinate the palm of their pitching hand and tell me when they feel strength in the front of their pitching shoulder.  When they tell me that they feel strength in the front of their pitching shoulder, I tell them that this is the proper position for their pitching arm immediately before they start to forwardly rotate their hips, shoulders and pitching upper arm.

     I believe that only by repeating this drill at gradually increasing intensities will he learn that the severe pain he had with the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion will not return.  When his subconscious becomes convinced that he will no longer feel that pain, he should be able to leave his pitching forearm back, thereby lengthening the back side of his pitching driveline.

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026.  I would like to attend your January 13, 14 Certification Clinic.  I have my plane ticket and I am looking forward to that weekend.  I have emailed you a few weeks ago about coming down.   I am sorry it took so long to make the final arrangements and to notify you.  I hope this is not too last minute.  I have been talking about your clinic in anticipation for weeks.

I look forward to meeting you and soaking up every bit of wisdom you are willing to share.


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     Only those who arrive after 9:00AM on Saturday, January 13, 2007 will be late.  But, even then, because the Certification Clinic does not end until 12:00PM on Sunday, January 14, 2007, they would not be too late.

     I look forward to meeting you.

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027.  On your latest video's Baseball Drills section you have a question that asks:

Does he drive the baseball horizontally forward?  In every case, the answer is no.  You show a caption on the screen that says "fix this" where your guys start driving the ball upward.

1. How do you fix this?

2. Are your guys coming any closer?


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01.  From the side view high-speed film, we see how horizontally straight baseball pitchers apply force to their pitches.

     In theory, I want my baseball pitchers to pendulum swing their pitching hand to the height of their pitching ear.  I call this height, driveline height.

     From the height of their pitching ear with their pitching arm fully extended toward second base, I want my baseball pitchers to apply force to their pitches in horizontally straight lines toward second base.

   However, in practice, because, although I tell them to drive their pitching forearm horizontally inside of vertical, they actually can drive their pitching forearm about ten to twenty degrees outside of vertical, it appears that we cannot do this.  Nevertheless, when compare to the almost horizontal pitching forearm that 'traditional' baseball pitchers achieve, my baseball pitchers are doing very well.

     We start by driving pretty much horizontally straight forward, but, just before we drive the baseball over our pitching shoulder, the baseball moves downward.  I believe that we can fix this dip in the driveline toward home plate.

     To do this, I have changed my first drill from Pickoff with Step body action; Slingshot glove and pitching arm actions to Step Back Wrong Foot body action; Slingshot glove and pitching arm actions.

     Compared with the Pickoff with Step body action, my Step Back Wrong Foot body action permits my baseball pitchers to generate more forward momentum with the forward movement of their body, which means that they add the pitching elbow extension and pitching forearm pronation forces to a faster moving wrist weight, iron ball, football and baseball.  Therefore, they not only strengthen the weakest aspect of their pitching arm, but they also more quickly learn the proper pronation releases for all their pitches.

     I believe that this dip is a result of my baseball pitchers not getting their pitching upper arm vertically close to their head as they forwardly rotate their hips, shoulders and pitching upper arm.

     With this new drill, I have my baseball pitchers start with their pitching upper arm vertically close to their head.  When they step back, they keep their pitching upper arm vertically close to their head.  When they drive forward off their glove foot, they keep their pitching upper arm vertically close to their head.

     It is this dip in the driveline that creates the steep upward driveline through release.  If we could make this driveline more horizontal, then the X-axis increases, which means that we are applying more force toward home plate.

     Because I tell my baseball pitchers to drive their pitching forearm horizontally inside of vertical through release, the driveline of my baseball pitching motion is far more vertical than the driveline of the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion.

     As the overhead high-speed film of my Baseball Pitching Instructional Video shows, where in the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion, baseball pitchers the driveline moves horizontally over four feet, the driveline of my baseball pitching motion moves horizontally about one-third as far.

     However, I would like to decrease the horizontal and vertical movement of the driveline of my baseball pitching motion as much as possible.  I believe that a good first adjustment is the elimination of the dip behind the pitching shoulder just before the drive through release.

02.  In the middle of December 2006, I took high-speed film of Jeff Sparks and another baseball pitcher.  I am in the process of putting those video and high-speed film clips together.

     We will closely examine the rear view video to see what they do with their pitching upper arm as they start forward from my 'Loaded Slingshot' position and we will closely examine the side view high-speed film to see whether they have decreased the dip in the driveline behind the pitching shoulder.

     As always, my guys will be surprised to see that they do not apply force to their pitches in an absolutely horizontal and vertical straight line toward home plate.

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028.  One of the bedrock priciples in your training program is the Specificity of Training Principle.  I have been having a running debate with some avid exercise specialists about this principle.  They say that general weight training is an important element in training athletes.  They, in general, say that training specifically will lead to overuse injuries and burnout among other things.

As you are about to embark on your Pitcher Certification programs and baseball conferences, I thought I'd send this article that a gentleman sent me that "proves" that training generally will enhance performance.  The argumant in this paper are ones that your certified coaches will have to be able to refute.

If you could comment on some of the assertions it would be great.  The highlighted portions are supposed to be particularly enlightening for you.

--------------------------------------------------

Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 2001, 15(1), 148–156.

Effects of General, Special, and Specific Resistance Training on Throwing Velocity in Baseball: A Brief Review

COOP DERENNE, KWOK W. HO, AND JAMES C. MURPHY2

Department of Kinesiology and Leisure Science, College of Education, University of Hawaii-Manoa, Honolulu, Hawaii 96822; and the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, V6K2B2.

ABSTRACT

Throwing velocity is a necessary requirement for success in baseball.  All position players, including pitchers, may increase their defensive performance if their throwing velocity is improved.  A review of the literature suggests that throwing velocity can be increased by resistance training and/or biomechanical improvement of the throwing motion.

This paper reviews the 3 broad categories of resistance-training methods by which throwing velocity is increased.  The results of research using general, special, and specific throwing resistance-training exercises are presented.  The role and applications of these different exercises for baseball players of different ages are discussed.

Introduction

Throwing velocity is an important performance variable in baseball.  The ability of throwing the ball faster is not only important for baseball pitchers, but is also important for position players to execute successful defense.  In pitching in particular, the ball is delivered at extremely fast speeds.  It is not uncommon for a pitcher to deliver a 90–100 miles per hour (mph) fastball today.

A review of literature indicated that throwing velocity can be increased with an improvement of throwing biomechanics (47, 65) and/or by resistance training (1, 7, 26, 30, 32, 45, 50, 58, 62–64, 69).  This portion of the review will only focus on the affects of resistance training on throwing velocity.

Biomechanically, the overhand throw is a complex motion involving the entire body in a coordinated manner (65).  Although the throwing arm receives primary analytical attention, the trunk and lower extremities play a vital role in throwing mechanics.

Toyoshima et al. (65) conducted a biomechanical study on the overhand throw.  The results indicated that 46.9% of the velocity of the overhand throw could be attributed to the stride and body rotation, whereas 53.1% of the velocity was due to action of the arm.  Therefore, resistance-training programs for baseball players to improve throwing velocity, particularly for pitchers, should be designed to include arm, trunk, and lower-body exercises.

According to Baker (2), resistance-training exercises are classified as general, special, or specific depending on their biomechanical characteristics and effects on the neuromuscular system.

General resistance-training exercises increase the overall maximal strength of the muscles.  In throwing, examples of these exercises are the supine bench press, latissimus dorsi pull-downs, shoulder press, straight-or bent-arm pullover, biceps curls, triceps extensions, shoulder dumbbell exercises (lateral raise, supraspinatus raise, internal rotation, external rotation, flexion, and abduction), ulnar and radial deviations, wrist rolls, squats, leg curls, and leg extensions (1, 6, 18, 21, 26, 30, 42, 50, 56, 63, 64).

Once the player’s strength levels have been increased, special resistance exercises can be used to train the athlete for muscular power development.  Examples of traditional upper-body power exercises are explosive isotonic exercises (e.g., power cleans, snatches, pulls and push presses); ballistic resistance training; plyometric training (e.g., medicine ball); and isokinetics (24, 30, 33, 45, 70).

The training effect of these special resistance exercises is to convert general muscular strength to the special quality of power that is relevant to throwing(2).  These power exercises are characterized by a more rapid execution and a higher muscular power output.

Specific resistance exercises are designed to follow the concept of specificity by providing a training stimulus that is very similar to actual motion in competition.  Examples of these exercises for baseball-throwing motion are weighted baseballs, surgical tube exercises, and the Exergenie cord (1, 7, 14, 15, 32, 52, 56, 62, 63, 70).  These exercises attempt to mimic the high-velocity ballistic throwing motion.

The purpose of this portion of the paper is to review the relative effectiveness of general, special, and specific training exercises on increased throwing velocity.  In addition, the role and application of these respective exercises for baseball players at different ages and levels will be discussed.

Effects of Resistance Training

The effects of resistance-training programs on throwing velocity have been reported since the 1960s (7, 18, 32, 52, 63, 67).  In general, these studies focused on identifying the type of resistance training that would most effectively improve throwing velocity (1, 15, 16, 18, 30, 42, 56).  Recent research has also attempted to determine the possible mechanisms by which throwing velocity is increased and how the throwing velocity is affected by various resistance-training methods.

General Resistance Training

In theory, general resistance training aims to improve the contractile capabilities of the muscle.  Before the 1980s, general resistance-training programs consisted of traditional isotonic exercises.  These isotonic exercises heavily concentrated on the development of upper-body strength (1, 49, 62–64).  These upper-body exercise protocols were popularly used because of the influence of the study of Toyoshima et al. (66).

The results of this study suggested that certain upper-body major muscles evoke strong trunk and shoulder rotation, and thus enhance throwing velocity (66).  The contribution to lower-body movement (the kinetic link biomechanical principle) in the throwing motion was not studied in these early studies.  Nonetheless, high school and collegiate baseball position players and pitchers improved their throwing velocity by using these traditional upper-body isotonic exercises.

It should be pointed out that some of the important studies in throwing velocity using isotonic resistance training were published in the form of master or doctoral degree theses (1, 18, 26, 53, 56, 62).  The fact that these studies were not published in refereed journals should not be used to discredit their value since many findings of these graduate theses have been verified by other investigators (45, 49, 50, 64).

Traditionally, isotonic resistance training used in throwing velocity studies among high school baseball players involved upper-body free-weight exercises and shoulder dumbbell exercises.  Bagonzi (1) reported that upper-body training exercises significantly increased throwing velocities.  The training protocol consisted of 2 exercise sessions per week for 18 weeks.  The 18 training weeks were divided into 6 3-week cycles.  Interestingly, the results of this study indicated that there were no significant increases in throwing velocity until the sixth cycle (16th–18th week).

Popescue (49) also reported an increase of throwing velocity (3.8 mph) using an isotonic-training program designed to strengthen the upper-body throwing muscles in high school players.  The studies of both Bagonzi (1) and Popescue (49) were conducted in the off-season.

In contrast, Jackson (26) reported no significant increase in throwing velocity within the same high school age group (15–19 years) during an 8-week in-season competitive period.  In Jackson’ study (26), although strength and velocity gains were the intent, only 5 shoulder dumbbell exercises (supraspinatus raise, internal rotation, external rotation, shoulder flexion, and shoulder abduction) were used.  It should be noted that although the throwing velocity was not significantly increased in this study, the shoulder dumbbell exercise protocol did maintain the subjects’ throwing velocity and actually produced a slight increase of 0.62 mph.  Therefore, this exercise protocol could be used as part of an in-season maintenance resistance-training program.

Similar to the above studies for high school baseball players, general isotonic throwing velocity studies using collegiate players also involved traditional upper-body exercises.

Swangard (63) found a significant increase in throwing velocity after an 8-week upper-body resistance exercise program with collegiate pitchers.  The exercises included the arm pullover, standing press, biceps curl, shoulder shrug, supine lateral raise, wrist curl and extension, ulnar and radial deviations, and squats.

In a related study, Potteiger et al. (50) found a significant increase in throwing velocity (2.3 mph) using a traditional upper-and lower-body isotonic exercise protocol with collegiate position players.  These investigators used a progressive resistance-training protocol with the following exercises: the bench press, military press, latissimus pull-down, biceps curl, triceps extension, squat, leg curl, and leg extension.

Sullivan (62) used progressive and nonprogressive isotonic upper-body resistance-training protocols to determine the effects of resistance training on throwing velocity among college men (non–baseball players).  The isotonic exercises used were wrist curls, supine lateral raises, and bent-arm pullovers.  Although the investigator found a significant increase in throwing velocity with the isotonic upper-body exercise protocol, the results of the study also revealed that (a) free-weight exercise was more effective than wall pulley exercise (which simulated throwing motion), and (b) progression or nonprogression resistance-exercise protocols had no significant differential effects on throwing velocity.

Newton and McEvoy (45) recently reported a significant increase in throwing velocity that resulted from upper-body isotonic resistance training.  Twenty-four elite collegiate baseball players (age 18.6 6 1.9 years) trained twice per week for 8 weeks.  The isotonic resistance-training protocol consisted of 3 sets of 8 to 10 repetitions maximum (RM) for the first 4 weeks.  Thereafter, they performed 3 sets of 6RM to 8RM for the last 4 weeks.  The isotonic exercises included the conventional bench press and barbell pullover exercises that are commonly used by baseball players to train upper-body muscles in throwing.  The results of this study showed a 4.1 and 22.8% increase in throwing velocity and upper-body muscular strength, respectively.  The increased upper-body muscular strength may have contributed to the significant increase of throwing velocity in the resistance-training group.  However, it also has been shown that the correlation between muscular strength and throwing velocities was not very high.  Therefore, it was suggested that there were other factors also involved in determining throwing velocity.

In contrast, Shenk (56) reported no significant increase in throwing velocity with a progressive isotonic resistance-training program for the upper body in college men (non–baseball players).  The isotonic resistance-training group’s exercise protocol consisted of 21 exercises performed 3 days per week for an 8-week period.  Of the 21 exercises, 17 were upper-body exercises and only 4 were lower-body exercises.

In a related study, Edwards (16) also found no significant increase in throwing velocity among collegiate baseball pitchers trained with upper-body exercises.  The exercises consisted of 7 shoulder dumbbell exercises.  The training protocol consisted of 3 sessions a week for 6 weeks.  Each of 7 dumbbell exercises were performed with 3 sets of 10 repetitions.  In the same study, however, a significant increase in throwing velocity was found in the other experimental group that used proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation upper-body and arm/shoulder range of motion (ROM) exercises.

In summary, the majority of studies demonstrated that a significant increase in throwing velocity in high school and collegiate men can result from upper-body isotonic resistance training.  See Table 1 for the summary of the general resistance-training throwing studies.

Special Resistance Training

As the baseball player’s muscular strength adequately increases during the off-season, he or she should proceed into a preseason power-training program (54, 60, 61, 69).  Special resistance exercises produce the explosive muscular power output needed for the ballistic throwing motion.  As previously mentioned, the purpose of this training is to convert general muscular strength to the special quality of power as relevant to throwing (2).

There is a paucity of research regarding the effects of power training using explosive isotonic resistance exercises on throwing velocity.

Lachowetz et al. (30) has conducted the only upper-body throwing-power research study using conventional isotonic free weights and machines.  In this study (30), the resistance-training exercises were performed in an explosive manner.  The investigators (30) reported a significant increase in throwing velocity in collegiate pitchers.  During the 8-week training period, the exercise regimen combined a throwing program with traditional free weights, Cybex, Nautilus, and Cybex cable pulley exercises.  In addition, a concentric/eccentric exercise phase was also added.  The training protocol consisted of a throwing program for 3 days per week, which was combined with 4 resistance-training sessions per week at 3 sets of 10RM followed immediately by 5 additional concentric (assisted) and eccentric (unassisted) repetitions for each exercise.  The subjects were instructed to perform each muscular contraction explosively.  The intent of this concentric/eccentric exercise was to specifically target the muscles for both acceleration and deceleration of the throwing arm.

Interestingly, of the 11 upper-body exercises used in this study, 5 were shoulder cable pulley exercises that were performed in a way similar to the throwing motion.  Therefore, it is unclear that the significantly increased throwing velocity in this study was the result of explosive power training, a movement-specific effect produced by the 5 shoulder cable pulley exercises, or the combination of both factors.

Ballistic resistance training is another example of power training that combines elements of plyometric training and weight resistance training (36).  The exercise protocol involves the lifting of relatively light loads at high speeds.  It should be noted that there are mixed opinions in the exercise community as to the use of light vs. heavy loads during explosive resistance training for the improvement of dynamic performances such as jumping, running, and throwing (4).

In a recent ballistic study using light loads (45% of 1 repetition maximum [1RM]), Newton et al. (44) investigated the kinematics, kinetics, and neural activation during explosive upper-body movements.  Newton et al. (44) disclosed that the ballistic bench press throwing motion produced a significantly higher average velocity, peak velocity, average force, average power, and peak power than the traditional bench press.  Additionally, the average muscle activity (electromyogram [EMG]) during the concentric phase was also higher for the ballistic bench press throw.

Furthermore, Newton et al. (44) also revealed that although the ROM during the eccentric phases of the bench press and ballistic bench throw were similar, muscle activation during the concentric phase of the ballistic bench press throw occurred over a shorter time period and resulted in significantly higher peak and average velocities (20).  Likewise, compared with the bench press, the velocity and force curves for the ballistic bench press throw are more similar to those curves recorded from typical explosive sport movements such as throwing, jumping, and striking (29).

Moreover, several other studies (27, 33, 34, 39, 51, 70) also concurred that ballistic training with light loads (at 30–50% of 1RM) increase dynamic athletic performances.

Recently, McEvoy and Newton (36) reported a significant increase in throwing velocity (2.0%) using light loads in training.  Eighteen professional players (age 24 6 4 years) trained during a 10-week preseason period in conjunction with their normal baseball training.  The exercise protocol consisted of explosive bench press throws and squat jumps ("advanced plyometric training") for 3 sessions every 2 weeks with a load of approximately 30–50% of 1RM using a plyometric power system (43).

The players performed with loads that could be progressively adjusted to an individual’s maximized mechanical power output.  The investigators concluded that the significant increase in throwing velocity in the treatment group was possibly due to (a) a training-induced, velocity-specific improvement in strength, (b) an increase in rate of force development throughout the entire ROM, (c) an improved stretch-shortening cycle (SSC) performance, and (d) an improved instantaneous feedback on training performances.

Ballistic training has been supported by numerous strength coaches who believe that the closer the velocity and movement pattern of the training exercise is to the actual competitive sport skill, the greater the transfer of training gains to the athletic performance (40, 42).  Plyometric training is another example of special resistance training used by many baseball players and trainers (10, 37, 45, 51).

Traditional plyometric training is seen by the baseball community as a possible link between strength and speed of movement resulting in an increase of muscular power (10, 36).  Baseball players utilize this type of training in lower-body exercises such as depth jumps and bounds and upper-body exercises in the form of medicine ball throws.

Although plyometric training is popular among baseball players, very little research has been conducted as to the effects of plyometric training on throwing or running speeds.  Plyometric training research basically has been confined to the lower body such as vertical jumps (5, 55).

Newton and McEvoy (45) conducted the only baseball throwing velocity study using upper-body plyometric training.  Subjects were collegiate (mean age of 18.6 years) baseball players with no previous weight-training experience and they were trained during the competitive season.  The results of upper-body medicine ball exercises were compared with conventional isotonic resistance exercises (bench press and barbell pullover).

The authors reported that both training groups significantly increased their strength from training: 22.8% for the conventional isotonic resistance-exercise group and 8.9% for the medicine ball exercise group, respectively.  However, only the isotonic resistance-exercise group had a significant (4.1%) pre to post-training increase of throwing velocity.  These findings suggested it may be necessary that players with no previous weight-training experience first begin with an isotonic resistance-training program in order to increase throwing velocity.

Isokinetic (IKN) training is a special resistance exercise that has a positive effect on throwing performance (9, 11, 23, 25).  Numerous studies have reported the use of IKN to measure muscular strength (9, 20, 22) and torque output (19, 48, 59, 71).  IKN exercise is thought to accommodate the exerciser because the resistance varies at each point in the ROM while the speed of the movement can be prefixed as desired (12, 41).  The advantage of this type of exercise is that maximum resistance can be applied throughout the full ROM when the effort is maximum (12, 38).

Past IKN studies have reported improvement of athletic performances (19, 59).  However, there is a possible disadvantage when using IKN training to improve athletic performances, such as throwing, since most IKN exercise devices allow only a maximum angular velocity of up to 5008·s21.  This angular velocity is far below the velocity of joint action in most throwing and striking events (35).

In the baseball throw, for example, internal rotation of the shoulder joint accelerates to an angular velocity of 6,1808·s21 (47).  Therefore, IKN training devices may inherently limit the required force production and power output needed to accelerate the arm fast enough to elicit a positive effect on throwing.

In a recent IKN study, Wooden et al. (71) determined if IKN training in throwing inhibits arm acceleration and torque production required for optimum throwing velocities.  The authors compared the effects of IKN training and accommodative isotonic training in the individualized, dynamic, variable resistance (IDVR) mode.  During preseason, 27 high school (age 15.5 6 0.97 years) baseball players trained 3 times per week for 5 weeks.  The IKN group exercised at 5008·s21, and the IDVR group using the musculoskeletal evaluation rehabilitation and conditioning (MERAC) dynamometer trained at 100% of the variable resistance provided by the pretest results from the motor performance curve.  The MERAC provided the option of accommodative isotonic resistance exercise in the IDVR mode.  Therefore, with no preset speed, the limb can accelerate against the resistance to match the effort of the individual.

These authors reported significant increases in throwing velocity and external rotator torque in the IDVR group but not in the IKN group.  In addition, there was a significant increase in external rotator power in both groups, but no significant improvements in internal rotator torque and power for either group.  These findings were possibly due to (a) an improvement in external rotator peak torque to body weight ratio; (b) an increase in external rotator concentric torque output, which in turn improved eccentric function; and (c) IDVR players’ ability to freely accelerate (possibly beyond the IKN’ 5008·s21 limitation) the arm, simulating the actual throwing motion.  It was suggested that IDVR resistance training may be more effective than IKN training in improving throwing velocity and external rotator torque output.

In summary, it appears that special upper-body resistance training can significantly improve throwing velocity in high school and collegiate players.  A summary of the 4 throwing velocity special resistance-training studies is presented in Table 1.

Specific Resistance Training

Finally, numerous studies claimed that a significant increase in throwing velocity (1, 7, 14, 15, 17, 18, 56, 62) resulted from specific resistance training.  The research question is, can specific resistance training principally recruit the high-threshold motor units by imitating the actual throwing motion and velocity?  Examples of specific resistance training are weighted implement training, surgical tubing exercises, wall pulleys, and the Exergenie cord.

Weighted implement training involves exercising with modified standard competitive implements (e.g., baseballs) while duplicating the force-velocity output and full ROM specific to the competitive movement pattern (14, 15).  Previous throwing studies have indicated that the throwing velocity of a standard 5-oz baseball can be increased significantly by overload training, or throwing a heavier baseball (7–15 oz; 1, 7, 17, 18, 31).  In contrast, throwing velocity can also be increased using weighted implements that were slightly lighter than the standard competitive weights (13, 28, 66, 68).

DeRenne et al. (13–15) conducted 3 throwing and pitching velocity studies using under-and overweighted baseballs.  During the first throwing velocity pilot study in 1985, DeRenne (13) reported a significant gain in throwing velocity using either lighter or heavier baseballs.  The underweighted baseball training group showed a significant increase in throwing velocity that was twice as great as the overweighted baseball group, 3 to 1.5 mph, respectively.  The weighted baseballs used in this study were either 20% below or above the standard 5-oz weight.  The training protocol consisted of a controlled lesson plan composed of pitch totals and a specific weighted baseballs throwing sequence.

In 1990, DeRenne et al. (15) replicated the 1985 study using 30 high school varsity baseball pitchers (ages 16–18).  The results were similar to the 1985 DeRenne study (13).  The underweighted group had a significant increase of 4.72 mph in throwing velocity, whereas the overweighted group also had a significant improvement of 3.75 mph.  The control group, on the other hand, had only improved 0.88 mph.

In 1994, DeRenne et al. (15) conducted the third throwing velocity study using various combinations of standard, light, and heavy baseballs with 45 high school (age 16.6 6 0.57 years) and 180 college (age 19.6 6 0.46 years) pitchers.  Each age group of pitchers were randomly assigned into 2 experimental groups and 1 control group.  The training protocol consisted of the following: (a) group 1 pitched with a weighted sequence of a standard-heavy-light-standard baseball 3 days per week for 10 weeks; (b) group 2 pitched with a "block" training of a weighted sequence of standard-heavy-standard for the first 5 weeks, then standard-light-standard for the final 5 weeks; and (c) group 3 pitched only standard baseballs.

The rationale for this training procedure was based on the Russian strength-training studies (28, 68), which suggested that a functional strength progression should be established prior to velocity training.  In addition, previous baseball throwing studies only used either heavier or lighter baseballs and the weighted baseball sequence in training never was varied.

It was the purpose of this particular study to determine the best sequence combination using weighted baseballs in training.  The pitch totals for weighted baseballs in sequence were kept to a 2:1 ratio (nonstandard to standard weight), as was previously suggested (28, 68).  The findings of this study revealed a significant increase of throwing velocity in both training groups with either population.

As previously stated, baseball throwing and pitching are high-velocity ballistic movements in which velocity is directly related to performance.  The neurophysiological mechanism for increasing movement velocity resulting from the weighted implement training is not fully understood at this time.

Since the peak force output of fast-contracting muscle fibers can be 4 times greater that that of slow fibers (21), it has been suggested that highly specific fast movements could recruit and fire these high-threshold fast muscle fibers (57).  The results of the above-mentioned weighted implement training studies (13–15) may indicate that a greater exertion of muscle force at high speeds was due to a modification of the recruitment pattern of motor units in the central nervous system.  Thus selective activation of either of the fast or slow motor units in muscle could be specifically trained.

Another specific resistance training mode that has been gaining popularity with baseball coaches, players, and trainers is surgical tube exercises.  However, there appears to be a paucity of research on the effects of surgical tube training on throwing performance.  Tubing exercises are used by position players and pitchers to mimic the total competitive throwing movement at or near game velocities and power outputs (3).

Recently, Shenk (56) examined the effects of a general isotonic strength-training program and a surgical tube exercise protocol on throwing velocity performed by 34 college men with organized baseball or softball experience.  The tubing exercise protocol consisted of progressive resistance training by increasing the tubing tension when exercises were performed and increasing the number of sets and repetitions of each exercise for 3 training sessions per week over 8 weeks.  The findings in this study showed that the throwing velocity of the surgical tube exercise group was significantly increased (1.9 mph), whereas the isotonic weight-training group had no changes.

Another interesting finding of this study revealed that the significant increase in throwing velocity was made in the absence of any significant strength gains in both training groups.  This finding is in contrast to Newton and McEvoy (45) who reported a strength gain using an isotonic upper-body training protocol.

The lack of strength gains in Shenk’ study (56) was possibly due to differences in testing methods for velocity or strength assessment (8, 9, 53, 57).

In contrast, Grant and Ritch (22) reported significant improvements (25%) in strength and endurance after using surgical tube exercises.  During this preseason study (22), 19 college baseball players performed surgical tubing exercises with the dominant throwing arm.  After 8 training weeks, IKN tests at speeds of 608, 1808, and 3008 revealed significant strength and endurance gains compared with the nontube, nondominate exercised arm.  Further tubing research is needed to substantiate its effects on throwing velocity using high school or collegiate pitchers engaging in preseason and in-season training.

The last examples of specific resistance-training exercises that have a similar training stimulus as tubing exercises are isotonic resistance wall pulley exercises and the Exergenie cord.  A review of the literature indicated that there were 4 throwing velocity studies conducted with wall pulley devices and the Exergenie cord.  These studies all reported significant increases in throwing velocity after training (7, 32, 52, 62).

Brose et al. (7) reported a significant increase in throwing velocity among 21 collegiate freshman baseball players who trained 3 times per week for 6 weeks with wall pulley resistance exercises.  During each exercise session, the players performed 1 set of 5 moderate-speed ‘‘throws’’ followed by 20 maximal repetitions.  The overload wall pulley device was set at 10 lb of tension.

Likewise, Railey (52) and Sullivan (62) reported the same results from isotonic resistance wall pulley exercises.  In Railey’ study (52), 30 college baseball players trained 4 times per week for 7 weeks.  The wall pulley exercise group performed nonprogressive resistance exercises simulating the throwing motion.  Sullivan’s study (62) involved 58 collegiate nonbaseball subjects who trained 4 days per week for 6 weeks.  The training protocols for the 2 wall pulley exercise groups consisted of 3 sets of 10 repetitions performed with either progressive or nonprogressive resistance exercises simulating the throwing motion.  Sullivan’s findings (62) also revealed (a) there was a significant difference in throwing velocity between the general isotonic weight-training group and the isotonic wall pulley exercise group in favor of the isotonic weight-training group, and (b) progressive resistance exercise and throwing practice protocols had no significant effect on increasing throwing velocity.

In a similar wall pulley training study, Logan et al. (32) reported a significant increase in throwing velocity (8.1 mph) using a resistance device called the Exergenie cord.  The subjects trained daily for 6 weeks.  The results of this study (32) also revealed that the Exergenie training group had significantly greater throwing velocity gains than the practice throwing training group.

It is interesting to note that all 4 wall pulley studies resulted in significant increases in throwing velocities using nonprogressive resistance-training protocols.

In summary, weighted implement training can significantly increase throwing velocity for both high school and college players by using weighted baseballs no more than 20% above or 20% below standard weight.  Likewise, surgical tube and wall pulley exercises blend both resistance and speed of movement.

These specific exercises all attempt to mimic the total body throwing action and, therefore, train the specific musculature at each joint.  Conversely, traditional or general weight-training exercises attempt to work on isolated individual muscle groups.  Additional advantages of the specific training concur that it may be more beneficial to learn a task as a whole movement than to divide it into component parts (6, 34).

Weighted implement training may elicit specific neurophysiological adaptations in which selective motor unit activation/recruitment could occur.  Further support of this hypothesis comes from the fact that surgical tube training significantly increased throwing velocity in collegiate baseball players with or without concurrent increases in strength.

For a significant increase in throwing velocity, the training protocol should include a minimum of 3 training sessions per week for at least 8 weeks (22, 56).  A minimal resistance that allows for overload and high speeds for sufficient power output should be used.  Moreover, surgical tube exercise provides the maximum overload near the end of the ROM, whereas greater peak torques are achieved earlier in the ROM of general isotonic resistance training (46, 57).

The combination of these 2 training modes may be needed when planning the total periodized throwing training program.  Finally, the findings from the above-mentioned wall pulley training studies (32, 52, 62) suggested that general isotonic resistance training may be better than wall pulley training for non–baseball players to improve throwing velocity.  For high school and collegiate baseball players, they may use general isotonic strength-training protocols combined with specific surgical tubing or wall pulley exercises.  However, additional research is needed to determine the effects of surgical tube training on throwing velocity.

Table 1 presents the summary of the 11 specific resistance throwing velocity training studies.

Practical Applications

Throwing velocity can be increased by resistance training.  A rationale for general, special, and specific resistance training to increase throwing velocity has been presented.  The following findings and recommendations relevant to strength and conditioning specialists and pitching coaches can be useful from the review of literature.

* Throwing velocity for high school and college players can be increased with general resistance training.  The throwing-training protocol should be conducted over a minimum training period of 8 weeks using upper-body core exercises and a dumbbell shoulder routine.

*As the baseball player’s general muscular strength and throwing velocity adequately increases during the off-season, he should proceed into a special upper-body power throwing velocity training program.  The power-training protocol should consist of 'exploding' lightweight loads of 30–50% of 1RM during the 6–8 training weeks.

* Specific resistance training consisting of light-and heavyweighted baseballs may be the single best method to increasing throwing velocity, provided the athlete follows the appropriate training protocol.  Before a weighted implement training program commences, an athlete should participate in a general total-body isotonic resistance program followed by an upper-body power-training regimen.  In order to produce the maximum training results, selection of appropriate throwing training exercises must be based on the athlete’s chronological age, training experience, and skill level.

Table 1. Summary of throwing velocity resistance training studies.

Study Subjects Training method Strength change Velocity change.

General: traditional isotonic resistance training exercises that increase overall maximum strength of the muscles.

01.  Bagonzi (1) High school Isotonic Increase
02.  Edwards (16) College Isotonic Decrease
03.  Jackson (26) High school Isotonic No change No change
04.  Newton and McEvoy (45) College Isotonic Increase Increase
05.  Potteiger (50) College Isotonic Increase
06.  Popescue (40) High school Isotonic Increase
07.  Shenk (56) College Isotonic No change No change
08.  Sullivan (62) College Isotonic Increase
09.  Swangard (63) College Isotonic Increase
10.  Thompson and Martin (64) College Isotonic Increase

Special: explosive resistance training exercises for muscular power development.

01.  Lachowetz et al. (30) College Isotonic Increase
02.  McEvoy and Newton (36)

Professional Ballistic Increase

01.  Newton and McEvoy (45) College Medicine ball Increase No change
02.  Wooden et al. (71) High school Isokinetic Increase

Specific: resistance training exercises that attempt to minic the high-velocity ballistic throwing motion.

01.  Bagonzi (1) High school Overload baseballs Increase
02.  Brose and Hanson (7) College Overload baseballs, Increase Wall pulley Increase
03.  DeRenne (13) High school Weighted baseballs Increase
04.  DeRenne (14) High school Weighted baseballs Increase
05.  DeRenne (15) High school, college Weighted baseballs Increase
06.  Egstrom et al. (17) College Weighted balls Increase
07.  Elias (18) College Overload baseballs Increase
08.  Logan et al. (32) College Exer-genie Increase
09.  Railey (52) College Wall pulley Increase
10.  Shenk (56) College Surgical tube No change Increase
11.  Sullivan (62) College Wall pulley Increase
12.  VanHuss et al. (67) College Overload baseballs Increase


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     They cite over seventy references and they have the nerve to say that they did a brief review of the literature.

     While I think that it is nice the fellow Michigan State University doctoral candidate, Professor Kwok W. Ho continues to cite Professor Van Huss's baseball pitching research (#67), I was there and know that the two Michigan State University baseball pitchers who collected the data did not know what they were doing and that their release velocity measurement technique was unreliable.

     Further, if the Elias in reference #18 is John Elias, then he was one of the two Michigan State University baseball pitchers who collected the data for Professor Van Huss.  Mickey Sinks was the other pitcher.  Neither had a clue as to what research is or how to collect data.

     Apparently, Professor Ho missed the lecture where Professor William W. Heusner explained Specificity of Training or he did not read the landmark paper that Professor Heusner wrote on the topic.  Professor Heusner is spinning in his grave.

     What these gentlemen cited are over seventy references of garbage research.  These alleged researchers do not know how to control for confounding variables.  They all conducted rigged research.  That is they are all investigating the results of various training programs on the ability of 'traditional' baseball pitchers to throw harder immediately after their training programs.

     The only reliable statement in this entire article was, "Therefore, it was suggested that there were other factors also involved in determining throwing velocity."  They finally said something with which I can agree.

     They all ignored the critical confounding variable, which is that the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion destroys pitching arms.  This means that the force application technique that the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion uses breaks down the bones, ligaments, tendons and muscles of the pitching arm.  Therefore, the baseball pitchers on whom they conduct these experiments come into the training with broken down pitching arms.

     The researchers do not say how much baseball pitching training or at what intensity these researchers had these baseball pitchers do during the time they were using these various training methods for these short time periods.  I suspect that most did not have these baseball pitchers did not throw at all and those that did did not have them throw much or too hard.  As a result, they gave their subjects time to recover from the breakdowns of the tissues of their pitching arm in time to throw harder one time after the training.

     Did they have a control group or did they just pre and post-test the experimental group?  If the control group of matched subjects also rested for the same lenght of time without the training, then they would have also thrown harder for the one time post-test.  I did not read where any of these research articles had a control group.  Where are the pre and post-test results of the control groups?

     And, where are the follow-up studies of these baseball pitchers?  They claim that their short term training programs significantly increased the release velocity of their subjects.  I want to know how hard these baseball pitchers threw later after they used the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion during competition.  I suspect that most injured their pitching arms and/or no longer pitch.

     In the studies of high school baseball pitchers, did the researchers account for biological age when they matched their subjects for their control or experimental groups?  Did they account for the normal increase in in strength associated with the increase in testosterone levels in their subjects?  These factors are the major reason why research on non-adult athletes is so unreliable.

     To me, the question about how to train baseball pitchers to achieve their maximum genetic release velocity starts with how they should apply force to their pitches.  Therefore, not only because I believe that the bones, ligaments, tendons and muscles of the pitching arm need to receive stress in precisely the same way that they will when they pitch, to not have to simultaneously provide the baseball pitchers with specific motor skill acquisition training wastes valuable training time.

     In short, I believe that either these researchers cannot see the trees because the forest is in their way or they are ignoring the monster in the room, which is the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion.  Until researchers agree on how baseball pitchers can most effectively and efficiently apply force to their pitches, everything else they do is meaningless and irrelevant.

     I have satisfied myself that I have determine the most effective and efficient way for baseball pitchers to apply force to their pitches.  Maybe these researchers do not know of my baseball pitching motion.

     The article says that I can find Coop DeRenne and Kwok W. HO in the Department of Kinesiology and Leisure Science of the College of Education at the University of Hawaii-Manoa in Honolulu, Hawaii 96822.  As I am typing this, I am also addressing an envelop that contains my Baseball Pitching Instructional Baseball Video.

     Like the researchers from the University of North Carolina who the Little League Baseball, Incorporated hired to research baseball pitching injuries in youth baseball pitchers and the team doctor for the St. Louis Cardinals, I expect that I will also not hear from them.  I hope that I am wrong.

     It is vital that those of us with academic training in Applied Anatomy, Biomechanics, Exercise Physiology and Motor Skill Acquisition research baseball pitching.  I do not understand how the baseball world continues to allow the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion to destroy thousands of baseball pitching arms every year.

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029.  I was surfing the web trying to find your kind of help/knowledge for our 16 year old softball playing daughter.  I realize softball is not your world, but maybe You could give us some direction.

She is a middle infielder and has been playing since 9 years old.  She is passionate about being a scholar/athlete and is on a mission to play in college.  She was picked up in September by a top level (ASA) travel team and things were going pretty well until the coaches tried to change her throw.

She has a bit of a “sidearm” as opposed to over the top kind of throw.  The switch left her arm useless.  The first time she tried this her arm was useless the next day.  She had three weeks rest during Christmas vacation.  Following the first practice back her arm was toast again.

She has never had any complaints, pain, or injuries in the past.  She is worried about her future now.  Do you understand what the coaches are trying to achieve, should they have planned a more gradual change???  Can you give us some guidance or opinion?


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     I teach a straight line force application technique for throwing where athletes strongly pronate their throwing forearm through release.  I use four drills to teach my throwing motion.  The best way for your daughter to learn how to throw as I teach is to get a copy of my Baseball Pitching Instructional Video.  Obviously, she would not have to practice the non-fastball pitches that I teach baseball pitchers.

     To learn what you have to do to get a copy, please click on the Baseball Pitching Instructional Video icon that is on the home page of my website.

     If you and she have any difficulties learning my drills or doing my 120-Dah High School Baseball Pitchers Interval-Training Program, then please email me with your questions and, together, we will give her the strongest, injury-free throwing motion that she can have.

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030.  Tom House Coming to SFA.

National Pitching Association co-founder to speak at annual Meet the 'Jacks.'

Jan. 4, 2007

NACOGDOCHES:  World renowned pitching consultant, performance analyst, sports psychologist and author Tom House will be making his way to Nacogdoches as the guest speaker for the annual Meet the `Jacks baseball-softball dinner.  The dinner is scheduled for Jan. 23 in the Grand Ballroom of the University Center on the SFA campus.

House, a former Major League pitcher, is considered "one of the world's foremost authorities on pitching."  After spending time with the Atlanta Braves, Boston Red Sox and the Seattle Mariners, he went on to be a coach for the Houston Astros, San Diego Padres, Texas Rangers, and Tokyo's Chiba Lotte Marines.

"The biggest name in baseball is Tom House," said SFA head baseball coach Donnie Watson.  "Tom is at the top of his profession and is the best person to go to in terms of baseball health."

After his career in the Majors, House co-founded the National Pitching Association to help with the development of young pitchers by challenging traditional teaching methods to help reduce the possibility of injury.

"Tom is semi-controversial," said Watson.  "He challenges everything traditional, the standard belief, and as a result of it, he's revolutionizing the way people develop in our sport."

House has authored or co-authored 19 books on baseball instruction and is an advisor with the American Sports Medicine Institute.  On the amateur level, House teaches for 12 baseball academies across the US and Canada.  He reaches 5,000-6,000 players and coaches a year through clinics and camps.

While helping Major Leaguers such as Nolan Ryan, Randy Johnson, Mark Prior and Rob Nenn, House also focuses on the health of younger pitchers who are just developing their arm strength without the proper techniques.

Currently, there is an on-going epidemic of Tommy John surgery required to repair the elbows of pitchers under the age of 16.  By bringing House to East Texas, Watson hopes to educate Little Leaguers and their coaches how to avoid the major surgery.

"Our biggest market is our kids," said Watson.  "I want to help educate our community and our Little Leaguers and make SFA a pioneer in the movement to protect the health of our future players.

"As the head baseball coach at SFA, I feel it's my job to help equip local coaches with the knowledge needed so their kids don't break down at such an early age," Watson said.  The January 23rd dinner is scheduled for 6:30 in the Grand Ballroom of the University Center.  Members of the 2007 Lumberjack baseball and Ladyjack softball teams will be introduced before House steps to the podium.

Tickets are $10 per person and can be reserved or purchased from any Nacogdoches Rotary Club member or by calling Stacy Irwin at (936) 552-3211 or the SFA Baseball and Softball office at (936) 468-3501.


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     I should know, but I cannot remember, what does SFA stand for?

     Let me see.  Nolan Ryan left baseball with a pitching arm injury.  Randy Johnson missed almost an entire season after Tom House taught him how to release his pitches closer to home plate.  Mark Prior has not pitched without pain for almost three years.  Rob Nenn is out of baseball with pitching arm injuries.

     Tom House loves to take credit for someone else's success, but he ignores all his failures, a couple of whom I have had to rehabilitate.

     SFA Head Baseball Coach, Donnie Watson, thinks that Tom House is the guy he needs to focus "on the health of younger pitchers who are just developing their arm strength without the proper techniques," especially when "there is an on-going epidemic of Tommy John surgery required to repair the elbows of pitchers under the age of 16."

     Coach Watson has false hopes if he thinks that "bringing House to East Texas," will "educate Little Leaguers and their coaches how to avoid the major surgery."  Tom House is the cause of the epidemic of Ulnar Collateral Ligament ruptures in all baseball pitchers, especially the youth baseball pitchers.

     Tom House is controversial because he used steroids while he pitched for the Atlanta Braves, but he excused his behavior because steroids did not increase the velocity of his fastball.

     I guess a good publicity agent can cover a multitude of sins.

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031.  I forwarded the article because I found it humorous and thought you might too.  SFA stands for Stephen F. Austin State University.  I'm certain this is a fundraiser for both Mr. House and the baseball and softball programs at that school.

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     Thank you.  After I wrote the email, I remembered.  Because I coached college baseball in Texas for one year, I learned the names and locations of all Texas junior and senior colleges.  Unfortunately, I had a senior moment.

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032.  Thank you for the invitation.  I have been traveling and away from e-mail access for the past 7 days.  Under normal circumstances I would love to come listen to your thoughts of pitching.

Unfortunately I am speaking every weekend from mid Dec to late Feb...so I will have to decline the invitation.

I would like for you to entertain the thought of joining us in Houston for our annual pitching symposium.  You would have 2 -55 minute sessions to present your thoughts and methodologies.  It is a Fri/Sat/Sun event.  The event will be held the 2nd weekend in December 2007.

I know time is precious to all of us so I could fly you into Houston late Saturday night...you could speak Sunday and I could fly you out Sunday afternoon.  That is usually the type of arrangement I make with clinics.

On the other hand...if you wished to stay for the entire 3 days...we'd be happy to have you here as well.

This year we had 200 coaches...from HS, Colleges, Professional organizations...and Academy owners.

Jerry Weinstein & Brent Strom are already scheduled to speak.

Best of luck to you with your certification...I know how challenging these are to put on.

Thank you for the invitation and for considering to present at our event.

Sincerely,

  Ron Wolforth


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     I would be honored to speak at your clinic.  I hope that 2 fifty-five minutes sessions are sufficient time for me to discuss all the injurious and biomechanical flaws inherent in the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion and what we need to do to correct them and how my baseball pitching motion and interval-training programs injury-proofs all baseball pitchers.

     A very close friend of mine is the director of exercise countermeasures with NASA in the Houston area.  If he is in town on that weekend, then I might very well be able to stay for the entire clinic.

     I appreciate the opportunity.

     Sincerely,

Dr. Mike Marshall

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033.  I remember you as the 1st great reliever I ever saw pitch.  One of the true "horses".  You pitched so often and so many innings, I'm sure pitchers today look at your career as some kind of freak thing that only a few could do.  Then I came across your name on the internet.  I am now reading your e-book.  I had a question for you.

I have a 9 yr old boy.  What would be your greatest suggestions for him with his pitching?  Is it OK for him to even be pitching at this age?  What should or shouldn't he do at this age?


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     My goal is the elimination of all pitching injuries.  In pitching injuries, I include the premature closure of growth plate in the pitching arm of youth baseball pitchers.

     Therefore, I recommend that, until they are biologically thirteen years old, youth baseball pitchers do not pitch competitively.  This means that, without pitching competitively, your nine year old should begin to learn the skills of baseball pitching.  To do this, for two months this coming summer, he should complete my First 60-Day Youth Baseball Pitching Motor Skill Acquisition Program.

     To keep track of the growth plates in his pitching arm, within one week of his birthday, we should have a radiologist take front and side views of his glove and pitching arms from mid-upper arm to mid-forearm, make copies, send them to me and I will determine his biological age and whether I see any differences between how the growth plate in his pitching arm are developing from the growth plates in his glove arm.

     Then, in the summer of 2008, 2009 and 2010, he should complete my Second, Third and Fourth 60-Day Youth Baseball Pitchers Motor Skill Acquisition Programs.

     When he is biologically thirteen years old, because the growth plates at the elbow end of the Humerus bone in his pitching arm will have matured, he can pitch competitively for two consecutive months.

     When he is biologically sixteen years old, because all growth plates in his pitching elbow will have matured, he can complete my 120-Day High School Baseball Pitchers Interval-Training Program.

     When he is biologically nineteen years old, because all growth plates in his pitching shoulder and wrist will have matures, he can complete my 280-Day Adult Baseball Pitchers Interval-Training Program.

     Thereafter, if he is still interested in becoming the best baseball pitcher that he can be, then he can complete my eight 72-Day Adult Baseball Pitchers Recoil Interval-Training Programs.

     At the end of these programs, like I did during my professional baseball career, he will be training every day with thirty pound wrist weights and a fifteen pound iron ball and he will be the best baseball pitcher that he can be.

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034.  Where can I get the best information on everything about the knuckleball?

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     Because I believe that learning to throw knuckleballs takes valuable learning time away from learning far more valuable pitches, I do not teach baseball pitchers how to throw knuckleballs.  Therefore, I have no idea where you can get the best information on everything about the knuckleball.

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035.  I will be ordering your video and book.  My question after reading your web site is am I correct in assuming that my 11 year old should not pitch in any games?  My son is from the northern mid-west.  I will get my money order ready to send to your address.

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     While my baseball pitching motion removes the injurious flaws that are inherent in the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion, I cannot predict that even the necessary stress of my baseball pitching motion might prematurely close growth plates.

     Therefore, I recommend that, until youth baseball pitchers are biologically thirteen years old, they do not pitch competitively.  Until they are biologically thirteen years old, I recommend that, to learn my baseball pitching motion, youth baseball pitchers to be complete my four 60-Day Youth Baseball Pitchers Motor Skill Acquisition Programs.

     I base my recommendation on the growth and development of the growth plates in the pitching arm.  At thirteen biological years old, the growth plates on the elbow end of the bone of the pitching upper arm, the Humerus bone, completely mature.  This means that they are no longer susceptible to premature closure.

     I also recommend that between biological thirteen years old and sixteen years old, youth baseball pitchers do not pitch competitively for more than two consecutive months each year.  I have no problem with them working on their pitching skills, but I prefer that they do not continue to stress their still-open growth plates with competitive pitching.

     When youth baseball pitchers are sixteen biological years old, I recommend that they complete my 120-Day High School Baseball Pitchers Interval-Training Program.

     Thereafter, whether they complete the remaining interval-training programs I have developed depends on them.

     I strongly recommend that the parents of all youth baseball pitchers monitor the growth and development of the growth plates in the pitching elbow.  To do this, within one week of their son's birthday, they have a radiologist take front and side view X-rays of their son's glove and pitching elbow from the mid-upper arm to mid-forearm, make copies and send them to me.  I will determine their son's biological age and whether I see any changes in the growth and development of the growth plates in their son's pitching elbow.

     Having said all this, I acknowledge that I prefer to err on the side of caution.  Whether parents follow my advice is their choice.  However, what parents decide to do does not change my offer to determine their son's biological age and the growth and development pattern of their son's growth plates.

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036.  I'm registered for your lectures next week in Cherry Hill New Jersey.  I eagerly await your thoughts.  I anticipate asking you how your methods apply to submariners like me.

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     Because I feel as though I learn as much from the audience as they do from me, I am looking forward to discussing baseball pitching in Cherry Hill, NJ this coming Thursday and Friday.  Please make sure to ask me whether submarine baseball pitcher can achieve their genetic maximum release velocity and the variety of high-quality non-fastball pitches that they need to pitch three times through the lineup against the four types of baseball batters.

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037.  Your information challenges "conventional" pitching wisdom and I enjoy getting off my seat to experiment for myself some of the pitching movement patterns you describe.

I notice women's softball pitchers seem to try to gain more power in their pitches by first leaning backward to "gather" energy before starting their stride and release to the plate.  Would this be similar to your concept of starting with the weight on the glove side foot, with the foot behind the rubber?

You analogy of the pitcher, catcher and radar gun on the flat car is a good one.  In trying to explain possible maximum forces in hitting, I have tried to envision a carousel on a flat car.  You have a rotational and a linear force.  A batter who's weight is moving forward and rotating into the ball will impart more force than a batter who is just standing still and rotating.

I pitched at the University of Minnesota in the late '70's when you came to the Twins.  I remember you working out at the old, dusty, indoor fieldhouse where we practiced.

Thanks for your information. I look forward to reading and testing more of your concepts.


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     With the bitterly cold winters in Minnesota, even though it was an old, dusty fieldhouse, I greatly enjoyed working out at the University of Minnesota baseball facility.  You may remember that a couple of other local boys practiced baseball batting with me.  Let me see, I think their names were something like Molitor and Hrbek.  We talked about force-coupling.

     A fellow doctoral candidate with me at Michigan State University coaches women's softball at Keene State College.  Like me, he uses high-speed film to teach his softball pitchers how they are applying force to their pitches.  He sends me copies of the film.

     You are correct, Sir, softball pitchers do use upper body force-coupling to increase the force that they apply to their pitches.  They also use their pitching leg to launch the center of mass of their body toward home plate.

     Unfortunately, because, to see where pitched baseballs will cross the contact line, baseball batters need to keep their head still, I have not figured a way to incorporate the continuously forwardly moving center of mass of the body principle into baseball batting.  Therefore, I focus on the force-coupling between their front and rear hands on the baseball bat.

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038.  I was a Dodger fan living in the L.A. area for many years and followed you accomplishments.  I am coaching a 9-11 year old minor league baseball team.  The kids who are pitching candidates have had virtually no formal instruction on basic techniques.  Can you please recommend the best teaching aid(s) I should use?  Is it a DVD, workbook, illustrate drills, etc.?

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     The first baseball pitching skill that baseball pitchers of all ages should learn is how to properly release their pitches.  My First 60-Day Youth Baseball Pitchers Motor Skill Acquisition Program teaches youth baseball pitchers how to grip, drive and release my Maxline True Screwball, Maxline Fastball, Maxline Pronation Curve and Torque Fastball.  However, instead of the full wind-up baseball pitching motion, to learn these skills, the youngsters use my Step Back Wrong Foot body action; Slingshot glove and pitching arm actions drill.

     The flaw in your plan is that youngsters need years of proper training to master the basic skills of baseball pitching.  If they simultaneously try to competitively pitch, then, not only will they risk irreparable damage to the growth plates in their pitching arm, but they will also significantly slow down their learning process.

     I recommend that youngsters complete one of my four 60-Day programs per year.  Nine years old is a great age for them to start.  Then, by the time that they are biologically thirteen years old, not only will they greatly reduce the possibility of irreparable damage to the bones in their pitching arm, but they will also be sufficiently skilled to benefit from pitching one inning per game twice a week for two consecutive months each year.

     My Baseball Pitching Instructional Video explains how to perform the drills that I use to teach the skills of baseball pitching.  It contains two one hour and fifteen minute DVDs.  To learn how to get your copy, click on the Baseball Pitching Instructional Video on the home page of my website.

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039.  I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for holding the Pitching Certification Clinic this weekend.   It was fabulous!  I learned so much that I now realize I must learn even more!!!!

Your stories of your days in the Major leagues and coaching college were very enlightening to us.  They are great stories.  I wish I had videotaped the whole clinic.

One of your pitchers worked with my son after the clinic and I think he was doing awesome.

Your generosity is only exceeded by your kindness.  My son wants to express his gratitude as well.  He had a great time!

Please add our names and email address to your certified training list on the web pages.

Mark and Allen Wilson
1634 Keeling Drive
Deltona FL 32738
Phone: (386)532-3242

My plan is to teach youth pitchers your mechanics without charge.

I would like to come down again very soon and set up the links from your web page to my video server so that people can easily access your videos.  Will you be available Wednesday?

Thank You for ALL you DO!


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     The pleasure was all mine.  You guys energized me.

     If you are willing to put the segments of my Baseball Pitching Instructional Video on your server for all to watch without charge, then I can make myself available whenever it is convenient for you to show me how to do this.  I will be available Wednesday at any time you want.

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040.  I am currently on day 86 of your 280 day interval training program.  Since beginning to perform your wrong foot loaded slingshot throws on day 77, I have felt slight disfomfort in the front of my throwing shoulder, especially when performing torque fastball baseball throws.  I have not experienced this pain while performing the iron ball throws, wrist weight exercises, or football throws.

I videotaped myself to see if I could find the problem.  The only thing I saw that I questioned was that when I 'load the slingshot' my throwing hand moves inside my throwing elbow.  However, my hand does not move behind my acromial line.  I would like to read your opinions as to why I am experiencing this acute pain in the front of my throwing shoulder.


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     Boy, this problem moved from a slight discomfort in your first paragraph to acute pain in your second paragraph.

     That, when you do your wrist weight, iron ball and football training, you do not experience the discomfort means that, whatever the cause is, it is not structurally significant.

     In my Step Back Wrong Foot body action; Loaded Slingshot glove and pitching arm actions drill, I have baseball pitchers reach as far back toward second base as possible, then, as they start to step forward with their pitching foot, I want them to 'lock' their pitching upper arm with their shoulders and throw their pitching upper arm vertically forward, such that they assume my Slingshot glove and pitching arm actions position.

     It sounds to me as though when you start to step forward with your pitching foot, you have not yet 'locked' your pitching upper arm with your shoulders.  In this case, the inertial mass of your pitching arm will cause a delay in the forward movement of your pitching arm that lengthens the muscles that operate across the front of your shoulder.

     To 'lock' the pitching upper arm with the shoulders is very simple, but timing is everything.

     In my 'Loaded Slingshot' glove and pitching arm actions, my baseball pitchers have their pitching upper arm at shoulder height and their pitching hand at driveline height slightly above their pitching ear with the palm of their pitching hand facing away from their body.  Because the tip of their pitching elbow points downward, their pitching upper arm is not 'locked' with their shoulders.

     To 'lock' the pitching upper arm, baseball pitchers need only to slightly outwardly rotate their pitching upper arm. With only a few degrees of outward rotation, the head of the Humerus bone 'locks' against the rim of the Glenoid Fossa.  As a result, even without muscle action, it is not possible for the pitching elbow to move behind the acromial line.

     When baseball pitchers start to move their pitching arm forward from my 'Loaded Slingshot' position, to 'lock' their pitching upper arm with their shoulders, all they have to do is turn the palm of their pitching hand from facing away from their body to facing upward as though they are waiters holding a tray of dishes.

     Kinesiologically, this action is forearm supination.  When baseball pitchers have their pitching elbow almost fully extended and they supinate their pitching forearm, they also slightly outwardly rotate their pitching upper arm.  As a result, they slightly outwardly rotate the head of their Humerus bone, which 'locks' against the rim of the Glenoid Fossa.

     The way to test whether baseball pitchers have 'locked' their pitching upper arm with their shoulders is to, first, have them assume my 'Loaded Slingshot' glove and pitching arm actions position.

01.  Then, with the palm of their pitching hand still facing away from their body, against the palm of their pitching hand, coaches should gently apply force toward the glove side of their body.  As their pitching arm moves laterally behind their body, the baseball pitchers will feel that they cannot overcome even minimal force.

02.  Next, coaches should ask their baseball pitchers to turn the palm of their pitching hand to face upward as though they are holding a tray of dishes.  With the palm of their pitching hand now facing upward, to the little finger side of the pitching hand of their baseball pitchers, coaches should again gently apply force toward their glove side of their body.

     If baseball pitchers have 'locked' their pitching upper arm with their shoulders, then the baseball pitchers should feel strength in the front of their pitching shoulder to not only easily withstand this force, but to easily overcome it and move the hand of their coach toward home plate.

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041.  In regard to your Dr. Mike Marshall Certified Pitchers section of your web site, please place my name, location and email address when you get a chance.  Thank you.

Steve Sullivan
Marietta GA
kharma2301@yahoo.com


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     I will have that file online as soon as I can and I will gladly have your name alphabetically listed as certified to teach my baseball pitching motion and interval-training programs.

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042.  Thank you much for your invitation to your first Certification Seminar.  How great was this weekend!  To be able to meet guys from across the country, from coast to coast north to south, with the common interest of understanding your pitching motion was terrific.  You had guys from Massachusetts, California, Alabama, Florida, Colorado, Connecticut, New Jersey and Virginia.  It was simply a great experience.  I learned much.

Please also extend my thanks to the beautiful Erica and your guys for their warm hospitality.  Watching the guys was very informative and as always, entertaining.  It's hard to believe how they throw those iron balls and wrist weights around.

I think your time is at hand.  I hope all those within driving distance of Cherry Hill, NJ have the good sense to see you next weekend.  Travel safe and best wishes to you and your guys.


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     You missed the guy from Italy.

     But, you are being modest.  You are the guy who cajoled me into offering the clinic.  I did not believe that even ten guys would take their valuable Saturday and Sunday of NFL playoff football to fly to Florida, drive to Zephyrhills, get hotel accommodations and attend my first Certification Clinic.

     I had a marvelous time.  You guys make my heart sing.

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043.  Recently, in your question/answer files, you mentioned a landmark study on specificity of training done by Professor Heusner.  What is the reference for that study?  I would like to read it.

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     I hold in my hand the thirty-eight page paper to which I referred.  The title is:  Specificity of Interval-Training by W. W. Heusner, Human Energy Research Laboratory, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan, copyrighted in 1963.

     In the Table of Contents, it list five sections.

01.  The History of Interval-Training
02.  The Scientific Bases Underlying Interval-Training
03.  The Application of the Scientific Principles Underlying Interval-Training to the Energy Metabolism Variables
04.  The Implementation of an Interval-Training Program
05.  Specificity of Interval-Training Is a Valid Concept

     On the List of Tables page, it provides seven titles.

01.  Hypothetical levels of venous blood pH and lactic acid in an untrained subject and in a highly trained athlete before and after exhaustive work.
02.  Typical energy metabolism values for untrained subjects and highly trained athletes during severe exercise.
03.  Hypothetical energy metabolism of an athletes (average oxygen intake capacity of 4 liters per minute and oxygen debt tolerance of 16 liters) during exhaustive work periods of one and sixteen minute durations.
04.  Classification of work loads by levels of energy metabolism.
05.  Total oxygen intake and work efficiency during continuous and interval work.
06.  Schematic design of a progressive interval-training program for swimming or track using only one distance and large steps.
07.  Changes in the energy metabolism of two athletes produced my two and one-half years of specific interval-training.

     On the List of Illustrations page, it provides six titles.

01.  Hypothetical stroke volume variations in an untrained subject and in a highly trained athlete before, during and after severe exercise.
02.  Relationship between blood lactic acid and oxygen debt during exercise.
03.  Hypothetical energy metabolism of a subject (oxygen intake capacity of 5.1 liters per minute and oxygen debt tolerance of approximately 16 liters) before, during and after a task demanding a total oxygen utilization of 10 liters per minute.
04.  Hypothetical energy expenditure required to perform a specific motor skill while learning first a less efficient and later a more efficient technique.
05.  Reduction of the cardiovascular stress (induced by tending industrial furnaces ) during the afternoon shift obtained by proper adjustment of work-rest periods.
06.  Hypothetical energy metabolism of a subject (oxygen intake capacity of 5 liters per minute and oxygen debt tolerance of 14 liters) during an interval-training workout.

     In its Selected Bibliography section, it lists 163 references.

     I have no idea whether Professor Heusner published this material.  I suppose that, given enough time, I could retype it and place it in a separate file on my website along with my treatises on why walks are not the worse thing that pitchers can do and how baseball coaches can help baseball pitchers succeed.

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044.  How did your clinic go this weekend?  I would have loved to attend, but couldn't so I'm hoping the turnout was good and that you'll hold another someday.

I have a tip for your readers, maybe you can weigh in on whether this is a good idea or not.  I was apprehensive about starting a throwing program with a 6 pound ball in which I was unsure my mechanics would be correct.  Since I was sure my arm would want to revert to traditional mechanics, I was afraid I'd injure it if I started with a 6 pound ball.

So I video taped myself performing some of your drills while throwing a standard baseball.  I'd then review the video against yours and make the adjustments I needed.  When I felt comfortable with my performance, I added weighted balls, but didn't jump right to the 6 pounder.  I found a set of 1, 2 and 3 pound balls and used them.  I use the 3 pound ball every day and I now feel confident that I can go to a heavier ball without sacrificing my mechanics (or my arm).  I will now start your 120 day training program.  From there I'll go to the 280 day.

You can find the weighted balls I used at: http://tinyurl.com/yglkdd

I like them because they are the same size and stitching as a regular baseball, but already have a stripe on them (similar to what I've seen in your videos) which allows you to better gauge the spin when watching video playback.


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     The turnout was far better than I expected.  The guys were great.  We had a great time.  And, at the end, I agreed that I would offer another Certification Clinic the second weekend in May, 2007.

     Thank you for the address of the website that has one, two and three pound baseball sized metal balls.  The two pound ball will work with those training biological ten to twelve year old youth baseball pitchers with my 60-Day Youth Baseball Pitchers Motor Skill Acquisition Programs.

     One reason why I prefer to start biological sixteen year old baseball pitchers with six pound iron balls is that they weight makes them more cautious.  However, with my Step Back Wrong Foot body action; Slingshot glove and pitching arm actions drill, they quickly learn that, as long as they do not 'flare' their pitching elbow, they can drive their pitching forearm horizontally inside of vertical straight forward without any difficulty.  If I were not confident that nobody would injure themselves, then I never would recommend that anybody try my interval-training programs without my presence.

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045.  You wrote:  "When baseball pitchers start to move their pitching arm forward from my 'Loaded Slingshot' position, to 'lock' their pitching upper arm with their shoulders, all they have to do is turn the palm of their pitching hand from facing away from their body to facing upward as though they are waiters holding a tray of dishes."

I assume that the previous description describes your Maxline Fastball and Maxline True Screwball.  For your Maxline Pronation Curveball and your Torque Fastball, to prepare to maximally pronate my pitching forearm through release, should I continue to supinate my pitching forearm so that the back of my palm is facing upward and my pitching forearm is maximally supinated while I start to move my pitching arm forward from your 'Loaded Slingshot' position?


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     What I wrote applies to the 'Loaded Slingshot' position for all pitches.

     The change in the position of the palm of the pitching hand takes place later.  Let me explain.

     In the 'Loaded Slingshot' starting position, I want my baseball pitchers to have thepalm of their pitching hand facing away from their body.  Then, as they continue to step forward, I want them to immediately 'lock' their pitching upper arm with their shoulders by turning the palm of their pitching hand upward into the 'tray of dishes' position.

     Next, I want my baseball pitchers to throw their pitching elbow upward and forward into my 'Slingshot' position.

01.  When they arrive at my 'Slingshot' position, to be ready to throw my Maxline True Screwball, Maxline Fastball and Maxline Fastball Sinker, I want them to maintain the same pitching forearm, wrist, hand and fingers position that they had in my 'Loaded Slingshot' position.

02.  However, when they arrive at my 'Slingshot' position, to be ready to throw my Maxline Pronation Curve, Torque Fastball and Torque Fastball Slider, I want them to have the palm of their pitching hand facing downward, that is, the back of their pitching hand facing upward.

     When my baseball pitchers try to move their pitching arm from my 'Loaded Slingshot' position to my 'Slingshot' position by supinating their pitching forearm, they inevitably 'loop' their pitching hand.  Therefore, I do not want them to even think about repositioning their pitching forearm.  Instead, I want them to throw their pitching elbow upward and forward, such that, when it arrives at my 'Slingshot' position, they have the back of their pitching hand facing upward.

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046.  A recent email was looking for information on the knuckleball.  A news clip on www.PBS.org website showed the math and physics of the knuckleball.  Go to the web: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/si/ and click on Chapter 2 for basic information on the knuckleball as described by the Scientific Investigators news crew.

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     Because it is educational, I will include your email on the math and physics of the knuckleball.  However, I still believe that, unless their maximum release velocity hovers around sixty miles per hour, baseball pitchers are better served spending their time and energy learning how to throw my six basic pitches.

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047.  During your Certification seminar, you told us that the three most important muscles in the pitching motion are:

1.  The Pronator Teres (man, did your guys have some powerful looking Pronator Teres muscles).
2.  The Latissimus Dorsi
3. The Teres Major

In reading over your handouts, I noticed that 8% of the population does not have a Latissimus Dorsi muscle.  Would this mean that there would be no way that these 8% could not become great pitchers?


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     Eight percent of the population does not have the second attachment of the Latissimus Dorsi muscle to the inferior angle of the Scapula bone.  Unless something is terribly wrong, everybody else has the attachment of the Latissimus Dorsi to the medial lip of the bicipital groove.  It is this attachment that horizontally extends and powerfully inwardly rotates the Humerus bone that makes it critical for the quality of the pronation snap drive through release.

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048.  First, thank you for presenting a fantastic clinic this past weekend.  Your knowledge of pitching is tremendous and thanks for passing along a lot of valuable information.  All of the students really enjoyed the time at your training facility.

Bill Peterson, who is from the Longmont, CO area (less than an hour north of Denver) and I will be getting together sometime shortly to have a cup of coffee and discuss pitching.  He knows a lot.

I would like to be added as an instructor on your web site; information:

Tony Panasuk
Denver, CO Area
Phone Number 303-507-2681


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     I will be putting together my Certified Coaches file shortly and am pleased to add your name and location to the list.

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049.  I heard on a local consumer help radio show today/Monday that one of the announcers had sustained a rotator cuff injury about 10 years ago in college (he did not mention how he suffered the injury).  The MRI shows a tear in his shoulder area.  He went to an orthopedic surgeon who offered him the typical solutions: "rehab" with exercises, cortisone shots and surgery.

The host announcer brought on one of his gurus, a D.O. (not a medical doctor/MD) - she claimed that these 3 solutions were not the only ones available.  She offered up what was called Prolotherapy.

I was making copious notes but this is what I heard from the DO's perspective.  The injury was not allowed to heal properly initially so by having injections of glucose (water/sugar) done every 3-4 weeks apart for about 3-6 times, that the specific arm area injected will be re-injured.  BUT, since there will be no use of the area that the body will heal itself after the treatment process is completed (cannot workout during this timeframe).

After each injection, the internal healing process mentioned went like this; white blood cells will cover the injured area like pea soup and keep the area warm, then the microfibial cells will enter after a certain timeframe and build a scaffold type cell system (no extra support at this time), then the fibormicial cells (collagen) will enter the area and lay down new tissue and the injury will be "healed" eventually.

The host announcer and the DO will monitor the injured announcer's rehab by use of MRI pictures.  The host announcer stated that he had an injury (did not mention what) healed by prolotherapy and this was a viable option to having surgery.   The DO mentioned that while Tylenol was not an anti-inflammatory, that ibuprofen and aspirin were, and to take an anti-inflammatory right after an injury or workout was the worst thing you could do because the impact from those drugs were counterproductive to the healing process (also, icing of the injured or stressed area of the body was counter-productive to the healing process).


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     During the 1970s, they injected irritants that they claimed caused the body to form scar tissue that strengthened injured areas.  I need to see some animal research that shows the physiological result of these shots.  I suspect that the placebo effect accounts for whatever the host feels.

     My recommendation for those who used the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion to injure their pitching arm is to stop using the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion.  Instead, for their rehabilitative program, they should use my 120-Day High School Baseball Pitchers Interval-Training Program.

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050.  I would like to thank you for welcoming us into your home and research center this past weekend.  It was an honor to meet you and a learning experience.  I spoke with many of the other coaches at the clinic and we all agreed that one of the best ways for you to advance your pitching technique would be to form a team that plays in some kind of league.  The success of your pitchers against other hitters would speak for itself.  No matter how injury-proof your technique is, I don’t see it catching on until you can demonstrate its effectiveness in getting batters out.  If other coaches are not willing to embrace your technique; then to me the obvious answer is to form a team and go out and beat those other coaches.

  I ran this idea by you when I was there and you seemed to dismiss it, implying that it was too time-consuming and stating that you “have a life”.  I would like to challenge this response.  It was my assumption that your “life” was devoted to popularizing your technique and therefore you would be open to such an idea and the time that it involved.  I have played in several “industrial” leagues and I don’t think that it is an inordinate time commitment for the coaches.  You could delegate much of the grunt work to your students who seem to have a fair amount of spare time on their hands.  You would not even have to be present at games.


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     Unless it is for a major league team, I disagree that for me to train the pitchers for a team will make a difference.  And, to train the pitchers for a major league team would require several years.

     We need more Lon Fullmers teaching youth baseball pitchers.  We need to help parents teach their sons.  We need to help high school and college baseball coaches use my baseball pitching motion and interval-training programs.

     I need to talk with as many baseball people as I can.

     I agree that the fact that my baseball pitching motion does not destroy pitching arms does not matter to everybody.  However, it matters to most parents.  It matters to baseball pitchers with injured pitching arms.  It matters to some baseball pitching coaches who care more about their pitchers than themselves.  It is beginning to matter to some owners of major league baseball teams.

     That my baseball pitching motion also increases release velocity and pitch quality are bonuses, not prerequisites.  All my baseball pitching motion had to do was to enable baseball pitchers to throw as hard with the same pitch quality.

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051.  My 14 year old son, will be 15 on the 24th of this month, has a widened growth plate in the elbow.  The orthopedist has given us the option of having this corrected thru surgery where a screw will be placed in the elbow to connect the growth plates.  This choice comes after 9 months of no pitching, physical therapy, and many X-rays showing no improvement/closing, of the growth plate.

What is your experience with the pros and cons of this procedure?  I can certainly go into much more detail if needed.


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     It sounds as though too much 'traditional' baseball pitching has pulled the ossification for the medial epicondyle of your son's pitching elbow completely away from the shaft of his Humerus bone.  If normal growth and development will not reattach this ossification center, then this is the only remedy.

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052.  Do you need a booth at the Coaches Clinic to sell your videos?  I am setting up the booth locations and do not want to leave you out if you need one.

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     I am coming to share my forty years of research into baseball pitching, not sell.  Therefore, I thank you for the podium.

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053.  I play baseball for my high school and about 2 months ago I found out I had tendonitis in my throwing elbow.   Well I don't have pain throwing any other ball but a baseball and I think it is because I have something wrong with the way I throw.  I saw on a baseball forum that someone recommended to ask you questions about throwing mechanics so if I could get your opinion I would appreciate it.

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     I wrote a Coaching Baseball Pitchers book and made a Baseball Pitching Instructional Video that answers these questions.  Happy reading and watching.

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054.  Thanks for your hospitality and teaching last weekend at the coaching seminar.  It was extraordinarily valuable to see your pitchers performing, to hear you instruct them and to then ask questions about what we heard and saw.  I look forward to another opportunity for such priceless baseball instruction.

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     I was overwhelmed with the desire of the attendees to help eliminate pitching injuries.  We need to exponentially increase our numbers.

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055.  As a player, you were great to watch.  Your research, publications and website have continued your contributions to the game.

My son is a 17 year-old junior.  As a sophomore, he was very effective on the Varsity, throwing complete games of 67, 73 and 76 pitches.  He has taken your comments to heart about using effective pitches to retire batters.  I suppose he throws in the low-80s, but we haven't clocked him in awhile.

He stopped pitching for the summer season at the end of July.  He did not throw a baseball until the end of September when the team began its fall workouts.  During the 3rd week of general conditioning, he was throwing at 90' and developed a sharp pain in the elbow joint.  An orthopedist diagnosed it as a possible partial tear of the UCL.

After 4 weeks of no throwing, he began a graduated program of throwing.  After three weeks, he had progressed to 120' without any pain.  Then, he suddenly developed pain along the outside of the joint.

An MRI shows no damage to the UCL, cartilage, or any part of the joint.  The only thing obeserved is fluid in the ulna at the elbow.  All other bones are very dark, but the ulna is quite light.  His treatment program is not to throw at all for four weeks, but continue his exercises to develop his forearm muscles.

My question is this:  He has not overworked his pitching arm - he has not been on a mound for 5 months.  What else can account for the swelling of his ulna?  While we hope he can eventually return to pitching, could this be the sign of some other health problem?


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     When your son combined five months of atrophy with the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion, he guaranteed that he would injure his pitching arm.

     If he had really taken my comments to heart, then if he is biologically sixteen years old, then he would have taken those five months and completed my 120-Day High School Baseball Pitchers Interval-Training Program.

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056.  After last weekend, I am becoming convinced that the key to acceptance of your pitching motion is getting people down to your research facility.  As I am sure you will garner much interest at your presentation this week in New Jersey, I would suggest you set a date for another Certification Seminar.  I am sure you will get enough attendees.

I think people have to see those 30 lb wrist weight.  They have to see your guys toss that 10 lb. iron ball over the rebound wall.  They have to see those bulging Pronator Teres muscles.  Finally, they have to get really irritated that these kids find it so difficult to get a chance to pitch.


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     I agree.  After people see my guys train, they realize that what they think about pitch counts and days off do not work.  They understand that training harder with my baseball pitching motion is the answer.

     I will offer another Certification Clinic on Saturday, May 12th and Sunday, May 13th, 2007.

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057.  You wrote: "When my baseball pitchers try to move their pitching arm from my 'Loaded Slingshot' position to my 'Slingshot' position by supinating their pitching forearm, they inevitably 'loop' their pitching hand.  Therefore, I do not want them to even think about repositioning their pitching forearm.  Instead, I want them to throw their pitching elbow upward and forward, such that, when it arrives at my 'Slingshot' position, they have the back of their pitching hand facing upward."

You have written that, in your 'Loaded Slingshot' position, you want pitchers to have the palm of their pitching hand facing away from their bodies.  Therefore, I assume that, for right-handed pitchers, you want the palms of their pitching hands facing third base in a pronated position.

You also have written that, in your 'Slingshot' position, for your Maxline Pronation Curve, Torque Fastball, and Torque Slider, you want pitchers to have the back of their pitching hands facing upward (from the quote above).

Therefore, at some point while pitchers move from your 'Loaded Slingshot' position to your 'Slingshot' position, for your Maxline Pronation Curve, Torque Fastball, and Torque Slider, pitchers must reposition their pitching palms from facing away from their bodies to facing downward.  I do not understand how pitchers can accomplish this without thinking about supinating their pitching forearms, wrists, hands and fingers.  Can you help me understand?


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     What I have found is that, when my baseball pitchers think about repositioning their pitching forearm for the pitches they want to throw, they invent new ways of messing up.  Therefore, between my 'Loaded Slingshot' position and my 'Slingshot' position, I do not want them to think about the action of their pitching forearm at all.  Instead, I want them to only think about the action of their pitching upper arm and pitching hand.

     From my 'Loaded Slingshot' position, I want them to only think about throwing their pitching elbow vertically upward and forward to end in my 'Slingshot' position, where their pitching upper arm is vertical and close to their head.  I do not want their pitching hand to move any closer to their pitching forearm than the entire length of their pitching forearm.

     With my Maxline Fastball, Maxline Fastball Sinker and Maxline True Screwball, because I want them to immediately assume the supinated lock position, where the palm of their pitching hand faces upward, they do not have to reposition their pitching forearm at all.  That explains why my baseball pitchers more easily learn to perform these pitches correctly.

     With my Torque Fastball, Torque Fastball Slider and Maxline Pronation Curve, between my 'Loaded Slingshot' position and 'Slingshot' position, my baseball pitchers have to further supinate their pitching forearm, such that when their pitching arm arrives in 'Slingshot,' they have the back of their pitching hand facing upward.

     However, it is essential that they do not move their pitching hand any closer to their pitching elbow.  If they 'grab,' that is, bend their pitching elbow, then they will generate a 'loop' in their pitching motion.  This 'loop' causes a lateral force that will sling their pitching forearm laterally away from their body.

     While still difficult to learn, I have found better results by eliminating their thoughts about their pitching forearm.  I tell them to throw their pitching upper arm vertically upward and, when it arrives in my 'Slingshot' position, they should have the back of their pitching hand facing upward the full length of their pitching forearm behind their pitching elbow.

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058.  My son is 13 years old, he will be 14 in August.

He will begin to play travel baseball this coming April (he plays pitcher and second base), we are from a northern state, so he does not play year round.  Is it too late for him to begin your off-season workout program, being that he starts playing in April?

He hasn't picked up a baseball since last August.


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     I hope that this analogy works.  Would you ask your son to swim across a body of water that is too deep for him to stand up before he knows how to swim?

     Until your son knows how to pitch in a injury-free and effective way, he should not pitch competitively.  My four 60-Day Youth Baseball Pitchers Motor Skill Acquisition Programs teach him how to pitch in a safe and effective way.

     Also, although he is chronologically thirteen years old, we do not know his biological age.  We need to know what growth plates in his pitching elbow are still open, thereby, still susceptible to permanent deformation.

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059.  Thanks again for hosting the clinic this past weekend.  Every time I leave Z-hills, I wish to have stayed longer.  Watching how the guys are progressing and listening to your discussions with the coaching group convinces me the methodology for teaching your motion is very close to fruition.

Like we spoke, once one of the guys can finally come close enough to demonstrate the specifics of what you have in mind, teaching this will be immeasurably easier.  It's obvious how much easier it is to teach the newer students when you have better examples for them to observe.  My son is a little envious about how quickly the new students are progressing.  I've reminded him that I have no trouble thinking of him and some of the others as pioneers.

In particular, I think the discussion about lifting the upper arm/elbow above the acromial line is critical to understanding what happens.  I think I know how you figured it out, and this resolves the biggest hurdle to completing the overall picture for me.  Aside from a few minor details about body action I think I have a pretty solid understanding of what has to happen.  It all points out how critical the timing of forward body rotation becomes.

Until the guys learn how to leave the slingshot loaded long enough for the acromial line and elbow to rotate beyond perpendicular to the driveline they stand zero chance of applying force in the way you envision.  Watching my son play catch while he was home at Christmas and again on Saturday evening has convinced me that this is possible, and one of your new guys comes very close with the wrong foot drill he's now doing.  The potential for power from this is unreal.

I understand how vital it's been in the overall learning/experimentation process for you, and consequently for the guys, to have the group return last year for their second year's training.  Isn't is amazing what happens with perseverance!  There's been a lot of fun (and frustration) in the process, hasn't there?

By all means include me in the list of coaches available for referral.  You know what I understand about all of this...and what I don't, I will learn.

I can't thank you enough for your help and hospitality, and for the way you are encouraging my son.  In the same way, thank you for encouraging me to learn and for providing a great deal of help along the way.


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     That I did not have follow-up time with my baseball pitchers made it impossible for them to continue to correct the flaws that limited their performances.  I have greatly enjoyed these past two years where several of the guys returned for 'Recoil Interval-Training Cycles.'

     Please give me the information that you want me to include in my Certified Marshall Pitching Coaches file.

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060.  Michael G. Marshall wrote: "When your son combined five months of atrophy with the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion, he guaranteed that he would injure his pitching arm.

     If he is biologically sixteen years old, then he needs to do my 120-Day High School Baseball Pitchers Interval-Training Program.

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This is where the problem lies.  Not only does he not use the 'traditional' pitching motion, he has not pitched since last July.  After a month without baseball, he was interval weight training for nearly six weeks.  The team's 'return-to-throwing' program was graduating from 45-60-75-90'.

Since he has not had any bullpen work in 6 months, and has had limited throwing, it is difficult to attribute bone swelling to overwork or excessive stress.

He is 17 yr 3mos., 6-2, 165 lbs.  X-rays confirm his growth plates are closed.  He runs a 6:10 mile and has good core strength.  So he should be capable of playing catch at more than 75' without pain.

That is why we are looking for causes and remedies that are outside the 'usual suspects'.


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     If your son does not use the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion, then what baseball pitching motion does he use?  Whatever baseball pitching motion he uses, it is this baseball pitching motion that is causing his injuries.

     I have no idea what interval weight training program your son was doing, but I am fairly certain that it was not appropriate.  My 120-Day High School Baseball Pitchers Interval-Training Program not only strengthens the bones, ligament, tendons and muscles of the pitching arm, but it also teaches baseball pitchers how to appropriately apply force to their pitches.

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061.  I hope you have/had a great experience in Cherry Hill!

I will be glad to teach you all I know about the computer and its use on the world wide web.

The delivery of your video to people browsing your website will not cost you any money at all.  It is using my bandwidth.  (bandwidth=the amount of information transmitted over the internet at a given time.  Many internet providers charge extra for more bandwidth, our bandwidth is 384,000 bytes per second).

We have caculated that only 3 or 4 people will be able to view the video at the exact same time.  That should be adequate, but if it becomes a problem, then there are some video servers on the web we could use for free that have higher bandwidth.  We should not worry about bandwidth until it becomes a problem.

You should definitely continue to sell your DVD.  It is high quality, produces income and is easier for the user to find information.  I think that people who view your videos on the web will order the DVD just to have the information on hand.  You can set up an internet paypal account to collect orders and money for your DVD.

On downloading video:  A very crafty computer person could figure out how to capture your video, but it would not be near the quality of your DVD.  They can do the same with your DVD (copy it).  I do not think you should worry about it since you own the copyright to the material and the DVD is much higher quality.

If you desire to charge for people to view the web videos, we could set it up that way, like a membership.  It would be costly to do and I do not think that it would pay for itself.

On adding more videos:  GREAT!!!  I wish I had videotaped your entire weekend!  You are a vast well of knowledge.

I can teach you how to add the links to your site, using my site as the video server.  Your next video should be:  "How to Coach Baseball".

On video size:  Video stored on disk can be very large (e.g., 8 gigabytes).  This DVD quality video has all the information that your camera captured.  We take that video and modify it in several ways.  Basically, we compress the video and reduce its content (colors, number of bytes per frame and bit transmission speed).  We have a program that does this for us.  Sometimes, we have to convert it several times to get the picture quality and transmission rate we desire (trial and error still exists).  If you send us a CD or DVD, we will convert it for you.  I will also help you set up to do this at your house.

On adding the video "inside" your site:  Setting this up is tricky.  You need a high bandwidth connection to the internet ($100-$1000/mo), a windows 2003 server, ($3000), video transmission set up and enabled ($1000 consulting fees).  Why bother when so many people will put it out there for free or a very little charge at all?  All we have to do is put a link to it in your webpage.

I am very happy to help you get this message out to the general public.  I appreciate your time in the development of mechanics that do not damage arms.


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     Cherry Hill was great.  I had six twenty-five minute sessions on Thursday night and a fifty minute session on Friday morning.  Unfortunately, there were three other speakers at other locations presenting at the same time.  Therefore, while I had over a hundred people at each my presentations, they did come and go.  Nevertheless, with each twenty-five minute session Thursday night, I was able to carefully and thoroughly go through the injurious flaws inherent in the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion and explain how to eliminate them.

     I also used the video that I made during the Certification Clinic to show Jeff throwing my six basic pitches.  Then, I followed that with the James Jeffrey Sparks section in my Baseball Pitching Instructional Video, but without sound.  I preferred to add my own commentary.  They could not believe how easily Jeff struck out the great batters of the time.

     During the general session, where several hundred people attended in a very large auditorium, I basically discussed everything I talked about the night before, but without taking the time to show the video.  I did show a brief segment of my baseball pitchers practicing their releases with the lid and footballs.  And, I again showed the video of Jeff throwing my six basic pitches.  The movement of his Maxline True Screwball and Maxline Pronation Curve was the hit of that video.

     I had no idea that there are people who will put anybody's video on the internet for free or a very little charge at all?  It would seem to me that they could also take the video off the internet whenever they wanted.

     I agree that, because the quality is much higher and viewers can watch stop the video and rewind and so on, I should keep updating and selling my Baseball Pitching Instructional Video.  However, like with my Coaching Baseball Pitchers book, I want to be able to update my video immediately.

     For example, in my 2006 video, to teach baseball pitchers how to pronate the releases of all pitches, I use my Pickoff with Step body action; Slingshot glove and pitching arm actions drill.  Now, I use my Step Back Wrong Foot body action; Slingshot glove and pitching arm actions drill.  I do not want my viewers to have to wait for me to complete the next video to implement this drill.

     I appreciate all the help you are giving me.  The next step is to get my video online for all to watch without charge.  I do not mind if they copy it, it is just that I cannot afford to pay for them to do so.

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062.  How should I incorporate the 'Step Back' into the 'Wrong Foot Body Action; Loaded Slingshot Glove and Pitching Arms Actions Drill?'

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     The basic purpose of the Step Back is to allow the pitching arm to reach driveline height before the glove foot lands.

     Therefore, since, with my Step Back Wrong Foot body action; Loaded Slingshot glove and pitching arm actions drill, baseball pitchers already have their pitching arm at driveline height before they step forward with their pitching foot, the step back action only serves to allow the baseball pitcher to backwardly extend their driveline.

     While this may not be necessary with this drill, I want to continually remind baseball pitchers to never start their body forward until they make sure that they can get their pitching arm up to driveline height and 'locked' with their shoulders before they start the forward rotation of their hips, shoulders and pitching upper arm.

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063.  I'm eager to hear how things went for you in Cherry Hill.  When you have a chance I'd love an update.

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     Cherry Hill went very well.  I had a great time.

     On Thursday night, I had six twenty-five minute sessions in which to explain the injurious and biomechanical flaws in the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion and how I recommend that we eliminate them.  Unfortunately, they had three other speakers presenting at the same time at other locations, so the audience moved around.

     On Friday morning, I had fifty minutes to speak to the entire group.  So, I quickly summarized my research, showed them my video on how to teach baseball pitchers how to pronate the releases of their pitches and the six basic pitches DVD that I showed to you guys during my 1st Certification Clinic.  They could not believe the variety and amount of movement in Jeff's pitches.

     In all, I alerted hundreds of coaches, including several college baseball coaches that I have a safe and effective way for their baseball pitchers to pitch.  Now, we will see whether they follow up.

     It is clear to me that I need to speak at as many baseball conventions, clinics and camps as I can.  The more people who become aware of what we are doing and why, they more that we can change what they think is correct.

     For example, before breakfast Friday morning, a group of about six coaches, stopped me on my way into the hotel restaurant and asked me to explain again why baseball pitchers should not have the palm of their pitching hand facing toward second base at the end of their pendulum swing.

     With their pitching arm pointing at second base with the palm of their pitching hand facing away from their body, I again showed them how to 'lock' their pitching arm with their shoulders.  Then, I asked them to have the palm of their pitching hand face toward second base and try to 'lock' their pitching upper arm with their shoulders.

     They quickly realized that, before they could 'lock' their pitching upper arm with their shoulders, they had to return the palm of their pitching hand to facing away from their body.  Because this not only delayed the 'lock' action, but also created a loop in the action of their pitching forearm, they decided that the palm toward second base position does not work.

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064.  You are correct and everyone at your Certification Clinic that you had LAST WEEK, feels the same.  We have to get the message out and I feel that NEW DVD of Jeff Sparks is AWESOME.  The biggest complaint about your delivery from Brent Strom is that you have no rotation in your delivery.  MAN O MAN IS HE WRONG.  I AM SHOWING THAT CLIP TO EVERYONE I CAN.

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     I am working hard on getting that video of Jeff online.  I appreciate whatever you can do on your end.

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065.  I have just begun to read the very interesting info that you have graciously posted on your web site.  I am sending you a few pictures of my now 10 yr old son.  These pictures were taken 7/06.  He turned 10 on 11/4/06.  I am very interested in your teaching mechanics.

While I know these photos are not "frame by frame', I just wanted to know if you detect any major flaws.  My son has been getting instruction since age 7.  I am interested in protecting his arm, while at the same time, seeing that he gets an ample amount of competition.  Any insight would be appreciated.


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     In many of the photographs that you send, your son was not in the process of pitching.  However, those photographs where he was in some aspect of his baseball pitching motion showed that he is using the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion.  With every pitch, this baseball pitching motion is destroying his pitching arm.

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066.  Outstanding!  I'm glad to hear you had a great time in Cherry Hill.  My son called me earlier this morning and I loved hearing some of the stories you told the guys.  I hope that Jeff can accompany you to some of these clinics in the near future.  Seeing a live demonstration would be even better than showing coaches video.  Regardless, none of them have ever seen a baseball move like this.

I neglected to include my info regarding your Certification Listing in my last e-mail:

Bill Peterson
Longmont, CO
303-594-8763 (cell)

Please feel free to add anything else to my listing that you might deem advantageous.

I'll give you a call sometime later this week. Sounds like my son is continuing down the right path.  He tells me that all the big muscles in his back and back of the shoulder girdle are very fatigued.  That's the best possible news I can imagine at this stage.  I know that the process continues, but it seems we're getting close.


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     We are at a time in everybody's training that, all but one new guy, has the strength and skill to implement the new approach I want to take with the shoulder joint.  Yesterday, I showed them how much more powerful extending the shoulder joint is than horizontally flexing the shoulder joint.  We will see how many can make that adjustment.

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067.  Prior to receiving the video this past Saturday(01/13/07), I had read some of the Q/A's on your web site and skimmed through one or two chapters of your manual.  The Q/A's lead me to purchase your video, and the manual aroused my interest and desire to view the video upon arrival.

Viewing disc #1 (napping in between segments as I generally do mid-afternoons), my first thoughts were "wow is he kidding me", then hoping the second disc would be more viewer friendly, I again dosed off midway through the disc.  Upon waking, I thought to myself, how in the world would I convince my twelve year old son (soon to be thirteen May 1, 07) to change from the traditional way of pitching which he has mastered to your way?

With that in mind, the puerperal light bulb went off in my head, the main reason I sought your web site out, was to make sure I would not, in teaching my son what I thought was the correct mechanics, was not to cause injury to his right pitching arm.  Your Q/A's raised insight to the questions I had posed to several of the so called pitching gurus without satisfactory answers.

This past week, I once again went back to your DVD (without dosing off), and found disc#1 and disc#2 extremely informative, helpful, and clarified the one nagging question that persisted in my mind for so long and unable to receive a suitable answer from the so called pitching gurus that have flooded the Internet with their magic silver bullet to fix all.

The nagging question that has baffled me for so long, is, if what the major league pitching coaches and the so called experts are teaching (the traditional pitching method) is the right way, why are so many major league pitchers having arm trouble with all their core, weight, surgical tubing, long toss, medicine ball, plyometrics, running, dynamic warm-ups, personal trainers and catch phrases?

I know the arm was not meant to throw a baseball, even so, there had to be a better way then what existed today, and I remember your name and what you studied in college.  So I sort you out, knowing your background and hoping you could add some insight to this nagging question I had for so long, and you answered it; thank you.

Three observations I made watching your DVD:

1.  on a number of your student while demonstrating, had a problem with driving the baseball on the horizontal line forward, what do you mean and how would you correct this?

2.  On a number of your student while demonstrating, had a problem with bringing the baseball straight back & forward, how do you address this fault?

3.  The Q/A's alluded to questions on hitting, do you have a DVD/manual on hitting?


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     Because I have to find a way to make the information in my Baseball Pitching Instructional Video not only informative, but interesting, I greatly appreciate that you have taken the time to tell me how your first viewing went.  I do listen very closely to what my partners in the elimination of pitching arm injuries have to say.

01.  The side view high-speed film shows that my baseball pitchers do not horizontally drive their pitches toward home plate.  The fact the side view of 'traditional' baseball pitchers is far worse does not make me feel any better.

     The problem lies in the feeling that baseball pitchers have that 'flaring' their pitching upper arm feels strong.  Unfortunately, 'flaring' the pitching upper arm causes 'Pitching Forearm Flyout,' which because my baseball pitchers powerfully pronate their releases, makes them drive their pitching hand upward through release.  While this is better than slinging their pitching hand laterally away from their body, it still decreases release velocity and consistency.

     In my Slingshot glove and pitching arm actions, I have my baseball pitchers start with their pitching arm vertically close to their head.  This is the position that I want my baseball pitchers to achieve with every pitch that they throw.  Therefore, from my 'Loaded Slingshot' position of my Loaded Slingshot glove and pitching arm actions, I want my baseball pitchers to move their pitching upper arm from horizontally pointing at second base to vertically close to their head.

     When they do this, then they prevent the horizontal centripetal force that slings their pitching hand laterally away from their body.  Therefore, they will be able to drive their pitching forearm more inside of vertical.  As a result, they will make their driveline more horizontal.

     Nevertheless, because they can use their Triceps Brachii muscle to extend their pitching elbow, for baseball pitchers to drive their pitching hand upward through release is far superior to slinging their pitching hand laterally away from their body.

02.  From the rear view, we learn that, immediately before they start their acceleration phase, my baseball pitchers dramatically move their pitching hand laterally behind their head.  While this action is far less than when 'traditional' baseball pitchers take their pitching hand much farther laterally behind their body below their waist, I want my baseball pitchers to learn how to drive their pitching elbow straight forward while they keep their pitching hand the full distance of their pitching forearm behind it.

     To get my baseball pitchers to drive their pitching hand in straight lines toward second base, I have them use my Step Back Wrong Foot body action; Loaded Slingshot glove and pitching arm actions drill.  In this drill, baseball pitchers have their pitching upper arm horizontally pointing at second base with their pitching hand at driveline height and the palm of their pitching hand facing away from their body.

     From my 'Loaded Slingshot' ready position, I want my baseball pitchers to move their pitching upper arm to my 'Slingshot' ready position where they have their pitching upper arm vertical beside their head.  This means that they raise their pitching elbow to the same height as where their pitching hand started.

     Now, as they drive their pitching hand horizontally inside of vertical, I want my baseball pitchers to dramatically lean to their glove side, such that their shoulder line is at least forty-five degrees from vertical.  If they have not generated any horizontal centripetal force that slings their pitching hand laterally away from their body, then they should be able to separate the longitudinal axis of their pitching forearm forty-five degrees from the longitudinal axis of their pitching upper arm, which means that they have their pitching forearm vertical at release.

     In my video, I provided two examples of my baseball pitchers who have vertical pitching forearms at release.  Vertical pitching forearms enable my baseball pitchers to easily achieve horizontal spin axes with all four-seam pitches and to apply lateral force to their pitches to both the glove and pitching arm sides of home plate.

     However, vertical pitching forearms at release mean that they will drive their pitches upward.  But, driving their pitching hand upward through release is far, far better than slinging their pitching hand laterally away from their body.

03.  Someday, I hope to find time to make a DVD of my baseball batting mechanics.  Until then, the best that I can provide is a summary of my thoughts on baseball batting that one of my readers provided me.  In my 2006 Question/Answer file, please go to question #559.

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068.  Would you please watch the new Roger Clemens Learn 2 Pitch video that I mailed you that Jack Kucek put together and tell me if it is any good?  Also, is this Strike Out Strippz worth anything?

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     I have watched the Roger Clemens video that Jack Kucek put together.  To teach his set position baseball pitching motion, Mr. Kucek uses nine verbal cues.

01.  Prayer Position:  In his prayer position, with Roger Clemens standing beside Mr. Kucek and his son, Mr.Kucek tells his son to hold his hands together just below his chin.

     While baseball rules require that, whether in the set or wind-up position, baseball pitchers start with their hands together in front of their body, by having their hands together just below their chin prevents them from raising their hands upward slightly just before they start their motion as a ‘triggering’ motion and forces them to simply drop their pitching hand downward.  This is not a big deal, but it does force the kids to start from a dead stop.

02.  Thumb to Thigh:  With Roger Clemens standing beside Mr. Kucek and his son, Mr. Kucek tells his son to go from his Prayer position to his Thumb to thigh position.  This means that he wants them to take the baseball back with their pitching hand on top of the baseball.  This action forces baseball pitchers to have ‘Late Pitching Forearm Turnover,’ which leads to ‘Reverse Pitching Forearm Bounce,’ which unnecessarily stresses the Ulnar Collateral Ligament.

03.  Knuckles High:  With Roger Clemens standing beside Mr. Kucek and his son, Mr. Kucek tells his son to go from his Thumb to Thigh position to his Knuckles High position.  This describes the ‘Late Pitching Forearm Turnover’ movement.  In addition, he tells his son to have the palm of his pitching hand face second base.  This means that before he can throw the baseball to home plate, he has to turn the palm of his hand to face home plate, which means that he will introduce a loop into the action of his pitching forearm that will sling his pitching forearm laterally away from his body, i.e., ‘Pitching Forearm Flyout.’

04.  Glove to Sky:  With Roger Clemens standing beside Mr. Kucek and his son, Mr. Kucek tells his son pitchers that while he has his pitching arm in his Knuckles High position, he should move his glove arm to his Glove to Sky position.  This resembles Tom House’s inverted T position that destroyed thousands of pitching arms.  Clearly, from this position, the glove arm is not able to provide any oppositely-directed force.

05.  Little Step, Raise the Heel, Invert the Toe:  This is a balk.  During their pitching motion, baseball pitchers cannot take a little step and do anything.  Mechanically, this is nonsense.

06.  Bend the Back Knee (Not Too Low):  In any athletic event where athletes have to be ready to move, they always start with both knees slightly bent.  To do this now is silly.

07.  Step to Stride:  With Roger Clemens standing beside Mr. Kucek and his son, Mr. Kucek has already told his son to take a little step.  Now, he wants him to take a larger step.

08.  Snap the Strippz to the Ground:  This device is a rip-off of the old towel drill that was shown to not only be worthless, but also to destroy pitching arms.

09.  Make Sure They Wrap Around:  Mr. Kucek is teaching baseball pitchers to have ‘Pitching Forearm Flyout,’ which destroys the pitching elbow and to pull their pitching forearm across the front of their body, which destroys the back of their pitching shoulder.

     In conclusion, Mr. Kucek has no scientific information on which to offer his baseball pitching motion and having Roger Clemens stand beside him and his son does not make what he says any smarter, it just makes Roger Clemens look like a paid fool.  It is more of the same worthless garbage that Tom House, Dick Mills and all others offer.  It is a shame that the greatest baseball pitchers of all time got roped into this nonsense.

     To redeem himself, Mr. Kucek not only has to pull this garbage off the market, but he also to ask Roger Clemens to let me high-speed film him so that everybody can see exactly how Roger applies force to his pitches.  Not only will I high-speed film Roger without charge, but I will also provide Mr. Clemens and Mr. Kucek with a video copy of the high-speed film so they can see what actually happens during Mr. Clemens' baseball pitching motion.

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069.  I am so happy that things went well in Cherry Hill!  I feel that you are on the right track by holding talks about injuries and how to avoid them.  People ARE interested in that!

I have been working some on splitting the videos up into the sections that you requested.  It dawned on me that you probably already have that done.  So we would be ahead to use your video on your computer to start with.

I will email or call to make arrangements to come down and work with you.  I hope I can teach you a few things and I am sure you will teach me a few as well.

Thanks for your hard work!


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     Unfortunately, with the latest upgrade of my Adobe Premiere program, I lost all graphics.  Therefore, I do not have those sections as we need them on my computer anymore.

     The time that I would spend redoing those graphics is better spent upgrading my video.  Therefore, I plan to take video of my guys performing the four drills that I am now using and whatever other video and high-speed film, such as the new Jeff Sparks demonstration of my six basic pitches, that I need to put together my next edition.

     While I am worried about the one thousand dollars per month website fee, I love the idea that I can put all this video and more on my website for viewers to watch without charge.  I need to learn how to do this.

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070.  I am going to send copies of the video of Jeff Sparks throwing your six basic pitches that you gave me to all who attended your Certification Clinic last weekend.  And, I going to tell them that your critics, namely Brent Strom and Ron Wolforth, say that your pitching motion has no rotation.  They say that because you have no rotation, you can never access any pure power.  Therefore, they say that the pitching motion you teach is worthless junk.

Well, they can't be any more wrong, can they?  To the less informed, you should point out WHERE the real rotation should be and IS in your pitching motion.


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     I love it when people make false statements about my baseball pitching motion.  It makes is very easy for us to show them for what they are, that is, at best, they are ignorant, or, at worse, they are liars.

     When I showed the Sparks video at Cherry Hill, I could hear the amazement of the audience at the movement of his pitches.  To see is to believe.

     At Cherry Hill, I made the point very clear that, with the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion, whatever forward hip rotation their pitchers have, because it primarily applies force toward their pitching arm side, that force is not only wasted, but injurious, and, because, when they release their pitches, they leave their pitching foot near the pitching rubber, their forward hip rotation does not come near to perpendicular with the driveline toward home plate.

     I also made it clear that it is not the forward rotation of the hips that counts.  Because the pitching arm attaches to the pitching shoulder, what is important is the forward rotation of the shoulders.  With the 'traditional' pitching motion, because they stride so far, their pitchers can only forwardly rotate their shoulders to perpendicular to the driveline toward home plate, after which, because the long stride has stopped the forward movement of their center of mass, all they can do is bend forward.

     However, with my baseball pitching motion, because the center of mass of my baseball pitchers moves forward throughout my baseball pitching motion, my baseball pitchers can forwardly rotate their shoulders through release and beyond, well past perpendicular to the driveline toward home plate.  And, because the rotational force that we generate is toward home plate, not to the pitching arm side of our body, the rotational force that we apply is neither wasted nor injurious.

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071.  What software do you use for your high speed analysis?

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     With my Red Lakes LoCam five hundred frames per second pin registered sixteen millimeter camera, I film my baseball pitchers.  Then, I have Continental Film convert the sixteen millimeter film to digital tape, which I digitize into my Adobe Premiere Pro movie making software.

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072.  A question about overloading and underloading.  What does the batter think they are getting by using both methods?  What do pitchers get when they use pulley on walls and rubber tubing?

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     In baseball batting, underloading is when baseball batters swing striking implements that weigh less than the baseball bat that they use in competition.

     In baseball pitching, overloading is when baseball pitchers throw balls that weigh more than the baseballs that they throw in competition.

     Pulleys, rubber tubing and so on have nothing to do with over and underloading.

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073.  First and foremost, I will be sending $100.00 to 38313 Vinson Ave, Zephyrhills, FL tomorrow.  I am very anxious to receive your 2006 video if available, but will gladly accept the 2004 video.  Please advise if either the above address or purchase price have changed.

A couple of question while I await your video.

1.  I had a posterior SLAP repaired on my throwing shoulder 11 months ago.  My progress has been slow but steady.  I'm at about 80% of my previous capability.  My endurance and strength seem to be improving, but surgery limited my external rotation to about 105-110 degrees.  Will that a problem?

2.  I still get pain in the back of the shoulder, although different in nature to pre-injury pain and generally non-debilitating.  In other words, it is not a pain that holds me back instinctively from continued throwing and does not seem to impact performance.  Also, it tends to clear as I warm up.  But what could the pain be after 11 months?

3.  I have been developing my non-dominant arm (left arm) so I can sustain play should my right shoulder not recover.  I can now throw in the low 60's and have seen steady improvement over the past 2 years.  I am religious about stretching and rotator cuff strengthening.  Aside from insights I will gain from your program, do you have any advice or lessons learned from others attempting the same?


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     The address is correct.  The day after I receive your request, I will put your copy in the mail.

01.  To achieve their maximum release velocity, baseball pitchers must apply force through the full range of inward rotation of their pitching shoulder joint.  This requires that they can lay their pitching upper arm horizontally backward.  Fortunately, with my pitching motion, baseball pitchers can get their pitching upper arm in this position with less stress on the back of their shoulder than with the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion.

02.  With the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion, the tiny Teres Minor muscle has to decelerate the pitching arm.  The Teres Minor muscle attaches to the back of the head of the Humerus bone and to the axillary border of the Scapula bone.  When 'traditional' baseball pitchers injure their Teres Minor muscle, they experience pain high up under the back of their pitching shoulder.  If you are still using the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion, then you will continue to injure this muscle.

03.  I have no insights on training your non-dominant arm to throw.  I expect that it would take longer than it took for you to learn to throw with your dominant arm and, if you use the same pitching motion, it will also destroy your non-dominant arm.

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074.  I recently had Tommy John surgery in October of 2006.  Although initially I was quite upset since I received a red-shirt my freshman year, I have learned about the surgery and have found this to maybe be a blessing in disguise.  Anyways, my mom just relayed the message to me about what you do, and I was really ecstatic.

I've been searching for a pitching instructor to help aid with my comeback from the surgery.  I know I still have a lot of time left before I can even think about playing.  But I actually just started this past week to begin throwing at distances of 15 feet.

I'd love to come meet you and work with you.  I'm not sure when on the timeline you begin to work with players, but I very much want to work with you.  Since I have a medical red-shirt this year, my coach told me that I don't need to travel with the team.  I'd easily be able to come down whenever you preferred.

Please let me know if you could work with me, I'd very much appreciate it.


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     I offer two 120-Day sessions.  My fall session starts the third Friday in August and ends the third Saturday in December.  My spring session starts the first Friday in February and ends the first Saturday in June.

     Everybody is welcome to watch my guys train at anytime.  We train from 9:00 to 10:30AM seven days a week.  This spring, our last workout will be on the fourth Friday in May.

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075.  I listened to your lectures on the pitching motion this past weekend at the coaches clinic in Cherry Hill, NJ.  I was intrigued by the mechanics you teach and was interested in purchasing your DVD.  Is there a discounted clinic price that you offer these at?  I was a little surprised when I went to your website and saw the $100 price tag after hearing you say at the clinic that you were "not out to make money on them but to save throwing arms."

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     I offer my Coaching Baseball Pitchers book for free on my website because it only costs me one hundred dollars per month and thousands of hours of hard work to get that information to my readers.  I also offer my advice for free on my website because it only costs me one hundred dollar per month and two to three hours of my time every morning.  Unfortunately, in addition to thousand of hours of my hard work, to make a video costs me tens of thousands of dollars that I have to recoup.  Thus far, I have recouped about half of the costs I incurred with nothing to show for the thousands of hours of hard work.

     I do not make goofy videos where a couple of people, usually including some well-known baseball pitcher make asinine comments about the baseball pitching motion.  Instead, for example, I take thousands of feet of high-speed film at five hundred dollar for every four hundred feet.

     To answer your question, to own your copy of my video, you will need to send me one hundred dollars.  However, I am trying hard to put my video online so everybody can watch it for free.  You could wait to see whether I am successful in my effort.

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076.  Every time I come to Z'Hills, and I've been there quite a few times over the last 3 years, I learn more and appreciate even further what you have accomplished in your life's work.  I certainly appreciated your hospitality and the camaraderie of meeting all the other coaches/dads from all over the country and Italy.

It was a very informative weekend and well worth it.  I thank you sincerely.  We are making progress in breaking down the wall of ignorance, and with strength in numbers, all the coaches can now educate and teach parents and players how to eliminate pitching arm injuries.

As I have said in a few emails, feel free to use my name, email, address and phone for your certification listings, and as one Dad who has a son who has attended two 280 day training cycles, has real life first hand experiences and whose son continues to carry on pitching at the college level.

Augie Tholen
Goshen CT. 06756
860 309 8679 (cell)
Atholen@us.ibm.com


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     I am glad to add your name to the list of Certified Coaches of the Marshall baseball pitching motion and interval-training programs.

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077.  I'm a subscriber to XM radio.  Channel 175 is all baseball, with various hosts.  You can email them at mlblive@xmradio.com or call them at 866 MLB-ON-XM.

Point is, more people in that audience should know what you are doing, and the disservice MLB is doing to their own pitchers and the many kids out there who subscribe to the traditional nonsense.  I suggested to them they should hire you, for lets say an hour a day, where coaches, concerned parents or players could call and "ask the doc about pitching and injuries".  If we can reach this broad audience, I think we can further the cause, and add considerably more followers with just a couple phone calls and emails.


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     I like that idea of answering pitching questions on the radio.  Perhaps someone could suggest to their programmer that if they want to understand what I will say, then they could read my seven years of Question/Answer files.

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078.  My money order is in the mail.

Another question:  Do you find that fielders tend to exhibit the same errors as 'traditional' pitchers?  Or, do fielders, who are typically not forced to rehearse 'traditional' pitching mechanics, tend to allow their bodies express correct mechanics naturally?  In short, are fielders in as much risk as pitchers?


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     I wish it was as easy as leaving youngsters on their own to throw however they feel that they should.  Unfortunately, they will still use injurious mechanics.

     However, how position players throw baseballs differ from how 'traditional' baseball pitchers pitch baseballs in one very important way.  Position players use some variation of the 'crow-hop' body action.

     The 'crow-hop' body action permits position players to get their throwing arm up to driveline height before their glove foot lands.  This eliminates the injurious 'Reverse Pitching Forearm Bounce' flaw and insures that they have the muscles on the front of the shoulder contracted before they pull their pitching upper arm forward.

     Nevertheless, I know that they would throw harder and more accurately if they learned to straight line drive their throwing hand and powerfully pronate their throwing forearm.

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079.  My son is on the disabled list.  The baseball coach made him run sprints so much that he pulled a quadriceps tendon and is scheduled for physical therapy this week.  I think that it is his rectus femoris.

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     Of the four muscles that make up what lay people call the 'quadriceps; muscle, the Rectus Femoris muscle is the one most likely to tear.  That is tore means that it had residual tension when your son powerfully contracted what lay people call the 'hamstrings' muscle.

     To recover, he needs to use my 'speed-ups' drill, where he jogs easily for awhile, then gently increases his speed for several steps, then jogs easily again and so on.  The point is, he injured his Rectus Femoris muscle because he had a glitch in his motor unit contraction and relaxation sequence.

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080.  I must have really gotten something from your anatomy class, I came to the same conclusion that it was the rectus femoris from looking at grays anatomy and recalling the muscle information from your class.  Wow!

Should he rest the muscle for any time (like a week) before he starts your speed up drills?  Right now it hurts him to lift his knee. He can walk, but jogging is painful.

My son tries so hard to keep up with the seniors and other big fast kids.  He always gives 100% no matter what.  I think he was on sprint 39 of 40 when this happened and he ran the 40th too (pretty much forced by his coach after my son told him of injury).

If he did not want to play so badly, I would have pulled him from the team, but that would just break his heart.


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     If your son cannot do jogging speed-ups, then he should do walking speed-ups.  While he must be careful to not go too hard too soon, the sooner that he starts working his Rectus Femoris with the proper motor unit contraction and relaxation sequence, the sooner it will heal.

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081.  I'd be interested in working with you on the second session, the one that starts in August and ends in December.  I'd love to do the one that starts this February, but my arm isn't really even ready to throw.

I'd really like to come meet with you and talk about my particular situation of recovering from Tommy John surgery, and how to handle that rehab with what you teach and how to manage that while still maintaining my scholarship for school.  If you please let me know when would be a good time to come down and meet you, I'd gladly make the drive.


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     Until the fourth Friday in May, 2007, we train from 9:00 to 10:30AM seven days a week.  Yesterday would not have been too soon for you to visit.

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082.  The basis for my instructions NOW is to show the difference between YOUR slingshot position and the slingshot positions of the traditional motion.  Now that I saw everything you teach live at your school, even without using heavy iron balls and wrist weights, I can do that very effectively now with the Sparks video of Jan 14.

I also will stress that after they acquire your slingshot skill, that they attend an 8 weeks training course at your place and get the correct drills.  Then they will be stronger and throw faster and especially more ACCURATELY.


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     With the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion, baseball pitchers circle their pitching arm laterally away from their body to their pitching arm side.  This means that 'traditional' baseball pitchers circle their pitching hand like they are roping a running steer.

     With my baseball pitching motion, baseball pitchers drive their pitching arm straight toward home plate.  This means that my baseball pitchers lay their pitching forearm straight behind them and, after their have forwardly rotate their shoulders and pitching upper arm toward home plate, they drive their pitching hand straight forward as vertically as they can.

     I do not offer eight week sessions. The shortest session that I will offer is seventeen weeks.  I will offer one in the fall and one in the spring.

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083.  Thanks.  That pretty well explains why I tore my subscap and suffered a second order effect of posterior SLAP.  In retrospect, what you said is common sense.

What major league pitchers do think best demonstrate some or all of your key mechanical components?  As a youth player, I instinctively emulated Ron Guidry and Juan Marichal.  I do know that Mr. Guidry left the game with a shoulder tear, but, if memory serves, both Mr. Guidry and Marichal did seem to exhibit the pendulum swing and throwing palm out with resultant early arrival at drive height.  Their fluidity seemed akin to some segments of your construct.


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     The reason why major league baseball pitchers have so many injuries is because they keep copying the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion.  The definition of insanity is to keep doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.  We have to at least get rid of the injurious flaws inherent in the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion.

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084.  I am looking forward to receiving your materials.  I sent a check to you last week. Thank you so kindly for answering my email question the other day.  If I could I'd like to ask another (regarding my 11 year old).

The question is this:  His team plays about 30 games in a 3 months period of time (May, June, and July).  Because I hurt my arm when I was his age due to too much pitching I have been very conservative with how much pitching he has done.  After reading your insights posted on the internet, your advice is to not permit kids to pitch until 13.  However, he pitched no more than two innings sparingly last year.  Do I do the same this year or do I not allow any pitching on my son's behalf?

We have about 7 kids who pitch, our philosophy as coaches has been to spread this responsibility out to protect young arms.  Your recommendation is no pitching, do I take a hardline with the other coaches and not allow my son to pitch at all?


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     The first thing that you need to do is, within one week of his birthday, get front and side views of his glove and pitching elbow from mid-upper arm to mid-forearm, make copies and send them to me.  I will determine his biological age and whether I see any differences in how the growth plates are developing.

     Then, with X-rays every year until the growth plates in his pitching elbow completely mature at biologically sixteen years old, we can monitor the effect of his youth baseball pitching on their growth and development.

     Until then, I recommend that we focus on his skill development.  We want him to perfect his baseball pitching motion and the pronation releases of all pitches.

     My recommendation is, between the biological ages of thirteen and sixteen years old, youth baseball pitchers should do no more than two consecutive months of competitive baseball pitching with no more than one inning per game twice a week.

     What you do with you son is your choice.  Neither I nor anybody else can say how many pitches it takes to destroy your son's pitching arm.  However, with my baseball pitching motion, we will greatly reduce the unnecessary stress that causes the most damage.  Nevertheless, once growth plates prematurely close, that bone will never become what it should have been.

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085.  I plan to show everyone the difference between the basic traditional pitching instructions and yours, and show them how to train to perfect your motion.  However, if they want to increase their velocity and strength, I recommend that they come down for the 17 week fall program, and they will reach the peak of their pitching abilities.

With the new Jeff Sparks film, this can be accomplished very easily, so the onus is on me to get the message out so they can make a choice, not some high school or college coach making it for them.

The pitcher you sent me is seriously considering coming back to your school to continue to train.  Another of your pitchers told him that there are tryouts for a pro team in Colorado this spring, and they want to go there.  He said that if he doesn't make that team, he will come back here.

We were on the verge of getting him a dorm room.  He was staying with the team captain for the 1st week.  It seems that he rather not hit the books to play baseball, unless he has no other choice.  That's the opinion that he gave the players, my AD and me.

I am disappointed, but that's life.  Again, I want to stress that I will take any pitcher that you train into my program sight unseen.  But, this is an academic school, baseball is secondary.


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     The only thing that I want you to remember about the Jeff Sparks video is that, while he throws incredible pitches, he still has mechanical flaws in his baseball pitching motion.  Nevertheless, I like what you are doing.  I strongly agree with you that we have to fully inform parents and pitchers of the dangers inherent in the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion and our alternative.  Then, it is their life.  They need to make their own informed decisions.

     I do not think that the Colorado summer baseball league is professional baseball.  Nevertheless, I disagree with this young man not attending your school this spring.  Hopefully, this will only be a summer distraction and he and the others get into college and pitch.  As one who earned a doctoral degree, I cannot more strongly agree with you that, in college, first and foremost is the education.

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086.  Thanks.  Empirical evidence shows that pitchers suffer elbow and shoulder injuries at a much higher rate than fielders.  Would you attribute this to:

A)  earlier drive line arrival and less reverse forearm flop associated with crow hop; tendency to not over rotate past target line, or
B)  lesser volume of throwing at high intensity or
C)  a combo of both.


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     I attribute the higher injury rate in baseball pitchers versus baseball position players to the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion.  Where baseball position players use the crow-hop throwing rhythm, baseball pitchers use the balance position pitching rhythm.

     With the balance position pitching rhythm, as they reverse rotate their hips, shoulders and pitching arm well beyond second base, baseball pitchers raise their glove leg high off the ground and their glove and pitching hands upward over their head.  Then, as they lower their pitching hand downward, they start the forward movement of their body.  This means that, as they move the center of mass of their body forward, they are moving their pitching arm backward.

     Then, when their glove foot lands, they are still in the middle of their 'Late Pitching Forearm Turnover,' when they start to pull their pitching arm forward.  The combination of their pitching elbow moving forward and their pitching hand moving backward causes a 'Reverse Pitching Forearm Bounce,' which unnecessarily stresses the inside of their pitching elbow and the front of their pitching shoulder.

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087.  Thank you for the time and knowledge you share about baseball.  I coach High School baseball.  I have incorporated your ideas on pitching into my coaching.  I have the opportunity to work with a professor at at local University and some of their students to film young pitchers.  I am asking your help to determine how many different views of each pitcher we should film: front, side, back, top.   Should the pitcher be wearing a shirt?  What would be important to help make this filming session valuable?

Again thank you for taking time to read this email and for all you do for the young players.


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     I am familiar with the University and the high school at which you coach.  Therefore, when I received your request for my video, I was very interested to learn things were going with your pitchers.  Please keep me updated.

     I am not sure what you mean by 'film.'  If you mean high-speed sixteen millimeter film, then, to get what you want through release, you need to set the camera at five hundred frames per second.  Ninety miles per hour is one hundred and thirty-two feet per second, which is one thousand five hundred and eighty-four inches per second.  One thousand five hundred and eighty-four inches per second divided by five hundred frames per second means that the baseball moves 3.12 inches between frames.

     The overhead view high-speed film shot is the very best for analyzing the rotation of the shoulders and pitching arm and tracking the curvilinear path of the horizontal (side-to-side) movement of the baseball.  However, it is also most difficult to get.  With a ten millimeter lens, for focus clarity, you have to be at least ten feet above the athlete and you have to make sure that your field of vision includes the entire movement, but little else.

     The front view high-speed film shot is the best view to see how baseball pitchers release their pitches.  You will need a fifty millimeter lens and set up behind home plate taking care that the protective screen in front of the camera does not allow the baseball to strike the camera.  I recommend that you also take front view video.

     The side vide high-speed film shot is the best view with which to track the vertical (up-to-down) movement of the baseball.  You will need a twenty-five millimeter lens and set up twenty-five feet to the side of the middle of the action.

     To track the pathway of the baseball behind baseball pitchers up to the start of their acceleration phase and to show how the baseball moves on its way to home plate, I recommend that you also take rear view video.

     When I put these clips together, I:
01.  start with the rear view video at normal speed,
02.  then I show the rear view video again at twenty-five percent speed,
03.  then I show the front view video at twenty-five percent speed,
04.  then, except for the movement of the pitching arm from where the pitching forearm horizontally backward to where the pitching forearm is horizontally forward, which I show at twenty-five percent speed, I show the front view high-speed film at normal speed,
05.  then, if I had it, I would show the overhead view high-speed film as I showed the front view and, lastly,
06.  I would show the side view high-speed film as I showed the front and overhead views film.

     To do a thorough analysis, at regular time intervals, I would use my Adobe Premiere Pro software to add circles around the path of the baseball.

     To see when their muscles contract, I would have the baseball pitchers remove their shirts and wear shorts.  For the overhead view, provided that they still have their buttons attached, I would have them wear their baseball caps.

     I think that, at regular intervals throughout their careers, all baseball pitchers should have high-speed film and video taken of them.  I assure you that they have no idea how they are using their pitching arm.  That is, if you ask them to describe how they are using their pitching arm, then show them the high-speed film and video, they will not believe that what they see is what they do.

     Please let me know how this project goes.

     If you are taking high-speed sixteen millimeter film and the developer also makes a digital tape copy, I would be glad to make a DVD of each pitcher in the manner I explained above.

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088.  I am sorry to bother you with more material about the now infamous "gyroball,"  but here is an article concerning the pitch from a Japanese publication called Metropolis.  When I sent you some video on the pitch you explained what was happening in a way I thought I understood.  When I read this stuff, I again become confused.  I knew I should have paid more attention in physics class.

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Unwinding the Gyroball
By Brett Bull

Daisuke Matsuzaka is 26 and has a crown of spiky hair.  He stands at 182 centimeters, weighs 85 kilograms, and throws a gyroball.  He throws a what?

Based largely on Matsuzaka’s dominant performances in the World Baseball Classic and the 2.13 ERA and 200 strikeouts he posted with the Seibu Lions last season, the Boston Red Sox submitted a bid in November for the whopping sum of $51.1 million just for the privilege of negotiating a contract with him.

To his Japanese fans, the right-hander is known simply as Daisuke.  His fastball clocks in at a lofty 150 kilometers per hour.  His change-up makes hitters look foolish.  And his gyroball…

“It is a pitch with a gyro spin,” explains Dr. Ryutaro Himeno, the director of the Advanced Center for Computing and Communication at the physics and chemistry research institute Riken in Saitama.

Himeno, in a brown blazer and ruffled hair, says that the pitch is delivered such that its release from the fingers sends it toward home plate in a tight spiral, much like a fired bullet.

In the late ’90s, Himeno started simulating how a gyroball moves on a computer.  In 2001, he co-authored the book Makyu no Shotai (“The Truth about the Supernatural Pitch”) with baseball instructor Kazushi Tezuka.

“Tezuka is the godfather of the gyroball,” Himeno says of his associate, who operates sports clinics in Tokyo and Osaka.  “I just proved that the pitch exists.”

American newspapers, whose stories typically compare the gyroball’s elusiveness to that of a ghost or the Loch Ness Monster, have approximated the degree of the pitch’s break, graphically showing it making a sweeping turn as it crosses the plate—a movement so large that it exceeds even that of a curveball.

But the question remains: is this beast for real?

Conversations with the pitch’s pioneers, two very different people working in two very different worlds, make reaching some kind of conclusion on the gyroball’s characteristics, and even Matsuzaka’s connection with it, about as easy trying to hit one of his pitches—any one of them.

In Himeno’s office, the professor has a plastic bottle with both ends trimmed and red tape lining the edges.  The vessel is now a gyroball training tool in the shape of a cylinder.

After explaining that a proper gyro grip is the same as that used for a standard fastball, Himeno grasps the bottle as if he were about to throw a football pass.  He follows through, rolling the tube to the tips of his fingers and bringing his hand down in front of himself almost like a karate chop.

“Unlike most other pitches,” he says, “the wrist is not snapped when [the gyroball] is delivered.”  From hand to home, two forces work against a baseball:  a drag force (caused by friction) retards the velocity, and gravity brings it back to Earth.

A pitch changes its direction because of its rotation.  Himeno says that for a properly thrown gyroball the direction of the ball’s rotation will be exactly perpendicular to the direction of travel.  This relationship is the source of its name:  the gyroscope is a device that balances itself upon a single axle through the momentum generated by a ring spinning around it.

Since these two directional vectors don’t intersect—which is not the case for a curveball or fastball—there will be no additional push influencing the ball in any direction.  Mother Nature then says that upon its release, the gyroball will be slowed by friction and felled by gravity only.  Unlike other baseball pitches, there will be no curving, cutting, slicing or dicing.  Just drag and drop.

In 1996, while working for Nissan, Himeno studied as a hobby the wake pattern formed as air flows over the seams of a rotating forkball—a pitch thrown with very little backspin.  This wake creates drag and impacts the direction of the ball.

Himeno, whose usual line of study involves analyzing fluid flows and assembling supercomputers, subsequently switched his hobby to the gyroball after leaving Nissan.

It was during this time that he was invited by Dr. Koichi Omura at Takarazuka Zokei Geijutsu University to participate in roundtable research discussions, where twice a month students, teachers, researchers and athletes introduced various scientific topics.  It was at one of these meetings that baseball instructor Kazushi Tezuka proposed studying a baseball that rotates like a spiral.

“When Tezuka explained the gyroball grip and spin,” Himeno explained in his book Makyu wo Tsukuru (“The Making of the Supernatural Pitch”), “it was the most exciting thing I had seen in my life.”

After returning to Tokyo, Himeno simulated air flowing around both a two-seam and four-seam gyroball.  (The number refers to how many seams are rotating parallel to the ground as the ball moves through the air.)  He found that the wake behind the two-seamer had a wide path, very similar to a forkball, but the air flowing over the four-seam gyroball followed the curve of the ball much more, making its wake narrow.

Himeno’s conclusion:  the two-seam gyroball drops like a forkball;  the four-seam gyroball drops, too, but less.  And both variations generate much less drag than a forkball, causing them to arrive to the plate faster.

In the basement of a small building off an expressway in Tokyo’s Setagaya Ward is the dojo of Beta Endorphin, a company that provides sports instruction to youngsters.  President Kazushi Tezuka, in a brimless gray hat and workout jacket, watches through green netting as a pitcher throws from one of the two mounds.

“This,” says Tezuka as he grabs his thigh, “is the most important part of throwing the gyroball.  It has nothing to do with the hands.”

As described in The Truth About the Supernatural Pitch, the circular rotation of the hips off the pitcher’s back leg provides the initial torque that comprises the first spin in the “double spin” technique.  The other spin comes when the ball leaves the fingers.  Getting the two to work in tandem is the basis of mastering the gyroball.

Back at Riken, Himeno has set up one of his computers in a five-row theater on his building’s first floor.  He taps a few keys and a computer rendition of a baseball stadium (from the hitter’s perspective) appears on the projection screen.  A cartoon pitcher stands on the mound.

The computer dishes out three pitches simultaneously: a fastball, a forkball and a gyroball.  Dashed lines of different colors stream from behind the advancing balls to represent the different trajectories.

“You can see the drop,” Himeno says.  “The model shows the gyroball at the same speed, same direction, and same timing as a pitch would behave in the field.”  The model shows the gyroball to nearly follow the path of the forkball, while the fastball’s line is left suspended far above the other two.

The birth of the gyroball can be traced back to 1995.  Tezuka was observing some students playing catch.  One of them was throwing particularly hard.  “It was then,” he remembers, “that I discovered the gyroball.  I knew that this was no ordinary pitch.”

The benefit of the four-seam gyroball, Tezuka says, is its surprising explosiveness.  Batters, he believes, are lulled into thinking a typical fastball is approaching, only to find it already streaking through the zone as they start their cut.  But most gyroballers, he says, throw the two-seam version because of its extreme movement.

“The gyroball is scary,” says Tezuka, of the pitch’s speed and unpredictability.  “It is beyond imagination.”  On his computer, the instructor brings up highlights of Shunsuke Watanabe, the closer for the Chiba Lotte Marines, one of four pitchers in Japanese professional baseball who has pitched the gyroball in the last few years, according to Tezuka.

Watanabe’s is a sidewinding, two-seam gyroballer.  He drops down with his arm so far that he almost scrapes the dirt on top of the mound.  His gyroball then is delivered with his fingers roughly parallel to the ground.  Batter after batter can be seen flailing at the stuff.  None of Watanabe’s pitches, however, are seen dropping like a forkball.

When asked about the difference between his computer results and Tezuka’s observations in the field, Himeno figures that pitchers are more apt to tilt their wrist to throw a gyroball with a little backspin—like a fastball—which will cause it to drop less.  Tezuka’s theory, however, is that if a pitcher releases the ball from as low as possible, it will not sink as it crosses the plate—something that is an absolute impossibility according to the laws of physics.

Tezuka next shows highlights of Sandy Alomar Jr. and Barry Bonds facing the now retired Tetsuro Kawajiri of the Hanshin Tigers, another two-seam gyroball pitcher (or so says Tezuka).  The footage is from the 2000 MLB All-Star tour of Japan.  The sidearmer fires multiple pitches into the strike zone.  Alomar grounds out weakly to shortstop; Bonds pops out to center.  Each hitter’s swing seems to have been slightly off balance.

Tezuka grabs a paper cup, gripping it around the rim and pointing it in front of himself.  He then quickly shifts it up, down and side to side as if to mimic a moving ball.  “For both the hitter and the catcher,” he says of the two-seamer, “they don’t know what’s going to happen.”

All four of the gyroball specialists Tezuka named—with Tomohiro Umetsu of the Hiroshima Carp and Tomoki Hoshino of the Seibu Lions being the others—are sidearmers.  In fact, Tezuka says that a gyroball can only be pitched sidearm style—it is impossible to throw any other way.  So where then does that place the most famous gyroballer of them all, the young phenom who throws overhand?

A gyroball, Tezuka calmly explains, is not what Matsuzaka throws.  “He throws a sinking slider.”

To this point in the saga, a Matsuzaka link to the gyroball is a tough one to make: neither Tezuka nor Himeno had met the player.  What’s more, the pitch had only existed on Himeno’s hard drive and in Tezuka’s teachings.

Matsuzaka further complicates things by being secretive about whether the pitch is really part of his arsenal, saying that he maybe experiments with it on occasion or that he doesn’t throw it at all.

But Matsuzaka doesn’t need a gadget pitch; he dominates with his entire repertoire, with many experts saying that his change-up is most devastating.

Tezuka claims that the Matsuzaka-gyroball connection is rooted in a program that ran on NHK in August 1999.  Titled 18-Year-Old Daisuke Matsuzaka:  The Super Rookie’s Spirit and Technique, the 50-minute show attempted to explain the reasons for the pitcher’s success.  Tezuka and Himeno were asked to participate.  The rotation of Matsuzaka’s pitches was a key topic.

“All throughout the making of the show,” says Tezuka, who spoke only of the pitcher’s arm motion and release of the ball during the program, “I told the NHK staff that Matsuzaka’s throwing a sinking slider whose rotation might look like a gyroball.  But they wanted me to say it was a gyroball.”

Matsuzaka’s slider, whose sidespin rotation is different from a gyroball’s spiral, is tight, with the pitch dropping straight down.  “But no matter what I said,” Tezuka continues, “NHK just went ahead with it.  The show’s narrator said the pitch had a gyro spin.  That’s how the news of Matsuzaka throwing the gyroball first spread.”

One segment of the program featured a fuzzy frame-by-frame sequence of a Matsuzaka pitch that purportedly displayed a jairokaiten, or gyro rotation.  Himeno, who provided his research to NHK but did not appear on the program, explains, “When I found out that the spin of the ball pitched by Matsuzaka was just like the spin of a rifle bullet, I told the NHK staff that it was a gyroball.”

Reading through The Truth About the Supernatural Pitch reveals that Himeno’s only contribution is Chapter 3, which provides a background in physics and his computer graphics.  It is very much Tezuka’s book: from his thoughts on the deceptive speed of the pitch to the underhand delivery.  Likewise, Himeno’s The Making of the Supernatural Pitch presents his side of the gyroball coin.  In speaking engagements and interviews (like the one for this article), he still maintains that Matsuzaka’s slider is in fact a two-seam gyroball.

Last month, Matsuzaka signed a 6-year, $52 million dollar deal with the Red Sox.  He will make his debut in the spring.  His first start at Fenway Park will be on a crisp afternoon or evening.  He will stand on the mound, probably kick at the rubber a few times before staring down at catcher Jason Varitek wagging a few signals with his fingers.  Matsuzaka will get his sign, go into his wind-up, and deliver a…

No doubt, Himeno and Tezuka will be watching, right along with everyone else.


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     In Chapter Nineteen: Daniel Bernoulli of my Coaching Baseball Pitchers book, I explain the Marshall Effect.  With his Magnus Effect, Professor Magnus explained why four-seam curveballs changed direction in their flight toward home plate.

     In 1966, as a Graduate Teaching Assistant for the Kinesiology course at Michigan State University, Professor Heusner asked me to explain the Magnus Effect to the undergraduate Kinesiology students.  I did so, but I also developed the Marshall Effect, where I explained why two-seam sinkers and sliders changed direction in their flight toward home plate.  It was this two-seam sinker that started me on my way to major league baseball success.

     The gyroball is similar to the two-seam slider that I explained.  However, where my two-seam slider has a vertical spin axis that tilts at forty-five degrees toward home plate, the gyroball spins like a gyroscope, with a vertical spin axis without forward or backward tilt.

     As a result, where the movements of my two-seam sinker and slider depend on the side-to-side rotation of the baseball and the large circle of friction of one loop of the seams on the top, front of the baseball, the movement of the gyroball depends on the drag of the flow of the air molecules behind the baseball.  This is similar to how whirlpools in the bend of rivers pull the surface water downward.

     I have written about this before, where, in the 1970s, a left-handed relief pitcher for the Oakland Athletics, Darryl Knowles, threw a back-up slider that used this whirlpool effect.

     From the video I have seen of the gyroball, the direction in which Mr. Matsuzaka throws the baseball determines to extent to which the pitch moves laterally.  That is, when he throw the gyroball to the glove side of home plate, it moves to the glove side of home plate and downward.  However, when he throws the gyroball to the pitching arm side of home plate, because the rotation of the baseball and the lateral direction of the pitch cancel out the toward-the-glove-side-of-home-plate movement, it only moves downward, such that is looks like a sinker.

     My concern is that, because Mr. Matsuzuka applies force to the pitching arm side of the baseball, he might be supinating his pitching forearm at release.  Because he uses the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion, he has 'Pitching Forearm Flyout.'  'Pitching Forearm Flyout' enlarges the coronoid process of the Ulna bone in the pitching elbow, which decreases the elbow flexion range of motion in their pitching elbow.

     When baseball pitchers combine 'Pitching Forearm Flyout' with pitching forearm supination at release, it increases the likelihood that they will slam the olecranon process of their pitching forearm into its olecranon fossa.  This causes baseball pitchers to lose the elbow extension range of motion in their pitching elbow.

     While baseball pitchers can continue to pitch while they lose elbow flexion and extension ranges of motion in their pitching elbow, over time, the decreased range of motion will negatively influence the quality of their pitches.  Also, they will severely deform their pitching arm.

     To see exactly what the gyroball pitch does and how he applies force to the baseball, I would love to take high-speed film of Mr. Matsuzaka.

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089.  I showed both Jeff Sparks DVD clips to a local high school coach.

When he watched the latest DVD that you made a couple of weeks ago, he was impressed with how many rotations he got on his breaking pitches and he couldn't believe the tremendous movement on the pitches.

When he watched the 1999 and 2000 DVD clip in which he pitched for the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, he was surprised how he got all those big names to look so bad, just waving their bats at the pitch or just standing there frozen in their spikes.

Also, I forgot to mention in all the confusion of last week that I want you to put me on your certified coaches list.


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     We need every Certified Marshall Baseball Pitching Coach to show these DVD clips of Jeff Sparks throwing my six basic pitches with my Step Back Wind-Up baseball pitching motion to baseball coaches at all levels.  These coaches need to know that, not only is my baseball pitching motion injury-free, but it also results in higher quality pitches that baseball batters cannot hit.

     It is good to hear that this high school baseball coach was able to see past the differences in my baseball pitching motion and the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion to recognize the higher quality of these pitches.  And that, seven years ago, with a less effective baseball pitching motion and lower quality pitches, Jeff was still able to humiliate the top hitters of that time.  It should be obvious that, if he pitched today with the improved baseball pitching motion and pitch quality, then he would dominate major league batters even more easily.

     I am happy to put your name on my Certified Marshall Baseball Pitching Coaches list.  I have your name and email address.  Do you want me to include anything else?

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090.  I have your 2004 and 2006 videos.  Is there a way I can get a copy of the Jeff Sparks video that you filmed for your certification clinic?  I'm willing to pay any fair price for a copy of that on DVD.

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     If you will send me the address to which you want me to send the DVD, I will make a copy and send it to you.

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091.  Can you read this email and give the father your expert advice, also send me your reply to him?

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My son and I just found out that he has a partial tear in his UCL and we're discussing different options in trying to sort this through as to the best course of action.  I'm sure you've been down this road more than anyone we have exposure to and would very much appreciate your thoughts.

My son very much wants to play in college.  Personally, I believe he should have the surgery now so that he will never have to worry about his arm and it will enable him to become the best player he is capable of being.  However, with this being his junior year in high school, I don't know what the impact of having surgery now will be on his college prospects and the reason I writing you today.

My son is a high school junior and was a starting varsity player in his sophomore year and has played on very competitive elite summer travel teams the past four years.  He is 6"0", 170 lbs and is a lefty pitcher, first baseman and outfielder that has always maintained one of the top 3 batting averages on any team he has been on throughout the years.  This past year he was throwing 79 with a fastball, big dropping change-up and recently introduced curveball.  While his velocity doesn't blow batters away, his ability to spot the ball and walk few batters have been his greatest assets in pitching.  He truly plays the first base position. He loves pitching and playing first and plays outfield when needed.

The orthopedist indicated he has a partial tear of about 1/2 of his UCL.  If he continues to pitch he estimates a 50/50 chance of him blowing it out requiring Tommy John surgery.  If he goes to a position he believes it will minimize the chance of blowing it out.  His recommendation is to start with physical therapy and strengthen the shoulder, arm and core muscles to relieve strain from his elbow when throwing.

The options I see are as follows:

1.  Have the surgery now.  He loses his high school jr. year, summer and fall ball and he hopefully recovers for senior year of baseball.  Downside is that he does not play this year with his school team, which I believe will be a wonderful experience and lifetime memory and is not able to play over the summer and showcase to get on the college radar for his senior year.  It seems by taking this option he will not have the opportunity to play in his first year of college and perhaps will be able to workout with the team for whatever college he decides to go to.

2.  Play with his high school team and not pitch.  Focus on fielding and hitting and get the memory and experience.  Of course there is the chance of him blowing out his arm in which case we are back to having surgery and he will probably miss his senior year of high school.

3.  Continue playing through the summer as a position player and do some showcases to get the exposure to college coaches.  He is giving up pitching, and as a lefty pitcher I believe perhaps giving up a significant advantage in the recruiting process.  If he makes it through the summer and summer showcases he would have the surgery and might miss his senior year of high school but will hopefully be 100% for freshman year of college.

4.  Go through physcial therapy to strengthen his arm and compete as pitcher and position player he always has.  See if there is a significant lessening of pain in the elbow due to the pt.  If not... stop pitching.  50/50 not great odds against injury.  But anytime someone decides to be an athlete the possibility of injury exists.

I very much believe having the surgery is important to letting him reach his potential and give him the ability to continue pitching in future years if that is what he wants to do.  However, if he has the surgery after the summer and showcases, will a college coach consider him for a team?  I would not want to misrepresent to a college coach that has had or is recovering from surgery.


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01.  Your son injured the Ulnar Collateral Ligament in his pitching elbow because of the injurious flaw in the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion that I call, 'Reverse Pitching Forearm Bounce.'  Therefore, the very first thing that he needs to do is to stop using the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion.

02.  The Physical Therapist to whom your doctor will send your son has no idea how to teach your son to throw the baseball.  Therefore, because your son needs a rehabilitation program that no only strengthens the bones, ligaments, tendons and muscles with the same force application technique that he needs to use when he throws the baseball, any time and money you spend on this physical therapy will not fix your son's problem.

03.  With proper training, ligaments can get stronger.  However, whether your son's Ulnar Collateral Ligament can repair whatever injury it has suffered, you son needs to learn how to apply force to his pitches without unnecessarily stressing the Ulnar Collateral Ligament.

     Therefore, I recommend that your son immediately begin my 120-Day High School Baseball Pitchers Interval-Training Program.  You can find it on the home page of my website at www.drmikemarshall.com.  To learn how to perform the drills with which I teach the skills of my baseball pitching motion, you need to get a copy of my Baseball Pitching Instructional Video.  To learn how to get your copy, click on the Baseball Pitching Instructional Video on the home page of my website.

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092.  I will be visiting the Z-hills area on March 6, 2007 and would like to visit your facility.  I have been conversing with one of your Certified Marshall Baseball Pitching Coaches for some time now and have read your doctoral work, viewed your emails and have your DVD.  This gentleman has agreed to meet there on the sixth.

I am a long time youth coach who at the end of my coaching career developed an interest in training new youth coaches.  Approximately ten years ago, frustrated with the level of players I was seeing at our high school try-outs, I developed a local clinic to address the weaknesses we had with our youth coaches and the weaknesses the Little League had in general with training.

Conversations with local youth coaches and league administrators quickly showed that our coaches were untrained and in many cases lacked any playing experience or a basic understanding of the game.  The clinic focuses on the basics of coaching and the basics of the game and has grown to the largest of its kind in our part of the country.  I feel it has made an impact on the overall quality of youth players in our area.

The issue of arm injuries and pitching has been on the agenda every year.  To that end we have had numerous physical training experts and Orthopedist provide insight on this growing problem and we have use college level and former professional pitching instructors as clinicians.  As you can well imagine I still do not have a process that I feel makes sense and I recognize something different needs to be done.

I belong to several discussion boards and have sought more information on line.  In spite of several very frustrating conversations with another of your Certified Marshall Baseball Pitching Coaches, I was convinced by the other gentleman to visit your facility and see first hand what you are doing.  He has been a wealth of information and a joy to speak with.  I have agreed to meet him there and am anxious to learn more.

Both my sons are grown and gone and I have no vested interest in this topic other than developing a program and or method to help train new coaches.  I have a M.Ed. in Androgogy and Distance Learning and have developed an interest in developing a basic training program for new coaches.  I would greatly appreciate the opportunity to learn more about your facility and methods.


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     If my information is correct, on December 22, 2005, I send you a copy of my 2004 Baseball Pitching Instructional Video.  If so, I need to send you a copy of my 2006 video.  Please confirm your mailing address.

     The second gentleman that you mentioned became interested in my baseball pitching motion several years ago and has worked hard to learn everything that he can.  Unfortunately, from what others have told me, he does not play well with others.  Because, in my many face-to-face meeting with him, he is personable and friendly, that is too bad.

     I would say that the first gentleman that you mentioned has also worked very hard to understand everything that he can about baseball pitching and he appears to play well with others.  With his high school and one-to-one coaching experiences, he is the more knowledgeable.

     I am very happy to hear that you will be able to watch my guys in action.  Words could never describe my baseball pitcher training program.  They will show you how to train high-quality, injury-free baseball pitchers.

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093.  Thanks for the update on when I can expect your video to arrive.  Is it the 2006 video?

I have been able to obtain a good grasp of your mechanics through your book and Q & A log.  Since last Wednesday, I have been throwing utilizing your mechanics.  I have also just begun adding your exercises to my normal rotator cuff regimen, but I currently lack the proper equipment.  I hope you'll find the following feedback useful.  Before I list my throwing observations, please keep in mind the following:

1.  I may be missing some of the finer points, and therefore may not have been in full compliance with your construct (although my bio-feedback tells me I was).

2.  As a senior Naval officer (Commander), I am conditioned to have a questioning attitude.  I don't consider myself susceptible to the power of suggestion or wishful thinking.  I am trained to be objective, unemotional, rational-minded and even suspicious.  I believe this perspective lends to the validity of the following observations.

3.  I can throw both left and right handed.  I "operationally tested" your concepts throwing baseballs left and right handed both short and long range (i.e., as a pitcher and an outfielder).

4.  As I've had 2 shoulder surgeries (right arm) and no elbow problems, my analysis will read more shoulder-centric.

5.  My sense is that what I experienced is not "beginners luck" or some mental phenomenon associated with a new kinesthetic feel.

NOW, THE RESULTS:

1.  Absolutely got smacked!  Well beyond pleasantly surprised.

2.  Less pain in the back of right shoulder with initial throwing.  Pain cleared.  No hesitation to sustain max effort.

3.  Very little sense of strain in shoulder and arm, regardless of effort level.

4.  My arm did NOT want to go back to the "old" mechanics.  It seemed natural to sustain the "new" mechanics.  Very fluid and non-taxing.  Felt more mechanically efficient than ever before.

5.  Very little conscious mechanical thought required.  Again, it seemed natural.  I found this surprising.  I had always been an advocate of not letting your conscious mind interfere with the body's natural/desired mechanics.

I was pleased that following your construct did not turn me into a "mechanical monster".  Quite the opposite occurred.  I felt the mind-body connection was stronger and I could focus externally on the task at hand (target). 6.  No or very little sense of fatigue during or after what previously had been very taxing, even "abusive" workouts.

7.  Long range accuracy noticeably improved.

8.  Pitching accuracy dramatically improved.

9.  Added 10 feet of distance to left arm, 5 feet of distance to right.

10.  A flight line that was more "true" as opposed to my previous paradigm of "stay on top of the ball; downward trajectory" et al (I find it difficult to describe this).

11. Less next-day soreness.

Also of note, I had my son throw using your mechanics.  Although his technique was far from ideal (as is mine, probably), I noticed an immediate improvement in his accuracy, drive-line and fluidity.  My son and I have a long way to go, but I'm very encouraged.  Anxious to learn more from your video.


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     Yes, I am sending you my 2006 Baseball Pitching Instructional Video.

     Thank you for your evaluation of your initial attempts at my baseball pitching motion.  When you get my video and learn to do the drills that I use to teach the skills of my baseball pitching motion, you will make several other discoveries.

     With my Step Back Wrong Foot body action; Slingshot glove and pitching arm actions drill (I recently substituted my Step Back Wrong Foot body action for my Pickoff with Step body action), you will discover that, when you keep your pitching upper arm vertically beside your head when you reach back toward second base as far as you can, you will be able to drive their back of your pitching elbow straight toward home plate and, when it points at home plate, you will be able to powerfully extend your pitching elbow and pronate your pitching forearm, wrist, hand and fingers through release.

     My guys get so powerful with their 'pronation snap' releases, that they can stand on the pitching mound and, with only the Slingshot glove and pitching arm actions, drive their appropriately-sized footballs on a line to home plate.

     Because 'traditional' baseball pitchers reverse rotate their hips, shoulders and pitching arm well beyond second base, when they drive through their release, they cannot even use their Triceps Brachii muscle to extend their pitching elbow.

     When 'traditional' baseball pitchers pitch, their pitching elbow moves downward and across the front of their body.  This means that 'traditional' baseball pitchers use their Teres Minor muscle to decelerate their pitching arm.  With my Step Back Wrong Foot body action; Slingshot glove and pitching arm actions drill, you will learn how to use your Teres Major and Latissimus Dorsi muscles to decelerate your pitching upper arm.

     As a result, while these muscles are safely decelerating your pitching upper arm to a stop, they are also powerfully inwardly rotating your pitching upper arm in conjunction with the 'pronation snap' action of extending your pitching elbow and pronating your pitching forearm, wrist, hand and fingers.  When you master this skill, you will eliminate all discomfort from the back of your pitching shoulder.

     Each of my other three drills also has unique discoveries for you to make.  I will leave those discussions for when you are practicing them.

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094.  I'm trying to get down to Florida at some point.

Could you please send me a copy of the latest DVD of Jeff Sparks.  My mailing address is below.


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     We look forward to your visit.  Remember, this year's session ends on the fourth Friday in May.

     I will put your copy of the DVD I made of Jeff Sparks December 15, 2006 demonstration of my six basic pitches in today's mail.

     To get the full impact of this DVD, you should watch it, then, without the sound, watch the James Jeffrey Sparks section of my 2006 Baseball Pitching Instructional Video.  You will see how much better his pitches are today than when he was striking out forty-one major league batters in thirty and one-third innings.

     When, later this summer, I update my Baseball Pitching Instructional Video, I will include this video.

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095.  Doc, tell me if these pictures got through and what you think.  I want to send them to all the coaches at the clinic on the weekend of January 13th and to Brent Strom.  I need your permission.

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     All twenty pictures came through and appear surprisingly clear.  Of course, the only problem with still photographs is that the viewers cannot appreciate the dramatic movement of the baseball.  Nevertheless, these photographs do show how Jeff applied force to this pitch.

     I assume that you are going to make the point to Mr. Strom that Jeff more powerfully forwardly rotated his hips, shoulders and pitching upper arm toward home plate than any 'traditional' baseball pitcher does.

     To further the cause of eliminating all pitching injuries, you have my permission to use any and all materials that I provide to you in whatever way you believe helps people understand the changes baseball pitchers have to make.

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096.  Thanks for the feedback.  Very easy to visualize via your writing.  I received the video yesterday and watched about 25%.  Confirms I did indeed have a good grasp of your concepts and did execute them, by and large, correctly.  Anxious to learn more.

1.  Do your students convey the same pleasant surprise as I did?

2.  What is the injury rate of your students?

3.  Do they see gains in velocity, accuracy and endurance compared to their "old" mechanics?

4.  Did you yourself adopt the mechanics you advocate subsequent to your professional career? If so, what were your impressions?

I apologize for asking questions prior to watching the whole video, just couldn't wait.


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01.  Many of the baseball pitchers who come to me have injury problems, with which they have suffered for several months, if not years.  They consider me their last hope.  In most cases, I tell them that, after a couple of weeks, they will no longer have any discomfort.  Then, after they train with me for a couple of weeks and they no longer have any discomfort, they admit that they did not believe me.

     Actually, in those few cases where I do tell them that they will no longer have discomfort, they do eventually throw without discomfort.  However, because they have had surgery on the back of their shoulder, the surgery leaves them unable to achieve the outward rotation range of motion that they will need to become the best baseball pitcher that they can be.

     That is why, except for clear evidence that baseball pitchers have ruptured their Ulnar Collateral Ligament, rather than undergo any surgical procedure, I recommend the injured baseball pitchers rehabilitate with my 120-Day High School Baseball Pitchers Interval-Training Program.  I know that the shaving of the underside of the Acromial Process of the Scapula bone does absolutely nothing to help baseball pitchers.  And, I suspect that the other surgeries do not help.

02.  If you are asking me what percentage of students who come to me has pitching injuries, then the answer is most.  If you are asking me what percentage of students who come to me become injured as a result of my baseball pitching interval-training programs, then the answer is zero.

03.  While the degree of benefit that baseball pitchers receive from completing my interval-training program varies directly with how well they learn to perform the skills of my baseball pitching motion, all increase their release velocity, for as long as they continue to train, their release consistency and/or their ability to throw baseballs as hard as they can every day.

04.  As you will learn when you watch the Research Begins section of my Baseball Pitching Instructional Video, in 1967, after I learned that supinating the release of my slider caused me to lose twelve degrees of the extension range of motion in my pitching elbow and also twelve degrees of my flexion range of motion in my pitching elbow, I learned how to pronate the releases of all pitches.  That knowledge taught me that I had to learn how to throw a reverse breaking ball.

     After the triangulated three camera high-speed film study of my 1971 baseball pitching motion showed me how badly I violated my three laws of force application that I extrapolated from Sir Isaac Newton's three laws of motion, I changed where I applied force to the baseball from laterally behind my body to through release.  Even though I now wish that I had known everything that I teach today, I was able to have a decent major league career.  Nevertheless, in the category of what might have been, I wish that I had known then, what I know now.  I could have really kicked ass.

     Seven years after I was forced out of major league baseball, I developed my Maxline Pronation Curve.  Therefore, I experienced the joy of throwing that pitch.  Unfortunately, I did not figure out my Torque Fastball until after I injured my pitching shoulder in a household accident.  Therefore, I never got the chance to experience that pitch.

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097.  My 11-year-old son and I have been working on your first 60-day program.  We are currently on day 52 and I can really tell that my son is starting to get the Marshall motion down.

Since we do the program inside every morning before he goes to school, I had to modify it a little.  We have not started using baseballs.  We only use the wrist weights, iron ball and football.  We live in the northern midwest area.  He will be starting weekly indoor clinics this week in preparation for the upcoming season, which starts May 1.  It will be interesting to see if his muscle memory will transfer what we have been working on to him throwing.

I have 3 questions:

1.  Is there such a thing as normal soreness from pitching or even just throwing to play catch?  I just want to be proactive.  As an example, if he comes home from the first clinic and tells me his bicep muscle is sore, does that always mean that he has a mechanical flaw?

2.  My second question is concerning the new DVD I have been reading about on your Q & A page.  The one showing Jeff Sparks demonstrating your six pitches.  Is it available for purchase?  We have your 2006 video.

3.  Finally, after the 60 days should we just keep training by doing the program up until the season starts?  Since we do it every morning, we are in an enjoyable routine.


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01.  Whenever athletes start a new training program, they apply stress to the involved muscles at intensities above what these muscles have previously received.  As a result, to be able to withstand this new level of stress, these muscles have to achieve a higher fitness level.  Until they do so, these muscles will have some discomfort prior to the training.

     This discomfort should go away once the athletes increase the blood flow to these working muscles.  If the discomfort does not go away, then the athletes need to decrease the intensity of their workout until the discomfort does go away once the blood flow increases to the working muscles.

     With my baseball training programs, these areas of discomfort not only indicate which muscles cannot withstand the stress of the training program, they also tell us whether the baseball pitchers have injurious or mechanical flaws in their technique.

     For example, if, after your son participates in indoor clinics, where it is likely he will increase his intensity, he comes home with discomfort in his Biceps Brachii area on the anterior surface of his pitching upper arm, that discomfort indicates that he was using his Brachialis muscle to decelerate his 'Pitching Forearm Flyout.'  This discomfort would tell me that he is 'flaring' his pitching elbow.

02.  I put together this short DVD of Jeff Sparks throwing my six basic pitches to be able to show those who attended my presentations in Cherry Hill, NJ that my baseball pitching motion is nothing that they should fear.  It is simple, powerful and, when skillfully performed, provides great pitches.  I never intended for it to be a stand-alone video.

     In my 2006 Baseball Pitching Instructional Video, I use Jeff to demonstrate only my Maxline Fastball Sinker.  I use five other guys to demonstrate my Maxline Fastball, Maxline True Screwball, Maxline Pronation Curve, Torque Fastball and Torque Fastball Slider.  While, even Jeff still has mechanical flaws, they all did a decent job.  However, because he has trained with me longer than the others, Jeff throws higher quality pitches.

     With more time, the others will close the gap.  I do not want people to think that I have trained only one baseball pitcher who is capable of throwing my baseball pitches.  Nevertheless, I am willing to make a copy and send it to you.  Please email me with your mailing address.

03.  I do not understand your third question.  In my First 60-Day Youth Baseball Pitchers Motor Skill Acquisition Program, youngsters use my Slingshot glove and pitching arm actions drill to learn how to pronate the releases of my four basic pitches.

     Depending on the biological age of the youth baseball pitcher, they should either start my second 60-Day Youth Baseball Pitchers Motor Skill Acquisition Program or wait until next year.  We want all biologically thirteen year old youth baseball pitchers to have completed all four of my 60-Day programs.

     While I do not believe that continuing to practice the skills of my First 60-Day program will alter the growth and development of the growth plates in his pitching arm, I recommend that, every two months, all youngster learn other sport and recreational activities.

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098.  Good.  I also want to make serial photographs the front and side views.  I intend to send the video clips as well to show movement on the pitches.  Yes indeed, I intend to point out the powerful forward rotated movement of his hips, shoulders and upper body.

These clips and pictures should be shown to everyone who pitches to prove that your critics are wrong.  I just need your readers to email me at scipsipho@yahoo.com with their addresses and I will email my pictures to them.


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     This is another way for my readers to see the recent video and high-speed film series that I took of Jeff Sparks and made into a demonstration DVD of my six basic adult baseball pitchers pitches.  I appreciate the time, thought and effort that you are putting into this project.  While I hope that many of my readers take advantage of your kindness, it might become time-consuming.

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099.  Thank you for your time and trouble.  I'll drop some money in the mail to you.  You can send the DVD to the following address.

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     I again looked for your name on my list of those who have purchased any of my videos.  Under your name, I found nothing.  Under the name of the town you gave me, I found nothing.  However, when I searched for your street address, I found an exact duplicate of the street number, street and apartment number.

     Even though it bothers me to send material to someone does not at least have my video, I will put a copy in the mail to you today.  Please let me know when it arrives.  And, I look forward to your comments.

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100.  I may have the opportunity to hear a MLB pitching coach speak today so I did a search on his team's pitching injuries.  I came across a web site that may be of interest to your Certified instructors and others.  The site gives all the recent injuries of every MLB team. I found it very interesting.

http://snap.stats.com/premium/sfa/stats/stats.asp?file=teaminj&team=02&Submit=Show+Injuries


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     One of the premises on which we base who we hire to perform work that we need is the success of their work for others.  I have never understood why major league baseball owners continue to hire baseball pitching coaches whose previous baseball pitchers suffer pitching injuries.

     Do they actually believe, like the team doctor for the St. Louis Cardinals said, that "By the time that they (baseball pitchers) reach this level (major league baseball), a lot of people (baseball pitchers) have been eliminated who didn't have elbows that could stand up to these stresses (competitive baseball pitching).

     Do the major league baseball owners actually believe the nonsense that pitching injuries are the fault of the genetic makeup of the skeletal structure of the baseball pitchers?

     Like I wrote to that team doctor, who never replied, the cause of all baseball pitching injuries is the baseball pitching motion and training programs that their baseball pitching coaches insist that their baseball pitchers use.  They should fire their asses.  They should get someone who knows how to eliminate all pitching injuries.  You would not tolerate such incompetence in whatever industry you earned the money with which you bought the major league baseball team.

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101.  I just came back from seeing a REAL good friend of mine who is a Division I coach.  We went round and around, back and forth, up and down going over the latest clips of Jeff Sparks and his clips with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays.

And, after all was said and done, here was the final line.  He said for me to get 4 of these pitchers on my team and monitor them for a whole season.  IF THEY DO JUST AS WELL, not better, but just as GOOD AS THE TRADITIONAL PITCHERS DO, then he will be convinced.

So, I am going to train my lower case pitchers on my team this spring to do exactly that.  Two other of my colleagues, one is a Division II 2 coach whose team is ranked 10th in the nation and the other is a division III coach whose team is the best in this area, told me the same thing.

I forget the name of the Movie, but the popular line was SHOW ME THE MONEY.  THAT'S WHAT THEY WANT NOW.  To me this is still, a better position then we were a year ago.


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     I agree that being ready to listen is better than where we were a year ago.  But, the proper way to determine whether my baseball pitching motion is superior to the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion is a study of matched pairs of baseball pitchers, not you training your lower case baseball pitchers to compete against more genetically gifted baseball pitchers.  Also, that, with my baseball pitching motion and interval-training program, no baseball pitchers suffer pitching injuries is an important factor.

     I appreciate your efforts.

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102.  I received your pitching intructional DVDs today.  I watched the first disc, it is excellent.  I am going to study and impliment what you teach.

My question is:  You support working on mechanics in the back yard, but do not support pitching in games for a child who is developmentally an 11 yr. old.  Why is that?

In other words, what's the difference between throwing in a game for one inning and pitching in the back yard briefly?


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     With my drills, youngsters learn the skills that they will need to become the best baseball pitcher they can be.  When, before they are biologically and skill-level ready, youth baseball pitchers competitively pitch, they alter the growth and development of the growth plates in their pitching arm and, because they become afraid of failure and humiliation, they will only perform the skills with which they feel confident, thereby, they will stop learning the skills that they will need to become the best baseball pitcher they can be.

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103.  My son plays Division 1 baseball and is a shortstop.  Late this fall he took a swing of the bat without warming up and felt a pull in his left bicep and tricep.  He bats left, so that's his back arm.  He has since tried to rest it for a week at a time, taking ibuprofen and icing it per the trainer's advice, but the pain and weakness and swelling of the bicep and tricep remains.  Any words of advice?  He's a senior, hoping to get drafted, and "can't" miss the beginning of the season.

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     You wrote that, during a practice swing, your son injured the Biceps Brachii and Triceps Brachii muscles in the rear arm of his baseball batting swing.  That is a strange injury.  It is not uncommon for baseball batters to injure the Biceps Brachii muscle in the front arm of the 'throw the baseball bat at the baseball' swing batting mechanic, but not in the rear arm.

     To better understand how he applied more stress to this muscle than it could withstand, I need to understand how he applies force to his baseball bat.

     With my baseball batting mechanic and even with the 'throw the baseball bat at the baseball' batting mechanic, baseball batters do not even use the Biceps Brachii muscle in their rear arm to apply acceleration or deceleration force to their baseball bat.

     That he injured both the Biceps Brachii and Triceps Brachii muscles in his rear arm of his baseball batting mechanics does indicate a co-contraction injury.  Co-contraction means that antagonistic muscles contracted at the same time.  When muscles work properly, when a muscle contracts, its antagonist, that is, the muscle that performs the opposite action, such at the Biceps Brachii flexes the elbow joint and the Triceps Brachii muscle extends the elbow joint, the completely relaxes.

     The cause of co-contraction is a glitch in his motor unit contraction and relaxation sequence.  That is, instead of the internuncial nerve cells at the spinal cord level of his Biceps Brachii and Triceps Brachii muscles sending an inhibitory signal to the antagonist muscle, that muscle remained contracted.  Only tension in antagonist muscles can tear muscle tissue.

     Until I better understand the mechanics of his baseball swing, let's discuss how to rehabilitate injured muscles in general.  First, do not rest.  Rest causes further atrophy.  Atrophy means that these muscles that were not strong enough to withstand the stress of baseball batting, such that they became injured muscles, now are getting even weaker.  Instead, he should have immediately started to practice his swing at whatever intensity with whatever implement he could swing that did not make the injury worse.  Only increased blood flow with perfect baseball swing mechanics repairs injured muscle tissue.

     If your son is not physically capable of performing at his highest level, then he should miss the beginning of the season.  It does not do him or anybody else any good for him to try to play with an injury that limits the quality of his performance.

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104.  Thanks for the thorough response.  I completed watching the video.

Questions:

1.  I understand Jeff Sparks is no longer in pro ball due to political reasons, but is he still throwing effectively and injury-free?  Is he sustaining your regimen and does he desire a return?

2.  I noticed that Mr. Sparks demonstrated many but not all of your recommended mechanics.  His drive line and follow through clearly reflected your influence, but he did bend at the waist some and his forearm pointing to 2B did not look quite like your students' motion.  Also, his throwing foot seemed to follow through in somewhat of a hybrid of Dr. Marshall & traditional conventions.  I do understand that that was 5+ years ago.  That said:

     a.  Does he now demonstrate improved Dr. Marshall mechanics and if so, has he seen improvement.

     b.  Regardless, based on Mr. Sparks, if one did not fully comply with your mechanics, but by-and-large adhered to your Newtonian-based drive line principals, I would think there would still be significant value added to performance and sustained health.  In other words, its not all or none.  Although one should always strive toward perfection, if one piece of the pitcher's train were imperfect, would it not behoove a pitcher/thrower to adhere as closely as possible to your mechanics vice total abandonment?

As an example, I still bend at the waist, although less, but the feeling of effortless given by your motion motivates me to sustain your mechanics despite this flaw.  Also, my throwing foot is not ahead of my release, but much closer.  You get the idea.  I can say with certainty that I no longer over rotate, my forearm points to 2B, I no longer loop my forearm in near my head (or rarely), I easily and naturally achieve driveline height prior to landing foot strike, and I seem to achieve that "lock" that gives an unbelievable sense of leverage/efficiency/power/fluidity.  I no longer "muscle up"; my body seems to both do the work and take the brunt.

Very interested in your feedback.


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01.  Jeff lives at my Pitching Research/Training Center and continues to train every day.  He wants to complete all my Recoil Interval-Training Cycles that he did not complete before when, during his off-seasons, he played winter baseball at several locations.

     He recently enrolled in Fireman's school.  Unfortunately, he attends twice a week for something like forty weeks.  Apparently, if he drops out, there is a long waiting list (something like two years) for him to get in again.  Therefore, I expect that, unless he can make an arrangement with a new independent league team in nearby Bradenton, FL, I doubt that he will pitch this year.

     However, Tommy John recently received a three year contract to manage the Bridgeport team in the Atlantic League.  TJ has watched Jeff throw many times and would like Jeff to pitch for him.  Jeff sees this as a great opportunity, but is conflicted with the Fireman school situation.  He says that he is at an age where he needs to get skills that make him employable for the rest of his life.  I understand, but I would love to see Jeff pitch for TJ.

     With regard to the mechanics that Jeff uses, first and foremost, Jeff has eliminated the injurious flaws that are inherent in the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion.  Therefore, he can throw every day at maximum intensity without any concern for either injury or overuse problems.  However, he does have mechanical flaws.  Every time I take high-speed film of Jeff, we look at them and try to determine a way for him to eliminate those flaws.  Then, when we take the next high-speed film, we see how well he has done.

     Jeff says that if he had started throwing with my baseball pitching motion, he would not have these flaws.  I am not so sure.

     I believe that, in the DVD that I recently made of Jeff, he has an almost perfect pendulum swing.  However, when he starts his acceleration phase, he brings his pitching hand closer to his head, which is a flaw that generates horizontal centripetal force that leads to 'Pitching Forearm Flyout.'  Fortunately, Jeff pronates his pitching forearm well before and during his releases, so he does not come close to slamming his olecranon process into its fossa.

     When compared with the high-speed film in my 2006 Baseball Pitching Instructional Video, Jeff has improves on the side view of his driveline.  That is, he does not have as deep of a downward dip in his driveline immediately before he drives the baseball through release, which means that the slope of the upward drive through release is not as steep.

     When Jeff and I watch the video of him pitching in 1999 and 2000, we cringe at the number and size of his mechanical flaws.  Jeff says that he wonders how he was able to throw any strikes.  When we compare his baseball pitching motion of those years with the high-speed film that we took in December 2006, we see an entirely new baseball pitcher with much higher quality pitches.

     Nevertheless, Jeff's mechanics are not the theoretical perfect mechanics that I recommend.  I have other pitchers who have better, but still not perfect mechanics with some aspects of my baseball pitching motion. However, until someone performs the mechanics that I recommend, whether any baseball pitcher can perform them perfectly remains theoretical.

     That said, even though no baseball pitcher I have trained performs my baseball pitching motion perfectly, they all still throw much higher quality pitches than they did before and, certainly, much higher quality pitches than any 'traditional' baseball pitcher can throw.

     The quality of our Maxline Pronation Curves far exceeds the quality of the best curves that 'traditional' baseball pitchers throw.

     With the 'Pitching Forearm Flyout' flaw of the 'traditional baseball pitching motion, 'traditional' baseball pitchers cannot throw a horizontal spin axis Maxline True Screwball.

     'Traditional' baseball pitching coaches and pitchers believe that four and two-seam fastballs are two different fastballs.  They have no idea how to throw my Maxline and Torque Fastballs that move toward the opposite sides of home plate.

     There is no 'traditional' baseball pitcher in the history of baseball who can throw the variety of high-quality pitches that most of my baseball pitchers can throw, much less the pitches that Jeff Sparks throws.  He is simply the most skilled baseball pitcher ever.  The proof is in the latest DVD I made of Jeff.

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105.  Looking at this weeks Q&A files reminded me that on Monday we talked about the latest clips of Jeff Sparks.  Could you please send me a copy of the DVD when you get a chance?

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     I just made you a copy.  I will put it into today's mail. I am getting many requests for that DVD.  Why did I waste my time making a thorough two and one-half hour video when this ten minute long that I just threw together is in such demand?

     Actually, back in the mid 1990s, I tried to do exactly what I did in this type of DVD.  Unfortunately, I did not have a digital video camera or the Adobe Premiere Pro software on the new computer that I have now for only a little over ten thousand dollars and thousands of hours of training.

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106.  I do have the 2004 & 2006 videos, but one of my partners in my office that I coach with, ordered it originally.  Similarly, the town we are in is known by two names, but to shorten things most people just use one or the other.  Probably much more than you wanted to know, but I just wanted to assure you that I do in fact have your videos and will be ordering any new ones that come out.

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     That explains it.  Thank you for taking the time.  Again, please let me know when the Sparks DVD arrives and send me any comments that you might have.

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107.  I have 2 points I want to make.

1.  I only can use the lower case pitchers because the better ones won't use your system, the other ones know they have to in order to succeed at this level.

2.  The fact that your pitchers don't get hurt is now accepted by these coaches that I talked to.  Now they want to see it in completive games on the field at any level.


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     I understand completely.  The same thing happened every time I took a college baseball coaching position.  The baseball pitchers who would work on my baseball pitching motion were always those who the pitching staff considered were not the best pitchers.  However, after a few weeks, because those doing my program started to throw quality pitches, those who thought that they were the better pitchers decided that they had better get with the program.

     I should have Jeff Sparks talk with you about this.  Until he watched baseball pitchers who he thought were lesser pitchers throw better pitches than he threw, he thought that he was one of the better pitchers on my West Texas A&M University baseball team.  He decided to get to work and has not stopped.

     My point was;  it is an unfair analysis of the quality of my baseball pitching motion and interval-training programs to train the lesser genetically gifted pitchers and compare them with higher genetically gifted pitchers.  The proper research study would be to determine matched pairs of baseball pitchers and assign them randomly to my baseball pitching group and the 'traditional' baseball pitching group.

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108.  We received the video yesterday and watched most of the first disc last night.   My son (age 14 1/2) (chronological!) was mesmerized and can't wait to get to work.  Too bad it's about 2 degrees here this week.  From our perspective, Zephyrhills looks beautiful this time of year!  Of course, being from Michigan, you know what that's all about.

Thank you for making your research and knowledge so readily available.  We're excited about applying what you've learned and have to share.


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     Thank you for letting me know that you received my video.  If, after you and your son have watched the entire video, you or he has any suggestions about how I can make it better, please let me know. My goal is not only to provide as much information as I can, but to also make my video as user friendly as I can.

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109.  I agree with matched pair research.  I think I have a pair to do that.  Both are lefty and about the same size and throw about the same speed.  One is interested and the other is balking.  Wwhat I am truly interested in is the off-speed stuff.  At this level, hardly anybody can get 40% of their off-speed pitches over for strikes.

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     Even though you cannot account for many other confounding variables, such as motor learning ability, that will be an interesting side experiment.

     With my football and lid drills and sufficient practice, your baseball pitchers will find it easier to throw their non-fastballs than their fastballs for strikes in competitive games.  This is because, in addition to learning how to pronate and control the non-fastballs, they can throw non-fastballs to the middle of home plate, where, with fastballs, they do not dare throw them to the middle of home plate.

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110.  I just wanted to say hi and ask how your holidays went.  I try to read most of your Q/A section weekly.

As a pitcher that you trained during the late 1980s, I know from experience how close-minded baseball people are to your research and concepts.  However, I think you are slowly starting to open the eyes of the public to the dangers associated with the traditional pitching motion.

It seems that the emails you are receiving are becoming more positive and outweigh the negative.  Your snowball of supporters is getting bigger and seems to be going in the right direction.  Change is one of the hardest things to drive especially when egos get in the way.  We all know that baseball has its fair share of egos.

I would like to send you some X-rays of my son in April if you would be interested in analyzing them for us.  He will be 9 on April 22.  From your advice, I am working with him a little on the first 60 day program and he has made some progress on the different spins of the football.

He loves every minute of it, but I limit the time spent so he doesn't feel pushed.  He also wants to meet you, so I am going to have to plan a trip to the Zephyrhills.


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     I will be happy to evaluate your son's X-rays.  I will also be happy to watch him work on his pronation releases.

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111.  Thanks again.  I can't tell you how much I appreciate you taking the time to explain.

My objectives are 2-fold:
1. Sustainment of my playing career and
2. getting my son on the right track.

My son is blessed with a gun, but I cringed at his mechanics even before I discovered your research.

More thoughts/concerns:

1.  In your 2006 video, Jeff seemed to retain some of the more distinct characteristics of the traditional motion (leg lift, quasi-pause in the crane position).  Does he still?

2.  I had a hard time "integrating" your mechanics into the traditional "look".  As you describe, one needs to "walk" towards the target (I cite this as only 1 data point, not to suggest that it is the crux of your mechanics).  The traditional pause destroyed both momentum and timing, and the sense of leverage and pure drive line did not come naturally.

3.  Fielding and regular throwing:  no problem.  As you point out, your mechanics seem to EXPLOIT NATURAL TENDENCIES as well as Newtonian principals!  That is, when you play "catch" as a fielder during warmups, you either crow-hop or you "steady pace" towards your target in a non-aggressive, easy-cadance tempo.  You don't coil; you don't drive off; you don't lift your glove leg.

I wonder if such a perspective might pique the interest of nay-sayers.  For me, it was an EPIPHANY.  When I ask myself to simply one-step and gun from 3B to 1B during between-inning warmups, I certainly don't use the traditional motion.  Rather, I quite naturally come much closer to your mechanics.  If such a connection helped sell me on the legitamacy of your teachings, it might help others.


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01.  About three years ago, Jeff and I stopped trying to appease the 'traditional' baseball pitching coaches.  While I feel allot better about what I teach and my baseball pitchers throw higher quality pitches with increased release consistency, the ignorance of the 'traditional' baseball pitching coaches has prevented Jeff and my other baseball pitchers from getting the opportunities that their pitch quality deserves.

     I used the video of Jeff pitching for the Tampa Bay Devil Rays to show that, even with lesser quality pitches because of the mechanical flaws in the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion, baseball pitchers can be highly successful.  If Jeff were to pitch major league baseball today with my non-compromised mechanics, then, because the quality of his pitches is so much improved, he would do far better.

02.  I call the pitching rhythm for the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion, the 'balance position' pitching rhythm.  You are absolutely correct in your discovery that the 'balance position' pitching rhythm destroys momentum and timing.  It is impossible for baseball pitchers to simultaneously start the center of mass of the body forward and their pitching arm backward and achieve a smooth, continuous pendulum swing into the acceleration phase.

     To prove this to 'traditional' baseball pitching coaches, I tell them to strap a ten pound wrist weight on the glove and pitching wrists of their baseball pitchers and ask them to go through their 'traditional' baseball pitching motion.  About the time that they start their 'Late Pitching Forearm Turnover,' their pitching shoulder tells them to stop.

     However, with the 'crow-hop' pitching rhythm of my Step Back Wind-Up baseball pitching motion, where I tell my baseball pitchers to delay the start of the forward movement of the center of mass of their body until the pitching arm is forty-five degree beyond vertical behind their body and my guys can throw their thirty pound wrist weights through release with a powerful pronation snap action.  As you said, with this pitching rhythm, baseball pitchers feel their leverage and the natural purity of the driveline.

03.  I agree with you.  I do not understand why everybody does not have the same epiphany.  Why do they accept the injurious and mechanical flaws in the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion when it is so non-painfully obvious that while throwing with the 'crow-hop' rhythm is smooth and easy and painfully obvious that throwing with the 'balance position' rhythm is ragged and difficult.

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112.  My son is a 20 yo (11/11/86) college Junior.  He has pitched for the last 2 years.  Last year he pitched 127 innings in Junior College from February to June.  During the summer he only played catch and bullpenned once a week.  He is now at a D1 school.  During fall workouts he he worked out according to the coaches schedule and threw about 20 innings in scrimmages from September to November.

When he returned from winter break, he developed a pain on the outside of his elbow.  I can't pinpoint it anymore than that.  He has had an MRI and the structure of the elbow appears sound, but there is some inflamation.  He went 2 weeks without throwing and went back for a follow-up today.  The doctor assured him the elbow was sound and commented that a Cortisone shot would reduce the inflammation.  Since he is gung ho, he took the shot.  The doctor says he should not throw for another two weeks.

Could you give us, his parents, an idea whether you believe that he and his doctor are taking the right, or at least a safe approach?


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     I believe that the approach that the doctor is taking is neither the correct nor the safe approach.

     First, rest causes atrophy.  This means that, with all these weeks of rest, your son is rapidly losing whatever fitness he had for baseball pitching.  Research shows that just two weeks of detraining (without training) decreases fitness by one-half.

     Second, cortisone shots soften bone tissue and leave them more susceptible to injury.

     On the outside of the pitching elbow, the head of the Radius bone joins with the Capitular end of the Humerus bone.  The outside of the pitching elbow contains the muscles that decelerate the actions of the pitching forearm, wrist, hand and fingers.

     I suspect that, after your son took his holiday break from pitching, the Extensor Carpi Radialis Brevis muscle on the outside of his pitching elbow had atrophied (weakened) sufficiently that, when he tried to throw as hard as he did before he took the time off, the attachment of this muscle could no longer withstand the stress.

     The correct course of action would have been to not have taken the time off.  The correct course of action would have been to reduce the intensity and continued to train.

     However, because it contains several injurious flaws and innumerable mechanical flaws, the most important course of action would have been to stop using the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion.

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113.  I see it is a done deal that Little League Baseball will require pitch counts.  See the article below.

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Local doctors say new rules will help save kids' arms
By David Dorsey
News-Press.com
Originally posted on January 28, 2007

In separate conversations, two local orthopedic surgeons had identical, three-word responses when informed Little League Baseball will regulate pitch counts for youth athletes for the first time, starting this season.

"It's about time," they said.

Dr. John Fifer and Dr. Bo Kagan, of Fort Myers, criticized youth sports coaches for endangering their athletes by having them throw too often and for too long.

"You can't trust a coach," Fifer said.  "Coaches are nuts.  The coaches will keep the kids out there until they're crying.

"What this will help, is it will help the coaches understand.  A coach has no concept of how many pitches a little kid throws.  Who knows how many pitches they're going to throw?  They could go through the whole lineup in one inning."

Now, a coach will know.

The new rule calls for each game's scorekeeper also to count pitches, which will be capped at 75, 85, 95 or 105 in four age groups: 10 and under, 11-12, 13-16 and 17-18.

Guidelines for the number of rest days after throwing so many pitches also will be enforced, depending on the number of pitches thrown and age of the pitcher.

Those limits will help but not eliminate arm overuse injuries, Fifer said.  "The problem is, each kid is different," he said.  "Some kids can throw the ball all day long.  Everybody's bones are different.  There's an old saying that if you're a good high school pitcher, you'll never make it in the pros.  That's because by the time you get into college, you're worn down."

Kagan would like to see one more guideline in place.

"No breaking pitches until you're shaving," Kagan said.  "That's kind of a rough guideline.  We'd like to see these kids have some maturity."

Throwing a curveball, Kagan said, puts added stress on a young arm that's still developing.

"We see problems with the shoulder," Kagan said. "Most of them, their growth plates are still growing.  And then we see some problems with the elbow, where we see some damage to the growth plate.  You can also see damage to the ligament on the inside of the elbow, called the ulnar collateral ligament.  We see that in 13, 15-year-olds."

Pitch counts for Little Leaguers hopefully will bring a decrease in their Little League patients, Fifer and Kagan said.

"I would like to make another comment," Kagan said.  "I think it's important for kids playing baseball to be throwing the ball pretty much year-round.

"When they take time off and then they come back and start throwing the ball hard, you'll see some overuse problems.  They need to be throwing the ball year-round."

Players and coaches, Fifer and Kagan said, should not lose sight of the reason why they're out there.

"It's important at this age that kids have fun and learn the game," Kagan said.  "We don't want to be killing them here by overdoing it."


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     The elephant in the room that they keep ignoring is biological age.  Until we group adolescents by biological age, we will never properly monitor the damage to the growth and development of their skeletal system and we will never properly assess their athletic ability.

     For example, they are limiting youth baseball pitchers who are chronologically twelve years old to ninety-five pitches per game.  But, they do not know whether the chronological twelve year olds are biologically ten years old or fourteen years old.  In all likelihood, they are biologically fourteen years old or the coach would not be pitching them.

     I have no idea whether ninety-five pitches for biologically fourteen year old youth baseball pitchers will silently destroy the growth plates and ligaments in his pitching arm.  But, why take the chance?  If, as the final line of this article says, "It's important at this age that kids have fun and learn the game.  We don't want to be killing them here by overdoing it," then do they need ninety-five pitches per game to receive that benefit?

     I don't think so.  That is why I recommend that, until youth baseball pitchers are biologically thirteen years old, without pitching competitive, they spend their time learning the skills of baseball pitching.  After they have mastered the skills, between biological ages thirteen and sixteen, they pitch one inning per game no more than twice a week for no more than two consecutive months per year.  Then, when they are biologically sixteen years old, when all growth plates in their pitching elbow have matured, they can start my 120-Day High School Baseball Pitchers Interval-Training Program.

     Lastly, I feel compelled to comment on the comment, "No breaking pitches until you're shaving.  That's kind of a rough guideline.  We'd like to see these kids have some maturity.  Throwing a curveball, puts added stress on a young arm that's still developing."  With my baseball pitching motion, throwing my Maxline Pronation Curve is no more stressful than throwing my Maxline and Torque Fastballs.  And, throwing my Maxline True Screwball is the least stressful pitch of all.

     Further, for youth baseball pitchers to throw non-fastballs is actually less stressful than trying to throw their fastballs harder and harder.  It is the intensity of competitive pitching that stresses the growth plate for the medial epicondyle to pre-maturely close or worse.

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114.  Since the certification clinic, I still find myself daydreaming and dwelling on what I witnessed there.  I must admit that I was somewhat holding back the intensity of the wrist weight and weighted ball drills for my High school athletes.

Watching the gut wrenching maximum effort of your athletes woke me up plenty.  As I told you then, my guys are still complaining that they think 6 lb. iron ball is not enough.  In the last two weeks since I’ve told them of the intensity at which your guys perform, they have stepped it up and are feeling more positive discomfort.

Watching Jeff Sparks work out with his grinding yelp at maximum effort was very impressive.  If he does that in a game, he’ll scare the hell out of a batter.

My athletes are now using the wrist weights for their pre-game warm ups with great results.  All of them are reporting that they have never felt that loose during competition.  They say people are asking them, 'what tarnation are you doing, you are going to blow your arm up.'  They just politely smile and keep on working.

Three of my guys recently played in a high level Connie Mack MLK tourney on the same team and won all three games and the tourney, one kid threw a perfecto in his 4 innings.

I have found that the Maxline sinker has to be taught in order to enhance the feel of the Maxline fastball.  Now, they all want to use the sinker in games.  The problem is, High School coaches all have a three types of pitches limit and my guys have five.  I have left out the slider for this age group.

I have a 14 year old genetically superior fast twitcher who is more close to pure Marshall mechanics than the High School kids.  He is pitching in the low 80’s and is basically unhittable with his 4 pitches.  Last Saturday, he struck out 11 straight in a club game.

I am having more fun than a person should be allowed to have, I owe you so much!!!

I would greatly appreciate being added to your instructors list.


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     I understand your reluctance to allow them to throw their wrist weights at maximum intensity.

     Because the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion is an unnatural movement, people have come to the mistaken belief that the human arm is not made for baseball pitching.  Therefore, to delay the time when 'traditional' baseball pitchers completely destroy their pitching arm, 'traditional' baseball coaches have to be very gentle.

     However, with the Marshall baseball pitching motion, the structure of the human arm is perfect for baseball pitching.  Therefore, to make it as powerful as we can, we have to train it very, very rigorously.

     Consequently, when we are actually saving the pitching arm, the uneducated think that we are destroying the pitching arm.

     They do not understand that, when our baseball pitchers use their Pronator Teres muscle to powerfully pronate all their releases, they not only get much higher spin velocities, but they also make it possible for their Triceps Brachii muscle to extend the pitching arm.

     They do not understand that, because the Pronator Teres muscle attaches above the elbow joint on the anterior surface, every time that baseball pitchers pronate their releases, they also flex their pitching elbow.  As a result, because the Pronator Teres is not neurologically antagonistic to the Triceps Brachii muscle, our baseball pitchers concurrently flex and extend the pitching elbow, which prevents the olecranon process of their pitching elbow from slamming into its fossa.

     They do not understand that, as a natural result of pronating the pitching forearm as soon as they start their acceleration phase and driving their pitching hand straight at home plate, they no longer use the tiny Teres Minor muscle to decelerate the pitching arm.  Instead, they learn how to use the powerful Teres Major and Latissimus Dorsi muscles to decelerate their pitching arms.

     That is why when they see our baseball pitchers doing my Wrist Weight exercises, they mistakenly believe that they are damaging their pitching elbows.  I believe that all baseball trainers in every college, university and professional baseball are similarly ignorant.  I also believe that everybody associated with medically treating baseball pitchers, including the team doctors for all major league baseball teams are similarly ignorant.

     I have proof positive that the former General Manager for the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, Chuck LaMar, the baseball trainers in the Washington Nationals' minor league system and the team doctor for the St. Louis Cardinals, Rick W. Wright, are similarly ignorant.

     Before somebody gets all worked up about me calling people ignorant, let me explain that being ignorant of some scientifice fact does not make you stupid.  I reserve stupid for people, who in spite of scientific facts, refuse to change how they think about something.  We can educate the ignorant.

     I attribute the fourteen year old baseball pitchers ability to perform my baseball pitching motion better than the older guys you teach to the fact that he has not practiced the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion for as long as they have.  The major difficulty I encounter when I teach high school and junior college graduates is to get them to overcome the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion mechanics.

     We have to get the word out to the parents of all ten year olds.  If, at ten years old, these youth baseball pitchers never learn the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion, then, I believe, that they will learn my baseball pitching motion very quickly.  After all, it is the natural way for baseball pitchers to use their pitching arm.

     I also have a three types of baseball pitches limit.  I only teach fastballs, breaking balls and reverse breaking balls.  When my baseball pitchers pitch, their catchers use three signals.  One is for fastballs.  Two is for breaking balls.  Three is for reverse breaking balls.  They throw my Maxline Fastball Sinker and Maxline True Screwball off the same signal.

     I will add your name to my list of Certified Marshall Baseball Pitching Coaches.

     Thank you for the stories of the fun the baseball pitchers you train are having.  They make my heart sing.

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115.  My son is a 16 year-old left-handed pitcher, 5'9" and 180 lbs.  He attends a very large "Class AA" high school in the northeast.  He is a talented pitcher and was the only freshman to make the varsity squad last year and the only LHP to make the varsity squad in the school's history.  He pitched 24 innings of varsity ball and had an ERA of .086 with 21 K's and only two walks.

He is a very focused young man and always warms up and stretches extensively before he ever picks up a baseball to pitch.  Mid-way through last season he developed soreness in the tip of his left elbow.  We took him to an orthopedic doctor who examined him (conducted X-rays also) and the doctor diagnosed the soreness as tendonitis of the tricep.  The doctor said if my son were older he would just give him a shot of cortisone and tell him to rest his arm for a couple of days.  Instead, the doctor put my son on rest and a heavy regime of Advil for two weeks.  The soreness quickly dissipated and we rested the elbow for a month.  My son had no pain or soreness.

After a month, he resumed throwing very lightly and over a couple of weeks slowly increased his velocity and distance to where he was 100% again.  He pitched all last summer on a travel team and did quite well.  He would occasionally feel the same soreness in the tip of the elbow for a day or two after pitching.  He would ice the elbow and take some Advil and the soreness would be gone within a day or two.  We explained this continuing condition to the doctor and he explained that tendonitis of the tricep can be difficult to cure and sometimes take 6 months to a year to completely heal.

Travel season ended in July and my son then threw three games in the short Fall season without any soreness or pain.  On the doctor's advice to rest the arm, my son did not pick up a baseball for three months this winter but instead lifted weights all winter (heavy weights with low reps for the lower body and light weights with high reps for the upper body.  He also does a modified "Dr. Jobe" shoulder workout three times a week).  In addition, my son did aerobic training on a stationary bike 3X/week.

Last week we began to throw indoors at half-speed at a distance of 30-40 feet (for ten minutes, about 35 throws) and once again, the soreness in the tip of his elbow returned almost immediately after throwing.  We contacted the orthopedic doctor and he examined the arm once again, he still believes it to be tendonitis of the tricep, but has now, in addition to the original X-ray, he has scheduled an MRI.

I routinely read your website forum with interest and would greatly appreciate your thought on this situation and in particular any therapy you would recommend to address this nagging injury.  Also, what are you thoughts on the use of cortisone?


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     Your son uses the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion.  The 'traditional' baseball pitching motion does not use the Triceps Brachii muscle.  The injury that your son is suffering is to the olecranon fossa of his pitching elbow as a result of his 'Pitching Forearm Flyout' and supinating the releases of his pitches.

     At sixteen chronological years old, he may also be biologically sixteen years old.  To determine his biological age, you need to examine the growth plates for the head of his Radius bone and the medial epicondyle of his Humerus bone in his pitching elbow.  To determine whether baseball pitching has altered the schedule of the development of the growth plates in his pitching elbow, you need to also examine these growth plates in his glove elbow.

     To stop slamming his olecranon process into its fossa, your son needs to learn how to pronate his pitching forearm when he releases all pitches.

     Under no circumstances would I ever recommend letting anybody inject any pitching elbow with cortisone.

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116.  I forgot to mention. When my son recently felt the soreness return to the tip of this elbow, he mentioned, for the first time, that the soreness is felt when he follows-through on his pitching motion (after he releases the ball).   I will also add that he occasionally drags his left foot (push-off foot for LHP) and does not allow it to turn over and immediately lift off the rubber during his pitching motion.

With our focus now on his tricep soreness, I have just recently noticed on old videos that during his follow-through he sometimes seems to abruptly slow down his pitching arm across his hip area and not allow it to slowly decelerate lower to the ground (outside his stride leg in "elbow to knee" fashion).  I am starting to think that arm  "recoil" may be at the root of this tricep problem.

What are your thoughts?  Also, I am still interested in your thoughts on a therapy regime to address this injury and also your thoughts on cortisone.  Thanks Doc!  We plan to utilize the "chair drill" to address the mechanics problem of dragging the push-off foot and also the arm recoil.  Are there any other drills that may be helpful?


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     Wow, the chair drill prevents push-off foot drag.  And here I thought that 'traditional' baseball pitchers dragged their pitching foot because they strided so far that they cannot move the center of mass of their body forward.

     If your son takes his moves across the front of his body and downward, then he does not have any 'recoil' in his pitching arm. To have 'recoil,' he would have to be using his Teres Major and Latissimus Dorsi muscles to decelerate his pitching arm.  He is not.  Instead, he is using his Teres Minor muscle to decelerate his pitching arm.  This means that, at some time in the very near future, he will suffer a back of his pitching shoulder injury.

     What he does with his pitching foot has no bearing on the fact that he is slamming his olecranon process into its fossa.  That is one of the injurious flaws inherent in the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion.

     However, dragging the pitching foot does demonstrate that, despite the belief that 'traditional' baseball pitchers powerfully forwardly rotate their hips, in fact, that their pitching foot remains within inches of the pitching rubber when they release their pitches, 'traditional' baseball pitches do not forwardly rotate their hips.  Instead, they sidewardly rotate their hips.  As a result, whatever hip rotation they have does not contribute to the force that they need to apply toward home plate.

     With my baseball pitching motion, because we start from a position where the line through the middle of the acetabulums of our hips points at home plate and second base, when my baseball pitchers powerfully forwardly rotate their hips, they actually do powerfully forwardly rotate their hips.

     Not only do I recommend that your son use my Step Back Wrong Foot body action; Slingshot glove and pitching arm actions drill to learn the skill of how to pronate the releases of all pitches, I recommend that he use all of my drills to learn how to use my entire baseball pitching motion.  That is, I recommend that he complete my 120-Day High School Baseball Pitchers Interval-Training Program.

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117.  Can you send me a copy of number 70 of your 2007 Q and A section?  Most of your critics INSIST THAT THE PUSH OFF FOOT HAS TO BE PARALLEL TO THE PITCHING RUBBER.  tHIS GUY ADVOCATES HIP ROTATION FOR BIG POWER.  This email is the explanation I am looking for.

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     When 'traditional' baseball pitchers turn their pitching foot to parallel with the pitching rubber to push off, they can only use the Tensor Fascia Latae muscle on the lateral side of the hip.  When my baseball pitchers keep their pitching foot pointing at home plate to push off, they can use the powerful quadriceps group of muscles to push off.  It seems to be that sprinters put their feet in blocks pointing down the track, not sideways.

     Further, after 'traditional' baseball pitchers use their Tensor Fascia Latae muscle to push off the pitching rubber, then they have to use the Adductor Brevis muscle to recover their pitching leg back toward their body.  As a result, they unnecessarily stress and frequently pull their 'groin.'  To recover their pitching leg back toward their body, my baseball pitchers use the powerful hip flexor muscles.

     Once again, advocates of the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion has failed their basic anatomy class.

     Here is the question/answer number seventy in my 2007 Question/Answer file.

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070.  I am going to send copies of the video of Jeff Sparks throwing your six basic pitches that you gave me to all who attended your Certification Clinic last weekend.  And, I going to tell them that your critics, namely Brent Strom and Ron Wolforth, say that your pitching motion has no rotation.  They say that because you have no rotation, you can never access any pure power.  Therefore, they say that the pitching motion you teach is worthless junk.

Well, they can't be any more wrong, can they?  To the less informed, you should point out WHERE the real rotation should be and IS in your pitching motion.


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     I love it when people make false statements about my baseball pitching motion.  It makes is very easy for us to show them for what they are, that is, at best, they are ignorant, or, at worse, they are liars.

     When I showed the Sparks video at Cherry Hill, I could hear the amazement of the audience at the movement of his pitches.  To see is to believe.

     At Cherry Hill, I made the point very clear that, with the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion, whatever forward hip rotation their pitchers have, because it primarily applies force toward their pitching arm side, that force is not only wasted, but injurious, and, because, when they release their pitches, they leave their pitching foot near the pitching rubber, their forward hip rotation does not come near to perpendicular with the driveline toward home plate.

     I also made it clear that it is not the forward rotation of the hips that counts.  Because the pitching arm attaches to the pitching shoulder, what is important is the forward rotation of the shoulders.  With the 'traditional' pitching motion, because they stride so far, their pitchers can only forwardly rotate their shoulders to perpendicular to the driveline toward home plate, after which, because the long stride has stopped the forward movement of their center of mass, all they can do is bend forward.

     However, with my baseball pitching motion, because the center of mass of my baseball pitchers moves forward throughout my baseball pitching motion, my baseball pitchers can forwardly rotate their shoulders through release and beyond, well past perpendicular to the driveline toward home plate.  And, because the rotational force that we generate is toward home plate, not to the pitching arm side of our body, the rotational force that we apply is neither wasted nor injurious.

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118.  Thanks again for the thorough feedback.  I have one more question, then you'll get a break from me.  I'll be going under the knife tomorrow for a procedure to correct sleep apnea (I guess I have it pretty bad).

BACKGROUND:

1.  I must admit that initially I did not put much stock into powerful pronation.  However, when I first attempted your mechanics over the course of a week-long trial period, both left and right handed, I DID purposefully pronate.  It was important for me to closely adhere to your mechanics so that I could make an informed analysis.  The results, as you know, were beyond my expectations.  I actually used the word "gobsmacked" (a word a picked up from my English wife).

2.  Subsequently, I stopped purposefully pronating.  The results were better than 'traditional' but far from the laser-like throws of my initial 'experimentation'.  I found that I bent more at the waist, crossed the body too much in the follow-through, I suffered an inconsistent release point and lost both velocity and accuracy.

3.  When I again actively pronated (both pitching and position-player throwing), I re-gained fluidity, accuracy, velocity, followed through cleanly towards target, felt less strain and felt like I could throw all day at maximum effort.

4.  Of note, it seemed that actively pronating also helped precursor steps in the drive train.  Specifically, it seemed to help with shoulder lock and drive-line maintenance.

QUESTION:

1.  Are the above observations consistent with your findings?


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     When baseball pitchers bend at their waist, they cannot drive their pitching hand in straight lines toward home plate.  When baseball pitchers pull their pitching arm across the front of their body, they cannot drive their pitching hand in straight lines toward home plate.  Whenever baseball pitchers do anything that prevents them from driving their pitching hand straight at home plate, they introduce mechanical flaws that diminish the release velocity and release consistency of whatever force they apply to the baseball.

     However, when baseball pitchers powerfully pronate their pitching forearm and drive the baseball straight toward home plate, such that, after release, they point their pitching fingers in the center of the strike zone, they maximize their release velocity and release consistency in the following ways.

01.  In addition to increasing the force that baseball pitchers can apply to the baseball, without decreasing the force that they apply, by concurrently flexing the elbow joint, the Pronator Teres muscle prevents the olecranon process from slamming into its fossa.

02.  By concurrently flexing the elbow joint, the Pronator Teres muscle enables baseball pitchers to use their Triceps Brachii muscle to extend their pitching elbow.  The Triceps Brachii muscle has the highest percentage of fast-twitch muscle fibers of any muscle in the pitching arm.

03.  When baseball pitchers powerfully pronate their pitching forearm, the inward rotation of the Radius bone toward the Ulna bone in the pitching forearm directly influences the inward rotation of the Humerus bone of the pitching upper arm.  As a result, by pronating and driving their pitching hand straight at home plate, pitching forearm pronation teaches baseball pitchers how to recruit the extremely powerful Teres Major and Latissimus Dorsi muscles to also inwardly rotate the Humerus bone of the pitching upper arm.

04.  When baseball pitchers start using the Teres Major and Latissimus Dorsi muscles to inwardly rotate the Humerus bone of the pitching upper arm, they never have to worry about safely decelerating their pitching arm.  That is, they will never injure the back of their pitching shoulder.

05.  When, from my 'Loaded Slingshot' ready position to my 'Slingshot' position where they have their pitching upper arm vertical and they forwardly rotate their acromial line to forty-five degrees in front of perpendicular to the driveline to home plate, they can use their Teres Major and Latissimus Dorsi muscles to drive their pitching upper arm vertically downward straight toward home plate.

     This shoulder joint extension action is far more powerful than shoulder joint horizontal flexion and is not antagonistic to the muscles the upwardly rotate the Scapula bone, that is, Shoulder Girdle upward rotation.  As a result, baseball pitchers can raise their pitching upper arm above the line across the top of their shoulders.  This means that baseball pitchers can use their Teres Major and Latissimus Dorsi muscles to accelerate their pitching forearm forward while they are decelerating their pitching upper arm.

     Like when bullwhippers pull back on the handle of the whip to accelerate the tip of the whip, this 'Pronation Snap' action accelerates the tips of the index and middle fingers through release.  This means that baseball pitchers can accelerate their releases by decelerating their pitching upper arm.

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119.  Two things:

1.  I just got the DVD with the Jeff Sparks clips on it.  It's EXTREMELY valuable and chock full of good, detailed stuff.  I think I read that you plan to add this to the 2007 video.  If so, then I think that's a VERY good idea.

At some point, I will share this with my pro contact in the context of our discussions about what a real pitcher (e.g., someone with multiple pitches, each of which moves a lot) looks like compared to someone who is just a thrower.  I think that the signing of Daisuke Matsuzaka, with his array of high-movement pitches, may make these kinds of discussions more socially acceptable (especially if he is highly successful).

2.  What is your opinion of the relationship between the height of a pitcher and their likely level of A) success and B) durability?

From the work that I have done, both anecdotal and statistical, I don't think there's any good correlation (positive or negative).  I ask because the guy I'm working with is interested in going after guys who are shorter than average (e.g. 5'11" to 6'2") since so many scouts and organizations are obsessed with guys who are 6'5" or taller.


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     I am always looking for ways to improve my Baseball Pitching Instructional Video.  I want those who watch it to understand how they can teach these skills to their baseball pitchers.

01.  If you talk with someone in charge who would like to have an entire major league pitching staff capable of throwing the same high-quality pitches without ever having any discomfort, then please tell him that you know this guy.

02.  With my training programs, height is irrelevant.  After all, I am five foot eight and one-half inches tall.  Successful major league baseball pitchers are skilled.  It is like golf, drive for show, and putt for dough.  Baseball pitcher who throw hard look good, but those who can throw skillful pitches for strikes in game winning or losing situations whose movement baseball hitters cannot anticipate win.

     Therefore, you should be looking for baseball pitchers with motor skill learning ability.  Then, you need someone who knows how to teach the motor skills of baseball pitching.  The problem is that the 'traditional' baseball pitching coaches do not know how to teach skillful pitches.  I do.

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120.  I am a youth coach of a little league team consisting of 9/10 yr boys.  I have been doing research, trying to come up with the best way to coach pitching, however, I am having trouble coming up with reliable information.

I was reading "Saving the Pitcher" and I saw your name reference in that book so I checked out your website.  I was wondering what video or book you would recommend to me about teaching proper techniques to youth players.  Do you offer youth/coaches clinics or do you recommend anyone in the central Florida area?  I appreciate any information you might have regarding this topic.  Being involved in baseball for many years, this is the one area I do not want to mess around with hand me down information on.


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     If you read more of what I recommend, then, with regard to youth baseball pitching, you will learn that I believe strongly in two things.

01.  We must be very careful not to alter the normal growth and development pattern of the growth plates in the pitching arms of youth baseball pitchers.

     To err on the safe side, I recommend that, until they are biologically thirteen years old, youth baseball pitchers should not pitch competitively.  Instead, I recommend that they complete my First, Second, Third and Fourth 60-Day Youth Baseball Pitchers Motor Skill Acquisition Programs.  Then, when they are biologically thirteen years old until they are biologically sixteen years old, I recommend that they pitch no more than one inning per game twice a week for no more than two consecutive months per year.

02.  Before they pitch competitively in games, we must make sure that youth baseball pitchers have mastered the four basic pitches that I believe are necessary for their long-term success as baseball pitchers.

     When we let youth baseball pitchers pitch competitively before they have mastered the broad range of pitches that they will need to be successful at the highest levels, they will only use those pitches with which they feel they will not embarrass themselves.  This prevents further motor skill acquisition.

     My Baseball Pitching Instructional Video explains all this and shows how to teach the youngsters the drills that I use to teach the skills of my baseball pitching motion.  With my baseball pitching motion, they will not only eliminate the unnecessary stress inherent in the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion, but they will also learn how to throw my Maxline Fastball, Maxline True Screwball, Maxline Pronation Curve and Torque Fastball.

     Until the fourth Saturday in May, in Zephyrhills, FL, from 9:00 to 10:30AM seven days a week, I will continue to teach my present group of baseball pitchers. We welcome visitors.

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121.  I'm a 37 year old man (pitching in a men's league) with rotator cuff problems who purchased your 2006 video in December and started your training in January.  First of all, my arm feels better than ever with your drills but after a month I have a few questions.

1.  Sometimes it's hard to train every day because of my job.  If I miss a day or two, do I pick up where I left off or do I lower the amount of reps?

2.  When you get your arm into the "lock" position does the body/shoulder initiate the drive of the ball or the arm?  It's hard to drive the ball in a straight line.  Will that just come with time?

3.  When you get your arm into the "lock" position, should it also be in the position that you're going to throw your pitch?  Can better hitters tell what pitch is coming depending on how you get into the lock position?

4.  I read in a previous email that each drill should be performed at maximum intensity.  I had rotator cuff problems in the past.  I think I stated slower that full intensity. Am I doing myself a disservice?

5.  I also read in a previous email that to get maximum transfer of energy to the ball, you have to grip the ball firmly.  Not that I doubt you but was wondering why?  So many people say to make your arm go faster to grip the ball lighter so your muscles can move faster.

6.  Are you having anymore training/certification clinics this year?

7.  Could I also get a copy of the new Jeff Sparks video?  Is this video as close to your ideal pitching motion?  Have you done any computer simulations to show people the ideal pitching technique?
?

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01.  After thirty-six hours without training, the involved tissues loses the physiological adjustments that they made as a result of the most recent training.  With this type of training, it is never a good idea to miss days.

02.  My pitchers 'lock' their pitching upper arm with their shoulders immediately after they pendulum swing their pitching arm to driveline height.  Because my baseball pitchers lift their glove foot when their pitching arm is forty-five degrees behind their body, this means that the center of mass of their body has already started forward by the time that they 'lock' their pitching upper arm.

     Therefore, during this time until their glove foot lands (or pitching foot in my Step Back Wrong Foot body action drills), my baseball pitchers raise their pitching upper arm to vertically beside their head and leave their pitching hand the full length of their pitching forearm behind.

     The position of their pitching hand when their pitching arm enters the 'Slingshot' stage of their pitching arm motion depends on whether they are throwing my Maxline Fastball and Maxline True Screwball or my Maxline Pronation Curve and Torque Fastball.  With my Maxline Fastball and Maxline True Screwball, they should have the palm of their hand facing upward as though they are a restaurant waiter carrying a tray of dinner plates. With my Maxline Pronation Curve and Torque Fastball, they should have the palm of their hand facing downward, such that they bring their pitching hand forward with the back of their hand toward home plate.

     The biggest detriment to driving their pitching hand straight forward is 'grabbing.'  'Grabbing' is when baseball pitchers move their pitching hand closer to their head than the full length of their pitching forearm.  It appears to be a very difficult mechanical flaw for 'traditional' baseball pitchers to break.

03.  My baseball pitchers 'lock' their pitching upper arm with their shoulders when they assume my 'Loaded Slingshot' position.  During the time from when they 'lock' their pitching upper arm until their glove foot lands, my baseball pitchers move from my 'Loaded Slingshot' glove and pitching arm actions position to my 'Slingshot' glove and pitching arm actions position.  Therefore, when my baseball pitchers start the powerful forward rotation of their shoulders, they have their pitching arm in my 'Slingshot' glove and pitching arm position.

     After their glove foot lands, the quickness of the forward rotation of their shoulders is too fast for baseball batters to determine which pitch they are throwing.

04.  If you experience discomfort that limits your training intensity, then you will have to moderate your intensity.  However, when you no longer experience discomfort that limits your intensity, you should gradually increase your intensity until you are training at full intensity every day.

05.  How tightly baseball pitchers grip the baseball with their flexor digitorum superficialis and profundus muscles has no relationship to how powerfully their Pronator Teres, Teres Major and Latissimus Dorsi muscles contract.

06.  I have offered to hold another Certification Clinic the second weekend of May.  However, I have had no responses.  Without at least ten attendees, I will not hold the session.

07.  I will send you a copy of the December 15, 2006 high-speed film session with Jeff Sparks.  I would not say that it is my ideal baseball pitching motion.  While I would love to do a computer simulation of my ideal baseball pitching motion, I have no idea how to do it.

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122.  I had a couple of follow-up questions and comments.

1.  When was the high speed film of Jeff Sparks and the 6 pitches taken?  My initial impression was that it was relatively old, but I was just going through the archives and got the sense that it is relatively recent.

2.  Can you send me an extra copy (or two) of the Jeff Sparks 6 pitch DVD?  I am trying to figure out a way to get them to my contact.  If he is as open-minded as I think he is (I know he believes that there is a relationship between mechanics and injuries), I think this will blow his mind.  The movement on the pitches is incredible (as is the fact that they are 6 distinct, plus pitches versus just 2 or 3 plus pitches).

3.  Do you have a rough sense of how hard Jeff can throw his fastball?  From what I recall, it's high 80s to low 90s.

4.  Let me reiterate how valuable the Jeff Sparks high speed film is.  I was finally able to see things like exactly how you throw a pronation curve.  I have been fuzzy on that for a long time.  You appear to slow down the film at the release point, which really helps.

5.  In the Jeff Sparks video, at the ready position isn't his forearm a little too pronated (e.g. palm down).  I think I recall that you have modified your thinking a little from palm up to palm facing 3B, but I wasn't sure.

6.  I recently did an analysis of Mark Prior's mechanics, trying to point out to my contact all of the problems with his mechanics (and why I think Anthony Reyes of the Cardinals is headed for trouble).  I would appreciate it if you would review this if you get the chance.  Let me know if I missed anything.

7.  I would think that problems of Mark Prior and Kerry Wood (both 6'5" and 220+) have blown a gigantic hole in the idea that Big Pitchers = Durable Pitchers.


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01.  In preparation for my presentation in Cherry Hill, NJ, on December 15, 2006, I took the video and high-speed film of Jeff.

02.  I will have two more copies in the mail to you today.  Jeff throws like this every day without any discomfort.  When baseball pitchers can throw these six pitches for strikes without regard to the count, baseball batters have no chance.  Velocity and location mean nothing.  Movement and velocity differentials mean everything.

03.   I don't know what release velocity Jeff achieves and I don't care.  Velocity means something only to those who have no clue how to teach the required variety of high-quality pitches that I teach my baseball pitchers and the pitch sequences that maximize their effectiveness.

04.  During the five hundred frames per second high-speed film, from when his pitching forearm was horizontally behind his body to when his pitching forearm was horizontally in front of his body, I slowed the film by twenty-five percent.  That means that, to give viewers more time to see each frame, the computer printed four copies of each frame.

05.  At my 'Ready' position, I recommend that baseball pitchers have the palm of their pitching hand facing away from their body.  For neophytes, if they do not start in this position, then they frequently do not get their pitching arm into the proper 'Slingshot' position when they start the forward rotation of their shoulders.  When they become more skilled, to increase how much they can supinate their pitching forearm in anticipation for the powerful pronation through release drive, my baseball pitcher will leave the palm of their pitching hand facing more downward.

06.  Like most of what professional baseball pitching coaches say, this is another of their excuses for their ignorance.

     The video that you sent me was of Mark Prior.  Although you did not use my terms, he has 'Late Pitching Forearm Turnover,' which leads to his 'Reverse Pitching Forearm Bounce.'  Frame 46 shows the degree to which Mr. Prior moves his pitching hand close to his head (grabs), which increases the stress of his 'Reverse Pitching Forearm Bounce.'

07.  Duh.

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123.  We are still working on the video for the internet.  I took the liberty of sending the first segment link to a rehab facility in Phoenix where many Pitchers go for rehab. (Pavano (NY) just left their facility).  Could you imagine if he had rehabbed at your facility, how much better he would be?

I feel your first segment of the 2006 video is an excellent introduction to protecting pitching arms and the injurious flaws of traditional motion.

I have not heard back from them, but I am hopeful that it spurred interest in arm mechanics.

Maybe they will contact you.

I am planning to come down there within the next two weeks when we have been able to get the video split the way you desire.


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     Whoever works at this rehabilitation facility have no idea what they are doing.  Therefore, to incorporate my interval-training program, they would have to change everything that they have ever done.  Neither you nor I will ever hear from them.

    I am very excited about being able to put my video on-line.  In the very near future, with your guidance, I would like to be able to do for myself what you are doing for me.  I am looking forward to your visit and learning how to do what you are doing.

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124.  On your website, you mention that you buy your 2.5, 5, and 10 lb. wrist weights from Ooltewah Manufacturing.  Where do you buy your 15, 20, 25, and 30 lb. wrist weights?

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     To get fifteen pound wrist weights, I wrap a five pound wrist weight around a ten pound wrist weight and use cloth duct tape to secure them.

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125.  Many thanks.  Couple of more questions:

(1)  During your long post-major pitching career (up to age ~56), were your mechanics closer to what you teach now or traditional?

(2)  Do Cricket Bowlers offer any reinforcement to your findings?  I understand bowling is not technically throwing, but from just casual observation I do see some tenants of your mechanics.  And they do bring it in 90+ MPH.

(3)  An observation I'd like your thoughts on.

At 8 years old I was striking everyone out.  I only pitched 4 innings/week, 2 months in the summer.  No curves.  I had not been taught how to throw nor did I emulate anyone.

At 12, I meddled.  I emulated.  I thought there was a right and wrong way to throw.  I lost the fluidity and the "magic".  Despite a great college career as a middle infielder and a good HS pitching career, I never regained that 8 year old "feel" until I discovered your teachings.

It has brought back a flood of lost kinestetic memories.  I know that at 8 I wasn't perfect, but I was close to what you teach.  And I have a picture to prove it.

To the point:

Could it be that your mechanics might very well come naturally to the body?  I.e., javelin throwing requires an obvious straight drive line.  I bring up cricket and the above observation because I am perplexed why your teachings are not mainstream.  Frankly, I feel your frustration.  The way the ball has been exploding out of both hands lately, I feel like I'd been duped out of all kinds of opportunity.

(4)  What are your thoughts on Harvey Dorfman's the MENTAL ABC'S OF PITCHING?

(5)  Can surgical tubing be used for pronation exercises?  While I await the proper equipment, I have been using wrist-strap surgical tubing to exercise pronation.  It seems to be giving the teres pronators a hell of a workout.  Is something better than nothing, assuming the exercise is performed properly?

(6)  What happened to the other "Jeff" that you worked with that made it to the majors?

(7)  Your strengthening programs not withstanding, do you recommend pushups?  Curls/triceps?  Standard Jobe shoulder exercises?

(8)  Have you rehabbed students with posterior SLAPS that had undergone surgery?  No surgery?  What causes slap and/or supraspinatus tear?

(9)  What did Pedro Martinez tear and why?

(10)  How are your pitchers doing in off-site competition?

(11)  A recent worry:  My left should hurts a little in the top/front.  Seems to be abating and at this point it feels like sore muscle.  I have been adhering to your mechanics pretty well.  Endurance high, strain low, performance high, but it still hurts a little.  I suspect it is not yet conditioned to withstand the higher volume of throws I've put it under since discovering you.  Any insight?


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01.  I learned how to throw my Maxline Pronation Curve in 1989, eight years after my major league baseball pitching career ended.  To throw my Maxline Pronation Curve required that I forwardly rotated my shoulders farther than I did before.  However, although I made sure to pendulum swing my pitching arm to driveline height before my glove foot landed, my body action still resembled the 'traditional' balance position body action.  I did not make that change in what I teach until about 2004.  As a result, my baseball pitchers are learning my pitches much faster.

02.  I have not made any formal study of Cricket Bowlers.  From what little I have seen, they do not separate the force application of their throwing forearm from the force application of their throwing upper arm.  I had no idea that they throw ninety miles per hour.  From what little I have seen, they appear to throw much more slowly.

03.  With regard to learning motor skills, kinesthetic awareness is a very valuable sense.

     I use javelin throwing as an example of how I want my baseball pitchers to position their pitching arm just before their glove foot lands.

    The intensity of the resistance to my baseball pitching motion has surprised me.

     For junior college coaches who have absolutely no academic or performance baseball pitching credibility to refuse my baseball pitchers caught me completely off-guard.  I invited them to my Pitching Research/Training Center.  I gave them free copies of my Baseball Pitching Instructional Video.  I promised to work with them in any way that they want.  And, they still refused to allow baseball pitchers, includeing even a mid-nineties baseball pitcher I trained who also has an outstanding Maxline Fastball Sinker and Maxline Pronation Curve, to pitch with my baseball pitching motion.

04.  I have no idea who Harvey Dorfman is or what he thinks the mental abc's of baseball pitching are.  To me, the mental abc's of baseball pitching is for baseball pitchers to be able to throw a wide variety of pitches that baseball batters cannot hit.

05.  My wrist weight, iron ball and football/lid drills give the Pronator Teres a hell of a workout.

06.  Every off-season, Jeff Kubenka was more interested in making money than improving his skills.  I recommend that, until they have completed all the interval-training programs that I offer and master the skills of all pitches that I teach, adult baseball pitchers should not pitch competitively.

07.  After he watched me do my wrist weight exercises, Frank Jobe wrote his shoulder exercises.  Unfortunately, he is a surgeon, not an Exercise Physiologist.  He does not understand specificity of training.

08.  When orthopedic surgeons operate on the back of baseball pitching shoulders, they end baseball pitching careers.  The only surgeries with which I agree are Ulnar Collateral Ligament replacements and the removal of bone chips and spurs.

09.   I have never examined Pedro Martinez, but, whatever he did to his pitching arm was a result of a horrible 'traditional' baseball pitching motion.

10.  Depending on whether they are allowed to use my baseball pitching motion, my baseball pitchers do very well.

11.   When the glove shoulder experiences discomfort on the top/front, it means that the middle deltoid muscle cannot withstand the stress that you are placing on it.  It shows that this muscle is not as fit as the muscles in your throwing shoulder.  With appropriately applied levels of stress, it will respond.  If the discomfort interferes with your training, you may have to reduce the stress for a few days.

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126.  One of the things that seemed to surprise many at your recent certification seminar was the intensity with which your guys performed their wrist weight, iron ball, football and baseball drills.

I know that you want adults to train at 100% intensity, but my question pertains to your biological 10-16 y/o interval-training programs.  Assuming younsters perform the drills perfectly, do you want these age groups to train at 100% intensity as well?


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     If you are concerned that the wrist weight and iron ball exercises that I recommend for biological ten through twelve year olds and biological thirteen through fifteen year olds might interfere with the normal growth and development of the growth plates of the pitching elbow, then I do not believe that, even at maximum training intensity, sixty days of that stress with the drills that I use to teach the skills of my baseball pitching motion is sufficient to alter their growth pattern.

     However, if overzealous parents only add my 60-Day Youth Baseball Pitchers Motor Skill Acquisition Programs on top of their son's spring baseball, summer travel baseball and fall baseball, then, without my program, they will have destroyed their sons' pitching arms anyway.

     I consider the adolescent years as the years when youngsters learn a broad range of sport and recreational skills.  I believe that, until they are biologically sixteen years old, youngsters should practice a new set of sport or recreational skills every two months.  If they follow this practice, then I have absolutely no concern about their intensity.      For baseball pitchers to succeed, they must always throw their pitches at their maximum intensity.  The idea that they should throw at three-quarter intensity is a 'traditional' baseball pitching coach concept.  They hope that, at three-quarter intensity, they will delay when they destroy their pitching arms.  Because I have no concern that my baseball pitching motioni will destroy their pitching arms, I always want my baseball pitchers to throw at their maximum intensity.

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127.  I am trying to explain to someone that the hip rotation in your baseball pitching motion is better than the hip rotation in the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion.  Can you help me?

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Dr. Marshall doesn’t say anything about pitching from the stretch or dealing with base runners.

I don't know whether these attachments are understandable to you, but this should put your criticism of baseball pitchers putting their pitching foot parallel to the pitching rubber to rest and end your criticism of how 'traditional' baseball pitchers rotate their hips as well.

The batter gets more out the hip rotation because both hands are together on the bat.  The pitcher's hands are separated and thus he loses most of that power on the long trip from the rear of the mound to the front.  On doc's motion, the hip rotation is completely in front of the mound.


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     Glad to help.

     With regard to the gentleman's comment that I do not say anything about pitching from the stretch or dealing with base runners, in my Baseball Pitching Instructional Video, I devote an entire section to that subject.

     Basically, I say that, because, with my Step Back Wind-Up body action; Pendulum Swing glove and pitching arm actions motion, my baseball pitchers release their pitches more quickly than 'traditional' baseball pitchers release their pitches from their Set Position, I recommend that, whether my baseball pitchers have base runners or not, they use only my Step Back Wind-Up pitching motion.

     Therefore, I do not have to say anything about a Set Position.

     Therefore, unlike 'traditional' baseball pitchers, when we have base runners, we have no need to learn an entirely different baseball pitching motion.

     The gentleman said, 'The batter gets more out the hip rotation because both hands are together on the bat.'

     Because baseball batters hold the baseball bat with both hands has absolutely nothing to do with hip rotation.  In baseball batting, baseball batters have to stand to one side of home plate.  This requires that they stand with their feet perpendicular to the flight of the baseball.  Therefore, to forwardly rotate their hips to perpendicular to the direction that they should drive the center of mass of their baseball bat, they have to start with their rear foot as it is.

     The gentleman said, 'The pitcher's hands are separated and thus he loses most of that power on the long trip from the rear of the mound to the front.'

     Because baseball pitchers do not have their hands together has absolutely nothing to do with how powerfully their glove and pitching arms can apply force to the baseball.  In fact, because they are separated increases the distance over which each can apply force on opposite sides of the fulcrom.

     When my baseball pitchers reach as far forward toward home plate as they can with their glove arm and reach as far backward toward second base as they can with their pitching arm, they are in a position from which, by applying force in parallel and opposite directions, they can achieve an intensity of force coupling greater than in any other sport activity.

     That the width of their shoulders substitutes for the baseball bat as the fulcrum around which they apply these forces only enhances the result.

     The gentleman said, 'On doc's motion, the hip rotation is completely in front of the mound.'

     Absolutely.  That is where baseball pitchers should forwardly rotate their hips and shoulders, not behind the pitching rubber.

     With the powerful forward hip rotation in my baseball pitching motion, my baseball pitchers apply all their rotational force as far in front of the pitching rubber as they can.  That is the only way that baseball pitchers can direct all of hip rotational force toward home plate.

     This means that they can also powerfully forwardly rotate their shoulders toward home plate.  Then, because my baseball pitchers 'lock' their pitching upper with their shoulders, after they use their hips, shoulders and pitching upper arm to maximally apply force toward home plate, they can drive their pitching forearm, wrist, hand and fingers toward home plate.

     With the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion, baseball pitchers start their hip rotation behind the pitching rubber and direct the force that they generate to the pitching arm side of their body.  As a result, they create a lateral force that they have to overcome to redirect the baseball toward home plate.

     To verify how ineffective the hip rotation of 'traditional' baseball pitchers is, all we have to do is consider where their pitching foot is at the moment that they release their pitches.  In case 'traditional' baseball pitching coaches do not know, high-speed film of 'traditional' baseball pitchers proves that their pitching foot is still on the ground only a few inches in front of the pitching rubber.

     That means that 'traditional' baseball pitchers do not even forwardly rotate the line through the center of their hips to forty-five degrees behind perpendicular.

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128.  My question concerns clarification of the rear hand on the baseball bat in your hitting stance.  In your Dr. Mike Marshall's Baseball Batting Mechanics report that I found in your new 'Special Reports' file on the home page of your website, you say:

“The rear hand grips the baseball bat like a fist.  Therefore, the proximal phalanges of the second through fifth digit face toward the pitcher.”

I want to be clear on what "face toward the pitcher means".  If I were to draw arrows on the proximal phalanges with the tip of the arrow pointing toward the middle phalanges would the arrows be pointing horizontally toward the pitcher or would they be pointing vertically downward toward the ground in your stance?


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     In the stance, the proximal phalanges of the second through fifth digits point toward the pitcher in the manner you describe.  At contact, the proximal phalanges of the second through fifth digits point vertically upward.

     Basically, what I am trying to explain is that, for the rear arm in my baseball batting mechanics, right-handed batters should use their rear arm in the same way that right-handed boxers use their rear arm when they throw a straight right cross punch.  I want the rear hand to drive the center of mass of the baseball bat in straight lines to the point on the contact line where they anticipate that the pitched will cross the line.

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129.  I think you have commented in the past on using a tire as a hitting drill, but I can't remember what you said.  The drill is the hitter swings and hits a tire to try to make it go around on a swivel.  The idea is that the hitter won't be able to make the tire go around if they have too 'long' of a swing.  What are your thoughts on using this as a hitting drill (realizing that it may not be better than the one arm whiffle ball drills)?

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     The only value I can see in having baseball batters strike tires would be so that they would feel how the alignment of their arms and shoulders absorbs the resistant force that the tires provide.  It is important for baseball batters to align their arms and shoulders such that they apply the most striking force that they can generate.  However, rather than tires, I prefer to use a reinforced large punching bag that boxers use or a four foot section of a telephone pole suspended from a heavy chain.

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130.  I coach my 2nd grade son's team.  We will play machine pitch this spring and then graduate to kid pitch in fall ball.  I wish we played machine pitch another year but the league is not set up that way.  My son and several others are going to be pitching.  I am blessed that I have four-five kids with pretty good arms.

I have undertaken this winter to supplement my pitching knowledge by reading materials.

I am now, unfortunately, confused.  One book listed one set of conditioning drills, with elastic and working primarily the rotator, but didn't mention the appropriate age to start such exercises.

I went to our coach's clinic this past weekend.  There, a sports medicine guy from the local hospital spoke about little league elbow and gave us a handout with a different set of exercises, some involving elastic tubing and others with small weights, 1-3 pounds.  There were 12 different exercises on the sheet, which I don't know how kids 8-12 could spend that much time a day doing these exercises.  It would take at least an hour.  I asked the question how young to start these conditioning drills.  He said 8 is fine but without weights, just the motions.  Use weights at 10-11 years old.

Lastly, I read Will Carroll's book Saving the Pitcher and he was less enthusiastic about weights and elastic but suggested one use isometric exercises with towels, etc.  But again, Will did not mention any age groups to start such exercises.

Until we start fall ball, I just want the kids to play catch, not pitch, and to play catch a lot.  My question is more looking ahead to the fall.  I have three different sets of exercises with some overlap.  My goal is to teach these kids how to pitch correctly and not overwork their arms.  To that end, I have these questions:

1.  At what age does one start conditioning and strengthening exercises for the throwing arm/rotator?

2.  What are age appropriate exercises for 8-9 year old boys, and then 10-11 year old boys?

3.  How often does one do such exercises and do they continue in season?

Thanks for any help.  I have read too many stories about kids throwing too many pitches.  I guess that is the reason I started to coaching, to save arms, especially my son's.


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     In the second grade, youngsters are seven and eight years old.  I recommend that, until they are biologically thirteen years old, youth baseball pitchers spend their time learning the skills of baseball pitching.  Then, at biological thirteen years old, they pitch one inning per game twice a week for two consecutive months per year.

     That the league is set up another way is not a reason to destroy the pitching arms of these youngsters.

     The 'traditional' baseball pitching motion and immature growth plates in the pitching arms of youth baseball pitchers are the causes of pitching injuries in youth baseball pitchers.  Therefore, youth baseball pitchers need to learn a baseball pitching motion that does not include the injurious flaws inherent in the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion that that unnecessarily stresses the pitching arm.

     My baseball pitching motion does not unnecessarily stress the pitching arm.

     To teach my baseball pitching motion, I recommend my First, Second, Third and Fourth 60-Day Youth Baseball Pitchers Motor Skill Acquisition Programs.  If these youngsters start my first program at eight chronological years old and complete one program each year, then, when they are twelve chronological years old, they will have the skills with which to pitch competitively.  X-rays of their glove and pitching elbows will determine whether they are biologically ready to pitch competitively.

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131.  At my sons weekly clinic this past weekend, the coach had a former minor league pitcher show up to talk to the 12 year old boys.  The boys were very excited and all ears.  He told them he blew out his elbow in AAA.

After the clinic, I said to my son, "Please forget everything he told you. Do you really want pitching advice from someone who hurt himself pitching?" My son thought about it and said, "You are right Dad."  As a father I don't hear those words often.

Thanks again for the knowledge.  I've learned alot from just reading you Q&A section on a regular basis over the last year.


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     Together, we will make sure that you son never blows out his pitching elbow.

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132.  Thanks.  I will look into your programs for eight year old baseball pitchers.

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     I understand that what I recommend differs from conventional thought.  However, once youth baseball pitching has interfered with the normal growth and development pattern of the growth plates in the pitching arm, those growth plates are permanently altered.

     Also, for youth baseball pitchers to compete before they master the skills of baseball pitching forces them to use only the skills they have.  Until they master all the baseball pitching skills, they should not compete.

     Here's hoping that your eight year old baseball pitchers become the best injury-free high school junior baseball pitchers that they can be.

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133.  Thanks for the Jeff Sparks DVD.  It's Awesome!

I have one question.  When his(Jeff) arm goes behind his body, it looks like the ball has horizontal movement because he has so much power.  The ball goes behind his body and then as he throws it kind of arcs back out.  Is this your preferred method or would you want more of a straight line?


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     I offer the DVD of Jeff Sparks throwing my six basic pitches to show the exceptional movement of his baseball pitches, not as an example of my perfect force application technique.

     We love the pendulum swing of his pitching arm to driveline height.  However, we would prefer that, instead of the active last second reverse rotation of his pitching upper arm, he would leave his pitching forearm on the driveline and throw his pitching elbow upward and forward toward home plate.

     I call the backward movement of this pitching hand, 'grabbing' and we are working very hard on how to teach my baseball pitchers to keep their pitching hand the full length of their pitching forearm behind their pitching elbow.

     Nevertheless, despite the mechanical flaws that we hope to eliminate, the pitches that Jeff throws are far superior in variety and movement quality to any other baseball pitcher ever.

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134.  Sorry one more question.

When Jeff Sparks throws his Torque Fastball, he uses the other side of the rubber.  If he only uses this side for that pitch, isn't he giving away what he is going to throw?


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     If he did throw his Torque Fastball only from the pitching arm side of the pitching rubber, then he would not give away the pitch he is throwing any more than the other baseball pitchers in the world who always throw their fastballs from the same location on the pitching rubber.

     However, my baseball pitchers can throw both my Maxline and Torque Fastballs from either side of the pitching rubber and anywhere in between.  My Maxline Torque Fastball is a very special pitch, especially after my Maxline True Screwball or Maxline Pronation Curve.

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135.  Okay, well, I just don't know who to listen to.  So, two people are telling me different things.  Help me please. Which one should I listen to?  My college pitching coach tells me to let the leg I lift up to come back down then drive.  But then, my high school baseball coach believes that I should raise my leg then make it kind of go out diagonally.  Which one should I use?

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     I disagree with both of your pitching coaches.  They are teaching you the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion that has destroyed hundreds of thousands of pitching arms.  While the action of the glove leg is not directly responsible for these injuries, it is symptomatic of one major injurious flaw.

     The 'traditional' baseball pitching motion uses the 'balance position' pitching rhythm.  That is, 'traditional' baseball pitching coaches teach their baseball pitchers to raise their glove leg, such that they balance on their pitching leg.  From this 'balance position,' 'traditional' baseball pitching coaches teach their baseball pitchers to start the center of mass of their body forward at the same time that that start their pitching arm backward.

     As a result, 'traditional' baseball pitchers cannot get their pitching arm up to driveline height and 'locked' with their pitching shoulders before their glove foot lands.  This unnecessarily stresses the front of the pitching shoulder of 'traditional' baseball pitchers.

     I recommend that baseball pitchers start their pitching arm backward before they start the center of mass of their body forward.  This is the 'crow-hop' rhythm.  In the 'crow-hop' throwing rhythm, baseball pitchers wait until their pitching arm is forty-five degrees behind their body before they lift their glove foot off the ground.  As a result, when their glove foot lands, they have their pitching arm at driveline height and 'locked' with their pitching shoulder ready to powerfully drive forward with their body, rather than trying to catch up with their body.

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136.  You say that you want pitchers to train their Pronator Teres muscle as hard as they can.  Therefore, you actually like discomfort in the Pronator Teres after training.  I was always under the impression that the discomfort would be in an area between the ulna and radius bones near where the elbow bends.

I was looking at a web site, Getbodysmart.com (http://www.getbodysmart.com/ap/muscularsystem/forearmmuscles/pronatorteres/tutorial.html) and noticed that the Pronator Teres has two origins.  The first is at the distal end of the humerus (medial epicondle).  The second origin is in the proximal ulna area.

This second origin concerns my question.  Is it possible that pitchers would feel training discomfort near this second origin area?  If pitchers did feel discomfort in this second origin area, would it be possible to mistake UCL discomfort with Pronator Teres discomfort?


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     The second origin is on the medial aspect of the Coronoid Process of the Ulna bone.  The Brachialis muscle attaches to the Coronoid Process of the Ulna bone.  It is the pull of the Brachialis muscle in fighting the 'Pitching Forearm Flyout' of the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion that enlarges the Coronoid Process, such that 'traditional' baseball pitchers lose the flexion range of motion in their pitching elbow.  I suspect that, if baseball pitchers experienced discomfort in this area, it would be from the attachment of the Brachialis muscle.

     The Ulnar Collateral Ligament attaches to the lateral aspect of the Coronoid Process of the Ulna bone.  While the Coronoid Process is busy with activity, baseball pitchers and doctors confuse discomfort in the Flexor Carpi Ulnaris muscle with injury to the Ulnar Collateral Ligament, not the Ulnar attachment of the Pronator Teres.

     The reason why the Pronator Teres is the most important baseball pitching muscle is because of its Humeral attachment to the supracondylar ridge of the medial epicondyle of the Humerus bone.  This means that thia forearm joint muscle also contributes to elbow joint actions.

     By attaching above the elbow joint, when baseball pitchers powerfully contract their Pronator Teres muscle BEFORE they release their pitches, by flexing the elbow joint, it prevents the olecranon process from slamming into its fossa.  Thereby, it prevents the loss of the extension range of motion in the pitching elbow.

     Just as important is by indirectly flexing the elbow joint, the Pronator Teres muscle enables baseball pitchers to protect their olecranon fossa by contracting their Brachialis muscle to flex their pitching elbow.

     Further, because the Pronator Teres is not neurologically antagonistic to the Triceps Brachii muscle, it allows baseball pitchers to use their Triceps Brachii muscle to extend the pitching elbow, which is a powerful extender of the pitching elbow.  In the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion, baseball pitchers cannot apply force with their Triceps Brachii muscle.

     The Triceps Brachii muscle has a higher percentage of fast-twitch muscle fibers of all the muscles in the pitching arm.

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137.  I just watched your latest Jeff Sparks video.  It is really good work.  Thank you.

Questions:

1.  It seems to me that, if Jeff released his pitches later along his drive line as I think you recommend, then he could get a whole lot more force behind his pitches.  It looks like, after he releases his pitches, a whole lot of power from his body follows the pitch that does not go into the pitch.  Are these observations correct?

2.  It seems like he releases all of his pitches at the apex of his delivery.  The ball looks like it is about 2 feet above his head.  In your latest video, I believe you say that the hand should never go above the elbow once it reaches drive line height.  How do you advise Jeff to fix this?

3.  His release of his Torque fastball does not look like a one handed basketball pass as you describe in your video.  It looks like his palm is pointed upwardly to me instead of sideways.  Also, the ball goes nowhere near his head.

I know you say these guys think the ball is going by their head as it travels perpendicular to the driveline to home plate.  Does it freak them out to see that they are not doing what they think they are doing?  I think it would play with my head to see film so different from what I thought I was doing?

Even still, what a great pitch!

The quality of Jeff's pitches is truly remarkable.  That circle of friction coming right at you is awesome.  I'd really like to see him pitch against the best in the world.


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     Thank you.  Jeff and I are continuing to work.  Nevertheless, the pitches he throws with the mechanical flaws that you recognized are remarkable.  Nobody else has ever thrown baseball pitches of such quality.  Like he did in 1999 and 2000, he would continue to dominate the best baseball batters in the world.  The fear that the 'traditional' baseball pitching coaches have of being exposed as frauds has stolen seven years of major league baseball pitching from Jeff.

01.  We are trying to find a teaching method that helps my baseball pitchers to delay the release of their pitches until after they forwardly rotate their pitching hip farther forward.  I believe that, before they release their pitches, they should be able to get their pitching knee in front of their glove knee.  Unfortunately, years of the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion develops deeply ingrained mechanical flaws.

02.  To enable them to throw pitches that move equally well to the pitching arm side of home plate and the glove side of home plate, I want my baseball pitchers to have their pitching forearm vertical at release.  To do this, they have to at least minimize any horizontal centripetal force that they generate and they have to separate the longitudinal axis of their pitching forearm from the longitudinal axis of their pitching upper arm.

     Unfortunately, when baseball pitchers actively bend their pitching elbow, which moves it closer to their head than the full length of their pitching forearm, they create a loop action that generates horizontal centripetal force.  I call this action, 'grabbing.'  Jeff has a powerful grabbing action.  Therefore, he generates horizontal centripetal force that slings his pitching forearm laterally away from his body.  That explains the way too much lateral movement of his pitching hand; over two feet.  If Jeff could overcome this mechanic flaw, then he could apply more force to his pitches with far greater release consistency.

     Therefore, instead of overcoming it, he is trying to minimize its negative effect.  That is, he tries not to apply his drive through release force until after the horizontal centripetal force of his 'Pitching Forearm Flyout' has run its course.  The quality of his releases shows that he is reasonably successful.

     With regard to the height of his releases, I do tell my baseball pitchers to drive their pitching forearm horizontally inside of vertical.  With their wrist weight, iron ball and appropriately-sized football and lids exercises and throws, they appear to do this quite well.  However, with their baseball throws, they all still generate horizontal centripetal force that slings their pitching forearm vertically away from their body.  I believe that, if we trained baseball pitchers before they learned the mechanical flaws of the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion, then we could completely eliminate 'Pitching Forearm Flyout.'

     If they did not generate any horizontal centripetal force, then I would tell them to drive their pitching forearm vertically through release.  With vertical pitching forearms at release, my baseball pitchers can learn to throw pitches that move equally well to both sides of home plate.  This means that they should release their pitches with their pitching forearm vertically above their head.  Therefore, we will always drive our pitching forearm upwardly through release.

03.  Without any horizontal centripetal force, my Torque Fastball would be an even more remarkable pitch.  When they throw their appropriately-sized footballs, my baseball pitchers can achieve the forty-five degree to the glove-side spin axis that I want with my Torque Fastball.  However, with they throw baseballs, they can barely get the spin axis a few degrees to the glove side of vertical.  Nevertheless, their Torque Fastballs still move dramatically to the glove side of home plate.

     When my baseball pitchers watch the high-speed film that I make of their pitches, they cannot believe what they see.  If I ask them before they watch their video what they do with their pitching arm, they do not come close to what they actually do.

     That is why whenever I hear pitching gurus talking about how they teach their baseball pitchers to apply force to their pitches, I know that their pitchers do not do what they say they do.  It is because of that knowledge that I offer one thousand dollars to any baseball pitcher who has his pitching elbow bent even at sixty degrees at release.  Those pitching gurus who claim that their pitchers have their pitching elbow bent at ninety degrees at release have no clue to what actually happens in their pitching motions.

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138.  I have attached a snippet of an article about Billy Wagner.  What in either his pitching motion or release could be the cause of his irritated tendon sheath?

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Wagner said he always felt as if he was struggling, from a few hideous midsummer meltdowns to a couple of tension-packed ninth innings in the playoffs, and he did not know why.  His grip never felt right, and that might have come from his lingering finger problem or from trying to do too much.

Wagner irritated the tendon sheath in his left middle finger toward the end of spring training, which led to an increased reliance on his slider.  He spent the off-season strengthening his fingers by moving them around in a bucket of rice.

“I was always behind the eight ball the whole time, and it just made it harder and harder to get strong with my pitches and have confidence in making that pitch,” Wagner said.  “I felt like I was constantly grinding it out.”


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     The tendons of the Flexor Digitorum Profundus muscle attach to the distal phalanges of the fingers.  From his comments, it appears that he strained the attachment to the tip of his middle finger.  The strength and skill of the tip of the middle finger of the pitching hand of baseball pitchers are critical to the quality of his pitches.

     Unfortunately, moving his fingers around in a bucket of rice only makes his fingers better at moving around in a bucket of rice.  He needed a more specific training program; like my middle fingertip iron ball spins and my iron ball throw drills.

     While, were he to train with me, I would want to do something about the terrible pitching arm pendulum swing that he uses, with my iron ball throws, I could have shown him how to strengthened the attachment of his Flexor Digitorum Profundus muscle well beyond whatever strength he ever needed to throw his pitches.

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139.  In your response to my question about the Pronator Teres you wrote:

"The Ulnar Collateral Ligament attaches to the lateral aspect of the Coronoid Process of the Ulna bone.  While the Coronoid Process is busy with activity, baseball pitchers and doctors confuse discomfort in the Flexor Carpi Ulnaris muscle with injury to the Ulnar Collateral Ligament, not the Ulnar attachment of the Pronator Teres."

I'm not sure I've ever seen you write about injuries to the Flexor Carpi Ulnaris.  I know it is one of the five important muscles that attach to the medial epicondyle.  Do pitchers injure this muscle or is soreness only associated with training discomfort?  How should pitchers and doctors go about recognizing whether pain comes from the UCL or the Flexor Carpi Radialis?

I know you are able feel the various muscles in the pitching arm with your fingers.  Are you able to feel the UCL as well with finger pressure?


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     Before I answer your question, I want to tell all readers that I recently updated the Applied Anatomy section of my Coaching Baseball Pitchers book, which includes Chapters Thirteen through Eighteen.  In Chapter Seventeen, I discuss the muscles of the wrist joint.  The Flexor Carpi Ulnaris muscle is a wrist joint muscle.

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     e.  Flexor Carpi Ulnaris

     The Flexor Carpi Ulnaris muscle attaches to the base of the plantar (anterior) surface of the Metacarpal V bone and to the medial epicondyle of the Humerus bone.  Therefore, when the Flexor Carpi Ulnaris muscle contracts, these structures move closer together.  This means that the Flexor Carpi Ulnaris muscle flexes and ulnar flexes the Wrist Joint.

     Because, during the acceleration phase of the baseball pitching motion, baseball pitchers must powerfully flex their wrist, the Flexor Carpi Ulnaris muscle flexes and ulnar flexes the Metacarpal V bone.

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     To palpate the Ulnar Collateral Ligament, you start at the top of the medial epicondyle and slowly move downward along the medial side of the Humerus bone.  With gentle pressure, you will recognize where the distal end of the Humerus bone ends and the Ulna bone begins.  The portion of the Ulnar Collateral Ligament with which we need to be concerned for baseball pitchers attaches to the medial epicondyle of the Humerus bone and the medial aspect of the coronoid process of the Ulna bone.

     The Flexor Carpi Ulnaris runs down the medial side of the Ulna bone from the medial epicondyle of the Humerus bone to the base of the plantar (anterior) surface of the Metacarpal V bone.  Therefore, as it crosses over the elbow joint, it lies over the Ulnar Collateral Ligament.

     The Flexor Carpi Ulnaris muscle is the muscle that Ulnar Flexes the wrist joint.  When baseball pitchers throw curves, they need to ulnar flex their wrist joint.  Therefore, the Flexor Carpi Ulnaris muscle is the curve ball muscle.

     I tell my baseball pitchers to powerfully pronate the release of my Maxline Pronation Curve.  However, they still need to also powerfully ulnar flex their pitching wrist.  Therefore, as a normal response to applying more stress to muscles than they have had to withstand, the Flexor Carpi Ulnaris will have typical training discomfort.

     When my baseball pitchers continue to judiciously and properly apply stress to their Flexor Carpi Ulnaris muscle, after a few days, their Flexor Carpi Ulnaris muscle will make the physiological adjustment that it needs to make to withstand the new level of stress required of it and the typical training discomfort will go away.

     With my interval-training programs, we are continually judiciously and properly stressing the baseball pitching muscles.  Therefore, when our baseball pitchers report discomfort in these muscles, it is normal and to be expected.  However, it is important to know the names of the muscles where our baseball pitchers report discomfort and how they contribute to the force application.

     Not only do baseball pitching coaches have to know the names of the baseball pitching muscles that I outline in Chapters Thirteen through Eighteen of the Applied Anatomy section of my Coaching Baseball Pitchers book, they also have to understand the role of each of these muscles in my baseball pitching motion.  If they cannot, then they are afraid of every tiny discomfort that their baseball pitchers feel and might do something stupid like tell them to take a couple of weeks off or believe that pitch counts prevent injuries.

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140.  Do you presently have any speaking engagements planned in the New York Metropolitan area?  I'm a 35 year old adult league pitcher and wish to pitch past 50.

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     No, nobody from the New York Metropolitan area has invited me to speak at their baseball convention, clinic or camp.  I love the New York Metropolitan area and would love to speak there.

     Until then, I recommend that you complete my 120-Day High School Baseball Pitchers Interval-Training Program.

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141.  Thanks; it's an honor to speak with you.

My college coach said I was the "Mike Marshall" of division III (Pomona -Pitzer, Ca.) because I led the conference in appearances two times.  I'm looking forward to working "with" you.

Incidentally, I find your program (a friend of mine has some printed materials) so much more thoughtful the one proffered by Leo Mazzone.  Yours has the type of detail I appreciate in my law practice and in other areas of my life.  Ironically, for all of the throwing I did over the years, it doesn't seem like there was sufficent purpose behind what I was told to do.

Anyway, thanks for your time.  I will have my order on your desk by Wednesday of next week.


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     My 120-Day High School Baseball Pitchers Interval-Training Program is free on my website in my Pitcher Training Program files.  The only thing for which I charge my readers is the one hundred dollars for my Baseball Pitching Instructional Video.  If triple the number that have bought it buy it, then I will recoup my costs.

     If you have any questions about anything I proffer, please let me know.

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142.  Good morning, Dr. Marshall.

  Here's a segment of an article from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on more pitching woes for the Pirates.  It is apparent that the organization still doesn't get your message.

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General manager Dave Littlefield yesterday announced that starter Brad Lincoln, the team's first-round draft pick last summer, has an elbow injury -- one that could cause him to miss all of spring training.

Lincoln was held out of the first workout of spring training yesterday at Pirate City after the team's medical staff determined that he developed what Littlefield described as "irritation" in the right elbow while throwing in the past month.

The next step for Lincoln will be two to four weeks of rest, followed by a throwing program.  After that, further evaluation of the injury will be made.

"He'll be no-throw for a little while until that calms down," Littlefield said.  If Lincoln has surgery, that would extend a remarkable -- and regrettable -- run for the Pirates.  In the past decade, five of the six pitchers they drafted in the first round before Lincoln -- Clint Johnston, Bobby Bradley, Sean Burnett, John Van Benschoten and Bryan Bullington -- have needed major arm surgeries.  The only exception is Paul Maholm.

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By the way, you have been a guest on my radio show several times and I, along with my listeners, have enjoyed your discussion of the way that pitcher's arms are being destroyed.  Last week, I interviewed Jim Bouton and asked him, "In twenty to thirty years, will baseball finally embrace Dr. Mike Marshall's ideas on pitching?"  He responded that he believed that it would; however, old, fallacious ideas are hard to change.


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     The pitching coaches and medical staff of the Pittsburgh Pirates have absolutely no idea how to help Mr. Lincoln.  Nobody who knows anything about the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion, the physics of force application and the anatomy of the pitching arm.  Therefore, they make up remedies without any scientific bases; rest for two to four weeks and reevaluate.  What nonsense.

     The pitching coaches and medical staff for the Pittsburgh Pirates cannot even diagnose what is injured.  They say that Mr. Lincoln has an 'irritation' in his right elbow.  What is their scientific definition of 'irritation?'

     Two to four weeks of rest only weakens whatever structure was unable to withstand the stress of the throwing he has done for the past month.  What throwing has he done?  What is their throwing program?  Does their throwing program teach how to eliminate the injurious flaws in the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion?

     Has he strained his Ulnar Collateral Ligament?  If so, he needs to eliminate the 'Reverse Pitching Forearm Bounce' in his pitching motion.

     Does he have discomfort in his Pronator Teres muscle?  If so, that is good, he needs to train harder.

     Does he have discomfort in his Flexor Carpi Ulnaris muscle?  If so, that is good, he needs to train harder.

     The point is; unless he has ruptured his Ulnar Collateral Ligament or has bone chips or spurs in his pitching elbowm, rest is not now and never will be the answer.

     The proper medical procedure is:

01.  Diagnose the anatomical structure that is not able to withstand the stress,

02.  Determine whether that anatomical structure could not withstand the stress because the force application technique unnecessarily stresses the anatomical structure or because Mr. Lincoln has not appropriately trained the anatomical structure and

03.  Design an interval-training program that resolves the problem.

     If Mr. Lincoln made the less than one hour drive from Bradenton to Zephyrhills, FL, I could do this for him in less than ten minutes.  Actually, I will bet that most of the kids training with me could do more for him than the pitching coaches and medical staff for the Pittsburgh Pirates.  Like pitching coaches and medical staffs for every high school, college and professional baseball team anywhere on Earth, none of them know what to do to help Mr. Lincoln.

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143.  I heard you on the Ed Randall radio show today and I was very impressed.  My son is twelve years old and he pitches and takes lessons.  But now, I am concerned much is wrong (though in comparison to others I see, his balance and mechanics are excellent in a traditional sense).

I am putting my order for you video in the mail today.


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     I look forward to working with you to help your son become the highest-skilled, injury-free baseball pitcher that he can be.

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144.  You were very interesting to listen to this morning on the Ed Randall radio show.  I'd love to get a copy of your pitching video.

I'm 33 (soon to be 34) and still throw in the high 80's/low 90's.  I've been concentrating on my form in my older years because I did have some pain in my shoulder when I was younger.  I play softball now, but work out with my friend's son who is a high school catcher for his varsity baseball team.

As well, I'd be happy to assist you with getting your footage on your website as a courtesy if you'd like.  It's just a matter of converting it over to Quicktime which I can do and enable you to air it in segments through your site.  If you like what I have done, perhaps I can also help you with making your site more visual with content.


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     Obviously, an amateur designed my website on the cheap.  That would be me.  My goal is to eliminate pitching injuries.  To that end, except in the hopes of someday recouping my expenses for making my Baseball Pitching Instructional Video, I do not charge for anything.  And, even with my video, if it did not increase my website costs, I would gladly show it without charge.

     I appreciate and gladly accept any help anybody can give me.  For example, I do not even know how to put the pictures of the baseball pitching muscles that I discuss in Chapters Thirteen through Eighteen of my Coaching Baseball Pitchers book on my website.

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145.  I am going to buy your videos this moment after listening to you just now on The FAN radio show.

In your website you recommend:

"Until they are biologically sixteen years old, I do not want youth baseball pitchers to throw baseballs for more than two months per year.  Until they are biologically thirteen years old, I do not want them to pitch to their teammates or against opposing teams.  Until they are biologically thirteen years old, I do not want them to throw from the set or wind-up positions."

How will that be possible if the Little League season is approximately two and one-half months long and the All-Star season lasts one month?


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     My goal is to help youth baseball pitchers become the highest-skilled, injury-free baseball pitchers that they can be.  I don't care about uniforms, travel teams, tournaments, trophies or anything else associated with youth sports.  I certainly do not care about how long those who have no knowledge of the growth and development of the growth plates in the pitching elbows of youth baseball pitchers want the Little League and All-Star seasons to last.

     It is true that I prefer to err on the side of caution.  However, if parents want to take the chance on permanently altering the growth and development pattern of the growth plates in their son's pitching arms, then they have that right.

     I believe that, until the growth plates in their pitching elbows completely mature at biological sixteen years old, my four 60-Day Youth Baseball Pitchers Motor Skill Acquisition Programs and my recommendations regarding how much they train each year, when they start pitching competitively and how much they pitch provide the best chance of all youth baseball pitchers becoming the highest-skilled, injury-free baseball pitchers that they can be.

     It appears that you took that quote from somewhere on my website.  Perhaps, it was from several years ago, but I do not recall ever saying, 'Until they are biologically thirteen years old, I do not want them to throw from the set or wind-up positions.'

     First, for the past three years, I no longer teach a Set Position.  I believe that, because my baseball pitchers can release their pitches more quickly from my Step Back Wind-Up baseball pitching motion than 'traditional' baseball pitchers can release their pitches from their Set Position, they do not need to learn a second baseball pitching motion.

     Second, I have no problem with youngsters completing my four 60-Day Youth Baseball Pitchers Motor Skill Acquisition Programs before they are biologically thirteen years old.  However, I do recommend that they do not pitch competitively until after the growth plates at the elbow end of the Humerus bone of their pitching upper arm completely mature, which is when they are biologically thirteen years old.

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146.  My son and I heard a small segment of your interview on WFAN 660 AM Radio, today, February 18, 2007.  My son is a left-handed pitcher.  He is 14 years old.  He is 5' 11" and 169 lbs.

I started reading some of your material on line.  He potentially has a very good future, but I would like to see it without injury.  I noted that you break down the mechanics (biomechanics) of pitching, but I am curious about conditioning, arm strength (long toss drills), proper stretching, etc.  My son even asks how he can use more of his legs into his pitching.


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     I want your son to become the highest-skilled, injury-free high school junior baseball pitcher that he can be.  To that end, we must make certain that he learns all the skills of baseball pitching that he will need and that he does nothing to alter the proper growth and development of the growth plates in his pitching elbow.

     The first thing that I recommend is that we determine his biological age.  To do this, within one week of his birthday, you need to have front and side view X-rays taken of his glove and pitching elbows from his mid-upper arm to mid-forearm, make copies and send them to me.  Without charge, I will determine his biological age and check to see whether the growth plates in his pitching elbow developmentally differ from the growth plates in his glove elbow.

     The second thing that I recommend is that he completes my first and second 60-Day Youth Baseball Pitchers Motor Skill Acquisition Programs this year and my third and fourth 60-Day Youth Baseball Pitchers Motor Skill Acquisition Programs next year.  Then, when he is biologically sixteen years old, he needs to complete my 120-Day High School Baseball Pitchers Interval-Training Program.

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147.  I remember you when you pitched for the Dodgers and Twins.  I was all everything in Little League then faded in High School and College.  I know my mechanics are what injured my arm from the 7th grade.  I heard part of your interview with Ed Randal on WFAN this morning as I was driving my sons to Bobby Valentine's baseball academy in CT.  I look forward to getting your information so I can pass it on to my sons and those I coach.  Order to follow.  Interesting stuff.

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     Together, we will make sure that your sons become the highest-skilled, injury-free baseball pitcher that they can be.  At this time of the year, isn't Bobby Valentine in Japan?

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148.  I am slowly getting the kids to get their arm back to your slingshot position.  However, I think I remember that you said that you want the arm to BUZZ BY THE EAR ON ITS WAY TO HONE PLATE.  IS THAT CORRECT?

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     Yes, when they drive their pitching hand straight forward from its first forward movement toward home plate through release, I want my baseball pitchers to feel that it passes close to their pitching ear.

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149.  I just read some information on your webpage and needed to tell you that I completely agree with what you are saying about the way pitching is being taught and all the injuries that are occurring.  As a former Pro Scout of 23 years, I have seen it all and it baffles me that these organizations keep ruining their prospects.

As a former catcher, I have always been fascinated by how someone's arm works and the differences between maximum effort guys and players with easy arm motions.  I  am currently the general manager of one of the teams in a collegiate baseball league and we have had 25 kids sign pro contracts in 4 years, many of them being pitchers.

I would like to learn more.  What is the best way for me to contact you?


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     Basically, all you have to do is tell me how I can help you and I will find a way to do that.  You can email me or telephone me at (813)783-1357.  I would love to have you visit my Pitching Research/Training Center in Zephyrhills, FL near Tampa.

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150.  I just read an article that suggests working your way up to 500 rep body weight only squats and pushups.  Will this type of workout increase muscle size, or will it only increase endurance?

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     Do I understand you correctly?  This article say that, 'using only the weight of their body, the author wants people to be able to do five hundred squats and five hundred pushups?

     If so, then the involved muscles will hypertrophy to whatever size that each person needs to do this and the number of blood vessels that supply these muscles will also increase to whatever number that each person needs to do this.

     Obviously, a one hundred pound person will not require the same physiological adjustments as a three hundred pound person.

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151.  I heard the first half of your interview on WFAN this morning with Ed Randall (one of my favorite hosts on that station) and was intrigued.

I have a ten year old son who loves to pitch.  As a high school softball coach, I have studied throwing mechanics extensively.  I would like to know as much as possible about your methods of teaching pitchers, especially youth pitchers.  I have done everything I can to keep his mechanics simple and reduce elbow strain, but I always want to know how to make his motion SAFER and more efficient.

I also think pitch counts are a crock (Jim Kaat convinced me of that) and that arm strength and longevity are based more on mechanics and proper rest and recovery.

I have scrupulously avoided letting him even TRY to throw a curveball or any other breaking pitch.  But, with your comment that you can teach a motion that will not hurt the arm, I’d be interested in your method.  I still won’t let him throw it, but I’d love to make his motion more safe and sound.


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     To learn the skills of my baseball pitching motion, which includes learning how to pronate the release of my Maxline Pronation Curve, your ten year old son needs to complete my First 60-Day Youth Baseball Pitchers Motor Skill Acquisition Program.  If he masters that release, then you will never have to fear that he will injure his pitching elbow throwing curves.

     If your son completes my training programs and follows my recommendations, then, when he is a junior in high school, he will be the highest-skilled, injury-free baseball pitcher that he can be.

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152.  With regard to the Jeff Sparks video, what you describe as grabbing, I see as looping.  Are they both the same thing or, if not, how does looping differ from grabbing?
Is it possible that Jeff's attempt to drive the baseball inside of vertical contributes to this grabbing?


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     To have 'looping,' baseball pitchers must have 'Late Pitching Forearm Turnover,' during which they bring their pitching hand close to their head and raise their pitching upper arm to horizontal, like catchers are improperly taught to throw.

     Since Jeff pendulum swings his pitching arm to driveline height, he does not have 'Late Pitching Forearm Turnover.'  Instead, from my 'Loaded Slingshot Ready' position at the end of his pendulum swing, he flexes his pitching elbow, which moves his pitching hand closer to his head.  Then, when, to 'lock' his pitching upper arm with his shoulders, he outwardly rotates his pitching upper arm and supinates his pitching forearm, because his pitching hand is not the full length of his pitching forearm behind his pitching elbow, he generates horizontal centripetal force that slings his pitching forearm laterally and vertically away from his body.

     I believe that, when my baseball pitchers 'grab,' it is residual from the 'Pitching Forearm Flyout' injurious flaw of the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion, where baseball pitchers bend their pitching elbow to prevent their olecranon process from slamming into its fossa.

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153.  Thank you for being willing to help the college kids who pitching in our collegiate summer league.  I will be contacting you as my goal is to help kids learn the right way not only to train but to play in general.

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     Even if they only learn how to pronate the release of their curve, they will no only prevent injuries to their pitching elbow, but they will also greatly improve the quality of their game.

     I hope to see you in beautiful Zephyrhills, FL soon.

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154.  Your approach to pitching is one I would like to get my 13 year old son involved with.  We have not let him pitch much up to now.  He will be the primary left-handed pitcher on his school and travel teams this season.

Do you offer any instruction, camps, or clinics for players his age?  Any help or direction would be greatly appreciated.  Yesterday, your interview on WFAN 066 radio in New York was tremendous and I would like my son to be able to pitch without my fear of an injury to him.


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     On my website, I do have a list of those I have accredited to teach my baseball pitching motion.  However, with my Baseball Pitching Instructional Video, I believe that, at this stage in his development, you and your son can use the drills that I use to teach the skills of my baseball pitching motion better than anybody else.

     The first thing that he needs to do is use my Step Back Wrong Foot body action; Slingshot glove and pitching arm actions drill with an appropriately-sized football and the lid off a four gallon bucket to learn how to pronate the releases of my Maxline Fastball, Maxline True Screwball, Maxline Pronation Curve and Torque Fastball pitches.  When he masters these skills, he will not only protect his pitching elbow, but he will also be able to throw four high-quality pitches.

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

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155.  I recently sent you several questions regarding my medial epicondyle surgery.  I had fallen off of my horse.  I was wondering if you received that e-mail.

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     I do not recall receiving an email about an injury to the medial epicondyle from falling off a horse.  The first thing that I need to know is your age.  The status of the development of the growth plate for your medial epicondyle is very important to your recovery.

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156.  The squats and pushups article was written from the perspective of an individual that has been lifting extremely heavy weights for many years and is now experiencing tremendous pain in his joints.  I guess that this is his way of still working out and not making his condition worse.

The article states that the muscle does not know and does not care if it is performing 100 reps or 10 reps.  The only thing that matters is that you go to failure.  Is this true?


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     I would agree that, as long as they have sufficient substrate to metabolize to resynthesize adenosine tri-phosphate, muscles will continue to contract.  However, if the pain in the knee and shoulder joints come from the loss of hyaline cartilage, such that bone is rubbing against bone, then I doubt that continuing to irritate the two surfaces will help.

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157.  When you say “lock your upper arm with your shoulder”, I’m a little unsure what you mean.  Do you mean lock your upper arm with your shoulder in regards to the acromial line or do you mean lock your upper arm with your shoulder on a horizontal plane?

  Also, you mention raising the pitching elbow to ear height to start the motion towards home.  In order to do this, the elbow must be bent.  This puts the arm in the traditional position that I thought was harmful to the elbow (the Sports Illustrated cover from several years ago has Kerry Wood in that elbow forward, forearm parallel to the ground, striding towards home plate position that makes his arm look like it is strained beyond belief).  Am I missing something in the explanation of the motion or does the elbow being bent in order to reach ear height not cause the traditional problems?

My only recommendation for the video would be to walk through the steps of the motion using one of your pitchers and you standing next to them explaining each move.  I’m very visual and the written explanations are sometimes lost on me while the video does not have a perfect example of the motion (at least that’s what I thought I heard you say).

I do think the section on traditional flaws is remarkable.  The concepts are so simple in many cases, yet I see people teaching those flaws every day.  I just had a coach tell the kids to pick up ground balls, jump turn sideways, and hold the ball in a position that looked like a body builder flexing their biceps (upper arm parallel to the ground, elbow bent, ball right behind their ear).  I told my son to ignore that advice.  Thanks for your help.


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     When my baseball pitchers 'lock' their pitching upper arm with their shoulders, they outwardly rotate the Humerus bone of their pitching upper arm, such that the angled head of the Humerus bone actually lodges against the rim of the glenoid fossa of the Scapula bone.

     To do this, I tell my baseball pitchers to pendulum swing their pitching arm up to driveline height where their pitching upper arm is horizontally at shoulder height and their pitching hand is at the height of their ear.  At the moment that they assume this position, in a continuously forwardly flowing movement, I tell them to imitate restaurant waiters carrying trays of plate and outwardly rotate the Humerus bone of their pitching upper arm and supinate the Radius bone of their pitching forearm.  This 'locks' their pitching upper arm with their shoulders and prevents their pitching elbow from moving behind their acromial line.  This is my 'Loaded Slingshot' ready position.

     I use my Step Back Wrong Foot body action; Loaded Slingshot glove and pitching arm actions drill to teach my baseball pitchers how to properly use their glove and pitching arms, which includes how to 'lock' their pitching upper arm with their shoulders.

     The distance between the height of the shoulders and the height of the pitching ear is not very far, such that while baseball pitchers have to slightly flex their pitching elbow, I doubt that they change the angle by more than a few degrees.  However, the purpose is to get the baseball to driveline height.  Then, with their next move, after their 'lock' their pitching upper arm with their shoulders, while their leave their pitching hand the full length of their pitching forearm behind their pitching elbow at driveline height, I want my baseball pitchers to move their pitching upper arm vertically upward and forward to beside their head.  This is my 'Slingshot' ready position.

     I use my Step Back Wrong Foot body action; Slingshot glove and pitching arm actions drill to teach my baseball pitchers how to properly pronate the releases of my pitches.

     In my 'Slingshot' pitching arm position, my baseball pitchers have their pitching upper arm vertically beside their head with their pitching forearm horizontally trailing behind.  While they appear to have their pitching elbow bent, they are actually using their Triceps Brachii muscle to keep their pitching forearm at the same height as their pitching elbow.  The Triceps Brachii muscle extends the elbow joint.

     I appreciate your suggestion that in my future Baseball Pitching Instructional Video, I use one of my baseball pitchers to show how I want them to 'lock' their pitching upper arm with their shoulders and so on.  I will do that.

     You were right to tell your son to ignore that coach's advice.  When baseball players tightly bend their throwing elbow, such that the baseball is beside their ear, when they start to move their throwing elbow forward, they will generate considerable horizontal centripetal force that will cause a loop that will sling their throwing forearm laterally away from their body and force them to use their Brachialis muscle to prevent their olecranon process from slamming into their fossa, which will decrease his flexion and extension range of elbow joint motion.

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158.  Below is an article in which doctors claim an improvement to the traditional Tommy John surgery.  Do you think the claims are plausible without seeing the actual data?

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Modified Ligament Surgery Improves Outcomes Players, Athletes

A team of Surgeons has determined that by modifying a classic ligament surgery, they can return more athletes, such as baseball players, to their prior level of competition.  The modified surgery repairs a torn medial collateral ligament (MCL), which links and stabilizes bones of the lower and upper arm where they meet at the elbow.

Less traumatic than the classic Tommy John surgery, the modified surgery called the docking procedure, with time, is likely to become the gold standard for treating these injuries.

“This paper, in the largest series of patients ever published, shows that this particular operation in throwing athletes demonstrates better results than the classic operation,” said David W. Altchek, M.D., senior author of the study and co-chief of the Sports Medicine and Shoulder Service at Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) in New York.  The study was presented at a special session of the American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons, held during the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons annual meeting.

MCL injury is most common in professional and amateur athletes involved in so-called overhead throwing sports, such as baseball, softball, football, lacrosse and tennis.  These sports involve a throwing motion at high velocity that exerts an exceptional force at the elbow.  Repeated over time, this motion can cause inflammation and microtrauma, which can eventually lead to an MCL tear.  When this ligament is torn, an individual has a full range of motion and can go about daily life, but a professional or semi-professional athlete cannot perform at their usual level because they cannot exert a significant force.

Specifically, the MCL attaches the ulna, one of two long bones that run from the elbow down to the wrist, with the humerus, the bone of the upper arm.  For 30 years, athletes have undergone the Tommy John surgery or Jobe surgery (named after its inventor), in which a tendon is taken from a person’s forearm or hamstring and then grafted into the elbow to act as a replacement for the injured ligament.

Surgeons weave the harvested tendon in a figure eight pattern through bone tunnels drilled in the ulna and humerus bones and suture the tendon into place.

Dr. Altchek’s technique modifies the Jobe procedure in several ways.  First, he begins with an arthroscopic evaluation of the elbow to examine and fix residual problems.  An unstable ligament leads to a shifting elbow, which can cause further problems such as cartilage damage.

Second, Dr. Altchek gains access to the bone in a different way.  In the Jobe surgery, surgeons detach major muscles and move the so-called ulnar nerve out of the way to gain access to the bone.  Dr. Altchek uses a muscle splitting technique through which surgeons can gain access to the bone by gently prying apart muscle fibers, similar to the way you can poke a finger through a knitted sweater.  He doesn’t have to detach major muscles and, in most cases, the nerve can be left intact, reducing the problems of postoperative nerve damage.  Damage to the ulnar nerve results in numbness and tingling in the ring and small fingers.

Dr. Altchek’s procedure also differs from the traditional Jobe surgery by minimizing the number of holes drilled into the bones, thus decreasing the risk of postoperative bone fracture.  In Dr. Altchek’s surgery only one hole instead of three is drilled into the humerus.  Instead of a figure eight design, one can think of the pattern as an elongated D, says Christopher Dodson, M.D., a resident in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at HSS and an author of the study.

“In the classic operation, the graft enters the humerus bone in one hole, exits in another and goes into another and then the graft gets tied to itself,” Dr. Altchek explained.  In the docking procedure, the graft enters the humerus bone, but never exits.  Instead, sutures secure the tendon and exit the bone through much smaller exit punctures.

Dr. Altchek first developed the docking surgery in 1994, but it wasn’t until now, that it was tested in such a large patient population.

In a study of 100 athletes (mean age 22) who had the docking surgery, with an average follow-up of three years, 90 percent had an excellent result (returned to the same or higher level of competition) and 7 percent had a good result (able to compete at a lower level for more than 12 months).  Only 3 percent had postoperative nerve complications.  With the traditional Jobe surgery, studies have shown that only 68 percent of elite level throwers return to either their prior or a higher level of throwing and 20 percent have nerve complications.

Surgeons and athletes have applauded Dr. Altchek’s modifications.  Many surgeons have already been employing his technique in the clinic to improve outcomes, and with time, it is likely that the docking procedure will become the gold standard for treating these athletes.


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     I disagree with their comment that overhead throwing over time causes the microtrauma that eventually leads to Ulnar Collateral Ligament ruptures.

     The injurious flaw of taking the throwing hand backward with its palm facing downward leads to 'Late Throwing Forearm Turnover,' which causes 'Reverse Throwing Forearm Bounce' over time causes the microtrauma that eventually ruptures the Ulnar Collateral Ligament, not overhead throwing as I teach athletes to do it.

     Nevertheless, I like that the new procedure gains access to the elbow joint without detaching the medial epicondyle muscles or involving the Ulnar Nerve.

     When, in January 1977, I had my back surgery to remove the sequestrated intervertebral disc I had between my fifth lumbar vertebra and my first sacral vertebra, I told my surgeon to use the muscle splitting technique with my vertebral muscles at that location to gain access to these vertebrae.  It saved several weeks of rehabilitation time.

     However, with regard to the Ulnar Collateral Ligament replacement surgery, the time for the bone to grow tightly around the hole through which the surgeon threads the replacement ligament determines when athletes can begin their rehabilitation.  Therefore, in this case, the muscle splitting access technique does not save rehabilitation time.  But, it does prevent Ulnar Nerve injuries.  Remember, when he replaced Tommy John's Ulnar Collateral Ligament, Dr. Jobe crimped TJ's Ulnar Nerve, such that he had to go back into his elbow and uncrimp it.  This cost TJ full use of the muscles that his Ulnar Nerve innervate below his elbow.

     Because athletes have to wait until the doctor has X-ray evidence that the holes have completely close to begin their rehabilitation, whether the doctors drill one or three holes does not make any difference and if all have closed, then the danger of postoperative bone fractures is nil.

     I do not see how one hole is sufficient to hold the medial epicondyle of the Humerus bone to the coronoid process of the Ulna bone.  In this procedure, the graft ligament enters the hole in the Humerus bone where sutures secure the tendon and exit the Humerus bone through smaller exit punctures.  I liked the idea that bone tissue grew tightly around the graft ligament in the holes in the Humerus and Ulna bones.  To me, that made for very strong attachments.

     That makes me wonder whether the cause of the ninety to sixty-eight percent success differences with elite level throwers relates to graft ligament failures with this new technique and medial epicondyle muscle and Ulnar Nerve problems with the old technique.

     I would prefer that doctors use the new muscle splitting access with the old three hole procedure.  Also, I prefer that doctors use the tendon from the pitching knee for their graph ligament.

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159.  Is grabbing an injurious flaw?  If not, why?  If so, why?

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     'Grabbing' generates horizontal centripetal force that slings the pitching forearm laterally away from the body.  However, because my baseball pitchers powerfully pronate their releases, they do not slam the olecranon process into its fossa or use their Brachialis muscle to decelerate their 'Pitching Forearm Flyout.'  Therefore, like 'looping,' 'grabbing' is a mechanical flaw.

     Injurious flaws physiologically damage the anatomical structures of the pitching arm, such as by:

01.  calcifying the hyaline cartilage in the olecranon fossa of the Humerus bone,
02.  elongating the coronoid process of the Ulna bone,
03.  rupturing the Ulnar Collateral Ligament,
04.  pulling the attachment of the Subscapularis muscle off the lesser tuberosity of the Humerus bone and
05.  pulling the attachment of the Teres Minor muscle off the head of the Humerus bone.

     Mechanical flaws negatively influence release velocity and release consistency, such as by:

01.  increasing the lateral movement of the driveline and
02.  decelerating and even stopping the forward movement of the baseball during the acceleration phase.

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160.  My 11-year-old son and I are still working daily on your training program.  As I said in the past, since we live in the north, we haven't been using baseballs.  Hence my question:  Once the weather breaks, I would like to have him start with no more than 2 pitches.  Do you agree?  If so, which are your easiest pitches to master?

There is one more variable in this equation.  In the league he pitches, there is a no breaking ball rule.  The boys are told they can throw fastballs and change ups only.  There is also a game and weekly pitch limit and inning limit.  It seems our league is at least thinking about arm injuries.  So to make things as simple as possible how do you suggest we proceed?


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     If you and your son are working on my First 60-Day Youth Baseball Pitchers Motor Skill Acquisition Program, then he should be using my Step Back Wrong Foot body action; Slingshot glove and pitching arm actions drill to learn how to pronate his releases.  Until he masters the spin axes with an appropriately-sized football and four-gallon bucket lid, I recommend that he does not throw baseballs.

     After he completes my Second, Third and Fourth 60-Day Youth Baseball Pitchers Motor Skill Acquisition Programs, he will have mastered the skills that I teach with my Step Back Wrong Foot body action; Loaded Slingshot glove and pitching arm actions drill, my Step Back Wrong Foot body action; Pendulum Swing glove and pitching arm actions drill and my Step Back Wind-Up body action; Pendulum Swing glove and pitching arm actions drill.  At that point, he should have the skills with which he will benefit from pitching in competitive games.

     To become a highly-skilled baseball pitcher, your son needs to master my four basic pitches.  Therefore, on alternate days, I recommend that he practices my Maxline True Screwball/Maxline Fastball and Maxline Pronation Curve/Torque Fastball.

     Unless your son is biologically thirteen years old, I recommend that he does not pitch competitively.  However, if your son is biologically thirteen years old, then I recommend that, to become the best highly-skilled, injury-free baseball pitcher that he can be, he throws the pitch sequences that I provide in Chapter Twenty-Eight: Pitch Sequences for Youth, High School, College and Professional Baseball Pitchers of my Coaching Baseball Pitchers book.

     I am sure that they have a league for biologically thirteen year old baseball pitchers where they permit baseball pitchers to throw breaking pitches.

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161.  I initially suffered a traumatic dislocation of the left elbow in the summer of 2003.  I was 43 years old.  I was casted then went thru 6 weeks of physical therapy.  My full range of motion was never recovered.

In May of 2006, I once again fell and held onto the reins with my left arm and felt a considerable "pop".  I was sure I had broken my arm.  X-rays showed that I did not.  I was  put into a sling for several weeks.

After several months of unending pain, I received steriod shots.  The atrophy I suffered was remarkable.  I then went to see several surgeons who were unable to put a true name to the problem I was having.  I had two MRI's, one to check the neck and then one on the elbow.

I then went back to physical therapy for 5 weeks with no real improvement.  So, surgery was suggested.  It was done on January 10, 2007.  The surgeon cut an incision about 2 inches long, removed bone and found a bone fragment hiding behind a tendon.

In my follow up visit, which was last Tuesday, I asked why I was still so sore, still black and blue and in so much discomfort.  I asked if this was normal.  He said that there wasn't anything normal in this case.  He said he didn't have any cases to compare to.  I feel worse than before surgery.


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     At forty-three years old, we do not have to worry about you damaging growth plates in your elbow.

     A traumatic dislocation of your elbow means that the Ulna bone of your forearm separated from the Humerus bone of your upper arm.  That you lost your extension range of motion indicates that something happened to your olecranon fossa, which limits the extension range of motion of the elbow.  Because this change resulted from a single incident, I would suspect that some piece of loose cartilage or bone lodged in your olecranon fossa.

     The loud pop you heard could have been as simple as the release of compressed air molecules between the ends of Ulna bone and Humerus bone, like when people 'crack' their knuckles or it could have been the something worse, such as fracturing your olecranon process or head of your Radius bone.  X-rays should have located these last two types of injuries.

     Whenever we do not use our bones, ligaments, tendons and muscles, they atrophy.  That is why, unless we have to immobilize broken bones to make sure that they heal back together properly, we should always exercise injured tissues at whatever intensity that does not re-injure them.

     On X-rays, bone fragments cannot hide behind tendons.  Apparently, the radiologist did not take X-rays from sufficient angles.

     To remove the pocketed blood that show up as black and blue bruises, we have to increase blood flow to that area.  While mild exercise of the area is the best way to removed pocketed blood, to a far lesser extent, ice packs and massage help.

     I recommend that you become proactive with your rehabilitation.  You have to start using your injured arm as normally as possible.  Swimming is good.  Continuing to fall off horses is not good.

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162.  How do you know when your muscles do not have the sufficient substrate to metabolize to resynthesize adenosine tri-phosphate?

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     When muscle fibers metabolize all the substrate that they have stored in them, they can not longer resynthesize adenosine tri-phosphate molecules.  Without ATP on the myosin cross-bridges, muscle fibers cannot continue to contract.  Therefore, we know when our muscle fibers run out of substrate by when they cannot continue to contract.  That is, we are exhausted.

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163.  I heard you on the radio over the weekend and thought it was some interesting stuff.

My question for you is with regard to your ideas and techniques and their application to position players.  Do the same principles apply to them or do infielder & outfielders throw using a different set of mechanics?  Is the program pitching specific or would it also help them to:

a.  eliminate/reduce arm injuries
b.  increase arm strength and
c. increase velocity and distance of throws?


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     I recommend that position players also complete my training programs.  However, rather than practice my Maxline True Screwball and Maxline Pronation Curve, they only practice my Maxline and Torque Fastballs.

     Whether they are pitchers or position players, my training programs will eliminate pitching/throwing injuries, maximize the strength of the involved bones, ligaments, tendons and muscles and increase release velocity, which increases how far position players can throw baseballs.

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164.  Let me know if these side-by-side photographs of Jeff Sparks and Roger Clemens came through and what you think.

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     The nine side-by-side stop action pictures of Jeff Sparks and Roger Clemens came through.

     In the first pair of photos, where Jeff Sparks has pendulum swung his pitching arm to forty-five degrees behind his body and is starting to step forward with his glove foot, Roger Clemens has only raised his pitching hand to shoulder level in front of his body when he lifts his glove foot off the ground.

     In the second pair of photos, where Jeff Sparks has pendulum swung his pitching arm almost to shoulder height and his glove foot is about to land, Roger Clemens still has his pitching hand at shoulder height in front of his body and is starting to lift his glove knee upward.

     In the third pair of photos, where Jeff Sparks has pendulum swung his pitching arm almost to driveline height and his glove foot is about to land, Roger Clemens has started his is about one-quarter of his way through his 'Late Pitching Forearm Turnover' when his glove foot is about to land.

     Because, between the second and third pairs of photos, where Jeff Sparks moved his pitching arm from shoulder height behind his body to almost driveline height and Roger Clemens has moved his pitching arm from shoulder height in front of his body to one-quarter of the way through his 'Late Pitching forearm, it is obvious that you did not use the same timeline for each pitcher.  Instead, you omitted the entirety of Roger Clemens' pendulum swing.

     As a result, I cannot determine how far laterally behind his body Roger Clemens took his pitching hand.  Therefore, I cannot determine from where he started his 'Late Pitching Forearm Turnover.'  Nevertheless, it is clear that, with my Step Back Wind-Up baseball pitching motion, Jeff Sparks releases his pitches much more quickly than Roger Clemens does with his 'traditional' wind-up baseball pitching motion.

     I would like to see a comparison of the time that it takes Jeff Sparks to release his pitches from my Step Back Wind-Up baseball pitching motion and the time that it takes Roger Clemens to release his pitches from the 'traditional' baseball pitching Set Position.  I will bet that Jeff Sparks releases his pitches faster.  Therefore, why should he ever use a Set Position baseball pitching motion?

     In the fourth pair of photos, the positions of the pitching arms of Jeff Sparks and Roger Clemens are almost identical.  That is, they both have their pitching forearms almost vertical.  However, where Jeff Sparks points his acromial line at second base, Roger Clemens has reverse rotated his acromial line to at least forty-five degrees beyond second base.

     Also, where the glove foot of Jeff Sparks is about to land, the glove foot of Roger Clemens has already landed.

     Further, where Jeff Sparks has stepped to the glove arm side of the line from his pitching foot to home plate, Roger Clemens has strided to the pitching arm side of the line from his pitching foot to home plate.

     Lastly, because Jeff Sparks did not step as far forward as Roger Clemens strided forward, Jeff Sparks stands tall, while Roger Clemens has lost almost a foot of his standing height.

     In the fifth pair of photos, the positions of the pitching arms of Jeff Sparks and Roger Clemens are almost identical.  That is, they both have their pitching forearms almost horizontal with their pitching upper arms at about forty-five degrees behind perpendicular to the driveline toward home plate.  Unfortunately, you did not catch the moment at the end of Roger Clemens 'Reverse Pitching Forearm Bounce.'  Because Jeff Sparks pendulum swings his pitching arm to driveline height without 'Late Pitching Forearm Turnover,' he does not have 'Reverse Pitching Forearm Bounce.'

     However, Jeff Sparks continues to stand considerably taller than Roger Clemens is standing.

     Also, where Jeff Sparks is pulling his glove arm nearly straight backward toward second base tightly beside his body, Roger Clemens has his glove upper arm at the same height as the line across the top of his shoulders.

     Further, where Jeff Sparks has an almost horizontal line across the top of his shoulders, Roger Clemens has already leaned the line across the top of his shoulders to forty-five degrees.  This means that where Jeff Sparks can still rapidly forwardly rotate his shoulders, Roger Clemens cannot.

     In the sixth pair of photos, the positions of the pitching arms of Jeff Sparks and Roger Clemens continue to be almost identical.  That is they both have their pitching forearm lying horizontally behind their pitching elbows and their pitching shoulders.

     However, where Jeff Sparks has forwardly rotated his shoulders to perpendicular to the driveline to home plate, Roger Clemens has not forwardly rotated his shoulders to perpendicular to the driveline to home plate.

     Also, where Jeff Sparks continues to keep his glove upper arm tight to his body as he pulls it backward toward second base, Roger Clemens continues to have his glove upper arm at the same height as the line across the top of his shoulders.

     Further, where Jeff Sparks continues to stand fully upright, Roger Clemens is at least a foot short of his standing height.  As a result, at the moment where Jeff Sparks has forwardly rotated his hips to perpendicular to the driveline toward home plate, his pitching foot is off the pitching rubber.  Whereas, Roger has not yet forwardly rotated his hips to perpendicular to the driveline toward home plate and his pitching foot remains on the ground and in contact with the pitching rubber.

     In the seventh pair of photos, both pitchers are at the moment of the release of their pitches.

     However, where Jeff Sparks continues to pull his glove arm backward toward second base with his glove upper arm tight to his body, Roger Clemens continues to keep his pitching upper arm at the height of the line across the top of his shoulders.

     Also, where, to release his pitches with his pitching forearm as vertical as possible, Jeff Sparks continues to lean the line across the top of this shoulders to his glove side, such that his shoulder line is more than forty-five degrees, because he bends forward at his waist, Roger Clemens cannot increase the angle at which he leans to his glove side.  As a result, he cannot get his pitching forearm more vertical at release.

     Also, where Jeff Sparks continues to stand fully upright and rotating his body, Roger Clemens continues to bend forward at his waist.  As a result, Jeff Sparks releases his pitch over a foot higher than Roger Clemens.  As a result, where Jeff Sparks has moved his pitching foot off the pitching rubber, Roger Clemens' pitching foot remains near the pitching rubber.

     Where Jeff Sparks has forwardly rotated his hips beyond perpendicular to the driveline toward home plate and, because his entire pitching leg remains well behind him, Roger Clemens cannot forwardly rotate his pitching hip to perpendicular to the driveline toward home plate.

     In the eighth pair of photos, both pitchers are at the moment of the end of the deceleration phase where their pitching arms have reached the full length of their pitching arms forward.

     However, where Jeff Sparks continues to forwardly rotate his shoulders, such that he lengthens the time and distance over which he can safely decelerate his pitching arm, Roger Clemens can only continue to bend farther forward at his waist, which limits the time and distance over which he can safely decelerate his pitching arm.

     Also, where Jeff Sparks has his pitching arm pointing straight at home plate with his pitching forearm maximally pronated, Roger Clemens moves his pitching arm horizontally across the front of his body with his pitching forearm only moderately pronated.

     Further, where, Jeff Sparks continues to stand tall and forwardly rotate his hips and shoulders, Roger Clemens continues to bend farther and farther forward at his waist.  As a result, where Jeff Sparks continues to move his pitching foot forwardly off the pitching rubber, Roger Clemens' pitching foot continues to remain near the pitching rubber.

     In the ninth pair of photos, both pitchers are at the moment of the end of the recovery phase where their pitching arms have returned toward their bodies.

     However, where Jeff Sparks' pitching arm has completely stopped moving and hangs vertically in front of his body, Roger Clemens' pitching arm continues to move across the front of his body.  This means that Jeff Sparks applied force straight toward home plate and Roger Clemens applied force along a curved pathway toward home plate.

     Also, where Jeff Sparks' glove arm continues to stay tight to his body as he continues to pull it backward toward second base, Roger Clemens' glove arm has now fully straightened as it continues its rotational movement behind his body.  This actions show the differences between the body action with straight-line force application and curvi-linear force application.

     Further, where, Jeff Sparks continues to stand tall and forwardly rotate his hips and shoulders, Roger Clemens continues to bend farther and farther forward at his waist.  As a result, where Jeff Sparks continues to move his pitching foot forwardly off the pitching rubber, Roger Clemens' pitching foot continues to remain near the pitching rubber.

     It is clear that, because Jeff Sparks does not bend forward at his waist, he releases his pitches much higher than Roger Clemens.  It is clear that, because Jeff Sparks stands tall and rotates throughout his pitching motion, he releases his pitches farther forward than Roger Clemens.

     I understand that your purpose with these photos it to debunk accusations that, with my baseball pitching motion, my baseball pitchers do not forwardly rotate their hips and shoulders.  Actually, they are right, we do not forwardly rotate our hips and shoulders as far as 'traditional' baseball pitchers do.  Instead, we forwardly rotate our hips and shoulders much farther and much more forcefully than 'traditional' baseball pitchers can.

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165.  I am glad that the side-by-side photos of Jeff Sparks and Roger Clemens came through.  You are right and I concluded what you did.  I preach those same conclusions when I show the whole clip of both of them pitching side by side on my computer.

But, to our critics, I point out how close Jeff Sparks' motion is to Roger Clemens' motion.  That is how they see it.  Therefore, HOW CAN YOUR MOTION BE ALL THAT BAD?  There is no doubt that that Jeff Sparks' motion is better.

We can thank Brent strom for providing the original clips of Roger Clemens.  They came in very slow speed, probably 15 to 20 frames a second.  I am sending Brent a copy of the Clemens clip so he can compare it with the clip of Jeff Sparks you made.

When I show this to my pitchers at school, in that Jeff Sparks pitching arm motion almost matches Roger's motion, IT IS AN EYE OPENER.


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     I appreciate the thought and effort that you are putting in to show how, without any injurious flaws, my baseball pitching motion generates all the force that baseball pitchers can generate.  However, because the side-by-side photos did not show the 'Reverse Pitching Forearm Bounce' in Roger Clemens pitching arm action, I strongly disagree that Jeff Sparks pitching arm action is the same as Roger Clemens.

     The still shot of Jeff Sparks and Roger Clemens where their pitching forearm are slighly behind vertical is deceptive.  What it does not show is that, where Jeff Sparks pitching arm is already moving forward, Roger Clemens pitching arm has not started moving forward.

     As a result, Jeff Sparks is contracting his Subscapularis and Pronator Teres muscles, which protects the front of his pitching shoulder and inside of his pitching elbow.

     However, Roger Clemens pitching forearm is still in the 'Late Pitching Forearm Turnover' portion of the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion, which means that he is outwardly rotating his pitching upper arm, which means that he is not contracting his Subscapularis muscle or his Pronator Teres muscle, which means that he is not protecting the front of his pitching shoulder or inside of his pitching elbow.

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166.  With my fifteen year old son now challenging for a position on his high school baseball team, I wanted to tell you that all of the success he has had is due to the knowledge you have shared with both of us.  For this I am forever grateful.

After all the pain that he went through before we met you, my son continues to do what he loves to do with no discomfort in his elbow at all.  I consider this "priceless".  I can only imagine how many kids and young adults you have helped over the years.

I believe that your pitching motion and training programs will do more for baseball (and parents) than anybody has ever done.  Thanks for all you do.


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     You make my heart sing.

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167.  Do you do any certification clinics outside of Florida?

With baseball in full swing, it would be hard for me to make to FL from CA.  The reason I ask is because I have read all the books, but as a coach, I would like to see the mechanics taught to someone to ensure that I am teaching it correctly and not screwing something up.


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     Probably the best that I could do for California residents is to speak at baseball conventions, clinics or camps that the baseball coaches in their state baseball coaches association puts on.  If you know of such an organization, I would be glad to inquire as to whether they would like me to speak.

     I believe that my Baseball Pitching Instructional Video does a pretty good job of showing how I teach my baseball pitching motion.

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168.  Throughput the last 5 years of emailing you, I have been looking for a simple way to show the uneducated that your motion was different, but provides better results.

Even our critics on the net and here in PA can see that even though your motion is different at the beginning it is very similar to the Roger Clemens' motion in all other areas.  Now, I can get them to see your strong points.

On my previous attempts, they would never even look past the 1st of frames.  So, it is just a matter of weaning them into your your program.


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     I guess that means that they no longer mistakenly believe that I do not teach my baseball pitchers to powerfully rotate their hips and shoulders.

     Next time you do side-buy-side photos, if you want to show why releasing pitches so much higher than 'traditional' baseball pitchers release their pitches, compare how Jeff Sparks throws my Maxline True Screwball or Maxline Pronation Curve with how Roger Clemens throws his screwball and curve.

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169.  I would like to get a copy of the newest version of your video with the latest Jeff Sparks footage.  I have the 2002 copy and the 2004 copy.  Please let me know what the cost is and I will send you a check.

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     Do you not have the 2006 version of my Baseball Pitching Instructional Video?  I will put a copy of that video and a copy of the new Jeff Sparks video in the mail to you today.

     I made this ten minute DVD of Jeff Sparks throwing my six basic pitches to show at the Cherry Hill Baseball Clinic in January.  It shows the rear view video at regular speed, the rear view video at one-quarter speed, the front view video at one-quarter speed, the front view high-speed film with the release at one-quarter speed and the side view high speed film with the release at one-quarter speed.

     While Jeff continues to have some mechanical flaws we are trying to minimize, it shows the high-quality of the movement of his pitches and precisely how the baseball comes off the tip of his middle finger at release.

     I will not charge for making a copy and mailing this ten minute DVD to my readers.  However, that does not mean that I will not accept a donation to help defray the costs of my website and getting my Baseball Pitching Instructional Video on-line for all to watch without charge.

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170.  Our 14 year old pitcher has been performing your wrist weight drills as a preseason workout for his pitching.  Should he continue to use them during the season while he is pitching?

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     I would feel more confident in advising you about how your son should train if I knew his biological age.  If he is also at least fourteen biological years old, then, during his two month competitive pitching season, he can continue to do his five pound wrist weight exercises, but he should reduce his number of repetitions to twenty-four, which is one-half of the base level for training, and reduce his intensity.

     To maintain a level of fitness does not require the stress that achieving a higher level of fitness requires.  My wrist weight exercises are excellent to increase the pre-game blood flow prior to warming up to pitch.

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171.  Is the sinker and slider something to introduce after a kid is biologically 19 years old or can it be thrown at biologically 16 yrs. old?

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     Typically, when baseball pitchers start to learn how to release my Maxline True Screwball, they end up with the spin axis for my Maxline Fastball Sinker.  It usually takes more middle fingertip strength and skill for them to achieve a horizontal spin axis.  Therefore, I have no problems with baseball pitchers less than nineteen biological years old throwing my Maxline Fastball Sinker.

     However, I have concerns about baseball pitchers less than nineteen biological years old trying to learn the release of my Torque Fastball Slider.  I prefer that they first master the release of my Maxline Pronation Curve.

     My concern with skeletally immature baseball pitchers learning the release for my Torque Fastball Slider is that because they have to turn (torque) the driveline to their glove side, they will allow their pitching forearm to flyout to their pitching arm side, such that, instead of pronating their release, they will supinate their release, which will cause their olecranon process to slam into its fossa.

     Therefore, I prefer to wait until three years after the growth plate for their olecranon process has completely matured.

     Then, when they are biologically nineteen years old, if they have mastered the release for my Maxline Pronation Curve, I ask them to throw my two-seam Torque Pronation Curve.  If they stride closed, turn they pitching shoulders to face the glove side corner of home plate and shortcut their driveline over their head and throw a horizontal spin axis two-seam Torque Pronation Curve to the glove side of home plate, then I tell them that, instead of having the two-seam stripe vertical, I want them to spiral the circle of friction such that it stays on the top, forward surface of the baseball.

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172.  Wouldn't it be the perfect scenerio to compare both Jeff Sparks and Roger Clemons throwing their screwballs on high-speed video?

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     When I said that, "if you want to show why releasing pitches so much higher than 'traditional' baseball pitchers release their pitches, we should compare how Jeff Sparks throws my Maxline True Screwball or Maxline Pronation Curve with how Roger Clemens throws his screwball and curve," I was saying that Roger Clemens does not throw a screwball or a curve.  Instead, he throws a split-finger sinker-like pitch and, on rare occasions, a pull supination slider-type breaking ball.

     My point is that, when baseball pitchers use the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion, they cannot throw the wide variety of pitches that they need to pitch effectively to all types of batters.

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173.  I have a question on the step back or step sideways to start your wind-up pitching motion.  I looked at your book, online and unless I missed it, I believe you like a step back, but why?

1)  Does it keep your head inline, and body balanced?
2)  Or do you like a side step?


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     With my Step Back Wind-Up body action; Pendulum Swing glove and pitching arm action baseball pitching motion, I tell my baseball pitchers to simultaneously pendulum swing their pitching arm backward and step back with their glove foot to insure that they do not start the center of mass of their body forward until after they pendulum swing their pitching arm to forty-five degrees behind their body.

     If they start to move the center of mass of their body forward before they pendulum swing their pitching arm to forty-five degrees behind their body, then they will have their center of mass of their body moving forward and their pitching arm moving backward.  Not only will this unnecessarily stress the front of their pitching shoulder, but because they will have to use some of the acceleration force of their pitching arm just to catch up with their body, they will lose some release velocity and release consistency.

     If they wait until their pendulum swing their pitching arm to forty-five degrees behind their body before their start to move the center of mass of their body forward, then they will be able to pendulum swing their pitching arm to driveline height and 'lock' it with their shoulders before their glove foot lands.  This means that they will not unnecessarily stress their front of their pitching shoulder and, because their pitching arm is moving forward with the center of mass of their body, they will add whatever acceleration force that they have with their pitching arm to the forward velocity of the center of mass of their body.

     In the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion, baseball pitchers start to drive their pitching elbow forward after their glove foot has landed.  Therefore, not only do they unnecessarily stress their front of their pitching shoulder trying to catch up to their body, but they also completely stop the forward movement of the center of mass of their body before they use their pitching arm to accelerate the baseball.

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174.  I finally got the kids to use wrist weights.  But, they want to know why they have to wear them on both arms.

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     For their pitching arm to drive as powerfully as it can toward home plate, the glove arm has to match that quickness pulling the glove arm backward toward second base.

     Also, because baseball pitching stresses the muscles of the pitching arm that attach to the vertebral column, to prevent developmental scoliosis (side-to-side curvature of the thoracic vertebrae), baseball pitchers must similarly stress the muscles of the glove arm that attach to the vertebral column.

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175.  I am trying to put together a planning grant proposal to NSF.  There is a good chance it will go in on March 8th.  The Informal Science Education program stresses learning basic science and addresses under-served populations in STEM education (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math).  So, I have refocused the proposal (or we would have had no shot).  I propose we plan to create simulations illustrating the basic science behind sports in general, and addressing the under-served populations of girls/women and minorities. Pitching will be a major component.

As this is a planning grant, I have included you in as the senior athlete scientist, who will work with the Minnesota Museum of Science, and help us consider what other sports/athletes/basic science stuff to include in the larger project.  I have attached the current draft.

If this seems OK, we need from you a letter stating your interest in participating, and a two page NSF vita.  There is a specific format for the NSF vita and we will send you the details.  Please let me know what you think. --------------------------------------------------

PROJECT SUMMARY

Intellectual Merit

A.  Deliverables:  We will develop an intricate plan for a set of detail-rich web-based simulations that will illustrate the basic science of anatomy, physiology, developmental biology, kinesiology and mechanics as they relate to athletics for young children and adolescents.  With an emphasis on illustrating unimaginable physical changes over time, the simulations will demonstrate the stress and risks bodies endure, as well as the value of optimal strategies for developing athletic skills.  In addition, the plan will include development of an athletic association network, at the community, state and national level, to encourage informal use of the simulations.

B.  Project Design:  Neither parents, children, nor community or school-based coaches are familiar with basic science behind athletics as children engage in competitive sports.  It is not addressed in school.  Computers simulations are perfect for illustrating basic sciences as they relate to athletics.  By allowing users to change scale, perspective, age, time, and activity, the simulations will help anyone learn how human bodies may break down when stressed beyond their biological limits, or thrive when basic science is applied to athletics.

C.  Project Team:  The project will be hosted by MATRIX: Center for the Human Arts, Letters, and Social Sciences Online at Michigan State University (MSU), a center for learning technologies.  Key team members are Professor Steve Cohen, an expert in the use of computer simulations for illustrating complexity and teaching mathematics and statistics; Dr. Mike Marshall, a Cy Young award winning major league pitcher and expert in the mechanics of pitching and high speed film; MATRIX CTO Michael Fegan; Professor Kris Morrissey, Curator of Education of the MSU Museum; and the MATRIX senior staff Professors Mark Kornbluh, Dean Rehberger and Wayne Dyksen.

D.  Partnerships:  Collaborating organizations include the Minnesota Museum of Science, which will help establish a prototype of the project, the Center for Sports Injuries at MSU, and the MSU Department of Game Design and Development.

Broader Impacts

A.  Audience:  Through the simulations, we intend to offer every parent, child and coach access to the essential basic science behind sports activities and the reasons for injuries.  The simulations will promote both implicit and explicit science learning.  In addition to offering web-based access to the simulations, we will work with the Minnesota Museum of Science to promote use, and will create a network of community, local, state and national athletic associations that endorse the use of these materials.

B.  Impact Evaluation:  Our impact evaluation will use a quasi-experiment design to link simulation use, learning and decision making to predict how basic science learning influences athletic choices by parents, coaches and children.

C.  Strategic Impact:  This is an opportunity to connect informal basic science education to the social intuition of athletics.  It is clear from the data that parents, children and coaches are uniformed or unwilling to confront limits to athletic engagement.  This project will examine how informal science education, when successful, can lead to implicit, modified approaches to athletics in a setting conducive to sensible, prudent decisions.

ATHLETICS FROM THE INSIDE OUT

The Basic Science of the Human Body as it Relates to Athletic Performance

IMPACT

Audience

Our goal is to create a detailed plan for an ISE project that reaches the parents, children and coaches who participate in competitive athletics.  This audience is immense.  The project is to teach this audience the basic science behind athletics and the development of young athletes.  The audience is deeply under-educated. Athletics, from a young age, is seen as what goes outside the athletes’ body.  The relationship between athletic activities (hitting a ball, swinging on parallel bars) and the particular human machine that performs them is basically ignored by parents, coaches, and children alike.  It certainly is not taught in schools.

Yet, athletics starts from the inside out.  What makes a baseball swing effective?  Why do you bend your knees when you ski?  It is in great part because of the human machinery available to do the job.  Techniques that work best, or that wear you down, have their effect in great part because of the basic engineering of the human body, its parts, it rules, and the science that governs it.  Athletics is part of life where children, parents, and amateur coaches have some of the most direct experience with forces, mechanics, anatomy, physiology and other basic natural sciences.

However the explicit connection between he body, the basic science, and athletics is almost never made.  It is an opportunity to learn science and appreciate the synergy between the design of the human body and athletic performance.  With this knowledge, developing athletes, parents, and coaches will be better able to understand how practice, training regimens, expertise and games influence bodies, and ultimately make informed decision about how best to reach their goals.

The audience, which might once have been limited to mostly young and adolescent boys, is now clearly universal.  Pre-adolescent girls are regularly and rigorously training and competing in gymnastics, soccer, basketball, hockey, and swimming, to name just a few of the sports.  They are taught some skills, but rarely why the skills need to be in a certain way.  This is a missed opportunity to teach basic science and engineering.

In many cases the advice of parents serving as coaches is wrong (i.e., hitters should not be taking a level swing), and they have no knowledge of the basic science that might help them educate their young, eager athletes.  Parents regularly attend meets and games, but rarely know why certain forms are correct, and can offer little in the way of constructive advice.

Underserved populations, particularly African Americans and Hispanics, are drawn to athletics owing to role models and the opportunity to participate.  It is extremely unlikely these populations give appropriate due to normative skills.  Nor do they see science as part of theory behind athletic skills development and acquisition.  Yet athletics is an ideal forum for bring science, athletics and human development together for nearly all populations.

This planning grant will help identify the best displays, tools, and technologies for these audiences and help them understand how human bodies and athletic performance comes together.  As part of this project, we plan to tap the national, state and local athletic organizations and develop a national network to promote informal science learning as it relates to athletics.  The work will be coordinated and accessible trough the Minnesota Museum of Science. Renowned professional and amateur athletes will be part of the learning experience, helping attract a huge audience.  Ultimately, we expect to be able to reach millions of families around the nation who will find the science behind athletics, and the development of young athletes, compelling.

Audience Impact

There are two major intended impacts.

01.  The first is to leverage the athletic experience of young children and adolescents in order to help them learn the basic science behind their developing skills and bodies.

This is a tremendous opportunity to reach audiences that often turn away from science.  Planning will help us understand how to make the most of it.  Athletics, from riding a bicycle to swimming, is how children and adolescents challenge their bodies to perform.  Athletes are, when fortunate, shown normative forms for success; getting your hands out in front of a bat when swinging, keeping your arm straight on a golf shot, or how to create proper leverage when performing a gymnastics move.

What makes these moves normative?  They leverage the natural machinery of the body and are in concert with the laws of physics, biology, kinesiology, etc.  Users will see how the muscles and skeletal movements define the boundaries of an athletic performance, and how these movements influence the proper way to perform a skill.  They will see athletics from the inside out.  Visualizing and testing the experience this way is crucial because in many cases the normative instructions are counter intuitive?

Why?  Because as is well known from research on science education, basic normative laws of physics and related sciences are counterintuitive.  Coming to terms with the idea that athletic skills are improved by applications of basic science is a first step toward accommodating science as an important part of life.  Kids ask, "Why do I have to know physics?"

This planning grant will help us identify how to address this major stumbling block, and to offer children, adolescents, parents and coaches an insight that will serve them indefinitely.  This kind of success may bolster a students’ interest in science for their entire scholarly life and beyond.

02.  The second intended impact is to help young children, adolescents, coaches and parents understand the natural timetable for young athletes to develop.

The science learned, to be useful, must be conceptually integrated into its application.  There is a complex relationship between learning the basic science and coming to terms with implications that may be counter to an athlete’s goals.  This is true for the basic science behind athletics as well as climatology, medicine, etc.

Direct messages like “limit practice to three times a week” generally do not work in the absence of scientific validation, and are not integrated into young athletes decisions about how to best develop their skills.  It is a delicate educational matter.

Planning and trial projects are essential to identify pivotal issues.  By creating a pilot of our educational approach and content we will learn how knowledge of science can influence the personal decisions about athletic development.

The resistance to natural developmental timetables has serious consequences for all young athletes.  Training, despite warnings, is often repetitive and all-year round.  This is generally beyond what bodies can tolerate.

Pressure to compete and succeed early is an overwhelming burden for athletes as young as elementary school age.  Professional coaches are under pressure to produce results, and often, at the community level, parents with no background in the basic science behind athletics are in charge.

These “mentors” are a key part of the audience, but we also plan to reach the young athletes themselves.  Our goal is to put them in a position, at a young age, to learn and appeal to science.  This audience was once limited to boys, but times have clearly changed.

The issues can be well couched in basic science for all young athletes.  Research shows that girls are three to four times more likely than boys to suffer from an injury to the ACL (anterior cruciate ligament).  The injuries stem from an anatomical difference in the female knee, as well as the jump in physical stress experienced when going from active play to rigorous, competitive athletics.

This injury, which carries long-term health implications, is only one of several identified for female athletes.  A more complex risk to the young female athlete is the Female Athlete Triad.  This condition emerges from three separate problems: disordered eating and amenorrhea (low estrogen levels and absence of menstruation), which lead to osteoporosis.  This condition, which often results from a relentless training regimen, leads to stress fractures and related skeletal injuries.

These examples represent only two of the early risks with long-term health implications for females.  There are others. With respect to sports-related injuries stemming from early and extended training and competition, girls have caught up to boys.  Part of our need for a planning grant is to better understand how to address this audience which is relatively new and underserved.

Our plan will include specific features and displays to help young female athletes learn the basic science behind athletics in contexts that are relevant to them.

It is of course not difficult to find similar issues for boys, some with long histories.  For example, one particular issue is the appropriate age at which to begin baseball pitching competitively.  The basic science behind this risk is not taught; there is at best an occasional warning.  Enduring arm and shoulder injuries, suffered by boys who pitch too early and incorrectly, are often a legacy.  As with girls, the problems go unnoticed because of their subtle and slow manifestations.  Knowledge of basic developmental biology is missing from the equation.

Local coaches and parents are not in a position to make prudent decisions.  Here, the dynamic between parents, children and coaches is complex.  Our work will need to address this “audience” effectively and consider how basic science will be applied this setting.  The planning grant will allow us to do just that.

The learning problem stems not only from unrealistic expectations, but from a deep knowledge gap - between what parents and children believe and what they need to know.

Orthopedists often blame coaches and parents for failing to monitor how many pitches kids are throwing and for not giving them time to rest their arms.  They also view breaking balls - particularly the curveball - as placing undue stress on the soft growth plates in the arm, which do not harden until a child reaches puberty….  There are two basic recommendations, both of which are widely ignored across travel baseball:  young players should take at least four months off per year, and nobody should throw a curveball before he's old enough to shave.

Dr. Timothy Kremchek, the medical director for the Cincinnati Reds, specializes in an elbow-ligament reconstruction procedure commonly known as Tommy John surgery, named for the Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher who first underwent it, in 1974.  There was a time when the surgery was reserved for aging professional pitchers, says Kremchek, but today, with young players pitching more games over extended seasons, the average age of his patients is quickly lowering.  "I'm seeing 15 to 30 kids a year who are younger than 11 years old and in need of surgery," he says.  "It's unheard of." He maintains that this is why there is currently a shortage of skilled pitchers in Major League Baseball.

The problems, for both genders, are universal, and impact minorities substantially more than their peers.  African Americans are 50% more likely to suffer injuries than their white athletic counterparts. This is a key result we hope to evaluate more fully to make certain our ISE approaches work with African Americans families, as well as triads of coaches, parents and children.

Our planning grant will help us account for difference in populations, and develop teaching and learn strategies for simulations that address the levels of impediments to understanding and applying basic science.

Impact evaluation

To be written.

Strategic evaluation

This project, if seen through to completion, will bring a plethora of innovations to the ISE and STEM communities.  However, the principal innovation is in the design of simulations.  The simulations will ultimately allow the user to simulate themselves as an athlete and understand the role basic science plays in their development.

Through this approach we will create applied research projects that address a key issue for practitioners.  Which practices are most effective in designing and implementing experiences that promote STEM learning?  The key is to understand how much learning can be accomplished by making the simulated learner the object of the learning.

Users will be able to define themselves as a developing athlete, setting age, gender, morphology, sport and a range of other factors that accommodate individual differences.  They will be able to engage “themselves in a range of activities”, examine the role of physics, anatomy, kinesiology and related sciences at each (continuous) point of the athletic skill.  In addition, users will be able to examine the effects of practice, normative motions, and changes overtime in their “own anatomy”.

As technology improves, the potential of placing a virtual user in an environment and lean by examining themselves holds enormous potential.  At face value, it may seem it will benefit mostly social learning.  However, in this case, once users are convinced the “virtual athlete truly resemble them, we hypothesize the since will matter more, be better absorbed, and more effectively applied.  This should hold whether addressing athletics, climate issues, marine biology, etc.  We expect better attention from the user, involvement of more memory systems, and all-around improved learning.  All of these benefits are assessable.

Innovation

We propose to plan the development a set of standard-setting simulations and accompanying models that illustrate the science behind athletic performance.  The website that will be created will address the needs and interests of the audience defined.

Our project will embody a set of activities that allow coaches, parents and their children to visualize the sciences behind sports, grasp why certain skills are best performed a certain way, and comprehend the implications of developmental biology under different conditions.  The materials will be useable in a variety of settings.  The simulations will illustrate the mechanics, physiology, geometry and developmental biology in a variety of athletic activities.

Since it will be the “virtual user” on which ideas are illustrated and tests are performed, the lessons should be particularly salient to the learners.  The lessons should be easier to access in real practice and in games, and ultimately in school.  The project, when it comes to fruition, has the potential to bring the message about the science behind athletics to a new venue: out of the locker room and ball field and into a forum for rational articulation and demonstration.

The site will be free to use, and all materials can be viewed on the site or downloaded and transferred to other presentation software.  This will make the materials valuable even on older computers or computers with slow connections to the Internet.  Meeting the learning challenge is daunting, but possible.

Why is it so difficult to teach children the basic sciences and their application to athletic performance?  Illustrations and video do not do the trick.  There is an enormous amount of movement happening simultaneously in a basketball free throw, for example, and it is impossible to pay attention to all movements at once.  Only people already trained to see the details can build a model in their minds with enough detail to perform correctly.  Nearly all athletic instructional videos suffer from this flaw.

Creating media that can convey the complexity to the minds of eight, nine, and ten year old children will require visualizations that can be compartmentalized, controlled, and designed to convey only essential information at each point.  The simulations will also build a seamless connection between specific skills and the athlete.

The hockey stick, bat, balance beam will be come “part” of the athlete.  The science will extend to from the human machine to the athletic skill under investigation.

The site will use a combination of wire frame animations, rendered animations, video and complementary narration to simulate athletic skills.  Transparent animations illustrating the underlying physiology will demonstrate the key part(s) of the body involved.  These animations will make visible what cannot be imagined.

Students will be able defined themselves as they athlete under investigation – the science will not be separable from themselves.  They will set arm length, musculature, morphology and related variable.  Once the athlete is defined; they will be able to examine specific skills in motion from several perspectives.

The simulations will also different motions to be performed repeatedly, over a virtual week, month, season, or year and see the influence - on themselves - of different practice regimens.  The simulations will be modifiable to illustrate physiology at different biological ages.  The students will be able to see the results of using the correct mechanics; illustrations will demonstrate Newton's three basic laws and how they connect to optimal performance for specific developmental biology, physiology and kinesiology.

Data on the simulations designed by the students will be collected and used to illustrate the risks from repetitive stress.  This should help even the youngest student see the potential for injury from repeated motion and ignoring proper mechanics.  Our expectation is that by introducing all these topics visually, interactively, and at an early age will help students learn science; recognize long-term risks and the virtue of respecting limits of the human body.

As part of the planning grant, Dr. Mike Marshall will serve as the anchor for a pilot with the Minnesota Museum of Science.  He will participate in a web-based program called The Science Buzz, where scientists answer questions and offer modest web displays to illustrate answers.  Here, young athletes can pose questions about athletic skills to Dr. Marshall and get high quality answers.

This will allow the project team to learn what kinds of ideas, questions and expectation young athletes will bring to the simulation.  It is an essential part of the project and is key to effective planning and long term success.


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     It appears as though you and your colleagues are recognizing that we do not properly prepare our youth for their athletic competitions.  While I have always kept my concerns confined to baseball, clearly the same lack of scientific application permeates other activities.

     I would be thrilled to join this effort.

     Please send me the specific format for the two page NSF vita and I will get my letter stating my interest in participating and the vita to you as quickly as I am able.

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176.  My question concerns how you taught footwork for your third basemen when you coached.  For example, if a 3rd baseman was playing even with the bag and a grounder was hit right at him, since he would have to shift his weight in another direction to throw to first, would you have him shift his weight at all before he caught the grounder?

Also, did you teach that there should be one continuous motion from the time the ball entered the glove until the third baseman released the ball?

Did you teach your guys to catch grounders at the apex of their bounce or did it matter?  Any other tips for third base play would be appreciated.


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     When infielders stand close to batters and the batters hit the baseball right at them, depending on how hard the batter hit the baseball, their first task is to make sure that the baseball does not hit them in the face.  To move their face out of the way and to enable their glove hand to maximally move vertically upward, I recommend that they turn their hips and shoulders to point toward the batter with their glove hand away from the batter.  To be able to start with their glove on the ground, I would have them lower their body as far as they can.

     With their head out of harm's way to their throwing arm side of the batted baseball, they can concentrate on raising their glove, if required, to the height of the baseball.

     After they catch the baseball, they have to stand and align their hips and shoulders to point at first base or wherever else that they might have to throw the baseball.  If they are throwing to first or second bases, then I would have them use my Torque Fastball throwing arm action, except I would have them keep the spin axis perfectly horizontal.

     I taught my infielders to watch the first bounce angle that batted baseballs leave the ground.

     If the angle is high, then, because the next bounce will be low and fast, I tell them to immediately charge straight at the baseball.

     If the angle is low, then, because the baseball will get to them quickly, I tell them that they will have to give ground and, depending on whether the batted baseball is to their glove side, right at them or to their throwing arm side, they will have to turn their hips and shoulders to parallel with the line of the batted baseball.

     If the angle is medium and they have time, I tell them to move to their body to the throwing arm side of the baseball and, if they are going to throw the baseball to first base, they should intercept the baseball with the body moving toward first base.  In these cases, depending on how much time they have to get the baseball to first base, they could time when they intercept the bouncing baseball to catch it in the apex of the bounce closest to them.

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177.  I am requesting a copy of your free book referenced above.  I assume there is a charge, but I’m not sure what it is.

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     For reading and downloading my free Coaching Baseball Pitchers book, I do not charge readers.  However, I do not have any hard copies.  Instead, my Coaching Baseball Pitchers book is on my website at www.drmikemarshall.com.  All you have to do is click on my FREE BOOK!!! icon and you will go to my Coaching Baseball Pitchers file.  Then, you can click on each chapter separately and either read or download your copy.

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178.  I am just a Little League coach (6 years) with 3 sons (7,9,12) and am fascinated by your research.  I am always trying to find better information to help my players (and sons) be better and safer.  Just today I sent for your video and book and can’t wait to start studying.

  Do you have any images for your mechanics you can easily send by e-mail?  I’ve searched the web with no luck.  I was hoping there would be pictures of Jeff Sparks at various points in his delivery, but all I found was his BB card from 98.

  Best of luck with your mission.  It’s a critical one.  You were great last weekend on the FAN (I wish they had given you more time).


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     Thank you for your kind words.  Call Mr. Randall and tell him that you have more questions that you want him to ask me.

     Unfortunately, at this time, I am not able to put video on my website.  But, I am working hard to correct that problem.  Sometime soon, I hope to put not only the entirety of my Baseball Pitching Instructional Video on my website, but also shorter specialty videos like the DVD of Jeff Sparks throwing my six basic pitches.

     The day after I receive your request for my Baseball Pitching Instructional Video, I will put your copy in the mail.  Please let me know when you receive it.  I would like to hear any recommendations you might have for me to make it better and more user friendly.

     Together, we will help your sons become the best highly-skilled, injury-free baseball pitchers that they can be.

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179.  I always wanted to ask you.  Why didn't you take warm-ups before Rudi's home run?

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     To find my release points for my pitches, I threw my usual compliment of pre-inning pitches before the disturbance in left field.  I had no need for any further pitches.  I threw the pitch that I wanted to the location I wanted with as much quality as I had.  Unfortunately, Mr. Rudi correctly anticipated the pitch and hit it out of the ball park.  Sometimes, major league hitters do that.

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180.  My fourteen year old has been having shoulder pain since last year.  He has been playing competitive baseball since he was 8, and has been called upon often to pitch.

Around June of last year, he developed shoulder pain.  I told his coaches that he was done pitching for them, but I allowed him to continue playing SS.  He plays other sports, but has done very little baseball throwing since last October.

Even though he hasn't thrown much, he is driven and has continuously worked out with bands and does pull-ups, chin-ups, dips, and pushups.  We started throwing recently in preparation for baseball season (we live in cold northwest), and his shoulder pain continued.  (I might add that sometimes while doing pushups, jumping jacks, and band work he experienced shoulder pain.)

I have attached the results of the diagnosis made by an orthopedic surgeon from an evaluation and MRI of his right shoulder.  He said the humeral head had a bone bruise from overuse (repetitive use).  The treatment recommended was 2-weeks of naproxen sodium, 3 weeks of no arm use at all, and then Physical Therapy with a therapist who is the most knowledgeable on throwing in our area.  Without having the MRI or X-rays, just the diagnosis, can you tell me what to do.  I know I am asking a lot, but what do you think?


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     I read the reports.

     The doctor said that your son's pain is primarily posterior and posterolateral, but occasionally anterior.  This means that the muscles that he is using to decelerate his throwing arm cannot withstand the stress.

     In the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion, because of their 'Pitching Forearm Flyout' and 'Pitching Forearm Supination Releases,' baseball pitchers use their Teres Minor muscle to decelerate their pitching arm.  He needs to learn how to use his Teres Major and Latissimus Dorsi muscles to decelerate his pitches.

     To do that, he needs to learn how to use his pitching arm differently.  He needs to start my learning how to pronate the releases of his pitches and how to drive his pitching hand straight toward home plate, not pull his pitching arm across the front of his body and downward.

     As the doctor noted, he still has open growth plates in his shoulder.  Unless he places too much stress on them too soon, such that they prematurely close, they will not mature until he is biologically nineteen years old.

     If your son is also biologically fourteen years old, then the growth plate for the lateral epicondyle in his pitching elbow recently matured.  However, the growth plates for the olecranon process, radial head and medial epicondyle remain open and susceptible to injury.

     Therefore, I recommend that, until he is biologically sixteen years old and all growth plates in his pitching elbow mature, he does not pitch competitively.  Instead, I recommend that he completes my four 60-Day Youth Baseball Pitchers Motor Skill Acquisition Programs during which he will learn how to pronate the releases of all pitches and how to decelerate his pitching arm with his Teres Major and Latissimus Dorsi muscles.

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181.  I read the answer to the question posed by a reader with regards to an infielder playing a ground ball with preparation to get into throwing position.  My question is about outfield play.

I have heard Tim McCarver say several times that Curt Flood told him he judged how to play fly balls by where they came off the bat in relation to the bill of his baseball cap.  In other words, if the ball came off the bat above the bill of his cap, he knew to run back.  If the ball came off lower than the bill of his cap, he knew that it would be a sinking line drive and he would come in.  Does this sound like the best way to judge fly balls off the bat?


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     I don't believe that, just because the baseball left the hitters bat with an upward angle, outfielders should start running backward or, just because the baseball left the hitters bat without an upward angle, outfielders should start running forward.

     I believe that outfielders have to assess how the batters swung at the baseball and the sound of the contact.  That is, if the batters' swing appears early or late, then the baseball could leave the bat with or without an upward angle, but not travel very far.

     I also believe that outfielders should know how hard and far batters can hit the baseball.  Those batters who bat third, fourth and fifth in lineups typically generate more bathead velocity than those who bat first, second, eighth and ninth in lineups.

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182.  Thank you for taking the time to answer my question about why you did not take any warm-up pitches before you pitched to Joe Rudi in game five of the 1974 World Series.  And thank you too for giving us Dodger fans so many thrilling moments during that season and the ones that followed.  It's amazing that you pitched in 106 games in 1974.  There is, of course, no way we would have been in the World Series that year without you and your efforts.  I only wish that we would have still had you in 1977 and 1978- surely those World Series would have gone differently.

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     I have no recollection of the 1977 or 1978 World Series.  I was working on completing my doctoral degree and that did not leave any time for evening television.

     I am not so sure about whether I could have helped anybody in 1977.  In January 1977, because it had broken into pieces and entered my spinal canal, I had to have the inter-vertebral disc between my fifth Lumbar vertebrae and first Sacral vertebrae removed.  Therefore, while I tried to pitch in 1977, I was not able to bend forward or rotate my hips very well.

     However, after I completed my doctoral degree, on May 15, 1978, I did return to major league baseball and finished seventh in the American League Cy Young Award.

     I do not recall what my full statistical line was for the 1974 World Series, but I do remember that I set a record for finishing all five World Series games.  It seems like I pitched nine innings, struck out ten Oakland Athletics, gave up six hits for an earned run average of 1.00.  I suppose that, if I had had an earned run average of 0.00, then we could still be playing that fifth game.

     Correct me if I am mistaken, but did not Rollie Fingers receive the Most Valuable Player Award for that World Series despite the fact that he gave up three earned runs in six innings?  And I also seem to recall that, because Rollie was not able to pitch in one of the games, Catfish Hunter had to close one game for the A's.

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183.  Rollie Fingers pitched 9.1 innings in the '74 World Series, allowed 2 earned runs and did receive the Most Valuable Player Award.

In game 1, he relieved Ken Holtzman in the fifth inning and pitched until there were 2 outs in the bottom of the ninth, when Alvin Dark brought in Hunter to close the game.

As I recall it was such a closely contested, well-pitched series, a few breaks here and there and there may have been a different result.  The Dodgers made some errors (the most costly were catcher Joe Ferguson's 2 errors in game 3 that proved to be the difference in that game).  The A's of that time seemed to have an uncanny ability to take advantage of even the the slightest opponent miscue or misstep, and take advantage they did.

I didn't realize that the only run you gave up in the Series was Rudi's home run.  I do remember you pitching in every game, but then, I think you pitched in just about every Dodger game that year!

Thanks Dr. Marshall.  What a pleasure it is to discuss and reminisce about a very special time in Dodger history.


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     I must have been asleep in the first game.  I had no idea that Rollie Fingers pitched from the fifth inning to the ninth inning.  All I remembered was that Catfish Hunter closed the game.

     Who would have thought that, in the first game of the World Series, they would have their closer pitch six innings as a middle reliever?  Thank you for the correction.

     What I remember about the 1974 Oakland A's is that they were not an impressive offensive team, but they did not give anything away defensively.  I agree with you that they took advantage of anything opponents gave them.

     Do I remember correctly that, when Bill Buckner lead off the ninth inning of the fifth game, Rollie Fingers gave up the hit where a close play at third base prevented the Dodgers from having a base runner on third base with nobody out?

     A little known fact that nobody ever told anybody is that prior to the fifth game on Thursday, Walter Alston asked me whether, with an off day on Friday, I thought that I could start the sixth game on Saturday.

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184.  To understand this email, you need to understand my situation.  I will try to not bore you with the details and get straight to the point.

I am a freshman attending the University of Arkansas.  I am not playing baseball.  Last year, I played my final year in High School.  I did really well.  I was 2-time All-State, 2-time All-Conference, 2-time All State Tournament team etc. etc., the whole deal, but I went to a small school.

I wanted to walk on at U of A, but if you keep up with college baseball at all, you know that they are really good.  I came to school here thinking I was done with baseball, but maybe wanted to walk-on.  That fell through.

Now, I miss baseball.  I miss pitching.  I miss everything about baseball.  This summer, I am going to several showcases and such to get my name back out there and see if I can play.  As far as conditioning my arm and my body, I work out my core and legs, but I have no idea what your video will suggest that I do.

I am purchasing your instructional video.  I hope this has everything that I need.  I will be sending you a money order within the next day or so.

My main question is, what do you suggest for me to get started on your program considering my situation?


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     I coached baseball at the Henderson State University in Arkadelphia, AR.  For what small town high school did you pitch?

     I believe that, before baseball pitchers pitch competitively, they become highly-skilled.  Therefore, here are my generic recommendations.

01.  If you are biologically ten years old, then, before you pitched competitively, I would recommend that you complete my four 60-Day Youth Baseball Pitchers Motor Skill Acquisition Programs and be thirteen biological years old.

02.  If you are biologically sixteen years old, then, before you pitched competitively, I would recommend that you complete my 120-Day High School Baseball Pitchers Interval-Training Program.

03.  If you are biologically nineteen years old, then, before you pitched competitively, either in college or professionally, I would recommend that you complete my 280-Day Adult Baseball Pitchers Interval-Training Program and my six 72-Day Wrist Weight and Iron Ball Recoil Interval-Training Pograms.

     With these training programs, at each of these biological ages, my baseball pitchers become the best highly-skilled, injury-free baseball pitchers that they can be.

     If you do otherwise, then you will spend the rest of your life wondering what might have been.

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185.  I am close to your age and followed your career.  Only in the past few years have I come across this site.  My son is a 15 year old High School baseball player that I have coached for many years.  He has not been allowed to pitch competitively, but is now coveted by well-meaning school coaches who certainly want him to pitch.  Having only played to the High School level myself, I knew there was much to learn before I could begin coaching my son and other players!

Your “life’s work” as you publish your findings, makes so much sense, it’s hard to fathom why it’s hasn’t yet been widely embraced?  As an ex-amateur athlete, a long time practicing martial artist, your “advice” rings true with my knowledge of Sir Isaac’s laws of motion as they apply to generating force AND if properly applied, also protect you from injury.  We have incorporated most of your teachings into his throwing motion and to this date, he has never experienced even a sore arm.  Certainly, we want to keep him injury free.  He is likely NOT biological 16 years old and thus not ready for your 120 day program.  But, I would guess this summer, when his season has ended, he should begin your 60 day program?

We are coming down next week for our annual “Spring Training” run through Florida.  Rather than mailing money, would it be possible to stop by your site next Friday (3/9), purchase a video, watch your guys work out (9-10:30am,is that correct still?) and have my son see your workout routine first hand?  I promise we will stay out of the way and observe only!

I plan to attend your May certification program if it’s not already full.  Again, what you have done to try to protect the arms of young baseball players, and advance the science/mechanics of pitching, is very admirable!


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     It will be our pleasure to have you and your son visit my Pitching Research/Training Center in beautiful Zephyrhills, FL.  If I forget to bring a copy of my Baseball Pitching Instructional Video with me, then I will drive the two blocks to my house and get one for you.

     I recommend that, within one week of his next birthday, you have a radiologist take front and side view X-rays of his glove and pitching elbows from his mid-upper arms to his mid-forearms, make copies and send them to me.  I will determine his biological age and whether I see any differences in how the growth plates in his pitching and glove elbows and developing.

     Because he is so close to being sixteen biological years old and is coveted my well-meaning coaches who want his to pitch, I suspect that he is very close to, if not already, biologically sixteen years old.  Therefore, rather than do four of my 60-Day programs, he should complete my 120-Day High School Baseball Pitchers Interval-Training Program.

     I am happy to hear of your interest in attending my Marshall Baseball Pitching Coaches Certification Clinic the second weekend in May, 2007.  While I seem to recall that someone else expressed interest, to date, I have not received a single one hundred dollar registration fee.  Unfortunately, if I do not have at least ten registered attendees, then I will not be able to hold the clinic.

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186.  If you had started the sixth game of the 1974 World Series, that would have been interesting and, of course, a major story.  I would have liked the Dodgers' chances, with Messersmith coming back in game 7 or Sutton on 2 days rest.  Somehow, I believe Alston would have had you closing that game 7!

I have begun reading your book. I had no idea that you put so much work into your craft of pitching, throughout your entire career, which I have discovered did not end after your major league baseball career.  I would love to hear you working as a commentator on major league baseball games.  I am sure that you would bring a very fresh and interesting approach to that craft as well.


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     During the off-season between the 1968 and 1969 baseball seasons, I pitched for Mayaguez in Puerto Rico.  When I arrived, the manager, who managed me in double-A baseball two years earlier, asked me whether I wanted to close or start.  I had closed for him.  I told him that I wanted to start every Wednesday and Sunday game.  He agreed.  While, after the expansion draft, I had to leave half-way through the season, I had started and pitched more innings than most other starters pitched the entire season.

     If I were to train baseball pitchers for a major league team, then I would train baseball pitchers to do the same.

     However, at sixty-four years old, I have only one goal for my remaining years.  I want to to show everybody how to eliminate all pitching injuries.  If they do my training programs and follow my advice, like my 1974 season, all baseball pitchers will be able to pitch every day without any discomfort, but with more high-quality pitches than I had.

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187.  Maybe you already know this, but, to put your videos on your site, you can upload them to Youtube, and then put the URL on your website.  People will be able to watch the videos on Youtube by clicking the link on your page.

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     If you assume that I know absolutely nothing about computers and the internet, then you will be right most of the time.

     I have no idea how to upload sections of my Baseball Pitching Instructional Video to Youtube, whatever that is, or how to put the URL on my website, whatever that is.  But, I would like people to be able to watch my video without charge.

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188.  What do you recommend to break in a new catcher's mitt?

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     I have never broken in a catcher's mitt.  I am sure that today's professional catchers would give you better advice.  Although it has been a number of years ago now, I have broken in infielder's and pitcher's gloves.

     When baseball players break in their gloves, they have two purposes.  First, they need to protect the leather against water.  Second, they have to shape the glove to fit their needs.

     To protect their glove against water, I recommend that they rub a safe, non-explosive, pleasant-smelling oil into the leather.  While you could use the glove oil that most sporting goods stores carry, my favorite shaving gel contains sunflower seed oil and glyceride.  That is what I would use.

     To shape the glove to fit your personal needs, after I rubbed my shaving gel into the leather, I would put a baseball where I wanted to catch them and I would wrap the glove around the baseball in the shape I prefer.  To hold the glove in that position, I would use strong, wide rubber bands.

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189.  Thank you for the prompt response and your generous gift of time!  I can assure you that you will receive at least one $100 deposit for that seminar!

     The good Lord willing, we will see you in sunny Florida at 9am on March 9th!  I will put your website posted address in my GPS, so we will be there with bells on.


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     We are looking forward to meeting you and your son.

     Travel safe.

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190.  I look forward to receiving your Baseball Pitching Instructional Video and will be happy to offer feedback.  There’s also a book, right?

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     You can find my Coaching Baseball Pitchers book on my website.  If you go to the home page of my website at www.drmikemarshall.com, in the list of topics, you will find my FREE BOOK!!! icon.  If you click on that icon, then you will go to my FREE BOOK!!! file.  Then, you can open any chapter you want and read it or make a copy.

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191.  How can I get a copy of the new Jeff Sparks video?

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     I would not call it the new Jeff Sparks video.  It is a ten minute DVD that I made to show those who attended my discussions at the Cherry Hill, NJ baseball clinic how the six basic pitches that I teach to adult baseball pitchers move and how Jeff Sparks throws them.

     Because you have purchased a copy of my Baseball Pitching Instructional Video, I will put a copy in the mail to you today.

     I appreciate your interest in continuing to learn more about my baseball pitching motion and interval-training programs.

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192.  Sorry for the confusion.  The text below was copied from your web site opening page.  I have been reading the free material you provide on line.  I didn’t realize the referenced book and the on-line book were one and the same.  Thanks for all the quick responses and explanation.

“For only hundred dollars ($100.00), Dr. Marshall is sharing his knowledge.  You will receive his two and one-half hour Baseball Pitching Instructional Video, his over three hundred page Coaching Baseball Pitching book, his six baseball pitching training programs and his answers to any questions that you may have.”


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     You are absolutely correct.  The wording does make it sound as though you will receive a hard cover copy of my Coaching Baseball Pitchers book.

     I hope that the following rewrite makes it clearer.

“For only hundred dollars ($100.00), Dr. Marshall is sharing his knowledge.  You will receive his two and one-half hour Baseball Pitching Instructional Video.  In addition, you can make your own copies of his over three hundred page Coaching Baseball Pitching book and his youth baseball pitchers, high school baseball pitchers and adult baseball pitchers baseball pitching training programs.  Lastly, Dr. Marshall will personally answer any questions that you may have.”

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193.  I just read an article regarding the newly-introduced "gyro-ball."  After watching one slow motion scene of his grip and release, it was unbelievably clear that he was throwing your sinker.  Funny how even a blind squirrel can find that accidental nut.

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     It is great to hear from you.  What is the best baseball pitcher banker doing these days?

     I have seen several clips of his pitching motion and gyro-ball release.  While, when he drives the pitch toward the pitching arm side of home plate, it does move similarly to my Maxline Fastball Sinker, when he drives the pitch toward the glove side of home plate, it moves similarly to my Torque Fastball Slider.

     To get this spin axis, like with our Torque Fastball Slider, he spirals the baseball with tip of his middle finger applying force on the pitching arm side of the baseball.  However, the spin axis for his gyro-ball is more vertical than tilted forward like our Torque Fastball Slider.

     As a result, when he drives his gyro-ball to the glove side of home plate, it moves toward the glove side of home plate, but, when he drives his gyro-ball toward the pitching arm side of home plate, the toward the glove side of home plate sideways spin cancels out the toward the pitching arm side of home plate movement and it only moves downward similar to our Maxline Fastball Sinker.

    He also drives his fastball to both sides of home plate, but, like Mariano Reviera, he uses the same spin axis.

     If he had your Maxline Pronation Curve and Maxline True Screwball, then he would be truly dangerous.  As it is, I would have my baseball batters sit on his fastball and forget about his gyro-ball.  While he throws in the mid-nineties, it is relatively straight.

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194.  I hope everything's good.  I am very much looking forward to seeing what you do next week.  I talked to Rudy Seanez yesterday.  He said a lot of really great things about you and what you teach.

I was hoping you might help me get in touch with a few people before I head your way.  I think you said Jeff Sparks still trains there with you, so hopefully I can talk to him there.  Also, I read one story that mentioned you're close with Michael Greenisen, from NASA.  And any former teammates you could recommend I talk with?

I'm going to try Bill Stoneman.

Thanks in advance.  I really want to do this story right, and I appreciate the help.  I can't wait to see what you do.


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     We are looking forward to your visit.  My guys love an opportunity to show off.

     I have not talked with Rudy for almost ten years.  I love the guy, but I made a mistake in our partnership agreement that cost him millions of dollars and a legacy that could have put him among the elite baseball pitchers.

     I first met Rudy about fifteen years ago when Danny McMurtrie brought him to my house.  A couple of years earlier, I had rehabilitated Danny's pitching arm.  At that time, Rudy threw ninety-four miles per hour with his wind-up, but only eighty-eight miles per hour with his set position.  He wanted me to help him improve his velocity with his set position.

     With only about a month before spring training, I could not have Rudy do my entire adult baseball pitchers interval-training program, but I could show him how to straighten and lengthen his driveline.  That following summer, on several occasions, the radar gun clocked Rudy's fastball at one hundred and three miles per hour.

     Unfortunately, some 'traditional' baseball pitching coach got a hold of Rudy and taught his a supination slider and Rudy injured his shoulder and, as the insistence of his professional team, he let some surgeon operate on his pitching shoulder.

     So, the next time that I hear from Rudy is when he called me for help.  He said that his fastball velocity was eighty-eight miles per hour and he was out of major league baseball.

     I knew that it was time for Rudy to complete my 280-Day Adult Baseball Pitchers Interval-Training Program.  However, Rudy was now married with a child.  This meant that Rudy would only train with me for two weeks at the beginning of the off-season and two weeks immediately before spring training.  Between, he said that he would train on his own.

     Because of our limited time together, instead of my typical Lifetime Partnership Agreement, I wrote a two year agreement, where Rudy decided whether we continued to work together based on whether he believed that what I taught him improved his ability to pitch.

     Even though, after what I taught him, Rudy threw ninety-eight mile per hour fastballs and my Maxline Fastball Sinker and he returned to the major leagues with the Atlanta Braves, he said that he believed that what I taught him did not help him.

     As a result, he did not have to pay me my five percent of his major league baseball earnings.  Unfortunately, Rudy never completed my entire program and never learned the skills that would have made him great.  Conservatively, I estimate that his decision cost him about one hundred million dollars.

     Jeff Sparks will be there on March 07, 2007 and would be pleased to talk with you.  You will see that he is the most highly-skilled baseball pitcher in the history of baseball.  I believe that, with forty-one strikeouts in thirty and one-third innings of major league baseball pitching, Jeff has the highest strikeout per nine inning ratio in the history of major league baseball of baseball pitchers with thirty or more innings pitched.

     Like a former teammate of mine said during pitchers batting practice two weeks before the end of my 1972 season with the Montreal Expos said, "In two weeks, I get to choose my own friends."

     I enjoyed their company when we played baseball, when the season or my career ended, I had other things on my mind.  Dr. Mike Greenisen, the director the Exercise Countermeasures with NASA is one of my closest friends.  The only baseball people with whom I keep in touch, are Tommy John and Red Adams.

     Bill Stoneman and I pitched together with the Montreal Expos in the early 1970s.  I have always liked Bill and appreciated his pitching intensity.  I think that Bill would intentionally take batters to the three ball, two strike count, so that he could throw his outstanding curve and make them look foolish.

     Unfortunately, when, after he became a general manager, I tried to contact Bill, he did not return my call.

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195.  Thanks again for taking yet another email from me.  Its great to hear that Mr. Fullmer finally got down to Zephyrhills to meet you.  He spoke very highly of his time there and said that he learned a great deal.  As Lon and I are probably the only two coaches in Southern Cal who believe in the mechanics you instruct, we are bored because we are only two who can speak to each other about your program.

I have a freshman pitcher who has indicated a great deal of discomfort in his ulnar nerve.  Immediately, I shut him down and advised the parents to see Dr. Lewis Yocum.  After X-rays, Dr. Yocum has still been unable to diagnose the injury properly, has scheduled an MRI and suggested that he shut down from throwing for a whole year.

Dr. Yocum did state either a stress fracture or a growth plate problem.  I would like to send you the X-rays of both elbows to ask your professional opinion and if possible, suggest a workout routine to get him back in shape.  Lon Fullmer can help as well.


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     By having a great deal of discomfort in his Ulnar Nerve, do you mean that he feels tingling down the little finger side of his forearm, in his little finger and in the little finger side of his ring finger?  If not, then the Ulnar Nerve is not his problem.

     The only anatomical difficulty for baseball pitchers with the maximum velocity overhead throwing motion is the location of the Ulnar Nerve as it passes through the elbow.  The Ulnar Nerve passes through a groove in the back of the medial epicondyle of the Humerus bone of the pitching upper arm.  Therefore, when baseball pitchers bend their pitching elbow greater than ninety degrees, they put considerable stretch on their Ulnar Nerve.

     However, with my baseball pitching motion, my baseball pitchers should never bend their pitching arm more than ninety degrees.  Therefore, I suspect that your young man has a 'loop' in his pitching motion where he move his pitching hand close to his head, which means that he bends his pitching elbow to less than ninety degrees.

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196.  What weights do you start at and how high do you go?  And, what weight do you increase each step to reach the peak amount?

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     When we talked last spring about me training college baseball pitchers for shorter time periods, I thought that I would offer two sessions, one for the fall and one for the spring.  If I started on the third Friday in August and ended on the third Saturday in December, then I would have only one hundred and twenty days in which to teach them the drills with which I teach the skills of my baseball pitching motion.  Therefore, I would use my 120-Day High School Baseball Pitchers Interval-Training Program.

     In my 120-Day High School Baseball Pitchers Interval-Training Program, I start baseball pitchers who are at least biological sixteen year old baseball pitchers with ten pound wrist weights and six pound iron balls.  Because this training program is primarily a skill development program, we do not increase the weight of the wrist weights or iron balls.  You can find this training program in my Pitcher Training Programs file.

     After they complete my 120-Day program with me, these baseball pitchers would return to their colleges and be ready for their spring season.  Then, when their spring season ended, with the help and encouragement of their baseball coaches, they would start on my 280-Day Adult Baseball Pitchers Interval-Training Program.

     In my 280-Day Adult Baseball Pitchers Interval-Training Program, I start biological nineteen year old baseball pitchers with ten pound wrist weights and six pound iron balls.  You can find also this interval-training program in my Pitcher Training Programs file.

     During this program, we increase the wrist weight from ten to fifteen to twenty to twenty-five pounds and drop back to fifteen pounds and we increase the iron balls from six to eight to ten to twelve pounds and drop back to eight pounds.

     As another option, if, during the fall practice season, some baseball pitchers appeared to need more strength and skill, then they could attend my 120-Day spring session that starts on the first Friday in February and ends on the first Saturday in June.

     Then, when they return home, they could practice the skills that they learned in summer competitions.

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197.  I was wondering, what is the frequency of arm injuries that occur to softball pitchers is any at all?  I ask this question, because I notice that there is a similarity in the delivery motion (stepping straight forward) to the baseball pitcher.

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     While it is true that the fastpitch softball pitching motion uses the same straight line drive concept that I recommend for baseball pitchers, they apply force along their straight lines differently.  For instance, they do not have any 'Reverse Pitching Forearm Bounce,' with which to rupture their Ulnar Collateral Ligament.

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198.  I was thinking of starting my weaker college baseball pitchers at 5 lbs.

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     I start biological thirteen years old youth baseball pitchers with five pound wrist weights.  All healthy, non-handicapped biological sixteen year old and older baseball pitchers should be able to can easily handle ten pound wrist weights and six pound iron balls.

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199.  I wish I had video taped your sunday afternoon hitting instruction at the certification clinic.  It would have made an excellent addition to your website.

I have Jeff Sparks 6 pitches video converted to the web format.  Can we put it up with a link from your website?  It really is impressive.  I will put it on my web server Monday and send you the link so that you can view and approve it.

In converting the video, we resize it from the 740x480 resolution of the DVD to 320x240 resolutions.  ( 320x240 is the same resolution of your television)  This reduces the amount of data being sent over the internet and it allows it to stream more easily.  The total size reduced from over 300 megabyes to about 16 megabytes.

In converting your pitching instruction DVD, we ran into some problems that it broke down into multi-part sections per topic.  We then are having to recombine them and change the size format to compress them to make them web ready.  That is what has taken so long.  We will finish it ASAP.

Are you connected via cable modem to the internet at your house?  If so, we may be serve the videos from your location.  I will find out more when I return to your place with the videos.


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     I will get whatever you say that I need to serve the videos from my house.  I want to be able to resize or whatever else is necessary.

     I appreciate all that you are doing to help me get me Baseball Pitching Instructional Video and any other video that my readers want to see on my website.

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200.  Okay.  There was a question of whether to pamper them from 3 to 5 lbs and then increase the weights.  You know how tough it is for these pampered  babies to anything physical.

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     If these adult baseball pitchers ever want to become the best highly-skilled, injury-free baseball pitchers that they can be, then they have to learn how to train at maximum intensity.

     If they start with my 120-Day High School Baseball Pitchers Interval-Training Program with only five pound wrist weights, then, to get to where they use fifteen pound wrist weights to maintain their fitness, they will need the complete my entire 280-Day Adult Baseball Pitchers Interval-Training Program.

     However, if they start my 120-Day program with ten pound wrist weights, then when they do my 280-Day program, they will end up doing twenty pound wrist weights as their maintainence weight.  That means that they will not have to do my 72-Day Adult Baseball Pitchers Fifteen Pound Wrist Weight Recoil Interval-Training Program.

     Then, if they want to have the pitching arm strength that I had, they will only need to complete my 72-Day Adult Baseball Pitchers Twenty Pound Wrist Weight Recoil Interval-Training Program and my 72-Day Adult Baseball Pitchers Twenty-Five Pound Wrist Weight Recoil Interval-Training Program.      If they do not master the drills that I use to teach the skills of my baseball pitching motion and develop the strength that my interval-training programs give them, then they will never know how good of a baseball pitcher that can be.

     Maybe they can live with that, but I couldn't.

     For those who cannot live with that, I am accepting baseball pitchers for my 2007 fall session.  From the third Friday in August until the third Saturday in December, I will show them how to complete my 120-Day High School Baseball Pitchers Interval-Training Program and they will learn what they have to do to become the best highly-skilled, injury-free baseball pitcher that they can be.

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201.  Bear with me here.  You talk about fulcrums and the center of mass.  Does the center of mass in your terms refer to loads?  Are levers in your explanations the arms and legs of the body?  I have a book in front of me with 5 illustrations of fulcrums, loads and levers and explains 1st, 2nd and 3rd class levers.

The 1st illustration is a man jacking up the front end of his car with a car jack.  The 2nd illustration is a man lifting a load of dirt with a shovel.  The 3rd illustration is scissors cutting a roll of paper.  The 4th illustration is a man lifting a wheel barrel with a full load of dirt.  The 5th illustration is a seesaw with just one person on the one end.

All illustrations show how the fulcrums, levers and loads interact with each other, and how they function.  Which, if any, of the above illustrations best describe the actions of your pitching and the hitting motions?


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     In force-coupling, we have one person applying two forces in opposite directions on opposite sides of a fulcrum.

     With my baseball pitching motion, the glove arm applies force toward second base and the pitching arm applies force toward home plate on opposite sides of the width of the shoulders of baseball pitchers.

     With my baseball batting technique, the rear arm applies force straight toward where baseball batters should drive pitched baseballs and the front arm applies force away from where baseball batters should drive pitched baseballs on opposite sides of the fulcrum between where their two hands grip the baseball bat.

     A man jacking up the front bumper of his car only applies one force.  A man lifting a shovel full of dirt only applies one force.  Someone using scissors to cut paper applies two forces in opposite directions on the same side of a fulcrum.  A man lifting the handles of a wheel barrow full of dirt only applies one force.  Someone sitting on one end of a seesaw only applies one force.  However, if someone also sits on the other side of the seesaw, then the two people will apply force in the same direction on the opposite side of a fulcrum.

     Therefore, this book needs at least one more example of fulcrums, levers and loads.  One where one person applies two forces in opposite directions on opposite sides of a fulcrum.  Then, they could teach baseball pitchers and hitters how to maximize the forces that they can generate.

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202.  It's taken me a little longer than expected, but I wanted to thank you for your remarkable hospitality and presentations at your certification clinic in January.  I was more than upset that I had to leave 'early, especially after arriving at the airport to find out that my plane would be delayed for over an hour.

Anyway, I wanted to let you know that I am a 'convert.'  I spent my flight rereading the handout from your book, as well as memorizing the muscles diagrammed in your supplemental handouts.  Needless to say, that was the quickest flight I've ever taken.

I work at a baseball training facility in New Jersey.  I haven't stopped talking about my two days in Z-hills.  I have slowly begun to convince the other 'pitching instructors' and made my pitch to the boss about starting a training program similar to yours.  So far, everything looks like a go for the program to start in the late summer/early fall.

I have purchased my own set of iron balls, wrist weights and small footballs, as well as making a pair of buckets (for bucket twirls) and lids (for the curveball).  And, I have begun my own training program so I will be ready to demonstrate everything to the best of my ability.

I had a couple of pitchers of mine earmarked for 'the basics' of your technique.  After a few short months, I have to say, the results have been nothing short of tremendous.  Any pain or discomfort they felt before (and thought to be normal) has vanished.

On top of that, the movement they 'discovered' in the process has opened there eyes (and especially their parents) to the possibilities of taking the next step in your training program.  Their only complaint is that their catchers are having a hard time adjusting to their new-found nasty movement!

I wanted to ask you if you would mind me taping myself performing your exercises and putting them on my upcoming website?

I would send the footage down to you first for approval, of course, and would update the videos as I improve with each exercise.  I also would like to submit the videos to YouTube for the rest of the world to see.

Just so you know, I have absolutely zero intentions of taking credit for your work, nor charging a dime to view the videos on my site.  They will simply be a free bonus with any other info I have on my site.

Please put my contact info on your website for certified instructors.

Brian Bowness
brian.bowness@yahoo.com

I can also be reached at The Baseball School in Edison, New Jersey (www.thebaseballschool.com) (908)756-6868.

When I was at your Certification Clinic, I mentioned that I was the only one at the clinic that had not seen your video.  You immediately you ran into your 'lab' and handed a copy over to me.  No questions.  No request for a red cent.

I have not forgotten (life gets in the way sometimes), and will be sending a check down to you.  After all, you deserve something for the great weekend and a tremendous DVD.  I have watched it countless times, and one of my fellow pitching instructors is watching it as I write this email.  Thanks again!


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     If everybody focuses on the goal of eliminating pitching injuries, then everything else will take care of itself and does not matter.

     I will gladly add your name to the list of Marshall Baseball Pitching Motion coaches and do whatever I can to help you in any way that I can.  While I am working as hard and fast as I can to put video on my website, I cannot predict when I will be ready.

     I am planning on taking more video of my guys doing my drills and upgrading my Baseball Pitching Instructional Video and putting it on my website.  I will gladly include your video.  Until then, feel free to put your video on YouTube or wherever else will help baseball pitchers eliminate pitching injuries.

     I wish you and your students every success.

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203.  Someone was trying to convince me last week that the best running technique is to not touch your heels to the ground, but instead run on the balls of your feet.  I always thought you would want to land on your heels to then have more power to push off as your ankles rotate in a forward motion.  Can you tell me what is the best running technique?

By the way, I am working towards getting every kid on our team to pronate and pendulum swing!   I am also going to get our pitchers to throw the 'reverse breaking pitch' (your screwball).


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     When sprinters leave their blocks, because they are running as fast as they can in straight lines, their heels do not touch the ground.  However, when football running backs run, because they have to change directions quickly, their entire foot contacts the ground.

     Therefore, how athletes run depends on their purpose.

     To teach my adult college baseball position players how to properly run the bases, I used what I called a 3/2 drill.

01.  For the first set of three ninety feet sprints from home plate to first base, I told them to imitate their batting swing and imagine that the hit ground balls down the third base line, then in the third/short hole and lastly up the middle and try to beat the throw.

     In these cases, because they are running in straight lines as fast as they can, their heels do not touch the ground.

02.  For the first set of two one hundred and eighty feet sprints from home plate to second base, I told them to imitate that they have hit a ground ball down the third base line and then up the left-center field gap.

     In these cases, because as soon as they recognized that they had a chance of an extra base hit, because, to turn the first base corner as effectively and efficiently as possible, they had to get fifteen feet outside of the home to first base line, I wanted them to plant their left foot to change their direction to their right, then, when they reached fifteen feet, plant their right foot to change their direction to parallel with the baseline.

     I marked the spot fifteen feet short of first base and fifteen outside of the home to first base line.  When my base runners reached this spot, I told them to plant their right foot on that spot and change their direction toward the first base bag.

     As they approached the first base bag, I told them that I wanted them to plant their right foot on the inside corner of the first base bag and change their direction to follow the straight line between first and second bases.

     Therefore, because they are again running in straight lines as fast as they can, their heels do not touch the ground.  However, every time that they have to plant one of their feet to change their direction, to prevent their feet from slipping and to have as broad of a base from which to apply their force, they must contact the ground with their entire foot.

03.  For the second set of three ninety feet sprints from first base to second base, I told them that they are stealing second base.  However, instead of sliding into second base, I had them run through the base in the same way that they run through first base.

     In these cases, because they are running in straight lines as fast as they can, their heels do not touch the ground.

04.  For the second set of two one hundred and eighty feet sprints from first base to third to second base, I told them to imitate that the batters have hit a ground ball up the middle and through the first/second base hole.

     In these cases, because as soon as they recognized that the baseball was going through the infield, they had a chance to take and extra base, to turn the second base corner as effectively and efficiently as possible, they had to get fifteen feet outside of the first to second base line, I wanted them to plant their left foot to change their direction to their right, then, when they reached fifteen feet, plant their right foot to change their direction to parallel with the baseline.

     I marked the spot fifteen feet short of second base and fifteen outside of the first/second base line.  When my base runners reached this spot, I told them to plant their right foot on that spot and change their direction toward the second base bag.

     As they approached the second base bag, I told them that I wanted them to plant their right foot on the inside corner of the second base bag and change their direction to follow the straight line between second and third bases.

     Therefore, because they are again running in straight lines as fast as they can, their heels do not touch the ground.  However, every time that they have to plant one of their feet to change their direction, to prevent their feet from slipping and to have as broad of a base from which to apply their force, they must contact the ground with their entire foot.

05.  For the third set of three ninety feet sprints from second base to third base, I told them that they are stealing third base.  However, instead of sliding into second base, I had them run through the base in the same way that they run through first base.

     In these cases, because they are running in straight lines as fast as they can, their heels do not touch the ground.

06.  For the third set of two one hundred and eighty feet sprints from second base to home plate, I told them to imitate that the batters have hit a ground ball up the middle and through the first/second base hole.

     In these cases, because as soon as they recognized that the baseball was going through the infield, they had a chance to take and extra base, to turn the third base corner as effectively and efficiently as possible, they had to get fifteen feet outside of the second to third base line, I wanted them to plant their left foot to change their direction to their right, then, when they reached fifteen feet, plant their right foot to change their direction to parallel with the baseline.

     I marked the spot fifteen feet short of third base and fifteen outside of the second/third base line.  When my base runners reached this spot, I told them to plant their right foot on that spot and change their direction toward the third base bag.

     As they approached the third base bag, I told them that I wanted them to plant their right foot on the inside corner of the second base bag and change their direction to follow the straight line between third base and home plate.

     Therefore, because they are again running in straight lines as fast as they can, their heels do not touch the ground.  However, every time that they have to plant one of their feet to change their direction, to prevent their feet from slipping and to have as broad of a base from which to apply their force, they must contact the ground with their entire foot.

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204.  Okay, that's good to know.  To get them to get to your slingshot position, I felt that they needed to a slow introduction, so they didn't pick up some bad mechanics.  I don't have the time to supervise them like you do.

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    I understand.  I suppose that if I had several assistants, then I could assign one to each pitcher as they did their wrist weight exercises, one to each pitcher as they did their iron ball throws, one to each pitcher as they did their football and lid throws and one to each pitcher as they did their baseball throws.

     However, the baseball pitchers have to assume some responsibility for their learning.  Therefore, I explain and demonstrate how to correctly perform each of my drills and leave it to them to work with each other to perfectly practice their skills.

     Basically, I only watch that they do not do anything that would cause injuries.  That is, I make sure that they pronate all releases, that they pendulum swing their pitching arms to driveline height and that they 'lock' their pitching upper arm with their shoulders before their glove foot lands.

     After that, I leave it to the survival of the most skilled.  That is, those who learn the skills the best become the better baseball pitchers on whom baseball coaches can rely.

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205.  I thought you might be interested in responding to this article which I saw on a website called "The Hardball Times": http://www.hardballtimes.com/main/article/bringin-some-serious-cheese-matt-cain/.

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Bringin’ Some Serious Cheese: Matt Cain
By Carlos Gomez
March 05, 2007

THE POWERFUL MECHANICS OF MATT CAIN

Let's break him down, shall we?

TEMPO

You knew I'd start here, right?  Needless to say, I certainly like how Cain goes about it.  Once he gets going, he doesn't stop.  Momentum is your friend.

Let's compare his tempo to the recently reviewed Daisuke Matsuzaka.

From the first move down from the top of their knee lifts, Dice-K and Cain are almost identical in terms of quickness down the hill.  When we looked at Oswalt vs. Dice-K, we said that Oswalt may very well be the pitcher with the quickest tempo in the majors.  If you're just slightly slower than Roy then there is no need to worry.  You are creating and delivering energy quickly enough to bring it.

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     Mr. Cain uses the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion.  This means that he brings his pitching hand back with the palm of his pitching hand facing downward.  Therefore, he has 'Late Pitching Forearm Turnover,' which leads to 'Reverse Pitching Forearm Bounce.'  As a result, with every pitch he throws, he is microscopically tearing his Ulnar Collateral Ligament.

     Unfortunately, before he starts the baseball toward home plate, Mr. Cain stops his pitching arm twice; once just before he starts his 'Late Pitching Forearm Turnover' and again at the end of his 'Reverse Pitching Forearm Bounce.'  I have no idea what Mr. Gomez was watching when he said, " Once he (Mr. Cain) gets going, he doesn't stop."

     I agree with Mr. Gomez that the continuous forward movement of the baseball and the center of mass of the body increases release velocity and eliminates unnecessary stress on the pitching arm, but Mr. Cain does neither.

     Perhaps an analogy will help Mr. Gomez understand.  When we toss balls upward, they come to a stop, then, because of gravity, they move downward.  Therefore, in terms of vector analysis, when baseball pitchers take baseballs backward, before they can move forward, they must come to a stop at least once.

     However, they do not have to come to the sudden injury-causing stops that Mr. Cain uses in his pitching motion.  Baseball pitchers can disperse the opposing force through smooth curvilinear pathways, such as my baseball pitchers do with the downward, backward, and upward to driveline height pendulum swing that I use to position the pitching arm for the forward acceleration phase.

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ARM ACTION

About as close to ideal as I like it.  I stopped the clip above at frame 14.  Here's why....

Notice how Cain's elbow goes behind him towards the first base side?  He's "loading the shoulder."  The quick, elastic "loading" and subsequent "unloading" of the shoulder is a major component of his velocity.  Ironically, many scouts and pitching coaches will say that this puts extra stress on the shoulder.  Yeah, maybe it does.  But from a velocity point of view, this is one of the main reasons he throws hard, REALLY hard.

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     Where Mr. Gomez sees perfection in the pitching arm action that Mr. Cain uses, I see 'Pitching Forearm Flyout' and the glove foot landing while Mr. Cain's pitching arm is still in his 'Late Pitching Forearm Turnover' injurious flaw.

     Where Mr. Gomez celebrates the fact that Mr. Cain takes his pitching elbow laterally behind his body as 'loading' his shoulder, I see unnecessary stress on the front of his pitching shoulder that will injure the attachment of the Subscapularis muscle to the lesser tuberosity of the head of the Humerus bone in his pitching upper arm.

     Where Mr. Gomez rejoices in the quick, elastic 'loading' and subsequent 'unloading' of the shoulder, with every pitch that Mr. Cain throws, I see microscopic tears to the Gleno-Humeral Ligaments.

     Where, because his mistakenly believes that this 'loading' and 'unloading' of Mr. Cain's shoulder gives Mr. Cain increased release velocity, Mr. Gomez does not care that this 'loading' and 'unloading' puts extra stress on the shoulder, I not only care, but I also know how Mr. Cain can achieve even higher release velocities without unnecessarily stressing the front of his pitching shoulder.  Therefore, rather than a short career, he can pitch for decades without any injury, pain or even discomfort.

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LOWER BODY

These 8 frames isolate his lower body action.

Notice how, in about frames 4-7 of that clip above, he seems to pick up speed right before foot plant.  He seems like he's stepping over something, doesn't he?  This "step-over" move is a magic velocity secret.  Done correctly, it is an easy way to pick up a few MPHs.

WOW.  Look at the torque.  Look at the separation.  On the last few frames above you can see how his lower body uncoils his upper body.  You can almost sense the tension (the good kind) in his midsection as his torso readies itself to unleash hell.

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     What Mr. Gomez celebrates as a 'step-over' move is actually 'Front Foot Float.' "Front Foot Float' occurs when baseball pitchers start to forwardly rotate their hips before their glove foot lands.  Therefore, 'Front Foot Float' decreases the velocity of the rotation of the hips and shoulders.  Because how fast baseball pitchers forwardly rotate their shoulder through release strongly influences release velocity, rather than picking up a few miles per hour, 'Front Foot Float' decreases release velocity.

     What Mr. Gomez celebrates as torque and separation are actually forces that injure the pitching arm.  Because Mr. Cain has reverse rotated his hips beyond second base, when Mr. Cain forwardly rotates his hips, he is actually applying force to the pitching arm side of his body, not toward home plate.  Therefore, Mr. Cain is applying force that slings his pitching arm laterally away from this body to his pitching arm side.  I call this, 'Pitching Forearm Flyout.

     As a result, Mr. Cain has thrown his pitching forearm, wrist, hand, fingers and baseball toward third base, which, if he were throwing the baseball to third base would work wonderfully.  Unfortunately, Mr. Cain is throwing the baseball to home plate.  Therefore, before the baseball will go toward home plate, Mr. Cain has to stop it from going to third base.  To do this, for the third time in his pitching motion, he has to decelerate the baseball to a stop.  After he stops the baseball from moving toward third base, he can apply force toward home plate.

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AT RELEASE

Let's talk about his front side.  Here's some more video:

From this side shot, there is a little "pulling of the lead arm."  Remember, yanking the glove into your hip is old-school B.S. that doesn't apply anymore.  You want your lead elbow/glove out in front.  It's almost like you bring your torso to the glove, not the other way around. According to Tom House, yanking the lead elbow/glove increases shoulder injury risk and makes your release point inconsistent.  If I were to take a stab as to why Cain's walk rate is a little high, this "slight pull" of the lead shoulder may be one of the reasons why.  He does stabilize and "firm up" the lead elbow and glove close to release, so it's not as bad as I just made it out to be.

Go back to the first clip, his full motion.

Focus on how he decelerates the arm.  He has a nice, full circular arm path when the arm slows down after release.  Also, check out those last few frames.  See how active his back leg is? It is indicative of the power he has put into his pitch.  Great, powerful, aggressive finish.

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     From is discussion of the purpose of the glove arm, Mr. Gomez shows that he has absolutely no idea about how parallel and oppositely-directed forces operation on either side of a fulcrum increases release velocity.

     While I agree that 'yanking the glove into your hip' is bad, it is bad because it forces baseball pitchers to bend forward at their waist.  Bending forward at the waist decreases the length of the driveline.  To achieve their maximum release velocity, baseball pitchers must uniformly apply their maximum force to the baseball over as great a time period as possible.  Shorter drivelines shorten the time period over which baseball pitchers can apply their force.

     Mr. Gomez says that Mr. Cain "has a nice, full circular arm path when the arm slows down after release."  The fact that Mr. Cain's pitching arm moves across the front of his body and downward proves only that he had 'Pitching Forearm Flyout.'  The pitching arm completely decelerates from the acceleration phase when the tips of the pitching fingers stop moving toward home plate.  The across the front of the body and downward movement of the pitching arm is the centripetal imperative of the force from the acceleration phase.

     Where Mr. Gomez celebrates "how active his (Mr. Cain's) back leg is?, as "indicative of the power he has put into his pitch," in reality, it only shows how powerfully Mr. Cain bends forward at his waist.  None of this force increased his release velocity, it is another wasted force that Mr. Cain has to overcome to throw the baseball in the strike zone.

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THER OBSERVATIONS

1)  I've seen around 70-80 of his strikeouts last year.  The one thing that sticks out when I watch those highlight reels is how many of his K's are fastballs.  He has a very good curve and a quick, hard slider.  However, and I'd love to see the numbers on this, most of his K's come from his fastball.  If my intuition is right (again, I'd love to see numbers), most power pitchers use their off-speed stuff as their strikeout pitches.  I would guess that say, Randy Johnson has had an equal split between fastball and slider on his K pitches. I'd say that 75%+ of the Matt Cain's strikeouts I saw were fastballs.

2)  He doesn't exactly "spot up."  I know you could've said that based on his walk rate.  But even on his strikeouts, you can tell that his location isn't his best asset.  I wouldn't call him super-wild.  He's young and there is plenty of hope.

3)  I'd like him to be more compact.  Check out the Dice-K comparison.  See how, as he brings his lead leg down from the top, his butt goes down and his torso goes forward (toward his leg).  If you see Matsuzaka's full motion, he starts straight and he brings his torso into his leg, like he's sandwiching his midsection between his upper and lower body at the top of his knee lift.  If I were to have one adjustment for Cain, it would be to do that.  It helps keep his center of gravity more consistent.

With better overall location and better utilization of his off-speed stuff, he could end up being one of those special guys that rack up plenty of K's.

Need a sleeper that may suddenly "put it all together?"

Think Matt Cain.

Carlos is a retired professional baseball player polluting the internets (sorry Dubya) with a plethora of mechanical jargon.  He welcomes questions, suggestions, JOB OFFERS (MLB teams, I'm talking to you) and comments at boilerfan20@yahoo.com.

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     I have no interest in any further observations from Mr. Gomez.

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206.  I have attached 2 small video clips of my 11 year old son.

He has completed your 1st 60 day training and he is attempting to change his pitching delivery.  We have decided to try and emulate Jeff Sparks on your 2006 pitching video.

The full wind up seems to help him get his arm back and up.  Your comments will be most helpful.  I'm not a coach nor was I ever a pitcher.  I'm just a dad trying to protect my son's arm.

I have included an actual speed and a slow 1/2 speed video for you to critique his form.

Thanks in advance.  It is unbelievable how much of your time and knowledge you share with others.
,

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     For reasons I do not know, my computer would not play your video.

     However, in my 2006 Baseball Pitching Instructional Video, the video I used of Jeff Sparks was from 1999 and 2000.  In the seven years since then, we have greatly improved on my wind-up body action.  Please use the wind-up body action that I teach today.  Your son should practice it when he completes my fourth 60-Day Youth Baseball Pitchers Motor Skill Acquisition Program.  If he has only completed my first 60-Day program, then he has two more 60-Day programs to master before he even tries my wind-up.

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207.  Thank you for sending me your critique of my critique of Matt Cain's pitching motion.

I certainly respect your opinion and your impressive credentials.  Hell, I even considered going down to Zephyrhills (If I rememeber correctly that's where you work out of) after I spoke for about 20 minutes with Jeff Sparks in a tryout in Florida a few years ago.  And I'm certainly a Jeff Sparks fan.

However, I come from the Nyman, House, Dixon school of mechanics so my views (while considered "out of the box" by most in baseball) are a little more "standard" than your views.

Although unbelievable to me now, I recongize that there is a chance that God does exist.  What I'm saying is that you could very well be right, and we messed up ALL these pitchers by having them be "conventional" throwers of the baseball.  However, at this point, Nyman makes more sense to me than you do in terms of throwing philosophies.

I wish you continued success and even better luck convincing the higher ups in MLB that your methods work as well as you know they work.

Sincerely,

Carlos Gomez


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     If you want to know for sure, then you need to come to Zephyrhills, FL and see for yourself.  Jeff is throwing even better than when you last saw him.

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208.  What I am interested in is to get a pitchers motion and say here is the fulcrum, the load and the levers.

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     To be able to point at the center of the fulcrum while the baseball pitchers forwardly rotate is between glove and pitching arm acromial processes, you will need high-speed film from the overhead view.  The levers are the glove and pitching arms. The load is the resistance that the levers overcome.

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209.  When the pitcher strides out and puts its plant foot down, should the toe be:

a)  Closed and both feet parallel (the local high school coach is teaching this).
b)  The toe slightly open (45-degree angle).
c)  The toe fully open to the catcher (I see this on more videos).
d)  Does not matter?

I feel a) is bad because of pressure to inside cruciate of knee and ankle and the twisting action to relapse the ball.  Am I wrong?


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     In the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion, because the baseball pitchers stride so far that they stop the center of mass of their body from moving forward, their glove foot becomes a brake that applies force toward home plate.  Therefore, to have the broadest base possible, they have to have their glove foot turned toward their pitching arm side.

     Also, because 'traditional' baseball pitchers start the forward rotation of their hips and shoulders before their pitching arm arrives at driveline height, to protect the front of their pitching shoulder, they have to stride closed, which means that they land about a foot to the pitching arm side of the line between where their pitching foot was on the pitching rubber and home plate.

     With my baseball pitching motion, because my baseball pitchers keep the center of mass of their body continuously moving straight toward home plate until their pitching foot lands, they step forward such that they can use their glove foot to drive the center of mass of their body forward.  Therefore, instead of using their glove foot as a brake that stops the forward movement of the center of mass of their body, they use their glove foot like a sprinter's block to accelerate the center of mass of their body forward.

     When my baseball pitchers throw my Maxline True Screwball, Maxline Fastball, Maxline Fastball Sinker and Maxline Pronation Curve, I teach them to step forward at a forty-five degree angle to the glove side of their body. I call this, a 'Drop Stride.'

     This 'Drop Stride' enables my baseball pitchers to move their release points over a foot to their glove side, which means that they release their pitches outside of the glove side corner of home plate.  Therefore, in addition to the spin axes that move these pitches to the pitching arm side of home plate, they apply lateral force toward the pitching arm side of home plate, which makes the movement toward the pitching arm side of home plate more dramatic.

     This 'Drop Stride' also enables my baseball pitchers to forwardly rotate their hips, shoulders and pitching upper arm farther forward, which means that they can show their pitching armpit to batters and use the powerful Teres Major and Latissimus Dorsi muscles to extend their pitching shoulder forward, then suddenly stop the forward movement of the pitching elbow, which, like the handle of a bullwhip, dramatically accelerates the forward movement of the pitching forearm, wrist, hand, fingers and baseball and, lastly, powerfully inwardly rotates the pitching shoulder.

     To generate all this powerful forward body movement, the entire glove foot of my baseball pitchers land with its longitudinal line turned thirty or more degrees outward, such that they can powerfully push forwardly off toward home plate.

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210.  Thank you for the information.  I was finally able to get the transcription of the MRI, and I have attached it.

In looking at your website, I saw that you are willing to look at X-rays and MRI's.  I was able to get the MRI and X-ray (of right shoulder only) on CD.  It comes with a program called CD/Web Ambassador.  Would you be interested in looking at it?  If so, what would be the best way to get it to you?

Thank you for the time you have invested in us.


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     I read the transcription.  I have no need to see the X-ray.

     The 'traditional' baseball pitching motion has several injurious flaws.  The excessive reverse rotation of his hips and shoulders is the injurious flaw that causes your son to sling his pitching arm laterally away from his body to his pitching arm side.  As a result, after he releases his pitches, his pitching arm moves across the front of his body and downward.

'Traditional' baseball pitching coaches mistakenly call this 'follow-through.'  It is not 'follow-through,' whatever that is.  It is the continuation of the 'Pitching Forearm Flyout' force.  The problem is that baseball pitchers have to safely decelerate their pitching arm to a stop.  Unfortunately, the only muscle available is the tiny Teres Minor muscle.

     He has to learn how to drive his pitching arm forward, such that he uses the powerful Teres Major and Latissimus Dorsi muscles to decelerate his pitching arm.

     To learn how to do this, he needs to complete my four 60-Day Youth Baseball Pitchers Motor Skill Acquisition Programs.

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211.  We have your Baseball Pitching Instructional Video up and running.!!!

To enable your readers to watch the video from your website, all you have to do is put the following links in your Baseball Pitching Instructional Video link page.

"http://www.lishosting.com/Credentials.asx"
"http://www.lishosting.com/ResearchBegins.asx"
"http://www.lishosting.com/InjuriousFlaws.asx"
"http://www.lishosting.com/BiomechanicalFlaws.asx"
"http://www.lishosting.com/X-raysofYouthBaseballPitchers.asx"
"http://www.lishosting.com/WristWeightTrainingProgram.asx"
"http://www.lishosting.com/IronBallTrainingProgram.asx"
"http://www.lishosting.com/FootballTrainingProgram.asx"
"http://www.lishosting.com/BaseballTrainingProgram.asx"
"http://www.lishosting.com/PickoffMoves.asx"
"http://www.lishosting.com/JamesJeffreySparks.asx"

We will meet soon to talk about what you will need to serve the videos off your own equipment.

Thanks for all you do!


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     Because of all that you have done, today, Wednesday, March 07, 2007, my Baseball Pitching Instructional Video is on my website, free for all to watch.  Thank you.

     I look forward to learning how I can do this from my office.

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212.  One of the more unbelievable things about that Tigers' tryout in Florida occurred when Sparks was throwing.  I was waiting for my turn and when Sparks came up, I immediately went behind the backstop in order the see how hard he was throwing and to chat with the scout.  I said, "That's Sparks, isn't it?"  He said, "Who?"

I thought, How do you not know who Jeff Freakin Sparks is, but I said, "You know, Jeff Sparks, Mike Marshall's pitcher.  The scout gave me a blank look.  I guess that sums up the scouting community in a nutshell.

As a matter of opinion, I didn't think he threw well that day at all.  Among other things, his velocity wasn't there as I had seen it a few years ago.  But hey, I didn't throw well either.  But I appreciated Sparks' support (he kinda rooted me on) when I threw.  Again, how they did not know who Jeff Sparks was unbelievable to me.

Carlos Gomez


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     For the first time, I drove to Lakeland, FL to watch Jeff and the other guys training with me this year throw.

     They knew who Jeff Sparks is.  But, like most 'traditional' baseball pitching coaches, they are blind to quality.  They can only scout when they have a radar gun.  The only measure of the quality of baseball pitchers is whether hitters can hit their pitches.  Name your lineup, I will take Jeff.

     I have no idea how you evaluate baseball pitchers, but I evaluate them on their ability to make the baseball move.  Therefore, Jeff threw brilliantly.

     His Maxline True Screwball was absolutely amazing, certainly better than any screwball I ever threw in my career.

     His Maxline Pronation Curve was similarly absolutely amazing.  It broke straight downward so quickly, the catcher had to catch it by slapping his glove downward.

     His Maxline Fastball Sinker had its typical over-powering downward movement.  You should watch the video of his thirty innings in the major leagues.

     His Torque Fastball Slider broke sharply to the glove side of home plate and downward.

     Because they moved so dramatically to both sides of home plate, the catcher caught both his Maxline and Torque Fastballs defensively by stabbing his glove first to his glove arm side, then to his throwing arm side.

     I do not believe that I ever threw ninety miles per hour.  But somehow, I finished first, second, fourth, fifth and seventh in the Cy Young Award.  Only those pitching coaches who have no idea how to teach their baseball pitchers how to throw pitches that hitters cannot hit believe that velocity is important.

     When Jeff pitched for the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, he struck out forty-one batters in thirty and one-third innings.

     With his eighty-eight to ninety-two miles per hour fastball, despite other pitchers who could throw in the high nineties, he regularly won the power pitch of the game award because, with my baseball pitching motion, baseball pitchers release the baseball closer to home plate than 'traditional' baseball pitchers and because, with the variety of pitches and the deception in my releases, hitters could not correctly anticipate the velocity, the movement or the location that the pitches would cross home plate. That is pitching, not throwing.

     I would put baseball pitchers like Jeff on the mound with eighty-five miles per hour fastballs who throw a variety of velocities and movement before I would put baseball pitchers who threw high ninety miles per hour fastballs and little else.

     Less we forget, like me, Jeff and my baseball pitchers are injury-proofed and can throw quality pitches ever day without any discomfort.  The 'traditional' fastball baseball pitchers need time to recover from the injuries that their baseball pitching motion causes them, such that they eventually break down.

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213.  Chris O'Leary speaks highly of you on his website, http://www.chrisoleary.com.

I announced your website on the http://www.letstalkpitching.com site.

The letstalkpitcing website has videos of professional pitchers that are easy to tear apart.  I did notice that most of them end up in the slingshot or near it, just before they release.  However, they have all the other problems you talk about that cause injuries.

Together we will save arms!


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     Mr. O'Leary and I have communicated on several occasions, but I have never been to his website.

     I did take a quick look and the letstalkpitching website.  I do not have time or interest in looking at video of professional baseball pitchers.  However, to see precisely what they do through release, I would gladly take high-speed film of them.

     At the bottom to the home page I saw, they had video of Mark Pryor, Justin Verlander and Juan Marichal.  The first thing that I noticed about all three was that Mr. Pryor is the only one who has 'Late Pitching Forearm Turnover' and 'Reverse Pitching Forearm Bounce.'

     That is because he is the only one who has his pitching hand on top of the baseball during his backward swing.

     It should be easy for everybody to see why, when I first saw his pitching motion, I said that he would have pitching elbow and shoulder injuries.  If he would simply take the baseball back with his pitching hand facing forward, then he would not have 'Late Pitching Forearm Turnover' or 'Reverse Pitching Forearm Bounce,' and he would not have the injury problems that he has.

     Now, if I could only teach him how to pronate the releases of all pitches.

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214.  A friend of mine received his MBA from Harvard.  His undergraduate degree is in engineering.  So, like you, he’s smarter than your average bear.  I have watched your DVD twice and then have been sharing it with some of my open-minded friends.  His feedback mirrors my own and a mutual friend, another engineer.

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Fascinating DVD.

Despite the video quality and presentation style, this is an impressive integration of physics, biomechanics and physiology.  I would not be at all surprised if he is on to something.

There is an old rule of thumb that says that in order for a new thing to replace an old thing, the new thing must be at least ten times as good as the old thing.  For example, for people to get excited about a new internet service it has to be at least ten times faster than their existing service and a new broadcasting standard needs to deliver at least ten times as many pixels as the previous one and so on.

This may explain the resistance to acceptance here.  How much injury reduction?  How much more velocity improvement?  The testimonial at the end is impressive, but there are a lot of guys who throw 93 mph.

The real question is: How can we take advantage of this?

One problem is that the DVD doesn’t really focus on teaching you his technique.  Yes, it shows some videos of pitchers “doing it right”, and there are some detailed exercises, but for the most part he concerns himself with an “infomercial” about how traditional pitching is a disaster and how his methodology is superior.

After watching the video, although I have a pretty good idea conceptually of what he is saying, I can not confidently execute the motion recommended, and I certainly couldn’t teach it to a 9 to 12 year old.

From a practical stand point, there is probably an 80/20 rule at play here.  Our challenge is, can we figure out a way to fairly quickly get a significant portion of the benefits that he is describing.  I would suggest at least two possible next steps.

First of all, I’m wondering if there aren’t some readily available alternatives that already exist.  My sons have regular lessons at our baseball training center.  They have methodology which has some definite similarities to what Marshall is saying (no twisting, moving the ball in a straight line towards the plate, etc.)  They also have a strong anecdotal track record of having pitchers, who had arm trouble, who no longer feel pain after working with them.  Neither of my sons ever have elbow soreness after a lesson.

I want to review parts of the video with my sons to sense what is really different.  I will also have a follow up discussion this weekend with the head guys at our baseball training center to see if they are familiar with this methodology and the degree to which they overlap.  If the approaches are similar enough, we might be able to get 80% of the benefit by having one of their guys teach our coaches and pitchers as part of our March clinic.

In addition, if Marshall is interested in dialog, we might send him an e-mail asking, “What are the three things we could implement right now, for 9 to 12 year olds, that would decrease the chance of injury while increasing pitching velocity and effectiveness.


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     I appreciate the time everybody took to critique my Baseball Pitching Instructional Video.  Your comments mirror comments that I have received from others; especially that my video is not sufficiently user friendly.  That is, after watching the video, viewers are not sure what they should do.

     The answer is that they should use my Wrong Foot body action; Slingshot glove and pitching arm actions drill with adjusted-size footballs and square four-gallon lids to teach their sons how to pronate the releases of the four basic pitches that I teach.

     I also need better graphics to show why baseball pitchers should not use the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion.  And, instead of listing most if not all of the injurious flaws inherent in the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion, I should focus on the serious career-ending injurious flaws.

     I was pleased to read that one gentleman believes that the pitching coach to whom he sends his sons use concepts that I introduced only a few years ago, namely reverse rotate the hips, shoulders and pitching upper arm only to point at second base and drive the baseball in straight lines toward home plate.  That his sons do not have any soreness in their pitching elbows after lessons indicates that they do not have 'Late Pitching Forearm Turnover' or 'Reverse Pitching Forearm Bounce.'

     Is my baseball pitching motion is ten times better than the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion?  That depends on the value we put on not permanently deforming the pitching arms of our children.  With my baseball pitching motion, my baseball pitchers never rupture their Ulnar Collateral Ligament or the attachment of the Subscapularis muscle, lose extension or flexion ranges of motion in their pitching elbow and more, significantly increase their release velocity and learn how to throw pitches that 'traditional' baseball pitchers cannot throw.  What is ten times worse than zero injuries?

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215.  We were sort of attacked by a poster on this forum that Jeff Sparks did not throw with your mechanics.  The following was my reply to him.  I hope I got everything right.  Let me know if I am wrong.

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I know Jeff has some forearm flyout and is not perfectly linear.  Those are ideals.

The students down there are better with the mechanics, but like everyone, they have traditional mechanics locked in their head and have to break all that muscle memory.

My 14 year old can do it quite well with no loss of velocity.  My son was classically trained by pros 6 years ago, and is breaking the old forms for this superior motion.

To see Jeff throw in person, it looks nothing like traditional.  You may not have seen the last part of the Sparks section, it takes a few seconds to load after the "Thanks Gene" screen.

When it first loads, you can skip to the next section in the sparks section of the video by pressing the fast forward button and if you look at the side view of the high speed film, you will see Jeff is off the rubber at least 2 feet when he releases the ball and his head is directly above his landing foot.  He has so much forward momentum that he can not stop when facing the batter and must turn toward first base.  That adds up to about 5-6 feet closer to home plate at release.

The traditional motion has the landing foot several feet in front of the pitchers landing foot and his foot still on the rubber at release (learned from a Tom House Video and look at any picture of Tom Seaver).

That is the key to the difference plus the all-important pronation that separates the elbow joints so there is no slamming of the humerus into radial head of the radius bone.  All the great pitchers of longevity pronated before release, it just was so fast you cant see it with the naked eye.  Look at some high speed video of Clemons.

Windows media player will let you pause, go forward and backward on this video to see it more clearly.


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     Because of just this confusion, I almost did not include the James Jeffrey Sparks section in my Baseball Pitching Instructional Video.  However, in the end, I felt that I had to show why what Chuck LaMar of the Tampa Bay Devil Rays did to Jeff was so mean spirited, I included it.

     However, in 1999 and 2000, I was still trying to appease the 'traditional' baseball pitching coaches.  Therefore, we tried to disguise how we were changing the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion.  Yes, we lifted the glove leg, but we did not reverse rotate the hips and shoulders too far beyond second base.  Yes, we took the baseball back with our pitching hand on top of the baseball, but we powerfully pronated our releases.  Yes, we used a Set Position with base runners on base, but we made sure to step to the glove side of the line between where we placed our pitching foot on the pitching rubber and home plate.

     In short, we did things that limited the quality of the pitches we threw.  A few years ago, I decided that appeasement was wrong.  As a result, for the sole purpose of fooling 'traditional' baseball pitching coaches I no longer teach those mechanical flaws.  As I expected, they have responded angrily.  Now, despite higher quality pitches, striking batters out and the ability to pitch frequently without discomfort, they refuse to even let my kids pitch the way I teach.

     Even with the quasi-traditional pitching motion, Jeff only released his pitches between one and two feet closer to home plate than 'traditional' baseball pitchers.  Nevertheless, because hitters expect his fastballs to arrive one to two feet later than they do, they still cannot respond in time to hit the baseball with any force.

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216.  I have two questions.

1.  Would fast-pitch softball pitchers benefit from training with wrist weights and iron balls?

2.  My son is trying to improve his vertical jump.  He asked me if there was any way to use underload/overspeed in jumping.  I can't think of any way to do that.  Any ideas?


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01.  Everybody would benefit from my wrist weight and iron ball training programs.  However, how I teach my baseball pitchers to use their wrist weights and iron balls is not specific to fast-pitch softball pitching.

02.  I think that fat guys who vertical jump then lose weight probably end up vertical jumping higher.  Therefore, you could fatten your son up for awhile, then have him lose the extra weight.

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217.  I would like to know what you suggest is a good number and sequence for a pitcher throwing bull pens with 2 weeks before his first game?  He has been working out on regular basis conditioning and strengthening.  At this point he's been throwing around 50 pitches twice a week from the mound.  Too much or not enough?

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     Without knowing your son's biological age, I cannot answer your question.

     If he is less than thirteen biological years old, then I do not recommend that he pitches competitively.

     If he is thirteen biological years old and has completed my four 60-Day Youth Baseball Pitchers Motor Skill Acquisition Programs, then I recommend that, to prepare to pitch his one inning in a game twice a week for two consecutive month, he throws twenty-four pitches, six of each of the four types of pitches that I teach.

     If he is sixteen biological years old and has completed my 120-Day High School Baseball Pitchers Interval-Training Program, then I recommend that, to prepare to pitch his two times through the lineup once a week and one time through the lineup once a week for four consecutive months, he throws thirty-six pitches, nine of each of the four types of pitches that I teach.

     If he is nineteen biological years old and has completed my 280-Day Adult Baseball Pitchers Interval-Training Program and my six Wrist Weight and Iron Ball Recoil Interval-Training Programs, then I recommend that, to prepare to pitch his three times through the lineup twice a week for six consecutive months, he throws forty-eight pitches, eight of each of the six types of pitches that I teach.

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218.  I tried saving the file as a different type of video.  Could you please evaluate how well he is doing your baseball pitching motion.

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     The video worked.  Nice going.

     Your son has a nice pendulum swing.  He will never rupture his Ulnar Collateral Ligament.

     He does not excessively reverse rotate his hips, shoulders and pitching upper arm.

     At thirty frames per second, I cannot evaluate how well he pronates the releases of his pitches.

     Unfortunately, he steps forward before he pendulum swings his pitching arm to driveline height.  This unnecessarily stresses the front of his pitching shoulder.  He should wait until his pitching arm passes behind his pitching hip to step forward with his glove foot.

     He also bends forward at his waist.  He needs to stand tall, forwardly rotate and lean back through release.  If he is stepping too far forward to stand tall, then he needs to step shorter and forwardly rotate his pitching hip forward faster.

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219.  I am still at war with the guy arguing your mechanics.  I thought you might like to read my last response.

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Dr. Marshall freely admits that Jeff's Mechanics are not exactly what he teaches today.  They are closer to traditional, but different in key ways.

I have a Tom House Video that is 5 years old on my TV set that teaches no such thing about the head being above the landing foot at release.  He must have learned that from Dr. Marshall and added it on since then.

I just know this one thing:

My elbow does not hurt throwing with Dr. Marshall's Mechanics and I throw harder than I ever have.  I am 50 years old, only played little league ball and before this motion, every time I threw with my kid, I was in pain.  Now I have no pain and throw 10 mph harder.

You are welcome to believe what you want, but there are hundreds of pitchers injured every year throwing traditional and Dr. Marshall has found a way to prevent it.  I have seen so many kids come off the mound with shoulder and elbow problems that it just makes me sick.  I can not believe ANYONE with any sense at all would want to see kids injured.

Throwing traditional HAS BEEN PROVEN to injure arms.  Ask any orthopedic how many pitching arm injuries cases he sees a year.  Multiply that by how many towns that play youth baseball and you will have a staggering number.

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Doc, I am finished arguing with him.  He must be a sadist who enjoys seeing people in pain.

Thank you for all that you have done for us all!


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     You did well.  If he has specific questions, please feel free to refer him to me.

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220.  There were some people having a problem viewing the sections of your Baseball Pitching Instructional Video.  My engineer found the issue and corrected it.  So if you get any complaints, please tell them to try again.

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     I am glad that you learned of the problems and more glad that you knew how to fix them.  I appreciate what you are doing.  I believe that making this video available to everybody will save pitching arms.

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221.  Just a quick note to thank you for your time you spent with me this past week.  The visit gave me a much better perspective on your work and I was thoroughly impressed with what the guys were doing.  I only wished I could have spent more time.  I will stay in touch and continue to learn.

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     We appreciate the visit.  I will do whatever I can to help you save the pitching arms of the youth baseball pitchers that the baseball coaches you are training will coach.

     With the help of friends in our fight to eliminate pitching injuries, my Baseball Pitching Instructional Video is free on my website for all to watch.  My job is to continue to make the video more user friendly.

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222.  If you receive any complaints about the sections of your Baseball Pitching Instructional Video not working, please forward them to me so that we can address them right away.

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     Will do.  Thank you.

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223.  Is it illegal to start you motion toward home plate by starting with the wrong foot?  For example, can a right handed pitcher, with both feet on pitching rubber facing directly toward home plate, step forward with his right foot and pitch?

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     When I used my Wrong Foot body action; Pendulum Swing glove and pitching arm actions drill to teach my college baseball pitchers how to properly use their pitching arm and forwardly rotate their hips, shoulders and pitching upper arm, because they felt as though they threw the baseball with greater intensity and better releases, many of them asked whether they could use this motion to pitch in games.

     I would let them fool around throwing to catchers in the bull pen and even batting practice to hitters with this motion and they did throw with great quality and control.  However, compared with when they learned how to properly perform my Step Back Wind-Up body action; Pendulum Swing glove and pitching arm actions baseball pitching motion, their eventual release velocity was about ten miles per hour less.

     But, your question is whether baseball pitchers could use my Wrong Foot Pendulum Swing baseball pitching motion in competitive games.

     First, if baseball pitchers start with both feet on the pitching rubber, then they have to step back with one of them.  If they step back with their pitching foot, then the umpire will believe that they are disengaging the pitching rubber and, if they stepped forward and pitched, they would call a 'quick pitch' balk.  Therefore, they could not then step forward with their pitching foot and throw the baseball.

     However, if baseball pitchers start with their glove foot on the pitching rubber and their pitching foot one step behind the pitching rubber and their hands together in front of their body, then they could use their glove foot at their pivot foot and step forward with their pitching foot and throw the baseball.  The rule book does not say which foot has to be the pivot foot.

     When they practice my Wrong Foot Pendulum Swing throws, I have my baseball pitcher practice as though they are pitching.  They learn to throw strikes with high-quality releases.  Then, the challenge is to similarly forwardly rotate their hips, shoulders and pitching upper arm with my Step Back Wind-Up Pendulum Swing baseball pitching motion.  When they learn how to do this, they lengthen their drivelines and, as a result, increase their release velocity.

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224.  I read that to develop power, one should train with 30% of their one repetition maximum.  If this is true, when your pitchers start training with 25 pound wrist weights, they would have to be capable of doing one repetition with 80 pounds.  This seems like alot of weight to be capable of moving over your head in a pitching motion.  This makes me question this theory.

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     If we have two athletes who can move the same maximum weight through whatever range of motion, the more powerful athlete moves the weight through that range of motion in less time.

     In baseball pitching, athletes want to move five and one-half ounce baseballs through the range of motion as fast as the can.

     While we would not believe that when they try to move this light baseball through the baseball pitching range of motion, they would need very strong bones, ligaments, tendons and muscles, the fact that 'traditional' baseball pitchers can break their bones, rupture their ligaments and tendons and tear muscle tissue proves otherwise.

     However, when they stop using the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion and start using my baseball pitching motion, they stop breaking their bones, rupturing their ligaments and tendons and tearing their muscle tissue.

     Nevertheless, my baseball pitchers want to achieve their genetic maximum release velocity.  To achieve their maximum genetic release velocity, they must learn first how to apply their force in perfect straight lines with perfect timing of the contractions of the muscles of the shoulder girdle, shoulder joint, elbow joint, forearm joint, wrist joint, hand joint and finger joint.

     Then, they have to train these muscles how to move their bones through this perfect range of motion in as little time as they possibly can.  That is, they have to send maximum intensity Central Nervous System nerve impulses to these muscles in the perfect motor unit contraction and relaxation sequence for my baseball pitching motion.

     To do this, they have to strengthen their bones, ligaments, tendons and muscles to withstand the stress far beyond their maximum intensity force.

     Therefore, to achieve their maximum power for whatever range of motion, athletes must:

01.  Master the perfect force application method for that range of motion,

02.  Strengthen the involved bones, ligaments, tendons and muscle to withstand stress way beyond the stress of their maximum intensity force and

03.  Train at maximum intensity every day for the many years that they want to continue to increase their ability to move faster through their specific range of motion.

     For baseball pitching:

01.  I have determined what I believe is the perfect force application method for the baseball pitching range of motion.

02.  From years of training myself and others, I have determined that thirty pound wrist weights and fifteen pound iron balls train the bones, ligament, tendons and muscles well beyond the stress of the maximum intensity force that any baseball pitcher could ever apply to baseballs.

03.  Now, to determine when my baseball pitchers can no longer increase their release velocity, I need athletes to train maximally every day for several years while I high-speed film and reliably measure their release velocity.

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225.  Due to a planned power outage by our power company, our video server will be off line all weekend.  We will return it to normal operation on Monday.

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     I will let me readers know.  Thank you.

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226.  I understand the concept very clearly.  However, it seems to me that at the January 13th Certification Clinic weekend, you said that from the set position, when there is a runner on base, the umpires wouldn't let your pitching style take the foot behind the back of the rubber, to start a forward movement.

Thus, I am tinkering with the idea of a motion with a runner on base that is quick to home with no loss of velocity and movement.  I have my pitcher with both feet on top of the rubber and he comes to the set position facing home plate. then he starts toward home with his wrong foot, continues to take another step and pivot on his correct foot.

When he wants to check the runner he steps back with the wrong foot to 2nd base and thus becomes a fielder and can throw to any base.  So, in your opinion, is the move toward home legal?


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     The rule book difference between the Set Position and the Wind-Up is that, with the Set Position, baseball pitchers must have their glove foot on the ground in front of the pitching rubber.

     What I was talking about when I said that once my baseball pitchers stepped backward off the pitching rubber with their glove foot is that stepping backward off the pitching rubber with the glove foot indicates that baseball pitchers are going to throw the baseball to home plate.  Therefore, once they step back off the pitching rubber, they cannot then throw the baseball to first base.

     With what you suggest, that is, having baseball pitchers step forward first with their pitching foot, then step forward with their glove foot and throw the baseball violates the rule that the pivot foot must remain in contact with the pitching rubber.  While the rule book does not tell us which foot baseball pitchers must use as their pivot foot, it does require that whichever they use must remain in contact with the pitching rubber.

     In reality, however, when they release their pitches, even 'traditional' baseball pitchers have moved their pivot foot forward off the pitching rubber.

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227.  I just received your DVDs.  WOW!  David Cone and Whitey Ford never mentioned anything about all this.  Scary.

  I'm going to have my 11 year old's elbows X-rayed and send copies of the X-rays to you as you suggested.

We are going to work on your techniques this weekend.  I can not thank you enough.


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     You should wait until one week of his next birthday to X-rays his glove and pitching elbows.

     The first thing that your son needs to learn is how to pronate the releases of all pitches.  Therefore, to teach him how to pronate the releases of all pitches, you need to get an appropriately-sized football and the square lid off a four gallon bucket and use my Wrong Foot body action; Slingshot glove and pitching arm actions drill.  Until he masters how to pronate the releases of all pitches with the football and lid, he should not touch a baseball.

     You need to download a copy of my First 60-Day Youth Baseball Pitchers Motor Skill Acquisition Program.

     Please keep me updated.

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228.  In Chapter 29 of your Coaching Baseball Pitchers book, you discuss flaws in the traditional pitching motion.  You write:

"1)  Flaw:  Pull The Pitching Arm Across The Body

        When 'traditional' baseball pitchers pull their pitching arm across their body, they apply force in an arc.  Therefore, they have to release the baseball tangent to that arc.  This action not only greatly reduces the consistency of their releases, but it also unnecessarily stresses the Teres Minor muscle and the posterior capsule."

I understand this flaw.

"2)  Flaw:  Inwardly Rotate The Upper Arm

        When 'traditional' baseball pitchers inwardly rotate their upper arm and pull their pitching elbow downward, they also apply force in an arc.  Therefore, they have to release the baseball tangent to that arc.  This action not only greatly reduces the consistency of their releases, but it unnecessarily stresses the Supraspinatus muscle."

I do not understand this.  I am pretty sure you want your guys to powerfully inwardly rotate their upper arms when they pronate their forearms to release.  Why is this a flaw in the traditional pitching motion?  When you say they pull their arms downward do you mean straight downward or downward across the front of their body?  Perhaps the flaw should be renamed "Pulling the Arm Downward"?


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     You will notice that I have rewritten both of these paragraphs to include the words, 'traditional' baseball pitchers.  My baseball pitchers never try to apply force to their baseballs in an arc.

     To clarify the flaw, I have also rewritten the second paragraph.

     "When 'traditional' baseball pitchers inwardly rotate their upper arm, such that the pitching forearm points downward.  This action exceeds the limits of the muscle that decelerates the the pitching upper arm to safely decelerate the pitching upper arm to inwardly rotate.  As a result, they unnecessarily stress the attachments of the rotator cuff muscle that outwardly rotates the head of the Humerus bone, the Teres Minor."

     I want my baseball pitchers to extremely powerfully inward rotate their pitching upper arm.  But, instead of pointing their pitching forearm downward, I teach them to 'stick' their pitching forearm, wrist, hand and fingers into the strike zone.

     To extremely powerfully inwardly rotate their pitching upper arm, I teach my baseball pitchers how to not only use their Subscapularis muscle, but also how to use their Teres Major and Latissimus Dorsi muscles.

     Then, because they use the Teres Major and Latissimus Dorsi muscles to forwardly stop their pitching upper arm to a stop before they start to inwardly rotate their pitching upper arm, they have positioned their Middle and Posterior Deltoid muscles in position to safely decelerate that inward rotation.

     In the final analysis, proper force application techniques for all high-velocity human movements comes down to what muscles can we put in position to powerfully accelerate and decelerate the bones to which they attach.

     Thank you for pointing out the lack of clarity in this section of Chapter Twenty-Nine of my Coaching Baseball Pitchers book.  I will make the necessary rewrites.

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229.  I have come to your website thru my oldest son, who heard you on the radio in Chicago.  He called me to tell me to look you up on the internet and to get your books and DVD.  My youngest son, 16, is a junior in high school.  He is a left-handed pitcher with very good promise to go to the next level.  He has been suffering from elbow pain every time he throws.

We have been to several doctors who have taken X-rays and a MRI that showed nothing.  This last doctor's visit was different.  The doctor is sending him to a hand, wrist, elbow guy to take a look at his Ulnar nerve.

Now, he has been video taped and studied to make sure his form is correct, which we have been told by several qualified pitching coaches that he has excellent form.  Even the Toledo Mud Hens pitching coach said he sees nothing wrong with his delivery for his elbow to hurt.

I would love all the help he can get.  I would hate to think that career is over, just when it was supposed to start.  He has some big colleges looking at him, and this is the year he is supposed to shine.  Could you please help us?


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     You did not describe the elbow pain that your son has.  That the doctor talked about the Ulnar Nerve indicates that he complained of tingling down the little finger side of his pitching forearm and maybe in his little finger and little finger side of his ring finger.

     The cause of his pain is that he uses the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion.  He may have excellent form for the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion, but that motion destroys the pitching arms of major league baseball pitchers.  What do you think that it is doing to your son?

     I have designed a baseball pitching motion that does not have any injurious flaws.  If your son goes to my website at www.drmikemarshall.com, then he can open my FREE BOOK!!! file and read the chapters of my book for free and he can go to my Baseball Pitching Instructional Video file and watch the sections of my video for free.

     The first thing that he has to learn is how to pronate the releases of his pitches.  Then, he has to learn how to apply force to the baseball in straight lines toward home plate.

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230.  I am a Little League coach in west central Ohio.  My dad was on the way to work the other day, and heard on 700 WLW that there was a free book to prevent injuries in young pitchers.  If this is true, could you email me the info on how to receive this book?  If he was mistaken, I apologize.  Could you please send any info on the videos and books you have to offer?

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     Your father was right.  If you go to my website at www.drmikemarshall.com, to read my Coaching Baseball Pitchers book for free, then you click on FREE BOOK!!! and if you want to watch my Baseball Pitching Instructional Video for free, then you click on Baseball Pitching Instructional Video.

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231.  Thanks for your alacritous response.

My son shall be 12 in 4 months.  Should we not get an X-ray?

We've been throwing footballs over the fall & winter, pronating.  We have been soft-tossing baseballs using YOUR pronation, thumb down technique a few times.

How do I:

01.  Download, First 60-Day Youth Baseball Pitchers Motor Skill Acquisition Program?

02.  Were we to receive a BOOK with our purchase of DVD?

Also, since my son has a "new hero" and is interested in being a doctor as well, we forwarded you a baseball and a FedEx label so you could sign and return.  Would you do that for us?


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     You should have the X-rays taken within one week of his birthday.

     I will be very interested in how quickly your son learns to achieve the proper spin axes with his appropriately-sized football and lid throwing with my Step Back Wrong Foot body action; Slingshot glove and pitching arm actions drill.

01.  To make your copy of any of my Pitcher Training Programs, you click on the Pitcher Training Programs icon on the home page of my website.  Once you are inside that file, you click on my First 60-Day Youth Baseball Pitchers Motor Skill Acquisition Program, highlight it and click copy in your Edit menu.

02.  To read and copy any chapter in my Coaching Baseball Pitchers book, you click on the FREE BOOK!!! icon on the home page of my website.  Once you are inside that file, you can click on any chapter, highlight it and click copy in your Edit menu.

     I could not find a self-addressed stamped envelop with which to return the baseball to you.

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232.  I would like to get a copy of the latest Jeff Sparks DVD showing his motion and comparison to Roger Clemens.  I have bought your 2006 Pitching Video.  You should have my address on file; if not, I will provide it.

I was glad to see that one of the coaches who attended your January certification clinic is from my area in NJ.  Now I have to convince my knucklehead 14 year old son (who is about to pitch on his HS Freshman team) to go for a few mechanics lessons.  He refuses to go for some lessons.

The instructor said that he will be starting a conditioning program in the fall, but for now he can give my son some help in adjusting his mechanics to accommodate the key points of your pitching motion.

Thanks for what you are doing.


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     I did not do the comparison between Jeff Sparks and Roger Clemens.  What I have is the DVD I made from high-speed film I took of Jeff on December 15, 2006.  If you want than DVD, I will gladly make a copy and send it to you.

     At the very least, even if he wants to continue to use the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion for now, your son should be using my Step Back Wrong Foot body action; Slingshot glove and pitching arm actions drill to learn how to pronate the releases of all the pitches he throws.

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233.  I have read your material with great interest over the space of several years and have a question.  You may have answered this previously and if so please excuse and direct me to it on your site.

I have a young pitcher who has been a very successful pitcher since his early teens and had labrum surgery at age twenty.  After laying out for a year, he came back with a very successful year-no pain-good velocity-good control with all his pitches and a 1.0/9+K ratio.

Now in his second season after surgery he has felt a slight numbness/tingling in the fingers of his pitching hand which has cut into his effectiveness.  He is able to maintain his velocity and throw his curve with good movement, but he says his locating the pitches is just not as sharp as it should be because he can't feel the ball coming out of his hand as well.

Dr's he has seen don't seem to have made much of an effort to do much of a work up to determine what the cause might be.  Thought maybe there was something that might come to your mind as to what to look for.


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     In which fingers does he feel the slight numbness and tingling in his pitching hand?

     In all likelihood, it is his little finger and the little finger side of his ring finger.  If so, then he is irritating his Ulnar Nerve where is passes through his pitching elbow in the groove behind his medial epicondyle.

     When, at the end of their transition phase, 'traditional' baseball pitchers bring the pitching hand close to their head, they cause a 'looping' action with the pitching forearm that coupled with the 'Pitching Forearm Flyout' unnecessarily irritates the Ulnar Nerve.

     This action also caused the posterior shoulder pain that he had earlier.

     He needs to learn how to keep his pitching hand the full length of his pitching forearm behind his pitching elbow, drive his pitching hand straight toward home plate and pronate all releases.

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234.  I truly appreciate you getting back to me.  My son never felt the tingle down to his fingers.  He said it went half way down his forearm then back up.

I watched your video on your pitching form.  From the looks of it he steps way too far, bends over to much, which he has had back pain before, and the rotating of the wrist probably would help the most.  Other than that he looks allot like the boys in the video.

Thanks so much for you info.  I will let you know how he is doing with the new form.

Could you tell me where Zephyrhills, Florida is located?


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     If the tingling went down the little finger side of his pitching forearm, then he could be irritating his Ulnar Nerve.  That means that he is 'looping.'  A hand doctor has no ideas how to teach your son to stop 'looping.'

     If your son raises his glove leg, reverse rotates his hips and shoulders beyond second base, takes his pitching hand laterally behind his body with the palm of his pitching hand on top of the baseball, strides closed too far, bends forward at his waist, then he does not look like the baseball pitchers that I train.

     Zephyrhills, FL is twenty-five miles northeast of Tampa.

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235.  I just learned that our town's Cal Ripken Major League (11 and 12 year olds) will be using a larger field with 50 foot pitcher's mound and 70 foot bases.  Runners can now lead and steal at will (versus last year when they needed to maintain contact with the bag until the ball crossed the plate.)

When I played in my youth, we moved up to this size field and stealing rules at the age of 13 as a transition year before moving up to a regulation field as 14 year olds.  The approach seemed to make sense as it roughly coincided with puberty.

With this current change, the field size concerns me a bit, but I am also concerned about the overall impact on  the game.  It is difficult enough for young pitchers to get the ball over the plate.

Now they have to be taught a motion from the stretch and will be pre-occupied with runners getting a jump.  Call me old fashioned, but in their attempt to move toward "real" baseball, I believe this change will be detrimental to the players, both physically and mentally.  I was hoping to get the Marshall view.


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     Obviously, because I recommend that, until they are biologically thirteen years old and have mastered the skills of my baseball pitching motion, youth baseball pitchers should not pitch competitively, I would strongly oppose anything that would increase the stress on their growth plates even worse than before.

     However, the responsibility for their safety resides with their parents.  All parents have to do is take care of their sons and whatever these child growth and development ignoramuses do does not matter.  Let their sons do all the pitching.  Then, they can explain to their sons why they destroyed their pitching arms on the alter of youth baseball.

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236.  Yes, I'd like the Jeff Sparks 2006 DVD.  What are you charging for it?

Thanks for the advice for my son.  I'll try to convince him to do it and work with the coach who came to your clinic in January.  Keep up the good work.


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    I am making a copy of the Sparks DVD and will put your copy in the mail today.  To help me with the costs of my website and getting the equipment that I need to host my Baseball Pitching Instructional Video, I appreciatively accept whatever donations readers want to send.

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237.  I should wait on the X-ray?  My son is 4 months shy of 12.

I included a FedEx return with the baseball I sent you.  I'll forward you a U.S. mail return envelope if that is easier or would a FedEx envelope and prepaid slip be equally convenient for you?


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     You need to start an annual record of the development of the growth plates in his pitching elbow.  To do that, you need to take the X-rays within one week of his birthday until, at biological sixteen years old, the growth plates in his elbows completely mature.

     I do not sign autographs.  However, for the serious collector, a couple of years ago, I signed five hundred baseballs, baseball cards and photographs. To inquire as to their availability, you may telephone Mr. Bill Corcoran at (813)972-8175.

     I did not find the FedEx envelope and prepaid slip or I would have returned the baseball to you.

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238.  My son is 14 years old and plays for the Zephyrhills LL organization.  I was wondering if you offer a pitching camp for someone his age.  I have read through your website and have met some college players who attend your camp.  He is a left-hand batter and pitcher.  I would be interested in him attending one of your camps.

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     I only teach high school and junior college graduates.  However, during the time that they train with me, some of the guys coach youngsters.  But, they are here only until the end of May.

     However, you and he are welcome to visit my Pitching Research/Training Center whenever you want.  We train every day from 9:00 to 10:30AM.

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239.  I notice that you have your pitching video on a hosting server so visitors to your website can view the video online.  I was wondering if you could give me the name and email address of the person who found this video hosting service for you.  I'd like to use a video hosting server to store game films of my son's high school games.

  Hopefully, I could use the same video hosting service that you are using.


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    The gentleman temporarily hosting my Baseball Pitching Instructional Video is one of my Certified Marshall Baseball Pitching Motion Instructors.  Until I can get the equipment and knowledge that I need to host my video myself, he is doing me a personal favor.

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240.  I'm going to cut to the chase.  In high school, I got cut from the baseball team because I was new to the area, even though I did get MVP on the basketball team.  My point being, I lost contact with the sport for the following 20 years.  And now I want to make a comeback!

I've been training for about 6 months and my arm feels great.  Can you help me with my comeback?  My problem is my time I work and go to school part-time.  Can you give me a response I can use to help bolster my attempt.


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     I recommend that you complete my 120-Day High School Baseball Pitchers Interval-Training Program.  You can find it in my Pitcher Training Programs file on my website.

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241.  I was watching the science channel the other day and they were using a high speed digital camera to record a dolphins movement.  I remember from your certification clinic that high speed film is very expensive, so your cost per use is very expensive.

I thought, it must be low cost to use since it is digital and there are no film or processing costs.  So I did a little research and found there are a lot of high speed digital video cameras available with rates up to 28,000 FPS.  One is: http://www.mikrotron.de/pdf/motionblitz_compact_xp_dsh_06_09.pdf.

You can get 6 seconds of 500 FPS high resolution video and more at lower resolutions.  The frame rate seems to be software selectable.  They do not post prices.  I have asked for some quotes to see exactly how expensive these are.  From your clinic, I understand that you may spend up to $4000 per year filming.

I will let you know more as soon as I get some quotes.


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     With fastballs at one hundred and thirty-two feet per second, to have about three inches of middle fingertip movement between frames, we need to film at five hundred frames per second.  To see how my baseball pitchers release their pitches off their middle fingertips, we also need to have great clarity.

     The question I have about digital video is the clarity.  With my pin-registered high-speed camera, each frame is a separate snapshot.  That is, the film stops, takes the picture at two thousandth of a second, moves the next frame into position and so on five hundred times per second.  With digital video cameras, the film continuously moves past the shutter.  As a result, they do not get the clarity I need.

     However, if I could get a demonstration of the digital camera in action and see whether the clarity is the same, then I would be interested in the cost information.

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242.  Here is a gallery of examples from a high-speed digital video camera.  Maybe this will give you the information you need.  The horses can fly video is of particular interest.  It was shot at 500 fps.  The car explosion was shot at 7300 fps.

http://www.visiblesolutions.com/index.cfm?sector=htm/app&page=gallery


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     It appears that my Certified Marshall Baseball Pitching Motion Coaches are on the lookout for better ways for me to high-speed film baseball pitchers.  Yesterday, I received a telephone call from another coach that he has the president of a high-speed digital video company coming to my Pitching Research/Training Center.

     Here I come, ready or not.

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243.  I am  doctoral student in nutrition working on my dissertation; True Power, The Natural Athlete.

My hypothesis is that despite the increase in some areas of athletic performance, due to the amazing number and type of injuries on all levels of competition, the approach being taken by today's athlete is inherently wrong.

Nothing could be more glaring than in the area of pitching, from little league right up to the majors.  Your approach is the only one I have found, to this point, that a) realizes this fact and b) "dares" to break from the norm and offer anything resembling an alternative solution.

With all this said, even though I have no desire to be a pitching coach, I am interested in not only taking your certification clinic, but also picking your brain on somewhat of an academic level as well.

I cannot attend the May 12 clinic.  I am a public school teacher and just cannot get the time off.  My question is; are you planning to have a clinic over the summer?


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     Do you mean that the fact that, when baseball pitchers of all ages use the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion, they continue to injure themselves at epidemic rates, that makes you believe that to continue to teach that baseball pitching motion is inherently wrong?  What a concept.

     However, to conduct my Certification Clinic, I need my athletes training on site.  They leave on the fourth Saturday in May.  Therefore, I am not able to hold clinics after that date.  Sorry.

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244.  As a former professional baseball player, I see many good reasons why someone should buy your Pitching Video.  Have you thought of putting it on TV?  If you are interested in marketing through television and then taking it to retail feel free to give me a call at your earliest convenience.

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     I am not satisfied that my Baseball Pitching Instructional Video is as viewer friendly as I want it to be.  Therefore, I will be spending considerable time this summer and fall working on improving it.  Once I am satisfied, I will look into ways to get the information to more people.

     I appreciate your interest.

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245.  I am quite interested in your work and theory on coaching pitch sequences.  I am a junior majoring in Engineering and possibly minoring in Psychology.  Because of my strong research interest in baseball, specifically in this area, I found your e-Book on Baseball Almanac, Coaching Adult Pitchers, particularly intriguing.

Most specifically, I am intrigued by what you wrote in chapter 30:  "When hitters adapt to their five pitch sequences, pitchers have to develop new hitter-specific five pitch sequences and the chess match is on."  Out of all the studies I've read on the subject, few of the more scientific studies have mentioned chess as an analogy (this association tends to appear in more qualitative analysis-based studies).

My feeling is that the two situations (pitch selection and chess move selection) are very similar.  Chess computers can, given an opponents past performance, accurately determine the move that is least likely to result in a successful endgame for the opponent.  My theory is that by analyzing a large sample of plate appearances, one might be able to minimize the productivity per plate appearance of a large number of at bats by optimizing pitch selection.  I was drawn to the mechanical nature in which you concluded which pitch sequences would produce the best results for the pitcher.

I suppose my question is not so much about your research (I don't think that what I have read goes deep enough into your scientific process for me to present a critique), but more about whether you have ongoing research involving pitch sequencing or if you know of other researchers looking into this.  Most statistical analysis out right now focuses on top level analysis (new ways to look at fundamental counting stats like HR, BB, K, etc.), and I would love to find other students of the game looking at what I like to call second level outcomes (pitch results such as swinging strikes vs. called strikes) and third level outcomes (such as projected trajectories of balls at contact) and processes (pitching mechanics affecting pitch results).

Are you aware of any research on these levels?  I know that you focus on injuries and development, so any resources on expectation you could point me to would be nice.


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     I had forgotten that Baseball Almanac published my Coaching Adult Pitchers book on their website.  At that time, I had two books; the other was Coaching Adolescent Pitchers.  Now, on my website, I have only one book; Coaching Baseball Pitchers.

     In any case, I have no idea what I had in my Coaching Adult Pitchers book. However, in my Coaching Baseball Pitchers book, that is available without charge on my website, I have an entire section, Section VI, that I titled, 'What Pitch Should Pitchers Throw First, Second and So On?.

     In Chapter 23:  Data Collection, I explained the Pitch-By-Pitch Game Sheet and Individual Hitter Sheet that I used to collect my data.  As far as I know, nobody else has kept such detailed information that they personally verified as correct immediately after each game.

     In Chapter 24: Research Findings, I provide the analyses that I made of my 1971, 1972, 1973 and 1974 seasons.  1971 was my first full year in the major leagues.  In 1972, I finished fourth in the Cy Young Award, the highest a closer had ever finished.  In 1973, I finished second in the Cy Young Award, the highest a closer had ever finished.  In 1974, I was the first closer to win the Cy Young Award.  To a large part, I credit the analyses that I made of the pitch sequences that I used against the four types of baseball batters for the success that I had.

     In Chapter 25: Pitch Sequence Study, I show how I used Cross-Tabulations of three pitch sequences with the four types of baseball batters to determine the successful pitch sequences that I should use.

     In Chapter 26: Pitch Sequence Study, I explain why I believe that specific pitch sequences work best against the four types of baseball batters.

     In Chapter 27: What Pitches Should Pitchers Master, I explain the pitches that I needed that I did not have that would increase my success.

     In Chapter 28: Pitch Sequences for Youth, High School, College and Professional Pitchers, I provide the pitch sequences that I recommend that baseball pitcher of all ages need to succeed against the four types of baseball batters.

     To my knowledge, nobody else has as carefully collected the required data for these analyses or subjected those data to type of batter specific analysis.

     With regard to fundamental counting statistics, such as BB, K, Hits, extra base hits, in my special report section, I have an article I wrote in which I used correlation coefficient to determine which of these statistics best predicted low earned run averages.  I am also unaware of any similar analysis.

     My goal is to eliminate pitching injuries.  However, I also want to show my injury-free baseball pitchers what baseball pitches that they need to master and why they need to master them.

     I believe that my research shows that, for baseball pitchers to be equally successful against all four types of baseball batters, because some pitches work well against some types of baseball batters and not others, they need to master my six basic pitches; Maxline True Screwball, Maxline Fastball, Maxline Fastball Sinker, Maxline Pronation Curve, Torque Fastball and Torque Fastball Slider.

     It also helps when they can throw my Maxline True Screwball, Maxline Fastball, Maxline Pronation Curve and Torque Fastball equally well with four seams and two seams and a two seam Torque Pronation Curve.

     It also helps when they can throw my Maxline True Screwball, Maxline Fastball and Torque Fastball equally well from both side of the pitching rubber.

     Lastly, there are special game situations when it also helps when they can exaggerate my drop-stride and cross-stride body actions with all types of pitches from both sides of the pitching rubber.

     With regard to pitching mechanics affecting pitch results, because their 'Pitching Forearm Flyout' injurious flaw prevents 'traditional' baseball pitchers from achieving vertical pitching forearms that, at release, operate independently of their pitching upper arm, they cannot pitch equally well to both sides of home plate.  Therefore, they cannot succeed against two of the four types of baseball batters.

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246.  New York City is poised to ban aluminum bats in Little League, because of the danger of line drives back through the box.  Mike Mussina is against this bill; John Franco is for it.  Would you support such a ban?

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     We have irrefutable evidence that the center of oscillation, the sweet spot, for aluminum baseball bats is larger with much higher coefficients of restitution than wood baseball bats.  To sell more aluminum baseball bats, those companies who sell aluminum baseball bats provide the research themselves.

     This means that, given identical bat speed and contact, batted baseballs leave aluminum baseball bats at higher velocities than with wood bats.  As a result, while standing less than forty-five feet away, youth baseball pitchers have little time in which to react to protect themselves.

     Therefore, I would support using wood baseball bats and baseballs with lower coefficients of restitution.  However, equally important is to make sure that biological fourteen and fifteen years old youth baseball batters are not standing only forty-five feet away from baseball pitchers.  They should stand at least fifty-two feet away from baseball pitchers.

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247.  In my son's first start of the baseball season, he had the following results.

1st inning:  one strike out, pop up to short, grounder to second.

2nd inning:  one strike out, pop up to left, grounder to first base.  Total pitch count after two innings - 19.

3rd inning:  he struck out the side.  Total pitch count 33. 4th inning:  First batter hit a quibbler to second baseman that hit the heel of his glove, went to pick it up, dropped it and threw to first underhand.  Batter safe, error on 2nd.

My son walked the next two batters to load the bases.  The next batter hit to short double play.  One run scored (unearned).

Next batter with runner at third hit a dink off the handle over the second baseman and it dropped for a single (earned run).

Next batter struck out.

That was his final inning.  He threw mostly maxline fastballs, torque fastballs, screwballs and sinkers.  Not one ball was hit hard.

Also, he hit his first High School homerun over the right/center field fence.  His head coach was at the third base coaching box and told him it went half way up the pine tree beyond the fence.  He ended up going 3 for 4 with a double and single as well.  He had so much fun.

My wife was crying when he was rounding the bases.  I cried when the second baseman had an error and allowed his first base runner to first base.  I was thinking a perfect game.

I hope all is well with you.  Thanks for all you do.


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     I love to analyze baseball games.  However, I need to have the proper information.

     In the first inning, your son stuck out the first batter.  Was it a called third strike or a swing and miss?  What pitch sequence did he use?

     If your son is going to learn how to pitch, he needs to have this information.  In Chapter Twenty-Three of my Coaching Baseball Pitchers book, I provide my Pitch By Pitch Game sheet.

     On it, you need to record the game number (01), the date (March 15, 2007), the opponent, the game site (H/A), day or night game, the hitters names, whether they bat right or left-handed, whether they are pull or spray hitters (until they prove otherwise, they are all pull hitters0, the score when each batter comes to the plate, the inning, the number of outs, whether base runners are on first, second or third bases, the pitch selection, the pitch location, the At Bat Result and any relevant information. And, you need to write (c) after called strikes and (s) after swinging strikes.

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Game # ___ Date __/__/__ Versus _____________ At ____________ Day/Night
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Hitter __________ R/L P/S Score __/__ Inning __ Outs __ 1st__2nd__3rd__
Pitches ___/___ ___/___ ___/___ ___/___ ___/___ ___/___ ___/___ Result:
Comments:

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Hitter __________ R/L P/S Score __/__ Inning __ Outs __ 1st__2nd__3rd__
Pitches ___/___ ___/___ ___/___ ___/___ ___/___ ___/___ ___/___ Result:
Comments:

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Hitter __________ R/L P/S Score __/__ Inning __ Outs __ 1st__2nd__3rd__
Pitches ___/___ ___/___ ___/___ ___/___ ___/___ ___/___ ___/___ Result:
Comments:

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Hitter __________ R/L P/S Score __/__ Inning __ Outs __ 1st__2nd__3rd__
Pitches ___/___ ___/___ ___/___ ___/___ ___/___ ___/___ ___/___ Result:
Comments:

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Hitter __________ R/L P/S Score __/__ Inning __ Outs __ 1st__2nd__3rd__
Pitches ___/___ ___/___ ___/___ ___/___ ___/___ ___/___ ___/___ Result:
Comments:

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Hitter __________ R/L P/S Score __/__ Inning __ Outs __ 1st__2nd__3rd__
Pitches ___/___ ___/___ ___/___ ___/___ ___/___ ___/___ ___/___ Result:
Comments:

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Hitter __________ R/L P/S Score __/__ Inning __ Outs __ 1st__2nd__3rd__
Pitches ___/___ ___/___ ___/___ ___/___ ___/___ ___/___ ___/___ Result:
Comments:

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Hitter __________ R/L P/S Score __/__ Inning __ Outs __ 1st__2nd__3rd__
Pitches ___/___ ___/___ ___/___ ___/___ ___/___ ___/___ ___/___ Result:
Comments:

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Hitter __________ R/L P/S Score __/__ Inning __ Outs __ 1st__2nd__3rd__
Pitches ___/___ ___/___ ___/___ ___/___ ___/___ ___/___ ___/___ Result:
Comments:

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     As I recall, your son is a left-handed pitcher.  If so, your report to me should look like:

01.  (RHB) MTSc/LA (s), TF/MA (c), MF/MI (s): Ks
02.  (LHB) TF/MA (s): F6
03.  (RHB) ---------: 43

04.  ---------------: Kc
05.  ---------------: F7
06.  ---------------: 3U

07.  ---------------: Kc
08.  ---------------: Ks
09.  ---------------: Ks

01.  ---------------: E4
02.  ---------------: BB
03.  ---------------: BB
04.  ---------------: 643
05.  ---------------: -9
06.  ---------------: Kc

     If I knew his pitch sequences, then I could explain why he gave up a single in the fourth inning.  I have a feeling that it was a right-handed batter that he jammed with a Torque Fastball.  If so, then the batter was looking for a reverse breaking pitch.  If so, your son needed to throw a two-seam Torque Pronation Curve.

     You said that he threw Maxline and Torque Fastballs, Maxline True Screwballs and Maxline Fastball Sinkers.  To become a complete pitcher, he needs to master my Maxline Pronation Curve.

     To me, the big question of this game is why did he walk two batters after his first base runner?  What pitching motion did he use?

     With no base runners, I recommend that he uses my Pseudo Traditional Step Back Wind-Up body action.  With base runners, I recommend that he uses my Drop Out Wind-Up body action.

     My Pseudo Traditional Step Back Wind-Up body action looks similar to the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion in that my baseball pitchers raise both arms over their head while they step back with their glove foot.  However, because they do not step forward with their glove foot until the pendulum swing of their pitching arm passes behind their pitching hip, they keep the proper crow-hop throwing rhythm that we need to insure that they have their pitching arm at driveline height ready to accelerate toward home plate before their glove foot lands.

     With my Drop Out Wind-Up body action, baseball pitchers have their pitching foot on the pitching rubber and their glove foot one full step length behind the pitching rubber and their hands together at their waist.  To start the pendulum swing of their pitching arm, my baseball pitchers simply drop their pitching arm beside their pitching hip and, when their pitching arm passes behind their pitching hip, they step forward with their glove foot and pitch.

     If left-handed pitchers want to hold base runner on first base close, then, as they drop their pitching hand out of their glove, they step toward first base with their pitching foot.  Because they have disengaged the pitching rubber with their pitching foot, they can choose to throw or not throw to first base.  If they chose to throw, they should use my Maxline Fastball throwing arm action.

     With my Drop Out Wind-Up body action, baseball pitchers keep their same crow-hop throwing rhythm and they can move the center of mass of their body the same distance toward home plate as with my Pseudo Traditional Step Back Wind-Up body action.

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248.  I had a great learning time at the first certification clinic.  I want a big Teres Major and I don't want to have to eat with a long spoon.

One thing that has occurred to me, and I am no means gifted with great coordination or athletic ability, is that it seems far easier to really pull the glove arm and create equal and opposite with wrist weights than it does with actual baseball throws.

Do your pitcher trainees have the same syndrome?  I didn't notice, because I was awed at how hard they were training.

Have you ever observed this glove arm thing I have noticed?  Do you know how to counter it other than just being a better animal and doing it better?


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     After years of bending forward at their waist, baseball pitchers typically drop their glove to their waist.  The challenge is to get them to stand tall and rotate.

     I am not a good drill sergeant coach.  I should yell at them about their glove arm action more.

     Instead, with my Step Back Wrong Foot body action; Slingshot glove and pitching arm actions drill, I make them point their glove arm at home plate and tell them to pull their glove hand horizontally straight back toward second base.

     Instead, with my Step Back Wrong Foot body action; Loaded Slingshot glove and pitching arm actions drill, I make them point their glove arm at home plate and tell them to pull their glove hand horizontally straight back toward second base.

     Instead, with my Step Back Wrong Foot body action; Pendulum Swing glove and pitching arm actions drill, I make them point their glove arm at home plate and tell them to pull their glove hand horizontally straight back toward second base.

     Instead, with my Pseudo Traditional Step Back Wind-Up body action; Pendulum Swing glove and pitching arm actions drill, I make them point their glove arm at home plate and tell them to pull their glove hand horizontally straight back toward second base.

     Instead, with my Drop Out Step Back Wind-Up body action; Pendulum Swing glove and pitching arm actions drill, I make them point their glove arm at home plate and tell them to pull their glove hand horizontally straight back toward second base.

     Hopefully, after a few years of these drills, they will learn how to stand tall and rotate and pull their glove hand horizontally straight back toward second base.

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249.  I'VE READ WHERE YOU CAN HELP MARK PRIOR AND KERRY WOOD OF THE CHICAGO CUBS.  I'M A GREAT FAN OF THE CUBS AND WOULD LIKE TO SEE YOU GET INVOLVED.  WHAT THEY HAVE AS A PITCHING COACH HAS NEVER IMPRESSED ME.  I KNOW YOU HAVE THE KNOWLEDGE TO CORRECT THESE YOUNG ARMS.  THEY SEEM TO ALWAYS BE HURT.  WHAT CAN BE DONE????

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     Apparently, the owners of the Chicago Cubs believe that they do not have to hold their pitching coaches accountable for the injuries to their baseball pitchers.  It seems to me that injury prevention is the first responsibility of baseball coaches.

     The problem is that there are more baseball pitching coaches that do not know how to prevent pitching injuries than know how to prevent them, such that major league baseball team owners mistakenly believe that pitching injuries are just part of the game.

     Because General Managers hire pitching coaches that do not know how to prevent pitching injuries, they would not dare hire me to show them how to prevent pitching injuries.  If they did and I succeeded, then owners would know that they have lied to them all these years.

     While it would take hard work and time for the physiological changes to take place, I have absolutely no doubt that, if Mr. Prior and Mr. Wood trained hard and mastered the skills that I teach, then they would become injury-free, dominant major league baseball pitchers.

     The direct answer to your question about what can be done is: If the General Manager hires me to fix these guys, then, for his years of incompetence, he is afraid that he will lose his job.  Therefore, the owners or the pitchers themselves have to hire me.

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250.  Everything is going good here.  I've been playing a lot of softball, which has given me the opportunity to throw about three times a week.  I am still spinning softballs and baseballs, and got the slider, curveball, and torque and maxline fastballs working.

I was throwing a baseball around with one of my teammates a few weeks ago and just hit the reverse breaking ball spin axis right.  I was actually throwing a quality sinker and skrewker.  I ask myself where those pitches were two years ago.

Doc, there isn't a day that goes by that I don't think about pitching.  The problem is that I can't see myself trying to pitch again if I can't have the tools/strength to do what I used to do.

I hope everything is doing well in Z-hills.  Shoot me an email and tell me about one of your recent phenom pitchers.


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     The frustrating aspect of learning motor skills is that nobody knows how long it will take to master them.  I never doubted that you would eventually master all my pitches.

     Because I believe that motor skill acquisition actually regresses when baseball pitchers pitch competitively, I now believe that, before they pitch competitively, talented baseball pitchers, such as you, need to complete my 280-Day Adult Baseball Pitchers Interval-Training Program and my six 72-Day Adult Baseball Pitchers Wrist Weight and Iron Ball Recoil Interval-Training Programs.

     I understand that that means that they train for seven hundred and twelve days or eighteen days short of two years.  However, without pitching competitively, they will continue to learn how to master their pitches, such that, in the long run, they end up better baseball pitchers.

     I am not trying to be mean, but I have no doubt that, especially with the new stuff we are doing, you would be an outstanding baseball pitcher.  The baseball pitchers who got to see it still say that you had the best Maxline Pronation Curve they have ever seen.  And, I now have several more guys who can also throw great Maxline Pronation Curves.

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251.  From your 2007 Q+A section:

     "While I am worried about the one thousand dollars per month website fee, I love the idea that I can put all this video and more on my website for viewers to watch without charge.  I need to learn how to do this."

I think we can get the cost way down for you.  At the moment, this is what I think your cost will be:

Windows 2003 Video Server:  $1500
Comcast Cable Connection:  $100 per month.


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     With your help, I am able to get my information to so many more people.  Thank you.

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252.  You have written previously that you teach baseball batters to reverse rotate their acromial lines in preparation for the powerful forward rotation during their swings.  Do you want batters to begin with their acromial lines open (i.e., chest facing the pitcher) and then reverse rotate so that their acromial line is parallel with the inside edge of home plate?)  Do you believe it is permissible for batters to reverse rotate their acromial lines beyond parallel with the inside edge of home plate?

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     When baseball pitchers throw pitches that are on the outside corner of home plate, baseball batters should hit those pitches through the opening between the infielders on the opposite side of the infield.

     To do this, baseball batters have to forwardly rotate their acromial line to a line that is perpendicular to the line from the batter through this opening in the infield.

     If we had an overhead view of the infield, then we could draw a line from baseball batters to that infield opening and, from that line, we could draw the baseball batters' perpendicular acromial line.

     When baseball pitchers throw pitches that are in the middle of home plate, baseball batters should hit those pitches through the opening between the shortstop and second basemen in the middle of the infield.

     To do this, baseball batters have to forwardly rotate their acromial line to a line that is perpendicular to the line from the batter through this opening in the infield.

     If we had an overhead view of the infield, then we could draw a line from baseball batters to that infield opening and, from that line, we could draw the baseball batters' perpendicular acromial line.

     When baseball pitchers throw pitches that are on the inside corner of home plate, baseball batters should hit those pitches through the opening between the infielders on the pull side of the infield.

     To do this, baseball batters have to forwardly rotate their acromial line to a line that is perpendicular to the line from the batter through this opening in the infield.

     Now, the question is:  To be able to forwardly rotate their acromial line to the proper position for all three pitch locations, from where should baseball batters start the reverse rotation of their acromial line?

     We know that baseball batters generate the greatest forward rotational force when they can forwardly rotate their acromial line at least ninety degrees.  Therefore, it would be ideal if baseball batters could start their forward rotation ninety degree from the proper position of their acromial line for the location of the pitch.

     However, because to the considerable differences of the proper position of the acromial line for the location of the pitch, if they start their forward rotation from the same position, it is impossible for baseball batters to generate the same rotational force for each location.

     Therefore, to be able to generate their greatest forward rotational force, baseball batters have to choose which of the three pitch locations they want to anticipate.

     The safest choice is the opening between the two mid-infielders.  Because that opening is perpendicular to the line from home plate to second base, baseball batters start this forward rotation with their acromial line parallel with the line from home plate to second base.

     Lastly, the question is: For how far do baseball batters need to reverse rotate their acromial lines to the proper starting position to develop the proper length of the forward rotation muscles of the thorax to generate the greatest forward rotational force.  The answer is about thirty degrees.

     Therefore, when baseball batters want to prepare to hit pitched baseballs that cross home plate in the middle, they should start their reverse rotation with their acromial line thirty degree short of parallel with the line from home plate to second base.

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253.  I have been studying your website Q & A files and watching your video so that I can learn as much as possible.  I have so many things that I would like to ask you and I don’t even know where to begin.  I am trying to watch traditional pitchers and see the flaws that you expose in your video.

Two questions: 

1)  I saw a picture of Mark Prior on CBS Sportsline on 3/17/07.  His shoulders were level to the ground, his chest forward and out over his glove leg, and his elbow looks like it is strained.  Is this the goal to “picture perfect” traditional mechanics?  Level shoulders?

2)  I know you show your traditional mechanics from 1971 in your video.  Is there any chance that you could get some film or photos that you could post that show major league player after major league player demonstrating these injurious flaws?

I, like some of your other posters, pitched in college.  I had some success, but was never a professional prospect.  I didn’t receive much training with the exception of taking my pitching hand out of the bottom of my glove so as to make my arm longer.  I will continue to read the posts and watch the video so that I can learn these mechanics.

One more thing.  I’ve seen some of your responses regarding stretching.  You say that muscles are finite and thus cannot be stretched.  Is there any benefit to stretching prior to practice or games?  If so, what is really being stretched?  If not, then what would be better?  I have a problem doing things just because that’s what everybody else does.

You are exactly what I need, someone who can tell me why.  I have so much more to ask, but that will do for now.


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     Because, with the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion, it is impossible for baseball pitchers to raise their pitching upper arm above a line that is parallel with the line across the top of the shoulders and because of the injurious 'Pitching Forearm Flyout' flaw inherent in the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion, baseball pitchers cannot separate the longitudinal line of their pitching forearm from the longitudinal line of their pitching upper arm, if they have their shoulder line horizontal at release, then they will release their pitches at shoulder height.

     I teach my baseball pitchers to release their pitches with their shoulder line at least forty-five degrees above horizontal and, to have their pitching forearm as close to vertical at release as possible, I teach my baseball pitchers how to separate the longitudinal line of their pitching forearm from the longitudinal line of their pitching upper arm.

     When baseball pitchers have vertical pitching forearms at release, they can throw fastballs, breaking balls and reverse breaking balls that move to both sides of home plate with equal quality and control.

     For our first discussion of the injurious flaws that are inherent in the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion, I will start with the first one.

     The first injurious flaw in the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion is the 'Reverse Pitching Forearm Bounce.'  The 'Reverse Pitching Forearm Bounce' occurs when 'traditional' baseball pitchers take the baseball back with their pitching hand on top of the baseball.

     Because they have their pitching hand on top of the baseball, they cannot pendulum swing their pitching arm in one motion up to driveline height.  This means that, at about thirty degrees behind their body, their pitching arm comes to a stop.

     Because they cannot throw the baseball with their pitching hand below their waist, 'traditional' baseball pitchers start to raise their pitching hand straight upward from their waist.  I call this, 'Late Pitching Forearm Turnover.'

     While they are pendulum swinging their pitching arm backward, they are moving their body forward.  As a result, when their glove foot lands, they have not yet moved their pitching forearm into proper position from which to start accelerating the baseball forward.

     Typically, when their glove foot lands, their pitching forearm is vertical in its 'Late Pitching Forearm Turnover.'  When their glove foot lands, 'traditional' baseball pitchers immediately start to forwardly rotate their hips, shoulders and pitching upper arm.

     This means that, while their pitching forearm is moving backward, their pitching upper arm is moving forward. At some point, their pitching forearm, wrist, hand and fingers stop moving backward. Depending on the angle of the pitching upper arm and pitching forearm When their 'Reverse Pitching Forearm Bounce' occurs, the stress of these opposing forces can rupture the Ulnar Collateral Ligament.

     Stretching stretches nothing.  To properly warm-up for competition, athletes should perform the skills of their sport at low intensities.  The metabolites that they release will cause their Central Nervous System to vasodilate the blood vessels that serve the involved tissues and they will be properly perpared to perform at competitive levels.

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254.  Garret Copeland, one of the top lefties in the country, to undergo Tommy John (Ulnar Collateral Ligament replacement) surgery.

What do recommend we do to help end this never-ending string of pitching injuries?  We need a think tank.  We need to something now.  We need to implement change.  Please help us achieve this.


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     I could not agree more.  The problem is that not enough people agree with us.  For whatever reason, they either do not believe that we can eliminate pitching injuries or that pitching injuries are a problem.  But sometimes, strong leadership can bring the doubters to understand that change is necessary.

     I have a plan for how to train all youth baseball pitchers, such that we not only eliminate all pitching injuries, but we also develop the most highly-skilled class of high school junior baseball pitchers that each generation can become.  My program rewards hard work and motor skill acquisition.  It medically evaluates whether baseball pitching is negatively affecting the growth plates in their pitching elbow.  Rather than investing in uniforms, tournaments, trophies and so on, my program invests in our youngsters.

     However, it requires that we understand that high-intensity competition is for when youngsters are skeletally mature and highly-skilled.  It recognizes that youngsters biologically mature and learn motor skills at different rates and accommodates those differences.

     To accomplish these goals, I am ready to meet with whomever your organization wants to include in your think tank, whenever you want to meet, for however many meetings are necessary, for however long it takes.

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255.  I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your time and information.  Words can't express how appreciative as a parent I am that you took time with my son on Saturday.  You went beyond the call of duty as a person.

My son now has an opportunity to be taught by your students how to use his skills correctly and to the utmost of his abilities.  I wish that we had more people such as you who are willing to give back to the community of Zephyrhills.   My son was so impressed when we left that the smile never left his face.  He will dedicate every Saturday at 10:30 AM to work with your students.


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     All youngsters should have involved Moms and Dads such as your son has.  My guys will do a great job with your son.

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256.  One of the 12U softball players I coach has a serious flaw in her throwing motion.  She comes directly over the top with virtually a locked elbow, instead of leading with the elbow and whipping into extension.

She will be visiting her grandparents in Zephyrhills Fla. over Easter vacation (April 7-14) with her mother and sister.  Might you be able to see her for 15-20 minutes once or twice at your facility at your convenience to analyze, diagnose and give her specific workouts to eradicate the problem?

I am finding this flaw specific to females.  I don't know the genesis, but it just seems it occurs in some female athletes and I can't recall ever having to deal with this with young males in baseball.

The cooling down/running/icing program you prescribed for our pitchers worked magnificently last summer.  Instead of 'wearing' down as the weekend progressed, our pitcher got stronger and sharper on the 2nd and 3rd days.


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     My First 60-Day Youth Baseball Pitchers Motor Skill Acquisition Program uses my Wrong Foot body action; Slingshot glove and pitching arm actions drill to teach the proper use of the pitching forearm in the throwing motion. You need to start all your softball players with this drill.  Because they are not baseball pitchers, they should work only on my Maxline and Torque Fastball releases.

     To watch my guys train and answer questions about my baseball pitching motion and training programs, I welcome everybody to my Pitching Research/Training Center.  However, I do not work with visitors.  I leave that up to their parents and coaches.  If I did otherwise, then that would be all that I do.

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257.  Please feel free to outline some ideas on ways we could implement some rules to protect the kids.   We sponsor many events and wield influence over the travel community.  So, fire away!

Kevin Thomas

TBS-USA 2007 Pitching Solutions:

TBS and Chief Medical Contributor Dr. Mike Marshall are teaming up to create an advisory board that will explore ways to introduce new pitching regulations incorporated into the travel baseball environs.  Dr. Mike is a highly respected Orthopedic Specialist that has dedicated his life to bringing awareness to parents, players and coaches the science and prevention of baseball related arm injuries.

Keep it dialed in as we prepare a detailed report outlining the direction we plan to take.

Let's work together at putting a stop to 14-16 year old kids needing Tommy John Surgery!  Enough of this.  It needs to end!


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     In our last email, to help eliminate pitching injuries in adolescent baseball pitchers, I offered to participate as a member of a think tank.  If now, you prefer that I discuss what I believe youth baseball pitchers should do to insure that they become the best, injury-free, highly-skilled High School Junior baseball pitchers that they can be, then I will gladly do that.

     But first, as I explain in the Academic Credentials file on my website, I earned a doctoral degree in which I majored in Exercise Physiology, minored in Physiological Psychology and specialized in Kinesiology, Motor Skill Acquisition and Child Growth and Development.  I am not an orthopedic specialist.

     To stop rupturing their Ulnar Collateral Ligament, enlarging their Coronoid process, fracturing their Olecranon Process, calcifying their Olecranon Fossa, avulsing the attachment of their Subscapularis muscle on the front of their pitching shoulder, avulsing the attachment of their Teres Minor muscle on the back of their pitching shoulder and more, baseball pitchers of all ages need to master the force application skills that I teach in my training programs.

     Therefore, I recommend that, until youth baseball pitchers master the baseball pitching motion and pitch releases that I teach with my First, Second, Third and Fourth Youth Baseball Pitchers Motor Skill Acquisition Programs, they should not pitch competitively.

     At biological thirteen years old, the growth plates at the elbow end of the Humerus bone of their pitching upper arm completely mature.  This greatly reduces the damage that competitive youth baseball pitching can do to the articulation of the head of the Radius bone in their pitching forearm and the Capitular end of their Humerus bone.

     Therefore, I recommend that, until they are biologically sixteen years old, they pitch one inning per game twice a week for two consecutive months per year.  However, if parents want to sacrifice their son's pitching arm for winning youth baseball games, then, at the very least, they should chronicle the process.

     To do this, starting when their son is ten years old, within one week of his birthday, they need to have front and side view X-rays taken of his glove and pitching arms from the mid-forearm to the mid-upper arm, make copies and send them to me.  I will determine his biological age and whether baseball pitching is changing the normal growth and development pattern of the growth plates in his pitching elbow.

     Together, we can make sure that youth baseball pitchers do not irreparably damage their pitching arms.

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258.  Here is a recent article on Little League pitching injuries.  Doesn't the supposed solution to the "injury-free" pitchers in their study just the same traditional pitching motion?

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More children suffering serious sports injuries
Published 03/17/2007 By KEVIN CASTLE

Dr. Patrick Riggins performed two surgeries on anterior cruciate ligament tears within the past two weeks.  There's nothing alarming about that, except the patients were 10 and 12 years old.

Riggins' experience parallels a national trend: an increase in elementary and middle school-aged children being treated for serious bone and joint injuries.

The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) released data last month showing 40 percent of all emergency room visits for children ages 5 to 14 are for serious sports-related injuries, which Riggins says will surely be on the increase in the next few months.

"With Little League baseball beginning to start up, I feel we are going to see our patient load begin to increase once more," said Riggins, who has already seen an increase in patients in that age group over the past three years.

Riggins has encountered many patients under the age of 15 who play two or more sports.  He said because most of them play those sports at the same time, this increases the injury risk, and the body does not have the proper "downtime" to heal itself.

"Kids in that age group are not only participating in sports, but it is year round, and they're not taking any time off.  That doesn't give the body time to recover," Riggins said.

"A lot of what we see are acute injuries, like a sprain or a break or ligament strain.  But we also see a lot of kids overdoing it, and that's when conditions like tendon strains in the elbows or tendonitis in the knee occurs.

"I've had some kids who play basketball, soccer and baseball all at once, and they come in and they wonder why they are hurting.  You just don't have the amount of time in between sports like you used to.  We're not against kids being active, but some are overdoing it."

The American Academy of Pediatrics says all sports have a risk of injury, and the more contact in a sport, the greater the risk.

According to the AAP, only about 5 percent of sports injuries involve broken bones.

"Most frequent sports injuries are sprains (injuries to ligaments) and strains (injuries to muscles), caused when too much stress is placed on tendons, joints, bones and muscle," the AAP says.

The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons warns of potential future damage surgery on the ACL areas could do to an adolescent's growing body because of the impact on "growth plates."

"That type of injury can be a real challenge to the orthopaedic surgeon.  A child may need to have surgery, but surgery can cause growth plate disturbances as well as other problems.  Growth plates are the area of developing tissues at the end of the ‘long bones' of the body.  Growth plates are also particularly vulnerable to injury in contact sports like football and basketball," according to the association.

The arrival of Little League baseball and softball brings more cases of "Little League elbow" into Riggins' office every year.

Named after one of America's leading youth sport activities, AAOS chronicled the condition through a separate study last month.

"The study finds that winding up and uncurling the body too late before releasing the ball leads to increased stress on the elbows of adolescent pitchers," the study said.

"The fastball pitching motion of 27 injury-free Little League pitchers ages 10-14 was studied using motion analysis equipment.  Each phase of a pitcher's windup, release and follow-through was analyzed to determine the abnormal mechanics that may lead to arm injuries.  Rotating the pelvis and upper body either too early or too late before delivering the pitch caused increased stress on the elbow.

"Researchers found that pitchers who kept their pelvis' square to home plate at the point of maximum shoulder rotation and had their upper bodies square to the plate when releasing the ball had reduced elbow loads."

The number of pitches a coach lets a Little League player throw in practice and in a game also needs to be monitored on a regular basis, Riggins said, because the more throws, the more the risk intensifies.

At times, Riggins has had the unpopular job of telling the juvenile athlete and the parents that the only option, in some cases, is to cut back on the amount of sports and activities they can participate in.

"The reactions were mixed.  Naturally, some of the kids were disappointed because they want to play and play constantly, but I think they don't realize the damage being done when they continue to exert themselves like this," he said.


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     The Anterior Cruciate Ligament prevents the Femur bone of the upper leg from sliding forward over the Tibia bone of the foreleg.  When youth baseball pitchers tear their Anterior Cruciate Ligament while baseball pitching baseball, they are mistakenly trying to release their pitches closer to home plate by striding forward as far as they can.

     This is a technique that Tom House teaches.  A few spring trainings ago, he had Randy Johnson try this and he also needed knee surgery.  He was incorrectly trying to compete with the hidden velocity of my baseball pitching motion, where, because my baseball pitchers forwardly rotate their hips, shoulders and pitching upper arm beyond perpendicular to the driveline to home plate, my baseball pitchers release their pitches closer to home plate that 'traditional' baseball pitchers.

     This report verifies what I have been saying.  That is, I recommend that, during their adolescent years of open growth plates, youngsters spend the majority of their time learning the skills of their sports, not competing.

     The discussion in this article about the baseball pitching motion shows that they have no idea of the dangers inherent in the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion, much less what to do about it.

      What is winding up and uncurling the body too late before releasing the ball?  Until they have forwardly rotated their hips and shoulders, baseball pitchers cannot release the baseball.  How could they ever be too late?

     They wrote, "Researchers found that pitchers who kept their pelvises square to home plate at the point of maximum shoulder rotation and had their upper bodies square to the plate when releasing the ball had reduced elbow loads."

     They are saying that 'Baseball pitchers reduced the stress on their pitching elbow when they forwardly rotated their hips and shoulder to perpendicular to the driveline to home plate.'

     During the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion, the stress on the pitching elbow is greatest during the 'Reverse Pitching Forearm Bounce.'  'Reverse Pitching Forearm Bounce' occurs immediately after the glove foot lands and the baseball pitchers start the forward rotation of their shoulders.  This is well before they have forwardly rotated their hips and shoulders to perpendicular to the driveline to home plate.

     They also said, "The number of pitches a coach lets a Little League player throw in practice and in a game also needs to be monitored on a regular basis, Riggins said, because the more throws, the more the risk intensifies."

     Once again, because they have no idea what is causing 'traditional' baseball pitchers to injure their pitching arms, they figure that if they do not allow baseball pitchers to throw, then maybe they will not injure their pitching arms.  Over-use is not the cause of pitching injuries, mis-use is the cause of pitching injuries.

     While I agree that we need to limit the amount of competitive baseball pitching that baseball pitchers with open growth plates in their pitching elbow should do, I do not believe that we should limit the amount of time that they spend learning how to correctly apply force and releases their pitches.

     Though well-meaning, these guys have no idea what they are doing.  Their article does not advance our knowledge of how to prevent pitching injuries in youth baseball pitchers.

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259.  We at TBS-USA are in complete support of you and this initiative.  This approach will no doubt cause a stir in the travel community and many parents will consider the recommendations a drastic departure from the status quo.

That being said, hopefully, we will also see a drastic reduction in serious youth arm injuries.  I know that not everyone will support this, evidenced by the treatment observed on the high school message board.

We can help people and I feel confident that if we keep this topic front and center, then we will eventually prevail!

Thanks Mike, for putting the kids first.

Kevin Thomas
TBS-USA


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     Like their parents and everybody at TBS-USA, I love baseball and I love kids.  With that in common, I am confident that we can find common ground that enables all youth baseball pitcher to become the best injury-free, highly-skilled High School Junior baseball pitchers that they can be.

     I will do whatever is necessary to make sure that we do not destroy another generation of youth baseball pitchers.

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260.  I am more of a hitting coach than a pitching coach, but it just occurred to me through trail and error, in trying to teach hitters to hit off speed pitches, that if you teach the hitter how to transfer his weight to the speed of the pitch instead of his swing, you have outstanding positive results in attaining a perfect swing.

Therefore, am I being over optimistic in thinking that the same principle applies to the pitching motion?  A perfect weight shift produces a better motion, both for accuracy and power and a better injury free motion.  This is why your motion is flawless.  The weight shift is perfect, if completed as you instruct.


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     I could not agree more.  That is why I teach the crow-hop throwing rhythm where baseball pitchers do not step forward until their pitching arm has pendulum swung to forty-five degree behind their body. This enables baseball pitchers to get their pitching arm to driveline height before their glove foot lands.

     Therefore, they can continuously move both the center of mass of their body and the baseball forward through release.  As a result, instead of wasting velocity trying to catch up with their body, they add the release velocity that they generate with their pitching arm to the forward velocity of their body.

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261.  A former professional baseball scout suggested I email.  I am also trying to make contact with Tom House for his opinion.

My son is a 14 year old freshman, 5'5", 120 lbs., 28 1/2" inseam.  We have managed my son's arm very conservatively during his baseball career.  He has only pitched about 50 innings in his life.  He has thrown 27 curve balls in his life, all in a controlled environment.  We felt better to show him than let him experiment with his friends.  He is left-handed and has played outfield to build up his arm strength.  He has never had any inkling of arm troubles in the past.

His pitching mechanics going into this season were tight and well-managed.  His stride was set at 48 inches max with his toe landing on that mark.  After taping and studying, we felt this was his best mark to be able to get his body balanced and above his right leg.  Everyone who works with my son is amazed at his overall baseball mechanics for a 14 year old kid.  Myself and the people who have worked diligently with my son have him set up very well.

      Enter the new pitching coach at the high school.

Second week of practice he tells my son he is going to change how he throws a baseball and the people who have worked with him don't know the cutting edge mechanics now available.  One of those people who "do not know" is a college baseball coach and former employee of a major league baseball team.

Long and short of it is that my son now has an inflamed rotator cuff and stressed growth plate, cannot throw for six weeks, may get back to full speed in ten weeks, and was advised he probably will not be allowed to pitch the remainder of calendar 2007.

Again, he is 5'5".  His new high school coach has him striding with his heel landing at 5'6".   My guess is you have figured out that the new method is Dick Mills' method of pitching.  Our coach claims to be an expert on this method.

My question is very simply this:  After reviewing Mr. Mills' concepts on pitching, should a 5'5" 14 year old land at 5'6", his toe being over 6' from the rubber.  Doing the splits, if he could, would only get him to 57 inches.  My son simply could not get up over his stride leg at that distance.

The new high schooll baseball coach also decided to run these kids 1 a/2 mile immediately before they threw and the first week he started them running was the first full week of throwing full blast.  He ran them Monday and Wednesday, then threw them 40 pitches.  Friday he ran them and threw them 60 pitches.  All this the first week of running and the first full week of throwing wide open.  Coach also mentioned in a conversation he couldn't understand why my son looked like he was throwing all arm.

If you have to time to advise, I would greatly appreciate it.


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     I disagree with all forms of the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion, which certainly includes the versions offered by Mr. House and Mr. Mills.

     The injurious flaw in the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion that unnecessarily stresses the front of the pitching shoulder is taking the pitching elbow behind the acromial line.  Therefore, with my baseball pitching motion, I teach my baseball pitchers to pendulum swing their pitching arm toward second base and 'lock' the pitching upper arm with their shoulders before they start the rapid forward rotation of their shoulders.

     With regard to the proper length of the stride:

     Instead of the 'balance position' throwing rhythm, I teach the 'crow-hop' throwing rhythm.  With the 'crow-hop' throwing rhythm, baseball pitchers pendulum swing the pitching arm to forty-five degrees behind their body before they step forward with their glove foot.  In this way, they move their pitching arm forward at the same time that they move the center of mass of their body forward.

     To accomplish this, I teach my baseball pitchers that once they start moving the center of mass of their body forward, they need to keep it moving forward until their pitching foot lands with their acromial line pointing at home plate.  This means that I have my baseball pitchers step forward in the same way that they do when they are walking, then, when they move the center of mass of their body in front of their glove foot, they should use their glove foot to accelerate their body forward toward home plate.

     Therefore, my baseball pitchers do not waste force that they generate with their pitching arm trying to catch up with their body.  Instead, my baseball pitchers add the force that they generate with their pitching arm to the forward velocity of their body.

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262.  In your 2007 Questions/Answers, you have recommended one set 48 reps as opposed to three sets with lower reps.  The question I have is; if you train on a three day schedule to complete your entire body (day 1. chest & triceps 2. back & biceps, 3. shoulders and legs) and do four different exercises for each body part, will this be too much in season training while pitching?  I'm trying to determine if you are recommending i.e. just one exercise 48 reps for triceps and one exercise 48 reps for chest?

If that is true would it make sense to train the entire body in one day?  If this is what you recommend, how often would you weight train the entire body; every other day or every day?

The reason I ask is my younger son is experiencing pain in his tricep of his pitching arm.  I'm concerned that, with the 120 day HS program he does every day at half the reps along with the weight training, may be too much for him while in baseball season.


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     To become the best baseball pitcher that they can be, baseball pitchers only need the training programs that I recommend.  I would never recommend that my baseball pitchers do a three day schedule to complete their entire body.

     For non-baseball pitchers who feel a need to train their entire body, I recommend that the do no fewer than twenty-four continuous repetitions and no more than forty-eight continuous repetitions of whatever drill they want; for example bench presses.

     However, if athletes perform bench presses incorrectly, then they can injure the attachment of the posterior head of the Triceps Brachii muscle to the supraglenoid fossa. They can even detach this attachment.  Therefore, I would never recommend that baseball pitchers perform bench presses.

     In season, high school baseball pitchers should perform my 120-Day High School Baseball Pitchers Interval-Training Program at one-half of the recommended number of repetitions.  That is, they should do twenty-four non-stop wrist weight exercises, twenty-four non-stop iron ball throws and twenty-four football and lid throws every day.  Unless they are pitching competitively, they should also do thirty-six baseball throws.

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263.  I have a 16 year old son that pitched that was diagnosed six months ago with an L5 stress fracture.  CT scans showed calcification, etc. that the Dr. said indicated the injury was old, as much as three years.

He felt the rotation of pitching had a lot to do with the discomfort.  It got to where it caused extreme discomfort.  The doctor shut him down for three months.  He did physical therapy and conditioning to strengthen his core.  The doctor allowed him to resume playing in January, but not pitching at that time.

He wants to start throwing on a limited basis again and maybe work as a closer instead of a starter like before.  Maybe limit to one outing, 20 pitches per week.

I was speaking the other day to Dr. Jimmy Disch here in Houston.  He has known my son for 10 or so years.  He recommended perhaps your pitching method opposed to traditional for my son.  He thought it may cause less discomfort than traditional.  I would really like your opinion.


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     Did your son fracture the left transverse process, right transverse process or spinous process of his fifth lumbar vertebra?  Does your son pitch right or left-handed?

    If you son had a stress fracture three years ago that had calcified, then I would expect that fracture to have healed by now.  Is that stress fracture still open?

     Professor Disch is correct.  With my baseball pitching motion, because I teach my baseball pitchers to stand tall and rotate, they have considerably less flexion and extension stress on the vertebrae in their lower back.

     To learn how to properly release his pitches and use his pitching forearm, wrist, hand and fingers, your son needs to practice my Wrong Foot body action; Slingshot glove and pitching arm actions drill.  This drill will also teach your son how to stand tall and rotate.

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264.  Here is an email that I received from a father of one of the youth baseball pitchers in TBS-USA.

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I am a firm believer that you must condition and strengthen the muscles and tendons and joints as part of a training routine.  Of course in HS you have little, or in most cases NO say as to your schedule outside school, you have to be responsible for your arm.  You can't keep pitching without the strength and conditioning.  Believe me its very time consuming.  It is hard to work on other parts of your game.

Hitting has now taken a "back seat" in our lives as more time is needed for training both in the gym with the machines (NO FREE WEIGHTS) and at Sal's using the weighted balls- rubber bands and medicine ball, wobble board etc.

Diet is also overlooked.  NO JUNK FOOD.  Caloric intake is very important.  Amino acids are a building block for muscle growth.  We use GNC.  Its safe and it works.

Long toss is a great tool when trying to build strength.  There are probably tons of theory on the net about that.  Our program is based on theory by a man named Tom House.

We went to a seminar recently taught by Ron Wolforth from TX, who was in Orlando FL teaching college coaches about pitcher wear and tear.  He also has a theory deduced by computer analysis and super-slo motion photography.  Pelvic load transfer, quick twitch muscle.  It gets crazy.  His deal is all about increasing velocity.

Sal's deal is about location and command.  You have to train.

This past fall, we played 18U pro-scout ball with the Scorpions.  If you pitched for 3 innings, you would run for 20 minutes along the fence during the game.  The thought process being, get blood pumping to the damaged area ASAP to begin healing.

High school coaches are Math, Drivers Ed, science teachers etc.  Listen to your body.  It is way too young to have problems.

I will pass the word to my older son and if there is something of interest to your readers he will certainly pass it along.  He has been very busy.  Now the editor of his college paper and still doing work for the local paper for gas money.

I see kids 10yrs and up at Sal's "Next Level Baseball" training, working on specific drills for specific positions.  I guess its never too early.  Don't expect immediate results and don't give up.  My younger son has been with Sal now for three years and it really shows.


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     What this email shows me is how difficult it is, with so many self-proclaimed baseball pitching experts out there, for parents to know who knows what he is talking about.  I don't know Sal, but I know from what this father says that Sal says and does, Sal does not know what he is talking about.  Ron Wolforth also does not know what he is talking about.  Neither does Tom House, Dick Mills or anybody else I have ever heard talking about baseball pitching.

     When it comes to finding someone to teach their sons how to pitch baseball, parents think that anybody who ever pitched baseball knows how to teach baseball pitching.  Just because someone drives a car does not mean they know how to design the engine.  They do not have the proper acedemic training.

     To help parents learn what their sons need to become the best injury-free, highly-skilled High School Junior baseball pitchers that they can be, we have to eliminate the nonsense.

     TBS-USA should come up with a list of questions about training youth baseball pitchers how to pitch baseballs and send the list to all the baseball pitching experts that the parents associated with TBS recommend.  Then, they could evaluate the quality of those who took the time to respond.

     Then, maybe, TBS and its membership could decide on a single voice to which they will listen.  Even if they close incorrectly, at least after a reasonable time period of following his recommendations, they could properly evaluate whether what that person recommends eliminates pitching injuries.

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265.  In last week's letters you wrote:  "Instead, with my Drop Out Step Back Wind-Up body action; Pendulum Swing glove and pitching arm actions drill, I make them point their glove arm at home plate and tell them to pull their glove hand horizontally straight back toward second base."

Can you please describe your new Drop Out Step Back Wind-Up body action; Pendulum Swing glove and pitching arm actions drill?


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     I teach my baseball pitchers to use the proper crow-hop throwing rhythm where the center of mass of their body and the baseball to continuously move forward together through release.  This means that I want my baseball pitchers to have their pitching arm at driveline height with their pitching upper arm locked with their shoulders before their glove foot lands.

    Whether they have base runners or not, I also want my baseball pitchers to move the center of mass of their body the same distance forward.

     With my Pseudo Traditional Wind-Up body action; Pendulum Swing glove and pitching arm actions competitive pitching motion, my baseball pitchers:

01.  stand with both feet on the pitching rubber with their hands together at their waist,

02.  simultaneously raise both arms over their head and take a full backward step with their glove foot,

03.  simultaneously lower their glove arm to their waist and pendulum swing their pitching arm to vertically beside their body,

04.  simultaneously raise their glove arm to point at home plate, continue pendulum swinging their pitching arm to driveline height, reverse rotate their hips and shoulders to point at second base and lift their glove foot off the ground,

05.  while they hold my 'Loaded Slingshot' ready position, step forward with their glove foot,

06.  when their glove foot lands, pull straight backward with their glove hand, move their pitching arm into my 'Slingshot' ready position and push off the pitching rubber with their pitching foot,

07.  hold my 'Slingshot' ready position until they have moved the center of mass of their body in front of their glove foot and forwardly rotated their hips, shoulders and pitching upper arm to point as close to home plate as possible and

08.  powerfully push back toward second base with their glove foot and powerfully extend their shoulder joint, extend their elbow joint, pronate their pitching forearm and inwardly rotate their shoulder joint.

     With my Pseudo Traditional Wind-Up baseball pitching motion, my primary mechanical flaw concern is that my baseball pitchers will step forward too soon.  If they do, then they will not be able to add the velocity that they can generate with their pitching arm to the forward velocity of the center of mass of their body.  This will also prevent them from forwardly rotating their hips, shoulders and pitching upper arm as far as they should.

     The challenge is how to make sure that my baseball pitchers use the same pitching rhythm and apply their force to their pitches in exactly the same way they do with no base runners when they have base runners and to do this in such a way that prevents base runners from stealing the next base.

     The factor that determines whether baseball pitchers balk when they throw to first base in an attempt to pick off base runners is did they step toward first base.  However, umpires have added another factor to their decision.  They mistakenly say that how baseball pitchers use their glove and pitching arms also determines whether my baseball pitchers balk.

     This means that when my baseball pitchers raise their glove and pitching hands upward a few inches as part of their timing of the start of their throwing motion, the umpires will not then permit them to step toward and throw to first base.  I disagree with their ruling, but, rather than argue, we have come up with another baseball pitching motion with base runners on base.

    I call it, my Wind-Up body action; Drop Out Pendulum Swing glove and pitching arm actions competitive baseball pitching motion.  'Drop Out' means that, instead of raising both hands upward, I want my baseball pitchers to drop their pitching hand and baseball backwardly out of their glove.

     With my Wind-Up body action; Drop Out Pendulum Swing glove and pitching arm actions competitive baseball pitching motion, my baseball pitchers:

01.  stand with their pitching foot on the pitching rubber and their glove foot one full step behind the pitching rubber with their hands together at their waist,

02.  without raising their hands, simultaneously raise their glove arm to point at home plate, pendulum swing their pitching arm to driveline height, reverse rotate their hips and shoulders to point at second base and lift their glove foot off the ground,

03.  while they hold my 'Loaded Slingshot' ready position, step forward with their glove foot,

04.  when their glove foot lands, pull straight backward with their glove hand, move their pitching arm into my 'Slingshot' ready position and push off the pitching rubber with their pitching foot,

05.  hold my 'Slingshot' ready position until they have moved the center of mass of their body in front of their glove foot and forwardly rotated their hips, shoulders and pitching upper arm to point as close to home plate as possible and

06.  powerfully push back toward second base with their glove foot and powerfully extend their shoulder joint, extend their elbow joint, pronate their pitching forearm and inwardly rotate their shoulder joint.

     With my Wind-Up Drop Out Pendulum Swing baseball pitching motion, we eliminate the second and third steps in my Pseudo Transitional Wind-Up Pendulum Swing baseball pitching motion.

     I still have concern that my baseball pitchers will step forward too soon.  However, after I tell them that I want them to wait until they have pendulum swung their pitching arm to driveline height before they step forward, they seem to find the same rhythm that they properly use with my Pseudo Traditional Wind-Up.

     This pitching motion enables my baseball pitchers to release their pitches as much as one-half second faster than 'traditional' baseball pitchers release their pitches from their set position.  And, because we backwardly swing of our pitching arm at the same time that we step toward first base with our glove foot or pitching foot, whether we pitch right or left-handed, we can hold the base runners on first base very close to the base.

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266.  First of all I was glad to find your website and remember your remarkable year in 1974 when you had 106 appearances.  I'm 43 and was born and raised a Dodger fan because of my dad and continue to love the game.

My youngest son is 11 years old and playing little league.  He started pitching 2 years ago because our team had a lack of arms.  I played a little ball but never pitched.  One of the other coaches who went to ASU showed my son a very basic pitching motion where he has him take a small step back, balances, separates the arms and has a good follow-through.  Pretty vanilla.  He has average velocity but excellent control and has learned to be very effective because he can hit the corners.

Now I don't see my son pitching for the Dodgers some day and comparing him to the other kid's I think his pitching days might be numbered once he gets out of Litte League.  But while he is pitching I would like to show him the right way.  At this time I can't get your program but I would like to know if you could offer any advice or maybe have something on a website that we could watch and learn with.


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     The only website that you and your son can watch and learn where you and he can learn how he can become the best injury-free, highly-skilled High School Junior baseball pitcher that he can be is my website.

     The first thing that you and your son needs to learn how to do is pronate the releases of all pitches.  To teach this critical skill, I use my Wrong Foot body action; Slingshot glove and pitching arm actions drill.  To perform my Wrong Foot body action and my Slingshot glove and pitching arm action, you and he needs to watch the wrist weight exercises section of my Baseball Pitching Instructional Video.

     To watch the sections of my Baseball Pitching Instructional Video, you click on the FREE Baseball Pitching Instructional Video!!! icon on the home page of my website.  Then, once you are inside that file, you can click on and watch each section when you want.

     He should complete my First 60-Day Youth Baseball Pitchers Motor Skill Acquisition Program.  To find this training program, you need to click on the FREE Baseball Pitcher Interval-Training Programs on the home page of my website.  Then, once you are inside that file, you can click on my First 60-Day program and make your own copy.

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267.  Here's an interesting link for you showing HS film of a pronated slider (top MPG file on the page).  Doing it their way definitely protects the elbow but not back of shoulder.  The Teres minor is going to take a beating with this followthrough.  Also you'll note that the ball has two stripes, clearly visible after the pitch glances off the top of the case in the foreground.

No question that Matsuzaka's using your stuff and we can bet there are others working on it.  They're going to beat us at our own game.

http://accc.riken.jp/E/HPC_e/gyroball/


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     It is fun to watch very nice high-speed film of two baseball pitchers throwing what they call, the gyroball or rifle-spin ball.  Unfortunately, to clearly show the spin axis, they did not know how to draw a circle on the baseball in the proper location.  Nevertheless, with their high-speed film, we can clearly how they released these pitches.

     Also unfortunately, except for pronating the release of my Torque Fastball Slider, they use the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion.  That is they take the baseball back with their pitching hand on top of the baseball.  Therefore, they have 'Late Pitching Forearm Turnover.'  Then, because their glove foot lands before their pitching arm arrives at driveline height, they have 'Reverse Pitching Forearm Bounce.'

     While, like I show in my Baseball Pitching Instructional Video, they try to pronate the release of their rifle-spin ball, which is exactly like I teach how to release my Torque Fastball Slider, but they do not pronate with sufficient force to engage their Teres Major and Latissimus Dorsi muscles to decelerate their pitching arm.

     Consequently, as you recognized, they are vulnerable to injury to their Teres Minor muscle.  But, they are also vulnerable to injury to their Ulnar Collateral Ligament.  And, while even their weak pitching forearm pronation will prevent their olecranon process from slamming into its fossa, they do have a loop and significant 'Pitching Forearm Flyout,' which may enlarge the Coronoid Process of the Ulna bone in their pitching forearm.

     All in all, I am very pleased to see that the Japanese are using high-speed film.  I believe that we can learn much more from high-speed film than we can from the shiny dots on the videotape that Biomechanic Laboratories use.  Still, because they are not searching for a better way for baseball pitchers to apply force to their pitches, they are not researching baseball pitching.  They are only looking at the spin axis and how the baseball moves as a result of that spin axis.

     For four seam pitches, Professor Magnus answered that question with his Magnus Effect decades ago.  For two seam circle of friction pitches, I answered that question forty years ago.

     I am happy that they are taking my stuff, but they need to learn how to take all of my stuff, not chose some from column A and some from column B. That is, they take some of mine, i.e., pronate the releases, but keep the other injurious and mechanical flaws inherent in the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion.

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268.  You have said you'd like to see high speed film of the release of a gyroball.  I have attached a link at what looks like high speed film of a gyroball.  I'd be interested if you see what I see.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dScLO9YegaM.

1.  Elbow reaches driveline height before baseball.....which causes...

2.  Reverse pitching forearm bounce... which stresses the front of the shoulder and inside of the elbow.

3.  Too much reverse rotation with the glove arm and baseball goes beyond acromial line ...which causes...

4.  Forearm flyout..which causes..

5.  pitching arm goes horizonatally across the front of the body.

It looks like his pitching foot does not even get off the mound before he releases the ball.

Although he does pronate his release, he also hase Looping and Glove foot float.

If he pronates, does this trump the other injurious flaws that cause injuries?


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     This is the same high-speed video that another of my crack Certified Marshall Baseball Pitching Motion Coaches sent me from another website.

http://accc.riken.jp/E/HPC_e?gyroball/

     I love high-speed film.  At every moment in the baseball pitching motion, we can see precisely what the baseball pitchers do.

     Your analysis is right on.  In throwing the so-called 'gyroball,' this baseball pitcher:

01.  takes the baseball back with his pitching hand on top of the baseball, which causes him to have 'Late Pitching Forearm Turnover,' which cause him to have 'Reverse Pitching Forearm Bounce,' which unnecessarily stresses his Ulnar Collateral Ligament.

02.  starts the forward movement of the center of mass of his body so early in taking his pitching arm back that his glove foot lands when his pitching forearm is about one-third of the way through its 'Late Pitching Forearm Turnover,' which increases the stress on his Ulnar Collateral Ligament.

03.  reverse rotates his hips, shoulders and pitching arm well beyond second base, which causes him to generate considerable horizontal centripetal force, which causes so much 'Pitching Forearm Flyout' that, when he releases his 'gyroball,' his pitching arm is almost horizontal.

04.  brings his pitching hand so close to his head during his 'Late Pitching Forearm Turnover' that, when he starts to forwardly rotate his hips, shoulders and pitching arm, he has a severe 'looping' action that increases the intensity of his 'Pitching Forearm Flyout.'

05.  uses the drop and drive leg action, such that his release height is at least three feet below where he could release his pitches.

     The so-called 'gyroball' spin axis in this film spirals toward home plate with the two seams rotating toward the glove side of home plate.  This spin axis is very similar to my Torque Fastball Slider spin axis.

     You asked, "If he pronates, does this trump the other injurious flaws that cause injuries?"

     The simple answer is "NO!!!"

     When baseball pitchers pronate the releases of their pitches, the Pronator Teres muscle flexes the pitching elbow and, thereby, prevents the olecranon process from slamming into its fossa.  That is all.

     To prevent rupturing the Ulnar Collateral Ligament, baseball pitchers have to eliminate 'Reverse Pitching Forearm Bounce.'  Because this baseball pitcher has a very bad case of 'Reverse Pitching Forearm Bounce,' he is unnecessarily stressing his Ulnar Collateral Ligament.

     However, ironically, because, at the start of his 'Pitching Forearm Flyout,' he also severely 'loops' his pitching forearm, he reduces the stress on his Ulnar Collateral Ligament.

     Remember the stress on the Ulnar Collateral Ligament is greatest when baseball pitchers have their pitching elbow bent at ninety degrees.  If the angle of their pitching elbow is less or greater than ninety degree, then the stress on the Ulnar Collateral Ligament is less.

     However, if the angle of their pitching elbow is less than ninety degrees, then baseball pitchers 'loop' their pitching forearm, such that they increase the intensity of their 'Pitching Forearm Flyout,' which, if they do not pronate their releases, causes them to lose the flexion and extension ranges of motion in their pitching elbow.

     In this case where he does pronate his release of this pitch, he prevents his olecranon process from slamming into its fossa.  But, because, during the early part of his 'Pitching Forearm Flyout,' he still has to use his Brachialis muscle to decelerate the horizontal centripetal force, he will still enlarge the coronoid process of his Ulna bone, such that he will lose some of his flexion range of motion in his pitching elbow.

     With the extreme reverse rotation of his hips, shoulders and pitching arm and the extreme pinching of his two Scapula bones together, he severely stresses the attachment of his Subscapularis muscle to the lesser tuberosity of the head of the bone in his pitching upper arm.  Therefore, he will have front of his pitching shoulder problems.

     Because of his severe 'Pitching Forearm Flyout' and the relatively weak pitching forearm pronation that he applies just before he releases this pitch, the centripetal force that he generated to sling his pitching forearm laterally away from his body to his pitching arm side before release, after release continues across the front of his body.  The only muscle that is in position to decelerate this force is his Teres Minor muscle.  Therefore, he will have back of his pitching shoulder problems.  That is, whichever breaks down first.

     All in all, this is a terrible baseball pitching motion.

     With regard to the so-called 'gyroball;' this pitch had very little movement with very little quality.  My Torque Fastball Slider is a far superior pitch.

     While I still have not seen high-speed film of Mr. Matsuzaka's 'gyroball,' I now believe that he throws both this slider-type pitch and a sinker-type pitch, whose spin axis is similar to my Maxline Fastball Sinker.

     An article that I included in my Question/Answer files where the reporter included comments from the gentlemen who 'invented' the 'gyroball' says that only baseball pitchers who throw sidearm achieve the spin axis of their 'gyroball.'  Essentially, with the sidearm delivery, baseball pitchers release the baseball off the tips of their horizontal index and middle fingers, such that the baseball has a vertical spin axis that tilts slightly backward, which causes air molecule vacuum under the baseball, which like whirlpools in water, pulls the baseball downward.

     The 'gyroball' in this high-speed film does not have an air molecule vacuum under the baseball.

     Now that I fully understand what the 'gyroball' is, I believe that the 'gyroball' is a waste of time.

     Forty years ago, in 1967, as part of my lecture to the undergraduate Kinesiology class on the Magnus Effect of Bernoulli's Fluid Flow Equation Relative to the Movement of Four-Seam Curve Balls, I explained how, when baseball pitchers spiral baseballs, such that the circle of friction continuously collides with air molecules, their two seam fastballs, sliders and sinkers move.

     You can find the lecture that I wrote in 1967 in the Marshall Effect section of Chapter Nineteen: Daniel Bernoulli of my Coaching Baseball Pitchers book.  I also included this discussion in the Baseball Training Program section of my Baseball Pitching Instructional Video.

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269.  I believe the left and right are fractured.  He pitches right handed.  Yes, the stress fracture is still open.  The doctor says surgery is the option for repair and it's no guaranty.  About a 50/50 chance.

  He has been playing (position and batting, no pitching) since the first week of January.  He says no pain.

  Do you have any certified coaches teaching your method in our part of the country?


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     That your son has fractured the right and left transverse processes of his fifth lumbar vertebrae indicates that, when he pitches, he bends forward at his waist.  This action focuses all the deceleration force on the articulation between the fifth lumbar vertebrae and the Sacrum, which is fused with the three bones that make up the hip.

     To eliminate this stress, he has to stop bending forward at his waist.  Instead, he needs to stand tall and rotate.  This action focuses the stress on the big rotational muscles of the lower back and abdomen, such as the Quadratus Lumborum and the Transverse Abdominis.

     To learn how to do this, your son needs to do the drills that I use to teach the skills of my baseball pitching motion and complete my 120-Day High School Baseball Pitchers Interval-Training Program.  My Coaching Baseball Pitchers book and Baseball Pitching Instructional Video are free on my website for you and your son to read and watch.

     You can also find a list of Certified Marshall Baseball Pitching Motion Coaches and where they live on my website.

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270.  We often hear about the superiority of today’s athletes because of their specialized training programs and size.  Is it your opinion that today's top Major League pitchers are throwing the ball better (faster, better location, move movement) than those of 30, 40, and 50 years ago?

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     I believe that today's baseball pitchers are bigger, stronger and can throw with higher release velocities than when I pitched during the 1970s.

     However, I do not believe that they are as skilled as the baseball pitchers of the 1970s.

     Somewhere between then and now, somebody decided that, when baseball pitchers took the baseball backward out of their glove, they had to have their pitching hand on top of the baseball.  This action resulted in a dramatic increase in Ulnar Collateral Ligament ruptures.

     Also, somewhere about the same time, the radar gun became the determinant of whether amateur baseball pitchers got the opportunity to pitch professionally.  Now, baseball pitchers do not have to have quality pitches or the ability to get batters out, they just have to throw really hard.

     As a result, to get the opportunity to pitch professionally, baseball pitchers no longer needed skills and the increased intensity caused even more pitching injuries.

     When I pitched, baseball pitchers with earned run averages above 3.00 had a bad year.  Today, when they have 4.50 earned run averages, they make millions more per year.

     Today's professional baseball scouts do not know what to look for.  Today's professional baseball pitching coaches do not know how to teach skills.  Today's baseball pitchers focus on money, not quality baseball pitching.

     The situation is perfect for someone to teach baseball pitchers an injury-free baseball pitching motion and a wide variety of high quality pitches.  These injury-free, highly-skilled baseball pitchers will dominate baseball at every level.  All we need is to throw away the radar guns and get the 'traditional' baseball pitching coaches out of the way.

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271.  My grandson, now age 23, was signed by a major league baseball organization Cubs in the 2006 draft in the third round.  He pitched college baseball in Florida.

  At the time he was in college, he was clocked between 91 and 93 mph.  He was assigned to the short season league, was promoted twice and then, demoted.  Somewhere along the way he had a groin pull and his velocity wend down.  He is now in spring training velocity 85-88.  Is there any hope of him getting his velocity back to where he was?

He has worked very hard with a trainer and pitching coach for the past 3 months.  He is a big kid 6,4 and 235 lbs and I feel he should be able to fire that ball much better.


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     The ravages of the injurious flaws inherent in the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion have decimated your grandson's ability to throw the baseball hard.  To achieve his genetic maximum release velocity, he needs to use my baseball pitching motion and complete my interval-training programs.

     Even though I have never heard of the trainer and pitching coach with whom he has worked for the past three months, I know that they are teaching him the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion.  Therefore, they are making a bad situation worse.

     If he wants to see a baseball pitching motion and interval-training programs that work, then he needs to drive to Zephyrhills, FL.  Until the fourth Saturday in May, we train from 9:00 to 10:30AM seven days a week.

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272.  Your virulent criticisms of other pitching coaches are obviously well-known to your readers.  Having followed your Q & A for about 1 ½ years now, and having read even further back into your maundering Q & A archives, it appears that you harbor some very extreme opinions about Tom House in particular.

You have several times accused House of personally “ruining Nolan Ryan’s arm” even though Ryan enjoyed, by any standards, a very fair measure of professional success in his 5 years with the Texas Rangers where House coached the pitching staff.  I wonder how you came to your conclusion and I wonder if you have ever discussed your accusations with Mr. Ryan.

Despite having had his arm “ruined” by Tom House, Mr. Ryan appears to be happy to serve on the Advisory Board of Tom House’s NPA organization, and Mr. Ryan’s July 25, 1999 Hall of Fame induction speech appears to credit Tom House with a beneficial role in Mr. Ryan’s unexpected longevity as a dominating MLB pitcher.

Excerpted from Nolan Ryan’s Hall of Fame induction speech:

“When I went to the Texas Rangers as a free agent, I went with the intent to stay one year and finish my career there with the Rangers.  And I stayed five.  And the reason I stayed five is because of the Texas Rangers.  I never enjoyed an organization more. And the staff and the ownership there I appreciate all they have done for me.  I appreciate Eddie Chiles, giving Mike Stone, Bob Grieve, and Bobby Valentine the ability to sign me in Atlanta that day.

And I can remember walking off the airplane in Houston, coming home from Atlanta, and it probably being the lowest day in my career.  And I'm a believer that you take a negative and turn it into a positive, and as it turned out, it was one of the best things that ever happened to me.  And so I do appreciate the Ranger staff and the Ranger organization for giving me that opportunity.

And while I was there I was very fortunate to have a pitching coach by the name of Tom House.  And Tom and I are of the same age and Tom is a coach that is always on the cutting edge.  And I really enjoyed our association together and he would always come up with new training techniques that we would try and see how they would work in to my routine.  And because of our friendship and Tom pushing me, I think I got in the best shape of my life during the years that I was with the Rangers.  And Tom, I really miss those days that we spent in the weight room and out on the field working together.  And that last year you weren't there I can really say, buddy, I missed you.  Thank you for being here today.”

Neither his Hall of Fame speech nor his willingness to lend his name and professional guidance to House’s NPA through the present time are consonant with the idea that Tom House ruined Nolan Ryan’s arm.  Do you think Mr. Ryan is a compulsive liar, or do you think Mr. Ryan is stupid?  If you have yet a third alternative explanation, please elaborate.


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     You are absolutely correct.  Over the years, I have become more and more irritated with the attitude of the 'traditional' baseball pitching coaches to blindly continue to teach a baseball pitching motion that destroys pitching arms and to refuse to consider that I may have a better way.  When they reject my baseball pitchers based solely on my baseball pitching motion without evaluating the quality of their pitches, they show how mean-spiritness.

     My special irritation with Mr. House comes from the fact that even after I have told him precisely what in the baseball pitching motion that he teaches injures baseball pitchers, he continues to teach those injurious flaws and claim that his baseball pitching motion is safe.

     For example, when Mr. House heard that my baseball pitchers release their pitches closer to home plate than 'traditional' baseball pitchers do, he taught Randy Johnson to stride farther.  Mr. Johnson missed most of that season recovering from knee surgery.

     As someone very respected in major league baseball recently told me, after Mr. House recently destroyed the pitching arms of four first round draft choices, professional baseball is done with Mr. House.

     I understand that Mr. House and Mr. Ryan have a lucrative relationship.  For example, for three thousand dollars per person, they invite baseball pitchers to a clinic where they watch them throw a bullpen and sign autographs.

     However, Mr. Ryan retired because, at the end of his final year, he injured his pitching arm.  That injury was a result of Mr. House's teachings.  The reason why Mr. House was not with Mr. Ryan that last year was because the Texas Rangers had fired him.

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273.  I am interested in your $100 offer to receive your video and other instructional materials and programs.  I wanted to confirm that you are still providing this information for $100.  Please let me know if you are and how to proceed.  I was a big Dodger fan in the 70’s and remember you vividly.

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     If you go to my website at www.drmikemarshall.com, then you will find that my Coaching Baseball Pitchers book, Baseball Pitching Instructional Video and my Pitchers Training Program are free for you to read, watch and copy, respectively.  However, if you want your own DVD copy of my Baseball Pitching Instructional Video, then you need to send one hundred dollars ($100.00) to the address I provide in my FREE Baseball Pitching Instructional Video file.

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274.  I plan to attend your certification clinic in May.  Do you accept personal checks for the entry fee?

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     Yes.  I will use that money to defray the costs of the materials that I provide attendees during the two-day seminar.

     Now, we need nine more prospective Marshall Baseball Pitching Motion Certified Instructors to send in their one hundred dollars.  If we have ten attendees, then we will start at 9:00AM on Saturday, May 13, 2007 at my Pitching Research/Training Center on the northwest corner of Hwy 301 and Vinson Avenue in the south side of Zephyrhills.  Otherwise, I will return your check to you.

     I look forward to meeting you.

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275.  I will send a check to reserve my space for your Certication Clinic the second weekend in May soon.  If anyone else contacts you about the clinic that is interested in sharing a hotel room, please give them my e-mail address: coachschirm@hotmail.com.  Thank you.

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     I appreciate your interest in my baseball pitching motion and training programs.  I will put your email in my 2007 Question/Answer file.

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276.  So, to paraphrase, you are asserting that Mr. Ryan is a liar, and that the reason he lies about House's abilities as a pitching coach is because Mr. Ryan enjoys a lucrative financial relationship with Tom House, correct?

Here is part of your response to my note:

"Mr. Ryan retired because, at the end of his final year, he injured his pitching arm. That injury was a result of Mr. House's teachings."

Here is a short excerpt from Mr. Ryan's Hall of Fame speech:

"And that last year you weren't there I can really say, buddy, I missed you."

Mr. Ryan had already announced his retirement before the 1993 season commenced, and he apparently tore a ligament on Sept 22, 1993, with only two more starts left on his schedule.  More to the point, it sounds as though Mr. House was no longer coaching the Rangers or Mr. Ryan in his final year at Texas.  Do you think there is any chance that it was the absence of Mr. House's influence and coaching ability that led to Mr. Ryan's problem?


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     No.

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277.  I was throwing Sunday with my 14 year old, 5'4" son and we were using your motion to work on the sinker.  My son is still learning accuracy with your motion.  Me too, I always throw the ball high.

The story though is that my son always says he can not throw as hard with your motion.  I told him, on occassion, when he gets the slingshot right he throws harder.  While we where throwing he got it really right once.

We were about 80 ft apart and he let it fly.  It was high, but it almost burned my index finger off, and I was using a catcher's mitt with 3 layers of leather!  I threw that glove off and grabbed my hand.  Whew!  Man that smarts.

I think he now knows that he can throw hard with your motion.  Now to continue work on the accuracy.


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     Because 'traditional' baseball pitchers generate so much horizontal centripetal force, they sling their pitching forearm laterally away from their body.  As a result, their pitching forearm is almost horizontal at release.  Therefore, with their pitches, 'traditional' baseball pitchers suffer from horizontal inconsistency.

     Because, just before they release their pitches, my baseball pitchers tilt the line across the top of their shoulders forty-five degrees to their glove side and because, during the final phase of my baseball pitching motion, the 'Slingshot' phase, my baseball pitchers powerfully pronate their pitching forearms, they separate the longitudinal line the pitching forearm from the longitudinal line of their pitching upper arm.  As a result, their pitching forearm is almost vertical at release.  Therefore, with their pitches, my baseball pitchers suffer vertical inconsistency.

     Whereas, to correct for their horizontal inconsistency, 'traditional' baseball pitchers have to pull their pitching arm across the front of their body, to correct for their vertical inconsistency, my baseball pitchers stand tall and rotate with their body tilted toward home plate.  I suspect that, with your upper body, you and your son are still bending forward.

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278.  I might be bending still.  My son, on the other hand, has that little hop at the end and is standing tall.  Are you still teaching the hop at the end?

I do try to stand tall, but as you know, sometimes you do not realize what your body does.  I think I will film myself and see what I am doing wrong.  I will film my son as well.

I think it is just finding the release point and being consistent with arm position at the beginning of the slingshot.  It takes time, practice and patience.  Back to the clothesline drill I concocted to teach my son with.

One day, the only pitching motion will be yours.


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     The hop at the end of my baseball pitching motion indicates that my baseball pitchers have powerfully forwardly rotated their hips, shoulders and pitching upper arm, such that, when they simultaneously extended their pitching elbow, pronated their pitching forearm and inwardly rotated their pitching upper arm, pushed back with their glove foot and leaned back with their upper body, to maintain their balance, they had to hop forward with their glove foot.

     With my Maxline pitches, my baseball pitchers have to learn how to drive their pitching hand in straight lines toward home plate while powerfully forwardly rotating their body, such that they drive the baseball to the pitching arm side of their body.

     To enable my baseball pitchers to release their Maxline pitches outside of the glove arm side of home plate, such that they can apply lateral force to these pitches toward the pitching arm side of home plate and to enable my baseball pitchers to more easily forwardly rotate their hips, shoulders and pitching upper arm to point at home plate, I teach my baseball pitchers to walk forward at a thirty to forty-five degree angle to the glove side of the line between their pitching foot and home plate.

     This 'Drop Step' coupled with driving their pitching knee inwardly toward their glove knee enables my baseball pitchers to move their pitching hip rapidly forward.

     I teach my baseball pitchers to 'walk' forward off the pitching rubber with their glove leg.  This means that I want the heel of their glove foot to land, followed immediately by rolling across the entire length of their foot and, finally, when they start to raise up on their glove toes, to initiate the powerful forward rotation of their hips, shoulders and pitching upper arm, I want them to powerfully pull straight back with their glove hand.

     With my Torque pitches, my baseball pitchers have to learn how to turn their shoulders to face toward the glove side of home plate while they powerfully forwardly rotate their body, such that they drive the baseball in front of their body.

     To enable my baseball pitchers to release their Torque pitches outside of the pitching arm side of home plate, such that they can apply lateral force to these pitches toward the glove arm side of home plate, I teach my baseball pitchers to walk forward such that the heel of their glove foot lands on or to the pitching arm side of the line between their pitching foot and home plate.

     This 'Cross Step' coupled with powerfully turning their shoulders to face the glove arm side of home plate enables my baseball pitchers to move their pitching hip rapidly forward around their glove foot.

     With my Torque pitches, I also teach my baseball pitchers to 'walk' forward off the pitching rubber with their glove leg.  This means that I want the heel of their glove foot to land, followed immediately by rolling across the entire length of their foot and, finally, when they start to raise up on their glove toes, to initiate the powerful forward rotation of their hips, shoulders and pitching upper arm, I want them to powerfully pull straight back with their glove hand.

     As with my Maxline pitches, this walking rhythm enables my baseball pitchers to not only continuously move the center of mass of their body forward, but to also properly time when they should start the powerful forward rotation of their body.

     Whereas 'traditional' baseball pitchers start to forwardly rotate their hips, shoulders and pitching arm before their pitching forearm has completed its 'Late Pitching Forearm Turnover,' my baseball pitchers not only are moving their pitching forearm forward when they start to forwardly rotate their hips, shoulders and pitching upper arm, but they have also moved and continue to move the center of mass of their body closer to home plate before they release their pitches.

     Batters anticipate the arrival of fastballs by calculating the velocity of the pitching arms of pitchers, such that when my baseball pitchers release their pitches closer to home plate, batters mistakenly believe that the baseball will arrive later than it does.  This 'Hidden Velocity' explains why my baseball pitchers can throw slower fastballs that arrive at home plate sooner than batters expect.

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279.  I know everyone is hyped up about the gyroball.  I also found out why.

1.  It sinks like your sinker
2.  It moves like your sinker
3.  It gets to the plate faster than a fastball.

On-line, there is a slideshow about it.  It is an engineered pitch.  Those Japanese are really something.

http://accc.riken.jp/E/HPC_e/gyroball/developmentofgyoroball.html

I know you were sent the link for the high-speed video, but this slideshow is behind it and clearly explains the value of this pitch.  Look at the final speed vs the fastball and the drop.  The trick is that the seam rotation has less wind resistance, but yet is quite susceptable to gravity (no lift).

The big problem is that it requires supination to throw it.  Maybe you can work out a way we can throw it with pronation.


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     In the first slide show, I enjoyed watching the three views of the baseball pitchers 'traditional' baseball pitching motion.  However, the clarity was insufficient to be able to see how he released the pitch.  Also, I would like to be able to freeze frame at the moment when his glove foot lands.

     That he strides to the glove side of the line between his pitching foot and home plate indicates that he completed his 'Reverse Pitching Forearm Turnover' before his glove foot landed.  If so, this would reduce the stress of his 'Reverse Pitching Forearm Bounce' on his Ulnar Collateral Ligament.

     In the fifth slide, the diagram of the position of his pitching arm at release show a ninety degree angle in his pitching elbow.  That is nonsense.  While it does appear that he does powerfully pronate his pitching forearm on what appears to be a fastball, because, after he releases the baseball, his pitching arm moves across the front of his body and downward, his entire pitching arm is outside of vertical at release.

     In the seventh slide, they compare his 'traditional' baseball pitching motion with another baseball pitching motion.  Actually, they are the same baseball pitching motion with one adjustment.  The second baseball pitching motion uses my 'Pendulum Swing.'  That is, in the second baseball pitching motion, instead of having his pitching hand on top of the baseball, the baseball pitcher brings the baseball back with his pitching hand facing forward.  That is a good idea.

     Wow, in the eighth slide show, the animated baseball pitcher has a terrible 'Grab' action that, if an actual baseball pitcher had thrown this way, then he would have a terrible 'Loop' in this pitching forearm action.  He certainly would not be able to drive the baseball in the straight line that this animation shows.

     The ninth slide shows slow motion of the eighth slide.  If baseball pitchers threw with this pitching arm action, then they would tear their pitching arm apart.  However, I find it interesting that these animated baseball pitchers have their pitching arm at driveline height before their glove foot lands.

     In their tenth slide, they try to explain how their baseball pitchers horizontally forwardly rotate their shoulders and vertically forwardly rotate their pitching forearm with a ninety degree bent pitching elbow.  They call this, 'Double Spins.'  This is nonsense.  Their baseball pitchers have the same 'Pitching Forearm Flyout,' which all 'traditional' baseball pitchers do.  Therefore, the longitudinal line of their pitching forearm lines up with the longitudinal line of their pitching upper arm.  They do not separate their pitching forearm from their pitching upper arm.  Ninety degree bend in the pitching elbow, my butt.

     In an earlier discussion of Mr. Matsuzaka's pitching motion, I noted that he has the same 'Pitching Forearm Flyout' with the fully extended pitching elbow joint as 'traditional' baseball pitchers.

     In their eleventh slide, they show two baseballs.  The first baseball has a reverse twelve to six o'clock spin axis with two seams colliding with the on-rushing air molecules.  The second baseball has a spiral spin axis.  Unfortunately, as I do in my Baseball Pitching Instructional Video, they do not show this pitch with the circle of friction on the front of the baseball.  Apparently, they do not understand the importance of the seams of the baseball colliding with air molecules.

     They say that the spin axis of the second baseball is their gyroball spin.  Actually, if, instead of having the spin axis horizontally pointing toward home plate, they had a forty-five degree spin axis pointing toward home plate, then this pitch would be either my Maxline Fastball Sinker or my Torque Fastball Slider.  The circle of friction on the front of the baseball would collide with the on-rushing air molecules to drive the baseball downward.

     While the spin axis they describe would collide with the on-rushing air molecules to decelerate the baseball, only the sideways spin of the two seams of the baseball would cause the baseball to move to the glove arm side of home plate.  As a result, the baseball would slow down and move to the glove arm side of home plate as either a right-handed pitcher's slider or a left-handed pitchers sinker.

     In their sixteenth slide, they show the movement of the air molecules behind two baseballs, one has four seams rotating sideways and the other has two seams rotating sideways.

     In their seventeenth slide, they claim that wake of the four-seam gyroball is more narrow than the wake of the two-seam gyroball.  They are trying to say that what happens behind the baseball influences how quickly the air molecules in front of the baseball decelerate the baseball.

     In their twentieth slide, they graphically show that their gyroball moves downward, but not as much as a forkball.  If they want to see dramatic downward movement, then they should compare their gyroball with my Maxline Fastball Sinker.  That these baseballs moved downward shows that air molecules colliding with seams pushed the baseballs down and decelerated the baseballs.

     In their twenty-first slide, they claim that, even though their baseball pitchers released their fastballs, forkballs, four-seam gyroball and two-seam gyroball at the same release velocity, their four-seam gyroball arrived at home plate 3.6 meters per second faster than their fastball and their two-seam gyroball arrived at home plate 0.7 meters per second faster than their fastball.  They are saying that these pitches moved changed directions, but did not decelerate.

     They are saying that the wake of pitched baseballs determines how rapidly they decelerate on their way to home plate.  Professor Magnus is spinning in his grave.  In his Magnus Effect of Bernoulli's Fluid Flow Equation, Professor Magnus showed that when baseball seams forwardly rotate to collide with the on-rushing air molecules, they create greater pressure, such that the baseball moves away from that force.  Therefore, if the baseball spirals, then the seams that are constantly on the front of the baseball collide with the on-rushing air molecules to decelerate the baseball even faster.

     In their twenty-second slide, they say that, because the four-seam gyroball has less drag than the fastball, the four-seam gyroball arrives at home plate with a higher velocity that the fastball.  I need to see how they determined the release and final velocities of these pitches.

     In their twenty-fourth slide, they say that without regard for whether their baseball pitchers throw two-seam or four-seam gyroballs, they say that the drop and delay of the baseball is controllable.  If their gyroballs have a delay phase, then how does it arrive at home plate with a higher velocity than fastballs?  Do fastballs also have a delay phase that is larger?

     In their twenty-fifth slide, they show Mr. Matsuzaka throwing their two-seam gyroball.  If we look closely at the spin axis, even though they do not black in that circle of friction, we can see the circle of friction on the top, front of the baseball precisely how I teach my baseball pitchers to throw my Torque Fastball Slider.  Also, because immediately after he releases the pitch, he turns his pitching thumb downward, it is clear that Mr. Matsuzaka pronates the release of this pitch.

     Unfortunately, Mr. Matsuzaka does not pronate sufficiently powerful to prevent his pitching forearm from moving downward and across the front of his body or to engage his Teres Major and Latissimus Dorsi muscles to decelerate his pitching arm.  As a result, he is in danger of injuring his Teres Minor muscle.

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280.  I just heard you on WEEI in Boston during my morning drive to work; great stuff!

I will be sure to talk to my 7 year old son, who is just starting little league this week, about the right and wrong way to throw a ball.


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     I appreciate the kind words.  Now, we have to make sure that your son learns how to pronate his releases, pendulum swing his pitching arm to driveline height and use the crow-hop throwing rhythm.

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281.  You have my attention after listening to you this morning on Boston Sports Radio.  As a lover of baseball, a coach of 24 years, son of a former minor league catcher (Reading Phillies) and one who despises those who teach youngsters and allow them to destroy their arms, I found your appearance riveting.

  If you are ever in the Boston area providing a clinic, you will have a least one in attendance.  Your website has been saved at the top of my favorites.


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     I would love to speak at a baseball convention, clinic or camp in the Boston area.  Last year, a friend of mine tried to convince the Massachusetts High School Baseball Association to have me speak, but they refused.

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282.  You know so much about the pitching motion!  I really enjoy talking about the gyroball slide show with you.

I agree that the pitching motion that these Japanese pitchers use is mostly traditional and I see that they have really bad forearm flyout and looping.  I just chalk that up to the fact they do not know any better.  Maybe we should go to Japan to teach.  I understand that they pick up on new concepts really fast.

I looked at the second high-speed video on the website and ran it in yet slower motion.  I got the grip and spin axis for the gyroball.

The grip is this (four seam gyro or bullet spin):

1.  horseshoe pointing away from you,
2.  index finger on the long seam (finger tip on the curvature of the seam),
3.  middle finger right beside the index finger,
4.  thumb on panel under ball (almost 2 empty panels between index finger and thumb) and 5.  ring finger tightly grasping the side and 6.  pressure applied between thumb and index finger.

My son and I took a bucket of balls last night and learned how to throw it.  He used your mechanics and threw it well.  It comes in FAST and just DROPs out of sight!  Dangerous to me catching I can tell you.  He failed to get the spin a few times and it had slider or fastball spin when he failed.  I think he was applying pressure on the middle finger when he failed.


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     The gyroball in this slide show is actually nothing more than a two-seam pitch that spirals on its way to home plate with the two seam rotating toward their glove side.  We call this pitch, slider.

     In my video, I teach the proper way to align the circle of friction, grip, drive and release my Torque Fastball Slider.

     While it appears that they teach their baseball pitchers how to pronate the release of this pitch, which prevents them from slamming the olecranon process of their pitching arm into its fossa, it is possible, even likely, that some of their baseball pitchers sometimes supinate their release and lose extension range of motion in their pitching elbow.

     Every other aspect in their baseball pitching motion is injurious.  Here are four examples.

01.  Their 'Reverse Pitching Forearm Bounce' will rupture their Ulnar Collateral ligament.
02.  Their 'Pitching Forearm Flyout' will decrease the flexion range of motion of their pitching elbow.
03.  Their 'Pitching Forearm Flyout' will injure the attachment of their Teres Minor muscle.
04.  Their excessive reverse rotation will injure the attachment of their Subscapularis muscle.

     With the slider, it is possible for baseball pitchers to pronate too late, such that the two bones will collide.  I recommend that, until the growth plates in the head of their Humerus bone completely mature at biological nineteen years old, my baseball pitchers do not throw sliders.  I prefer that they master the pronation release of my four-seam Maxline Pronation Curve and two-seam Torque Pronation Curve for several years first.

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283.  Mr. House did not reply to my question.

One question I do have and I think I understand what you are communicating, but I would like to make sure of one thing.

Balance on your front leg is important and the stride should be where you can establish balance?  That will be different for different people based on several factors, but landing on your heal and not being able to get up over the front leg to follow through is a problem correct?


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     With the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion, baseball pitchers stride so far that they cannot continue the forward movement of the center of mass of their body.  With my baseball pitching motion, my baseball pitchers 'walk' forward, such that they continuously move the center of mass of their body forward.

     When we walk, the heel of our foot lands first, then we roll across the entire length of our foot and then we come up on our toes and push off for the next step.  This is exactly what I want my baseball pitchers to do.  We coordinate the rapid forward rotation of our hips, shoulders and pitching upper arm with the push off for the next step and, as a result, we can stand tall and release our pitches as high as our height and vertical pitching forearm enable us.  We do not want any bending forward at the waist.

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284.  I HEARD ABOUT YOUR SITE ON THE RADIO THIS MORNING.  I THINK WHAT YOU ARE DOING IS AWESOME!  IT IS UNFORTUNATE THAT TOO MANY KIDS AND ADULTS BLOW OUT THERE ARMS BECAUSE OF IMPROPER INFORMATION AND/OR TRAINING.

MIKE, I HAVE A QUESTION FOR YOU.

MY SON TURNED 13 LAST WEEK AND IS GOING TO THE BIG FIELD THIS YEAR FULL TIME.  HE WAS A DOMINANT PITCHER IN LITTLE LEAGUE, BUT WHEN HE PLAYED MIDDLE SCHOOL BALL AS A SIXTH GRADER LAST YEAR (BIG FIELD), HE GOT HURT IN THE FIRST PRACTICE THROWING FROM 60 FEET.  HE HAD TENDON STRAIN IN HIS RIGHT SHOULDER HE DIDN'T PITCH ALL SPRING OR SUMMER LAST YEAR.  BUT HE DID WORK OUT WITH A X-PRO AND CURRENT COLLEGE TRAINER (AND STILL DOES WINTER INCLUDED).  HE PITCHED IN THE FALL LAST YEAR (BIG FIELD) AND DID FINE.

I AM WONDERING IF HE SHOULD PLAY OTHER POSITIONS AND LEAVE PITCHING ALONE UNTIL HIS BODY DEVELOPS INTO MORE OF A MAN.  HE IS ABOUT 5'7", 160 LBS, THROWS AROUND 70MPH.  HE LOVES BASEBALL AND WANTS TO PLAY COLLEGE BALL.

IF YOU WERE HIS DAD WHAT WOULD YOU HAVE HIM DO?


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     The first thing that I would do is make sure that my son learns to do is pronate the releases of all the pitches that I teach.  I use my Wrong Foot body action; Slingshot glove and pitching arm actions drill to teach these skills to my baseball pitchers.  He should complete my First 60-Day Youth Baseball Pitchers Motor Skill Acquisition Program.

     The second thing that I would do is make sure that my son learns how to maximally lengthen his driveline.  I use my Wrong Foot body action; Loaded Slingshot glove and pitching arm actions drill to teach this skill to my baseball pitchers.  He should complete my Second 60-Day Youth Baseball Pitchers Motor Skill Acquisition Program.

     The third thing that I would do is make sure that my son learns how to smoothly pendulum swing his pitching arm to driveline height, such that he starts his powerful acceleration phase with a positive velocity and his pitching hand the full length of his pitching forearm behind his pitching elbow.  I use my Wrong Foot body action; Pendulum Swing glove and pitching arm actions drill to teach this skill to my baseball pitchers.  He should complete my Third 60-Day Youth Baseball Pitchers Motor Skill Acquisition Program.

     The fourth thing that I would do is make sure that my son learns how to drop step to his glove side with all my Maxline pitches and cross step with all my Torque pitches, such that he lands on his glove heel, rolls across the entire length of his glove foot and, when he raise up on his glove toe powerfully forwardly rotates his hips, shoulders and pitching arm to point at home plate before he powerfully extends his pitching elbow, pronates his pitching forearm and inwardly rotates his pitching shoulder through release.  I use my Wind-Up body action: Pseudo-Traditional Pendulum Swing glove and pitching arm actions drill and my Wind-Up body action; Drop Out Pendulum Swing glove and pitching arm actions drill to teach this skill to my baseball pitchers.  He should complete my Fourth 60-Day Youth Baseball Pitchers Motor Skill Acquisition Program.

     Everything that you need is on my website for you to read, watch and download for free.  All you and your son need to do is invest your time and effort to understand what to do and do it.

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285.  I heard you speak on the WEEI radio this morning up in Providence RI.  My son is fourteen years old.

He has been pitching since he was ten.  I would love to view your video “on line” as you recommended this morning, but I’m unable to do so.  Problems with the website.  I’m looking forward to seeing for myself; the ‘unconventional’, but proper throwing motion.  My son sometimes complains of arm pain after pitching.  I’m excited to show him your ideas.


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     I am sorry that you could not access the sections of my Baseball Pitching Instructional Video.  I just went to my website and successfully accessed my Credentials section.  I wish that I enough about computers to advise you, but I do not.  Please try again.  However, you can get your own DVD copy of my video.  With your own copy, you will be able to see more clearly and stop, reverse and so on.

     If you tell me where your son experiences discomfort after pitching, then I will tell you which injurious flaw in the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion that he uses is causing the problem.

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286.  Mr. Dr. Pitching Coach, Exercise Physiologist/Kinesiologist, Snake Oil Salesman, etc.

  I just heard an interview of yours on the internet and read a few things of what you had to say about the number of pitchers you trained who have never been injured, your kinesiological analysis of "old" pitching styles and the advantages of your pitching style and methodology and your assertion that people in the majors are blackballing you and there is a right wing "conspiracy" designed to avoid having any of your trained pitchers succeed on the major league level or little league for that matter.

  I was wondering.  Did you ever get hit on the head when you were pitching because you are so full of what makes the grass green there has to be some excuse for your nonsense.  In all seriousness, if your product or service is as great as you claim it to be, no matter how many people are conspiring against you, there would be athletes lining up around the block to get your magic potion.


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     I appreciate that you took the time to tell me your thoughts.

     To answer your questions:

01.  No baseball pitcher I have trained who learned my baseball pitching motion and completed my training programs has ever injured their pitching arm.

02.  To watch my kinesiological analysis of the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion and learn my baseball pitching motion, I have put the sections of my Baseball Pitching Instructional Video on my website.  You can watch these sections for free.  I look forward to your comments.

03.  People in major league baseball can hire whomever they want.  I have no problem with that.  However, I do have a problem with the systematic destruction of the pitching arms of every generation of youth baseball pitchers.  Perhaps, you and I share this concern.

04.  My baseball pitching motion and training programs are as great as I claim.  If you are ever in the Tampa, FL area between the third Saturday in August until the fourth Saturday in May, then I invite you to see for yourself.

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287.  I'm not a baseball player, just a lifelong Red Sox fan.  I happened to hear your comments this morning on the Dennis and Callahan radio program with John Dennis and Steve Buckley, which were quite fascinating.  I've never heard pitchers' mechanical and injury problems discussed and explained in such a logical way before.  As a fan, it certainly changes the way I view the pitching portion of the game.  It's surprising that more pitchers and coaches don't learn and apply your concepts.

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     If they did, then we would eliminate pitching injuries.

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288.  I have a soon to be nine year old boy who pitches, catches plays first and sometimes short.  Looking for some quick advice before the season starts.  Our first practice is this weekend.  Please point me to the chapters in you book that would address proper techniques in not only pitching but more importantly throwing from all positions.  I'm also a Rookie Coach and believe in setting a good foundation for all the kids not just my son.

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     The first thing that you should do is make sure that he learns to do is pronate the releases of all the pitches that I teach.  I use my Wrong Foot body action; Slingshot glove and pitching arm actions drill to teach these skills to my baseball pitchers.  He should complete my First 60-Day Youth Baseball Pitchers Motor Skill Acquisition Program.

     The second thing that you should do is make sure that he learns how to maximally lengthen his driveline.  I use my Wrong Foot body action; Loaded Slingshot glove and pitching arm actions drill to teach this skill to my baseball pitchers.  He should complete my Second 60-Day Youth Baseball Pitchers Motor Skill Acquisition Program.

     The third thing that you should do is make sure that he learns how to smoothly pendulum swing his pitching arm to driveline height, such that he starts his powerful acceleration phase with a positive velocity and his pitching hand the full length of his pitching forearm behind his pitching elbow.  I use my Wrong Foot body action; Pendulum Swing glove and pitching arm actions drill to teach this skill to my baseball pitchers.  He should complete my Third 60-Day Youth Baseball Pitchers Motor Skill Acquisition Program.

     The fourth thing that you should do is make sure that he learns how to drop step to his glove side with all my Maxline pitches and cross step with all my Torque pitches, such that he lands on his glove heel, rolls across the entire length of his glove foot and, when he raise up on his glove toe powerfully forwardly rotates his hips, shoulders and pitching arm to point at home plate before he powerfully extends his pitching elbow, pronates his pitching forearm and inwardly rotates his pitching shoulder through release.  I use my Wind-Up body action: Pseudo-Traditional Pendulum Swing glove and pitching arm actions drill and my Wind-Up body action; Drop Out Pendulum Swing glove and pitching arm actions drill too teach this skill to my baseball pitchers.  He should complete my Fourth 60-Day Youth Baseball Pitchers Motor Skill Acquisition Program.

     Everything that you need is on my website for you to read, watch and download for free.  All you and your son need to do is invest your time and effort to understanding what to do and doing it.

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289.  My son is being slated to be a closer on his high school baseball team.  Being not wealthy at all in fact being barely able to make ends meet, I was wondering, after listening to you on weei in Boston on my way to work if there is anyway you could send me via email illustrations on your technique.

I know you explained it on the radio, but for some reason I just didn't get it enough to explain it to my son.  He throws strikes, but could use more speed on his pitches.


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     Everything that you and your son need is free on my website.  You can watch the sections of my Baseball Pitching Instructional Video, copy my 120-Day High School Baseball Pitchers Interval-Training Program and email me with any questions all without charge.  Together, we will help your son become the best injury-free, highly-skilled High School Junior baseball pitcher that he can be.

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290.  You are right Dr. Marshall about the pitching motion that the Japanese pitchers use to throw the gyroball.  Itis very injurious, even scary.  I think I can change the pitch to your sinker motion with a change in grip.  I will play with it a bit.  It's probably a waste of time, but gives me something to occupy my mind.

Here is why I am a bit excited about the gyroball.

The spin is actually a little different than the slider.  If thrown incorrectly it will have a slider spin.  If thrown correctly the spin is such that the air resistance is significantly reduced.  There is no distinct dot (circle of friction) as in your slider.

For example, a four seam fastball decreases 9 mph from release to the plate.  According to their documentation, the special rotation of the gyroball prevent this deceleration.  The gyroball only decreases 1 to 2 mph from its release velocity.  Add that to your motion and you can effectively deliver a ball with release velocity at the plate, that sinks hard.

This is one pitch that can not be duplicated in a modern pitching machine.

A person, who has mastered your 6 pitches, would be a more effective pitcher than any gyroball pitcher, because batters will eventually learn how to read that pitch and hammer it, or at least lay off it.  Your variety makes it very hard for the batters to predict what is coming and your motion makes it very hard to read the pitch from release.

P.S.: My fourteen year old son was very effective with your pronation curve at his JV game yesterday.


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     Despite the spiral rifle-bullet similarity of the spin axis of the gyroball, baseballs are round.  They do not have the shape of rifle bullets that enable them to slice through air molecules.

     Also, whenever baseball pitchers release their pitches, they transfer the force of the tips of their index and middle fingers to the baseball.

01.  With fastballs, baseball pitchers drive their fingers through the center of the baseball.  As a result, most of the force that they apply goes to horizontal velocity.

02.  With gyroballs, baseball pitchers drive their fingers down the outside of the baseball.  As a result, much more of the force that they apply goes to spin velocity.  This means that, even with the same pitching arm velocity, the release velocity of gyroballs cannot be as high as the release velocity of fastballs.

     Further, the gyroball baseball pitch has the same cross-sectional area as every other baseball pitch.  To determine the terminal velocity of falling objects, the two critical variables are cross-sectional area and weight. Therefore, how baseballs spin is irrelevant to their maximum falling velocity.  How the seams of spinning baseball collide with air molecules can only change the flight path that pitched baseball follow, not how much air molecules decelerate them.

     Do you actually believe that disturbance of the air molecules behind pitched baseballs (their wake) somehow applies more force to pitched baseballs that overcomes the deceleration force of colliding with air molecules?

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291.  Would this strategy of mechanics work for an infielder and their throwing motion, or is it exclusive to pitchers?

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     Except that they do not practice the releases for my Maxline True Screwball and Maxline Pronation Curve, baseball position players should complete the same training programs as pitchers.

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292.  Jack Morris keeps coming to mind concerning arm extension and angles.

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     If I could watch some video of Mr. Morris, then I could tell you whether he has any injurious flaws in his pitching motion.  To see whether he pronates his releases, I would need to see high-speed film of Mr. Morris.

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293.  I am 24 years old.  I had Tommy John surgery in my last year of high school, so I missed playing ball my final year of high school.  After one year of rehab, I was able to start pitching again.

As a freshman, I did good.  I pitched about 30 innings.  But in my second year of college I had to leave school, due to my girlfriend's illness.  My arm is good, no UCL joint pain at all.

I would like to ask for some help with my mechanics, as I see that you have your own program.  I am looking for about 10 or so sessions with a coach, either yourself or a coach you can recommend.  Please reply if you can help me at all, My father would like to get some dates set up as well as the cost.  I am just a young man who wants to try to pitch with better mechanics that will help me not get injured again.


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     I only train recent high school and junior college graduates.  For everybody else, I provide my Baseball Pitching Instructional Video and my training programs for free.  And, I am available to answer any questions for free.

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294.  Do you have any research studies to look at that tested what you teach?

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     In Chapter Thirty of my Coaching Baseball Pitching book, I explain the high-speed film study I did to determine the displacement, velocity and acceleration graphs for the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion that I used at that time.

     To determine the effectiveness of the interval-training programs that I use, I have daily reports on what I asked my baseball pitchers to do and their discomfort reports.  These records show that, because my baseball pitchers are able to continue to train at very high intensities throughout my training programs, my baseball pitchers increase their ability to apply force without significant discomfort.

     Other than that, I am one person without equipment and staff.  The evidence of the success of what we do is in the performances of those with whom I work.

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295.  As a youth, I remember your pitching mastery very well.  I recently heard a radio interview you gave and was quite intrigued.  As a medical doctor, your logic was appealing.

My brother was a 6'5", lights out left-handed fireballer, who burned out his arm in high school, undoubtebly due to poor mechanics; a real tragedy.  My son is a 14 year-old right-handed pitcher, who is just beginning to go through puberty.

He is a very skilled pitcher, who despite average stature has been dominant as a Little Leaguer, playing in the very competitive leagues before we moved.  Though one can never be certain, it is not likely that he will be the physical specimen my brother was.  However, what my son has is incredible discipline and drive.  If there were ever a kid, who could will himself into the majors, it would be my son.

He is currently working with coaches in a well-known baseball facility in our area, but I am concerned that these guys, though well-meaning, are "old-school" (i.e., ignorant) pitching coaches.  I would be most interested in having him learn your system.  However, a 120-day program is not feasible.

He attends a very academically competitive school and would not be able to spend 120 days until his graduation.  Do you run any shorter programs for youths, such as a 6 week summer program?  If not, are there any coaches in our area, who you could recommend?


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     Until your son is biologically sixteen years old, he should complete my First, Second, Third and Fourth 60-Day Youth Baseball Pitchers Motor Skill Acquisition Programs.

     In the First 60-Day program, he will learn how to pronate the releases of his pitches.

     In the Second 60-Day program, he will learn how to maximally lengthen his driveline.

     In the Third 60-Day program, he will learn how to pendulum swing his pitching arm to driveline height with continuous uniform velocity.

     In the Fourth 60-Day program, he will learn how to incorporate the crow-hop throwing rhythm into his pitching motion.

     In my Certified Marshall Baseball Pitching Coaches file, I list the names of those who have completed my Certification Course and offer their services.  However, with my Baseball Pitching Instructional Video, you and you son should be able to learn how to perform the drills that I use to teach these skills.

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296.  I heard an interview with you on local sports radio so I looked up your website.  As a former minor league pitcher, I thought your comments were interesting although I do not understand much of the terminology.

  I find some of what you say about pitch count refreshing as I threw over 100 pitches every day of baseball season to my dad from age 12 to 17 and never had as sore arm.  Sometimes I would throw those 100 pitches after throwing a complete game because I was not satisfied with my performance.  When I went to College, the coaches restricted my practice throws and no catcher wanted to catch dozens of 90 mph + pitches every day.  I felt unprepared when I went into games, felt I needed more practice.  In minor leagues it was even worse.  Coaches stopped my from throwing almost completely except for games.  I felt totally out of shape to throw and like each appearance was the first game of spring training.  I just thought these coaches were wrong but I was just a stupid kid then.

I don't necessarily buy your statements about pitching very little up to late teen years because my experience was no sore arms until I tried a come-back in semi-pro ball at age 34 when the fastball was gone and I snapped my elbow trying to throw a screwball.  Now at age 60, I can still throw a ball hard with no pain (after 20 years to recover from the screwball elbow).  I don't know how much I owe that to growing up on a farm and having to do heavy work from age 8 or so or to playing in the short season in the northeast for most of my years.


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     Until the growth plates in the pitching elbow completely mature at biological sixteen years old, I recommend that youth baseball pitchers do not pitch at competitive intensities for more than two consecutive months per year.  If they prematurely close growth plates or worse, then they cause irreversible damage.

     That you were able to throw so hard for as many pitches you threw indicates that you minimized the unnecessary stress of the injurious flaws in the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion.  However, that you injured your pitching elbow throwing a screwball indicates that you had the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion injurious flaw of 'Reverse Pitching Forearm Bounce.'

     Those professional baseball pitching coaches told me the same thing.  However, I either ignored them and threw against a wall or I threw before or after I was at the ball park.  When I became successful, I did whatever I wanted.  Every day, they would say that I was going to injure myself.  Nevertheless, I finished first, second, fourth, fifth and seventh in the Cy Young Award before they even considered closers for the award.

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297.  Some brief questions.

1.  Why does your advice of at least 24 reps during weight training not apply to your barbell overload exercise for the front batting arm? You have advised 10 reps for that exercise?

2.  MLB pitcher Kenny Rogers is having surgery for blood clots and capillary damage in the pitching shoulder.  Amazingly, he plans to return.  Does the damage have anything to do with the traditional motion?  Have you ever heard of such damage in the pitching shoulder?  How can these older pitchers, some in their mid-forties, continue to pitch with such injurious flaws?

3.  Have you any new solutions for grabbing?

4.  After the upper arm is locked and the palm positioned for the appropriate pitch, does the palm maintain that same orientation throughout the delivery?  Sometimes my palm wanders during forward rotation of the hips and torso.  It tends to want to twist toward my head.  Obviously, compensations are being made that are probably not good.  Have you ever noticed this phenomenon in your pitchers?


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01.  I wrote the Overload; For the Quick Bat article.  However, after he changed some things, including the number of repetitions I recommended, Danny Litwhiler submitted it under his name only.

02.  When 'traditional' baseball pitchers pull their pitching elbow across the front of their shoulder, they pinch the Subclavian Vein against the first rib.  If they also have a tendency to clot, then the slowing of the blood flow through this area causes their blood to clot.  Unfortunately, this is another dirty secret about the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion that 'traditional' baseball pitching coaches do not tell you.  Do you remember J. R. Richards.  He had a stroke that ended his major league career.

03.  My Wrong Foot body action; Loaded Slingshot glove and pitching arm actions drill teaches baseball pitchers how to keep their pitching hand the full length of their pitching forearm behind their pitching elbow.  It is the heartbreak of coaching when they do not do it properly with my Wind-Up body action; Pseudo-Traditional and Drop Out glove and pitching arm actions competitive baseball pitching motions.

04.  I tell my baseball pitchers to assume my Slingshot glove and pitching arm actions position before their reposition their pitching forearm for whatever pitch they are going to throw.  If they try to do both things simultaneously, then, as you said, their pitching forearm wanders.  It is very important that they get their pitching elbow as vertical as possible beside their head.  The inward force that their pitching upper arm generates when it moves to vertical causes their pitching forearm to move away from their head.

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298.  I heard you on the radio the other day and went to your website and reviewed some of your material.  I love your approach and thank you for your willingness to share your ideas.  I have one request, how do I find the Paper from Steinhaus and Norris that you referenced?  I could not find it on the HHS website (the new HEW).  Could you let me know if it exists on line?

I try to keep a rule about giving unsolicited advice, which is - don't do it.  That said and acknowledging that you didn't ask, but as a fellow consultant (different fields entirely), after listening to the difficulty you have in getting heard, I have a counter-intuitive suggestion.

Charge more for what you do.  Substantially raise your prices.  We Americans don't seem to value what is free or low cost, but when we have to pay to where it hurts, we embed value in the thing we are paying for.  That act changes how we view and value what we have paid for, and how seriously we take it and use what we paid for.


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     I pulled out my copy of the Teaching Neuromuscular Relaxation article written by Arthur H. Steinhaus and Jeanne E. Norris that the U.S. Department of Health Education and Welfare published in 1964 as their Cooperative Research Project No. 1529 and found that they listed it as ED 003 278.  I hope that helps you find it.

     I understand what you are saying about charging more for what I do.  However, I feel that only those who have the financial means would then receive the information that they need to eliminate pitching injuries.  Therefore, I want everybody to know of my willingness to share my ideas.  That means that I have to give my ideas away.

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299.  Great site, VERY informative.  Someday a big league GM or owner will see the light!  I am a former minor league pitcher (Cards) with daughters (twins, age 10) involved with softball.  Any comments on that pitching motion, not sure it's an area with which you involved?

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     I have not researched the fast-pitch softball pitching motion.  However, my fellow doctoral candidate, Dr. Charles W. Beach has.  He is the Head Softball Coach at Keene State College.  He has high-speed filmed his softball pitchers.  I have copies of his materials, but, rather than give my superficial assessment, perhaps you can contact him.

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300.  I just wanted to let you know my arm is feeling great.  I’m 90 days into your 120 day pitching program.

When I was looking at your 2007 questions and answers you talk about the two-seam grips for most of your pitches.  Do you have an explanation of these grips?  The grips in your video are four-seam maxline fastball and torque Fastball.  Can I work in the two seam fastballs or do you prefer for us to master the four seam grips first?

You got a post on the Sons of Sam Horn Site with your interview on WEEI in Boston.

http://sonsofsamhorn.net/index.php?showtopic=16869

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This morning, 3/29/07, on WEEI, Dennis and Steve Buckley interviewed former Cy Young winner and current Ph.D. in Physiology Dr. Mike Marshall.  They discussed his views and research on how major league pitchers could throw many more pitchers while also avoiding many (all?) of the injuries that plague their arms and shoulders.

I don't know enough about kinesiology to speak to the veracity of his claims, but I found it very interesting.  His basic point, if I understand him correctly, is that pitchers can throw harder and avoid injury by pronating each of the key releases in the pitching motion.  This sort of delivery would fundamentally change the pitching motion, resulting in an "ugly" non-traditional delivery that, he claims, major league baseball has largely refused to incorporate or even consider.

Further, he claims most pitching coaches are incompetent and merely perpetuate the old ignorant ways of pitching.  They do so because of their fundamental lack of physiology knowledge and muscle structures and, as a result, are responsible for destroying pitchers' arms.  He claims pitch counts arise out of ignorance in an attempt to prevent the injuries inherent in the flawed pitching form employed by most pitchers.

He speaks briefly about Matsuzaka and mentions that his mild pronation mitigates his injury risk.  He also talks indirectly about Papelbon, acknowledging he had not seen him pitch, but allowed that, using a traditional (i.e., flawed) motion, he would be better off, health-wise, pitching in the rotation where he could warm up and stretch out more before having to throw his best stuff.

Finally, he talks about the differences between throwing from the outfield vs. from the mound and why outfielders better motion prevent injuries.

You can read about him at his website: http://www.drmikemarshall.com/  You can hear the interview at the WEEI audio vault here: http://www.weei.com/pages/268228.php

Really interesting guy and the interview is definitely worth a listen, especially for pitchers.


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     During the first 206 days of my 280-Day Adult Baseball Pitchers Interval-Training Program, I want my baseball pitchers to only work on their pronation releases for my four-seam Maxline True Screwball, Maxline Fastball, Maxline Pronation Curve and Torque Fastball.  For the final seventy-four days, I want them to work on their pronation releases for my two-seam Maxline Fastball Sinker, Torque Fastball Slider, Maxline True Screwball, Maxline Fastball, Torque Pronation Curve and Torque Fastball.

     You are correct that, on my video, I only discuss the grips for my four-seam pitches and for my two-seam Maxline Fastball Sinker and Torque Fastball Slider.

     To grip my two-seam Maxline Fastball, my baseball pitchers rotate the baseball ninety degrees, such that, instead of putting their middle finger on the line that is perpendicular to the four seams of the baseball, they put their middle finger on the line that is perpendicular to the two seams of the baseball.  Their drive and release remain the same.

     To grip my two-seam Maxline True Screwball, my baseball pitchers start with my two-seam Maxline Fastball Sinker grip and rotate the baseball forty-five degrees, such that, instead of putting their middle finger along the side of the loop of the baseball, they put their middle finger against the bottom of the loop of the baseball.  Their drive and release remain the same.

     To grip my two-seam Torque Fastball, my baseball pitchers rotate the baseball ninety degrees, such that, instead of putting their index and middle fingers on either side of the line that is perpendicular to the four seams of the baseball, they put their index and middle fingers on either side the line that is perpendicular to the two seams of the baseball.  Their drive and release remain the same.

     To grip my two-seam Torque Pronation Curve, my baseball pitchers start with my two-seam Torque Fastball Slider grip and rotate the baseball forty-five degrees, such that, instead of putting their middle finger along the side of the loop of the baseball, they put their middle finger against the bottom of the loop of the baseball.  Their drive and release remain the same.

     Thanks for the heads up on the Sons of Sam Horn post.

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301.  I couple of days ago I heard you in the radio station and I thought that your information was great.  I went online to view your video but I can not because of an error message that I am getting.  Is there another way I can get a copy of your video?  I am involved in a youth league and I think that your information could be vital to our youths.

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     I am very sorry to hear that you were not able to access the sections of my Baseball Pitching Instructional Video.  I wish I knew enough about computers to tell you how to do it, but I don't.  Please try again.

     However, if you want your own DVD copy of my video, then I put instructions on how to request a copy in my FREE Baseball Pitching Instructional Video file.  With your own copy, you will see much better quality in the pictures and you can freeze frame, rewind and so on.  The day after I receive your request, I will put your copy in the mail.

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302.  I listened with fascination to your interview last week on WEEI in Boston.  If I am correct, you said that one could view some video via your website.  However, the links to these clips seem to be broken.  Am I correct or is the error on my end?

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     I just went to the site that is hosting the sections of my Baseball Pitching Instructional Video and I received a message that the Windows Media Player cannot play the file because the server is busy.

     I don't know whether this means that only a limited number of people can watch my video at a time or the server is busy with other things.  When I can put together enough money to buy a server and get the size of broadband service that I need to enable larger numbers of people to watch my video, I will do so.

     I am sorry for your inconvenience.  Please keep trying.

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303.  I thank you for your 2006 video.

I have been working with my son for about a year now.  He is now a High School Freshman.  In my estimation, he has mastered your upper body and pitching arm action.  He locks his upper arm with his shoulder quite well.  When watching him pitch from directly behind home plate, I never see his arm appear behind his body.  It is always pendulum swung directly toward second base.

He does an excellent job of driving the ball straight toward the catcher.  He keeps his forearm arm inside of his elbow, and pronates through his release.  When he releases his Maxline fastball, it appears he gets as much as half of the plate’s width of movement to his pitching arm side (he is right-handed).  The opposite is true when he torques it the other direction.  The high school coach has him double rostered between the Freshman squad and the Varsity squad.  He has pitched 4 innings of Varsity ball so far.

At the Varsity level, he has had two outings throwing two innings each, coming in relief with nobody out and the bases loaded both times.  He has allowed 3 hits, two of which were weak ground balls through the infield, and 1 earned run.  The movement of his pitches certainly takes the “sting” out of the opposing batters’ bats.  The late sharp movement of his Maxliner rely tries to “bite” off right-handed batters bats at the fist.  Left-handers even have more trouble.  I believe it may be because they are not accustomed to seeing a right-hander move the ball away from them so effectively.  He can deliver a very sharp breaking Pronation Curve, but is having trouble throwing it for strikes.  It is not an easy pitch for him to master, but he continues to work on it.  Also, as I mentioned in a previous message, he is still feeling thumb pain when throwing it.

His Freshman season just started last week.  He has started 1 game throwing 3 innings.  He gave up no hits, no runs, and recorded 8 strikeouts.  He has had absolutely no discomfort in his arm.  Every other pitcher has sore arms and lives with ice on their shoulders or elbow.  His high school season is only a week and a half old, and already there are 2 pitchers out with bad elbows.  It’s a shame.

But the real shame is, certain ways of thinking about tradition are so ingrained in some people’s minds, it’s very difficult to get them to change, even when the evidence for that needed change begs them to do so or they will surely suffer the negative consequences.  In the past, I have spoken with many of these boys and their parents about altering their sons pitching motions in order to reduce injuries and improve their performance.  I have even directed them to your website.  My words have fallen on deaf ears.

In fact, human nature is so strange at times.  These same boys who are now sitting on the sidelines with ice packs on their stiff swollen elbows, ridicule my son and his “weird” pitching motion.  They act as if my son and I have joined a “cult”.  Fortunately, my son has a very resilient personality.  He wears their ridicule like a badge of honor.  I also believe that some of the backlash has to do with pride and envy.  All of the boys who are causing the trouble are upper classmen, and I am sure they don’t appreciate seeing a Freshman having success this early.  I tell him not to say anything back to them and just work on his pitching, and let his performance on the mound speak for itself.

On another note, he is having trouble adapting portions of your lower body movements to the mound, especially the placement of his pitching foot.  The mounds in our area vary in size, shape, inclination angles, and dirt composition.  There is always a huge trench dug out in front of the pitcher’s rubber that runs parallel to the rubber.  It is normally 4 to 5 inches deep.  This makes it very difficult to keep your pitching foot pointed directly to home plate.  And normally, there is also a huge hole excavated out in the front of the mound where the other pitcher’s glove foot lands.  It creates very steep walls that my son says his glove foot steps on the back side of and slides down into the hole.  He ends up having to stride as far as the other pitcher in order to give his glove foot a stable landing base.  He is 6’3” tall but is trying to shorten his step forward, but is difficult to do so.  It’s kind of like running on a toy slot car track.  If all the pitchers on both teams would throw with your motion, then there would be no problem.  But of course that’s not the case.  And some pitchers are so erratic with their footwork, they simply tear the mound to pieces.  Any ideas on how he can deal with this, short of re-raking and re-tamping the mound between each inning?


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     Even with quality major league baseball mounds that use the proper combination of clay and sift, I had some difficulty with both the holes in front of the pitching rubber and the landing holes out front.

     With the holes in front of the pitching rubber, every time I took the mound, the first thing that I did was fill those holes and stomp them down.  I know that this will take some time, but it is time well-spent.  He should not alter the position of his pitching foot to accommodate these holes.

     With the landing holes, I also would take the time to fill them.  However, sometimes they were so bad that I had to stand on the very glove arm side and pitching arm side edges of the pitching rubber and adjust the direction of my step.

     With my Maxline pitches, in addition to standing on the glove arm side edge of the pitching rubber, I recommend that my baseball pitchers step forward at a thirty degree angle to their glove side.  This 'Drop Step' not only enables my baseball pitchers to move their release point farther outside of the glove arm side of home plate, such that they can apply lateral force to their Maxline pitches and gain even more toward the glove side of home plate movement, but also makes it easier for them to forwardly rotate their pitching hip and shoulders to point toward home plate.

     To maintain in control of his body action, he must land on the heel of his glove foot, walk across the entire length of his glove foot and wait until he starts to raise up on his glove toes to start the rapid forward rotation of his hips, shoulders and pitching upper arm.

     With my Torque pitches, I recommend that he stands on the pitching arm side edge of home plate and step on or, even beyond, the line from his pitching foot to home plate.  This 'Cross Step' enables my baseball pitchers to move their release point farther to the outside of the pitching arm side of home plate.  However, before they release their Torque pitches, they must make sure to powerfully turn their shoulders to face the glove arm side of home plate and drive their pitching hand straight forward over the top of their head.

     To maintain in control of his body action, he must land on the heel of his glove foot, walk across the entire length of his glove foot and wait until he starts to raise up on his glove toes to start the rapid forward rotation of his hips, shoulders and pitching upper arm.

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304.  Thanks for the reply.  Do you think you video could help me?  I don't have anything to lose.  After I get to the level I need to be, do you have any advise as to how I can get scouted?

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     My Baseball Pitching Instructional Video shows how to properly perform the drills that I use to teach the skills of my baseball pitching motion.  I do not know how anybody could learn my baseball pitching motion without it.

     To get properly scouted, you need to successfully pitch against quality baseball players.

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305.  I heard you on radio doing an interview and you speak harshly of some of your competitors, especially Dick Mills.  Now, I am sure Dick doesn't have all the answers, as I am sure you don't either.  But, what I respect about him is that everything he preaches he backs up with proven research/studies to support it.  I have read it all.  And he's not afraid to add new elements to the delivery when research/studies support it.  Did you read the book he published with Dr. Brent Rushall?

I do think that there is merit in what you are teaching.  I especially like what you do with the arm action and hand during the delivery and the driving towards second base with the leg/glove side to generate more speed thru the delivery.

What gets me about all you guys is that there are so many people like myself out here looking for direction and all we get when we hear each one of you is more confused.  It is frustrating.  I can't imagine to tell you how much time I have devoted to studying this.

However, based on all that I have read and done the past 2 years, I have come to the conclusion that you and Dick are the two most reputable Instructors out there.  So, I am incorporating some of what both of you teach and hoping I have a positive impact on my kids.


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     I speak harshly of those pitching coach wannabees who are so driven to steal money that they destroy pitching arms.  Dick Mills destroyed his son's pitching arm and continues for the sake of the dollar, to destroy as many as he fool into believing he knows what he is doing.  Unless he is teaching what I teach, he is destroying pitching arms.  Their ignorance is no excuse.

     I know how to eliminate all pitching injuries.  I know how to eliminate all mechanical flaws.  I know how to train all baseball pitchers to achieve their genetic maximum release velocity.  I know how to teach the variety of baseball pitches that baseball pitchers need to successfully pitch to all types of baseball batters.  Therefore, I do have all the answers.

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306.  My son is 14, left handed pitcher/batter.  I would like to him to learn your methods.  Where and to whom would be the best place to bring him?  Are there exercises he should do?  He has recently experienced muscle pain in the scapula area of his shoulder (Infraspinatus, Teres minor?).  According to an exam and X-ray, there was no damage to his growth plate.  He has discontinued all throwing for the time being.

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     I have a list of my Certified Marshall Baseball Pitching Coaches on my website.  I do not have anybody from your area.  However, many fathers and sons have used my materials to learn my baseball pitching motion and complete my training programs on their own.  On my website, I provide my Coaching Baseball Pitchers book, my Baseball Pitching Instructional Video, my four 60-Day Youth Baseball Pitchers Motor Skill Acquisition Programs and advice without charge.

     Your son needs to learn how to strongly pronate the releases of his pitches.  When he does, he will also learn how to use his Teres Major and Latissimus Dorsi muscles to powerfully inwardly rotate his shoulder joint and safely decelerate his pitching arm.

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307.  I am a sports trained physical therapist that has been doing a lot of training with throwing athletes.  I'm very interested in your thoughts but wonder how it differs from the research by Kevin Wilk and the ASMI laboratory, Frank and Chris Jobe, and other professionals who have studied biomechanics of the body as it relates to throwing.

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     From what I have read coming out of the American Sports Medicine Institute, they do not study the biomechanics of baseball pitching, they report on the biomechanics of the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion.

     If the Frank Jobe to whom you refer was the team doctor for the Los Angeles Dodgers, then he is a very nice man who invented the perfect solution to repairing ruptured Ulnar Collateral Ligaments.  I do recall that he hired Betty Atwater and someone else, whose name escapes me, Walters, I think, to also study the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion.  However, I never heard or read anything that came of it.

     Instead of reporting on the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion, I have spent the last forty years of my life searching for the best way for baseball pitchers to use the muscles of the pitching arm, that is, the muscles that attach to the Scapula bone, Humerus bone, Ulna bone, Radius bone, Metacarpal bones and phalange bones of the human body to apply force in straight lines toward home plate.

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308.  Last I checked, you were charging for your instruction.  You are in the same boat as everyone else.

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     I give away my Coaching Baseball Pitchers book, my Baseball Pitching Instructional Video, my training programs and my advice and you have the nerve to say that, because I charge ten dollars per day for my personal coaching services, I am the same as the money grubbing pitching coach wannabees, like Dick Mills.

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309.  I just realized I never sent you the $15.00 donation for the Jeff Sparks video I promised you.  I apologize.  I'll buy the money order tomorrow and have it in the mail to you.  Because of my forgetfulness, I'll even up it to $20.00.

Did you know you can accept payments for both your video and for general donations on your web-site?  These payments would be deposited into your bank account.  I can help you set this up if you're interested.


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     I appreciate the donation.  I will put it to purchasing what I need to host the sections of my Baseball Pitching Instructional Video and other video, like the high-speed film and video of Jeff Sparks demonstrating my six basic pitches.

     Because of my concern that, without understanding the commitment that they need to make to use my Baseball Pitching Instructional Video, people will buy my video, I prefer to make them have to get a money order and mail their request to me.  I do not want them to waste their hard-earned money on something that they will never use.

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310.  I don't understand what you mean by pronate.

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     The forearm has two bones. On the little finger side, we have the Ulna bone.  The Ulna bone flexes and extends the elbow joint.  On the thumb side, we have the Radius bone. The Radius bone moves toward the Ulna bone, that is, pronates the forearm joint, and moves away from the Ulna bone, that is, supinates the forearm joint.

     The Pronator Teres muscle pronates the pitching forearm.  The Pronator Teres muscle arises from the supracondylar ridge of the medial epicondyle of the Humerus bone of the pitching upper arm.  The medial epicondyle is that bump on the inside of the distal (elbow) end of the Humerus bone.  The Pronator Teres muscle inserts into the Radius bone about one-half way down its lateral surface.

     Therefore, when the Pronator Teres muscle contracts, it moves the Radius bone closer to the medial aspect of the Humerus bone of the pitching upper arm, which means that it also moves the Radius bone closer to the Ulna bone of the pitching forearm.

     Because the Pronator Teres muscle attaches to the Humerus bone on its anterior surface and to the Radius bone on its anterior surface, in addition to pronating the pitching forearm, the Pronator Teres muscle also flexes the pitching elbow.

     This means that the Pronator Teres prevents the olecranon process of the Ulna bone from slamming into its fossa either as a result of the 'Pitching Forearm Flyout' injurious flaw inherent in the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion or as a result of a powerful contraction of the Triceps Brachii muscle.

     As a result, when baseball pitchers pronate the release of their pitches, they do not lose their extension range of motion from slamming their olecranon process into its fossa or their flexion range of motion from contracting their Brachialis muscle to prevent their olecranon process from slamming into its fossa.

     Because the Pronator Teres muscle and the Triceps Brachii muscle are not antagonistic muscles, that is, the contraction of one prevents the contraction of the other, to powerfully extend their pitching elbow, baseball pitchers can use their Triceps Brachii.

     Because of their 'Pitching Forearm Flyout,' which causes them to contract their Brachialis muscle, which is antagonistic to the Triceps Brachii muscle, 'traditional' baseball pitchers cannot use their Triceps Brachii muscle to extend their pitching elbow.

     Because, of all the muscles in the pitching arm, the Triceps Brachii muscle has the highest percentage of fast-twitch muscle fibers, to not use the Triceps Brachii muscle in their pitching motion, not only causes 'traditional' baseball pitchers to lose their extension and flexion ranges of motion, but also causes them to lose release velocity.

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311.  I am researching rotator cuff injuries for a paper I have in my kinesiology class in college.  I see you have your book on line.  I was wondering if I could purchase your actual book from you.  I have searched on Amazon and Barnes and Noble using your name as the author and I can't find it.

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     I have never signed with a publisher.  Therefore, I do not have any hard copies of my Coaching Baseball Pitchers book.  Until I am completely satisfied with my book, I will keep it only as an on-line book.  That way I can make upgrades as I want.

     With regard to rotator cuff injuries, you need to know what muscles make up the rotator cuff and how 'traditional' baseball pitchers misuse these muscles.

01.  What muscles make up the rotator cuff?

     Four muscles that attach to the head of the Humerus bone make up the rotator cuff muscles.

     On the anterior surface of the head of the Humerus bone, the tendon of the Subscapularis muscle attaches to the lesser tuberosity.  The Subscapularis muscle arises from the entire anterior surface of the Scapula bone.  Therefore, when the Subscapularis muscle contracts, it moves the lesser tuberosity of the head of the Humerus bone closer to the anterior surface of the Scapula bone.  Kinesiologists call this action, inward rotation of the shoulder joint.

     On the top of the head of the Humerus bone, the tendon of the Supraspinatus muscle attaches to the first facet (a flattened place).  The Supraspinatus muscle arises from the entire supraspinatus fossa on the posterior surface of the Scapula bone above the spine of the Scapula.  Therefore, when the Supraspinatus muscle contracts, it moves the first facet of the head of the Humerus bone closer to the supraspinatus fossa of the Scapula bone.  Kinesiologists call this action, abduction of the shoulder joint.

     On the posterior surface of the head of the Humerus bone immediately below the first facet, the tendon of the Infraspinatus muscle attaches to the second facet.  The Infraspinatus muscle arises from the entire infraspinatus fossa on the posterior surface of the Scapula bone below the spine of the Scapula.  Therefore, when the Infraspinatus muscle contracts, it moves the second facet of the head of the Humerus bone closer to the infraspinatus fossa of the Scapula bone.  Kinesiologists call this action, outward rotation of the shoulder joint.

     On the posterior surface of the head of the Humerus bone immediately below the second facet, the tendon of the Teres Minor muscle attaches to the third facet.  The Teres Minor muscle arises from the axillary border of the Scapula bone.  Therefore, when the Teres Minor muscle contracts, it moves the third facet of the head of the Humerus bone closer to the axillary border of the Scapula bone.  Kinesiologists call this action, outward rotation of the shoulder joint.

     If you go to Chapter Fourteen:  The Shoulder Joint in my Coaching Baseball Pitchers book, then you will find this information and much more about the muscles of the Shoulder Joint.

02.  How do 'traditional' baseball pitchers misuse the Subscapularis muscle?

     'Traditional' baseball pitchers actively reverse rotate their hips, shoulders and pitching upper arms well beyond second base.  They also take the tip of their pitching elbow well behind the line that goes through the acromion processes of the lateral tip of their Scapula bone and extends outward.  Because of these actions, 'traditional' baseball pitchers maximally lengthen the tendon of the Subscapularis muscle around the head of their Humerus bone.

     'Traditional' baseball pitchers also take the baseball backward laterally behind their body with the palm of their hand on top of the baseball.  Therefore, the position of the head of their Humerus bone prevents them from smoothly and continuously pendulum swinging the baseball to driveline height.  Instead, at about forty-five degrees behind the vertical line of their body, their pitching arm comes to a stop.

     Because they need to move the baseball to driveline height, 'traditional' baseball pitchers now have to raise the baseball from waist high to above their shoulders.  Because 'traditional' baseball pitchers have the palm of their pitching hand facing downward and, to throw the baseball toward home plate, they have to have the palm of their pitching hand facing upward, then forward.  I call this action, 'Late Pitching Forearm Turnover.'

     Somewhere during their 'Late Pitching Forearm Turnover,' the glove foot of 'traditional' baseball pitchers land and they immediately start forwardly rotating their hips, shoulders and pitching upper arm.  However, they are still raising their pitching hand to driveline height.  Therefore, at the same time that they have their pitching hand moving upward and backward, they have their pitching upper arm moving forward.  As a result of their pitching upper arm moving forward and their pitching forearm moving upward and backward, there comes a moment when they have to stop their pitching upper arm from stopping moving backward and begin moving forward.  I call this moment, 'Reverse Pitching Forearm Bounce.'

     It is at the moment of this 'Reverse Pitching Forearm Bounce' that 'traditional' baseball pitchers maximally stress the tendon of the Subscapularis muscle, the Gleno-Humeral Ligaments across the front of their pitching shoulder and the Ulnar Collateral Ligament that attaches the medial epicondyle of the Humerus bone to the coronoid process of the Ulna bone.  With every pitch, 'traditional' baseball pitchers micro-rupture these tissues.  With sufficient micro-ruptures, the weakest of these tissues pulls away from the bone, lengthens or ruptures.

03.  How do 'traditional' baseball pitchers misuse the Supraspinatus muscle?

     After 'traditional' baseball pitchers 'Reverse Pitching Forearm Bounce' their pitching arm, they have to return the baseball to the pitching arm side of their body.  Therefore, they apply force to the baseball laterally toward the pitching arm side of their body.  As a result, they sling their pitching forearm laterally away from their body.  I call this action, 'Pitching Forearm Flyout.'

     'Pitching Forearm Flyout' forces 'traditional' baseball pitchers to contract the Brachialis muscle of their elbow joint to prevent the olecranon process of their Ulna bone from slamming into the olecranon fossa of their Humerus bone.  Because of the powerful pull of their Brachialis muscle on the coronoid process of the Ulna bone to which it attaches, the coronoid process enlarges.  As a result, they lose some of the flexion range of motion of their pitching elbow.

     Also, especially when throw cut fastballs, sliders and curves, because they supinate these releases, the Brachialis muscle is not able to prevent 'traditional' baseball pitchers from slamming the olecranon process of their Ulna bone into its olecranon fossa of their Humerus bone.  Therefore, calcium deposits build up in the olecranon fossa, such that the olecranon process cannot go into the fossa as deeply and they also lose the extension range of motion of their pitching elbow.

     After their 'Pitching Forearm Flyout' ends, to throw their supination curves, 'traditional' baseball pitchers try to pull their pitching forearm downward.  To do this, 'traditional' baseball pitchers try to inwardly rotate their Humerus bone, such that their pitching forearm points downward.  As a result, they excessively stress the muscles that outwardly rotate their shoulder joint.

     With their pitching forearm laying horizontally backward after their 'Reverse Pitching Forearm Bounce,' the extreme outward rotation position wraps the tendon of the Supraspinatus muscle around the head of their Humerus bone.  Therefore, their Supraspinatus muscle is in position to contribute to the inward rotation of the Humerus bone.

     Then, after 'traditional' baseball pitchers inwardly rotate their shoulder joint to have their pitching forearm horizontally pointing forward, the Supraspinatus muscle is ironically in position to contribute to the outward rotation of the Humerus bone.  However, when, to throw better curves, 'traditional' baseball pitchers try to pull their pitching forearm downward, they actually end up pointing their pitching forearms vertically downward.  This action exceeds the outward rotation limit of their Supraspinatus muscle, such that, with sufficient occurrences of micro-ruptures, the attachment of the Supraspinatus pulls away from the first facet of the head of the Humerus bone.

04.  How do 'traditional' baseball pitchers misuse the Infraspinatus muscle?

     Because the attachment of the Infrapinatus muscle is below the attachment of the Supraspinatus muscle on the head of the Humerus bone, the extreme inward rotation of the Humerus bone when 'traditional' baseball pitchers try to pull their pitching arm down to throw better curves does not negatively affect the Infraspinatus muscle as badly.  Therefore, 'traditional' baseball pitchers rarely injure this attachment.

05.  How do 'traditional' baseball pitchers misuse the Teres Minor muscle?

     After the horizontal centripetal force of the 'Pitching Forearm Flyout' injurious flaw inherent in the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion slings their pitching forearm laterally away from their body to their pitching arm side stops moving away from their body, their pitching arm continues on that circular pathway, such that their pitching arm starts to move across the front of the body and downward.

     The only muscle in position to decelerate the entire mass of their pitching arm is the tiny Teres Minor muscle on the back of the head of their Humerus bone.  Therefore, with every pitch, 'traditional' baseball pitchers cause micro-ruptures in the tendon of the Teres Minor muscle.  As a result, when the final micro-rupture takes the last tissue required to decelerate the mass of the entire pitching arm, the tendon of their Teres Minor muscle give way.

     With my baseball pitching motion, because my baseball pitchers powerfully pronate their pitching forearms before they release their pitches, they use their Teres Major and Latissimus Dorsi muscles to inwardly rotate their pitching shoulder.  Because the Teres Major and Latissimus Dorsi muscles also horizontally extend the shoulder joint and my baseball pitchers point their pitching forearm horizontally straight at home, they do not even use the leverage-poor rotator cuff muscles.

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312.  I understand that you do not want impulse buyers.  However if you wanted to just accept donations, that ability could be added to your web-site.  It would then make it much easier for people that believe in and support what you do, to contribute to your work.  I could add it to your web-site and I wouldn't charge you a penny.

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     If you could show me how to accept donations, then I will consider doing it.  I was thinking that, rather than charge those who use my Coaching Baseball Pitching book, Baseball Pitching Instructional Video, training programs and/or ask my advice, I could tell them that, if they feel that they received something of value and could afford to, they could help me continue these services.

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313.  If I were able to attend your May 12, 2007 clinic, would it be okay to have my son attend also?

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     Absolutely.

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314.  I'm back in my corner of Tuscany safe and almost awake on this Tuesday morning.  I want to express my sincere thanks for your hospitality.

You can never know if, when or how somebody can return kindness shown.  Please know that if I ever can, I sure will.  Keep me in mind, and don't hesitate to ask if you believe I might be able to help the project.

If occasion arises, please thank your pitchers for the pleasure of watching them work.


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     It was a pleasure to have you with us on two separate days.  I especially enjoyed that you were well-informed and understood what my guys were doing.

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315.  I am interested in your instructional video and would like to see parts of it online.  But, every time that I try, my computers says that window media player encounters problems.  What program is it intended to be viewed on?

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     I have no idea how to answer your question.  However, I will send your question along to the guy is volunteered to host the sections of my Baseball Pitching Instructional Video to see what he has to say.

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316.  The video server was off-line all weekend.  We are still trying to find out why.  It is sldo having a problem today, but I assure you it will be back on line by tonight.

The correct program to view the sections of your Baseball Pitching Instructional Video is Windows Media Player.  Using internet explorer, readers should click on your video link then Windows media player will automatically load and start playing the selected section. If it fails, then there can only be a few things that could be a problem:

1.  Our bandwidth is full - too many views at one time.
2.  Our roadrunner internet connection is down.
3.  Our server is off-line.  This has happened a few times since we loaded your video, like now. 4.  The user does not have a high-speed internet connection.

The best thing is to let me know and I will check it.  I am sorry that some people are having trouble.  However, if they can view video on YouTube.com, then they should be able to view your video on my server.

I will email you as soon as I verify that it is fixed.


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     Stuff happens.  I appreciate that you are willing to take your valuable time to host the sections of my Baseball Pitching Instructional Video.

     We did have a confounding variable Thursday.  I spoke on a radio station in Boston.  As a result, my website had almost six times its normal hits that day.  It is very likely that thousands of listeners tried to watch my video.  I have never had such a response from appearing on sport talk radio before.

     I know that you use your server for your business.  I hope that we are not interfering with your business activities.

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317.  We have corrected the server problem.  People should be able to access your video.  Please inform your readers.  My apologies.

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     You need never apologize.  You are performing an unselfish service for which all who watches the sections of my Baseball Pitching Instructional Video thank you.

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318.  I have a son playing Little League who has been throwing balls regularly for fun since he was a toddler.  He turns 10 this August.  He threw so regularly against walls as a youngster that he developed an unusually strong and accurate arm for a young player.  As a result, his baseball coaches have wanted him to pitch some.  To this point I have been successful in preventing him from pitching at all.  I explained that we didn't know whether he had damaged his arm already from the amount of throwing he had done.

Is there any value in having an X-ray of his elbow done now, before baseball season starts, to evaluate the condition of his arm, and then doing so again around his birthday in August?


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     Ten years old is the perfect age for you to start him on my four 60-Day Youth Baseball Pitchers Motor Skill Acquisition Programs.  To become the best, injury-free, highly-skilled baseball pitcher that he can be, he needs to first learn how to pronate the releases of his pitches.  Then, he needs to learn how to maximally lengthen this driveline.  Then, he needs to learn how to smoothly pendulum swing his pitching arm to driveline height and lock his pitching upper arm with his shoulders.  Then lastly, he needs to learn how to get his pitching arm to driveline height before his glove foot lands and stand tall and rotate his hips, shoulders and pitching upper arm.

     Until he learns how to perform these skills and the growth plates at the elbow end of the bone in his pitching upper arm, the Humerus bone, completely mature at biological thirteen years old, he will gain little and will significantly alter the proper growth and development of the growth plates in his pitching arm.

     Therefore, I recommend that he continues to not pitch competitively, that he and you start my First 60-Day program, that you wait until one week of his next birthday to take front and side view X-rays of his glove and pitching arms between his mid-forearm to mid-upper arms and send copies to me.  I will read them, email you with his biological age and whether I see any differences in how the growth plates in his glove and pitching elbows are maturing.

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319.  I hope all is well with you.  From what my son says and from reading the letters, things are going well.

My son called today with a report on the independent league tryout.   He was pumped up.  That should give him a great deal of confidence going forward.  He also said you saw it and were happy with his performance.

Many thanks for everything you do.


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     The major weakness in my program is that, after my baseball pitchers complete their training programs, but before they pitch competitively, they need to throw to catchers, pitch batting practice, and pitch in simulated games.  I do not have the facilities and personnel to do this.  Therefore, when major league teams and independent leagues have open tryouts, I tell them to go.  I know that they are not ready, but they need to feel the pressure and see how their new skills hold up.

     About a month ago, they went to a major league team's open tryout.  It was the first time since last summer that any of them had thrown to catchers.  What usually happens happened.  That is, where, at my Pitching Research/Training Center, they throw high-quality pitches into the net, at the tryout, they get excited, rush their pitching motion, such that they do not properly forwardly rotate their hips, shoulders and pitching upper arm.  As a result, all the old bad 'traditional' baseball pitching mechanical flaws rear their ugly heads, such that they cannot do what they do so well here.  Therefore, they learn that, in addition to mastering my baseball pitching motion, they have to master their emotions.

   The last two days, about a month later, my baseball pitchers have the opportunity to tryout for an independent league team.  Now, instead of a sham tryout where nobody watches the quality of the pitches they throw, which means that the major league team only radars the velocity of their pitches and the baseball pitchers never get to pitch to batters, the independent league holds a real tryout where everybody gets to pitch to batters in simulated games.  Then, they select some pitchers to come back the next day to pitch to the better batters again.

     Your son was one of four of the seven of my baseball pitchers who attended that they chose to return the second day.  On his first day, your son did like they all did.  He rushed his motion.  As a result, they could not throw the quality strikes that they throw at my Pitching Research/Training Center every day.

     Your son said that he could not even feel what his pitching arm was doing.  Nevertheless, he remained sufficiently composed to sequence his pitches.  However, he did not have the control that he usually has.  He bounced a couple of curves.  He threw some fastballs too high.  Nevertheless, he showed that he had something.  They invited him back.

     Then, yesterday, they saw what your son can do.  He again pitched his sequences.  He threw first pitch strikes with sinkers and sliders.  He threw two-seam Maxline and Torque fastballs past them.  He humiliated batters with his two-strike Maxline Pronation Curves and Maxline True Screwballs.  The batters had no chance.  To say that, after the tryout, he was pumped is an understatement.

     All your son needs now is to continue to throw to catchers, pitch batting practice, pitch in simulated games and pitch competitively.  With each experience, he will not only master the strike zone with his pitches, but he will also learn the other skills that baseball pitchers must have.  He will learn how to relax.  He will learn how to recognize what hitters are doing.  He will learn how to deal with all the other little things, such as holding base runners, opposing team banter, incompetent umpires, defensive positioning, errors, bad mounds and so on.

     As he learns how to properly deal with all these inconveniences, he will become a mature baseball pitcher.  He still has a long way to go, but he is injury-proofed and, although, like every baseball pitcher ever, including me, he still has some mechanical flaws that he needs to keep minimizing, he is highly-skilled.

     By the way, although not as skillfully as your son, my other three baseball pitchers also dominated the hitters.  The guys who caught my baseball pitchers were the most impressed with what they threw.

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320.  I'm sure your other readers will be sending this article about you if you have not already read it.  It is amazing that people comment about your "stubbornness," but not about the science behind your methods.

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The Marshall Plan

The former Cy Young winner teaches a different pitching motion, one that’s made him an outcast.

By SAM MELLINGER  |  The Kansas City Star

ZEPHYRHILLS, FL

Its 8:30 in the morning, rush-hour traffic is just getting serious, and already this is a good day.  Mike Marshall bounds out of his beat-up, beige S-10 pickup, wipes his hands on the shoulders of his sweatshirt, and shuffles over to his 11 pitching students.

He is a former baseball star, but right now he’s Roger Ebert.  He looks up from a clipboard at his college-aged students, his voice growing louder as he talks about “Amazing Grace,” the movie he saw last night.

These recommendations usually come so detailed the guys don’t go because they already know what happens.  But not today.  All he says is that this movie’s incredible.

“You spend your lifetime working on something that everybody ignores,” he says, “and then you’ll understand.”

Jeff Sparks, Marshall’s prize pupil who pitched briefly in the majors, is listening closely, the way he always does when Marshall talks.

“If you say it’s that good,” he says, “I’ll see it this afternoon.”

Mike Marshall turned 64 this past January.  The years have taken the hair off the top of his head but none of his passion.

A lifetime of work plays out at the pitching academy he runs in what amounts to a large back yard off Highway 301, behind a white picket fence, across the street from the tow service.  He is an outcast in the game he loves because of the work he does here.

A Cy Young Award and Ph.D. in kinesiology make Marshall, as a close friend says, “a peer group of one.”  He is the butt of jokes within baseball, and the disrespect is mutual.

“Baseball’s been around what, 130, 140 years?” Marshall says.  “They’re still teaching the same motion of the first guy who won a ballgame.  There’s not one of them who knows anything of science.  They think Sir Isaac Newton invented the Fig Newton, and that’s why he’s so revered.”

Marshall won’t apologize for the packaging in which he presents his thoughts.  Ask him if he thinks his message would be better received if he toned down the delivery, and he’ll only grow more aggressive with his tone.  He says “ignorance is ignorance” and that his only motivation in all of this is to eliminate arm injuries.

“It’s a real corner he’s in,” says Michael Greenisen, a close friend who works at NASA.  “Mike lays it out, ‘This is the way it is,’ and if you don’t agree with it or can’t deal with it, that’s not his problem.  But refute it.  That’s the bottom line.  If you don’t believe it, then refute it.  The issue is they can’t, and it frustrates the hell out of him.”

Brian Sabean once hired Marshall as his pitching coach at the University of Tampa.  Bill Stoneman pitched four seasons with Marshall in Montreal.  Sabean is now the general manager for the Giants, Stoneman’s the GM for the Angels, and neither will return Marshall’s calls.

Back in 1974, Marshall broke records that still stand by pitching 208 1/3 innings in 106 relief appearances for the Dodgers.  Their current minor-league pitching coordinator played college ball for Marshall, but he says the team won’t take him seriously either.

It’s difficult to get anyone to speak publicly about Marshall.  Privately, they say Marshall does himself no favors with his abrasiveness and arrogance.  But even so, baseball coaches and officials say the idea of radical and widespread change to the pitching motion is as impractical as it is unfeasible.

“It’s a little bit too extreme for my tastes,” says J.J. Picollo, the Royals’ director of player development.  “It’s hard enough getting guys to agree on the four-seam fastball or two-seam fastball, let alone something that extreme.”

The price tag for 40 weeks at Marshall’s academy is about $3,000.  It includes a bed in one of two on-site duplexes, and the lessons start with pronation — the key to all of this.

Marshall’s pitchers turn their wrists away from their bodies upon release, thumbs down — exactly the opposite of the traditional motion.  Take a second to do this, and you’ll see it looks like an arm injury waiting to happen.

But Marshall’s research shows the same muscles used in pronation actually protect the elbow from muscle and ligament tear.  He lost 12 degrees of motion both ways in his pitching elbow doing it traditional, then became one of the sport’s best pitchers and avoided serious arm problems doing it his way.

It’s a leap of faith, but one backed by biomechanics.  His guys pitch seven days a week, year-round, a big difference from the caution used with most pitchers today.  Marshall says he’s never had a student suffer any arm injury.

“And if they ever did,” he says, “I’d quit.”

The pronation release is easy to miss at first because it’s wrapped inside a delivery like nothing you’ve ever seen on a baseball field.  Marshall sees a lot of wasted energy in that traditional motion.

Why should a right-hander bring his arm toward first base behind his back, swing it around toward third base, and then follow through back toward first?  Instead of redirecting all that energy, why not keep it in a straight plane toward the plate?

This is what Marshall teaches, and the result is a rock-step straight back toward second base, then forward toward the plate — almost like in fast-pitch softball, except with an overhand release.

Directing all the bodily force the same way is why Marshall says he can add around 5 mph to anybody’s fastball.  The different muscles in pronation are why he says arm injuries can be eliminated.

The workouts feature throwing 15-pound iron balls, twisting the handles of buckets filled with 20 pounds of concrete, and practicing their delivery with 25-pound wrist weights.

His students now are mostly guys who couldn’t get scholarships out of high school or are now rehabbing arm injuries.  They work hard, but expecting these guys to pitch in the majors is like trying to win the Kentucky Derby with a pony.

“Everybody I’ve ever talked to that’s done Mike’s exercises has been better off for doing it,” says Tommy John, a former teammate.  “And I don’t know anybody who’s ever hurt their arm doing it.”

Jeff Sparks turns 35 years old today and that makes him a relatively young man in most every walk of life.  But Sparks wants to pitch for a living, and that makes him old and quickly running out of time.

He’s currently working the inside seasonal section as a customer service associate at Lowe’s, which is a long way from the big leagues.  Earlier this year, he went to the Tigers’ open tryout for the sixth consecutive year, and he was ignored for the sixth consecutive year.

“I went over when I was done and I stood right next to (some coaches),” he says.  “I said, ‘What’d you think?  Pitches not good enough?  What didn’t you like?’  None of them would answer me.  The guy I asked turned his head and talked to the guy next to him.  I walked over to that guy, he wouldn’t even look at me.”

This is a stark change from seven summers ago, when Sparks was a promising young reliever for the nearby Devil Rays.  He struck out 41 batters in 30 1/3 innings and had a 4.15 ERA in 23 appearances for a franchise that’s always been desperate for pitching.

But in May 2000, against the Rangers, Sparks walked all three batters he faced on 14 pitches.  He shook off catcher Mike DiFelice over and over, wanting to throw a screwball — the signature out pitch of Marshall and his disciples.  By the time manager Larry Rothschild went to the mound, DiFelice was already there screaming.

The scene was all over TV that night, and Sparks was demoted to Class AAA the next day.  There, Sparks clashed with his manager and was again demoted, this time to Class A.  Tampa released him after the season.

Marshall’s students tend to take on his stubbornness and unwillingness to compromise that is at the crux of his inability to be heard.  Sparks and Marshall have openly bad-mouthed both the Devil Rays and Rothschild, who declined comment for this story.

His ideas and beliefs leave no room for give-and-take.  Ask Marshall about it, and he defiantly asks why he should compromise when he’s right and they’re wrong.

Eddie Bane worked in the Devil Rays’ scouting department when Sparks was in Tampa and still thinks Sparks could have had a long and productive career.

“But he was as stubborn as Mike,” Bane says.  “And there was no way other than Mike’s way.  That’s one of the things people would have a hard time with, including myself.  With Mike, there’s only one way to do it.”

Marshall pitched for nine teams in 14 years, and even now, he talks about R-rated verbal arguments with coaches — like the time he used scissors to trim a team official’s suit pants into shorts after a disagreement.

Twenty-six years after retirement, Marshall’s baseball friends make up a short list.  Near the top is Red Adams, Marshall’s pitching coach with the Dodgers, who always trusted Marshall’s methods.

“There’s more than one way to skin a cat, you know,” Adams says.  “He had his strengths and he knew what those were, and he did a hell of a job for us.”

And that’s the other part of this, the reason Marshall’s credibility just won’t go away: his methods seem to work for most everyone who tries them.

Rudy Seanez first came to Marshall in 1989 after being a September call-up for the Indians.  He didn’t convert completely, but took parts of Marshall’s workouts and mechanics and added nearly 10 mph to his fastball in one offseason.

The next spring, he made his first big-league roster out of camp and has pitched 15 seasons since.  He gives much of the credit for his career to what he learned from Marshall.

“I had no idea how hard I was throwing until I got to spring training,” Seanez says.  “That’s when I realized, ‘Man, this did wonders for me.’  It works.  I’ve seen it work.  I’ve seen it work firsthand on a couple of guys.”

It’s just shy of noon, and the day’s workout is complete.  Marshall is standing outside his home, two blocks down Vinson Avenue from his academy, talking pitching and thinking about that movie.

This crusade so far has led him mostly nowhere.  As long as legitimate big-league prospects won’t train with him, the chances of Marshall’s teachings going mainstream remain slim.

But he won’t quit now, not ever, and this brings him back to “Amazing Grace.”  In the movie, William Wilberforce works tirelessly through the British Parliament in the 18th century, determined to end slavery in England.  One character in the movie was an ex-slave trader turned minister and abolitionist.

“This guy lived with 20,000 ghosts of slaves he transported on his ships,” Marshall says.  “It was horrifying him and to me, the message resounded.  How do they live with the knowledge of all the pitching arms they’ve destroyed?  Do they honestly believe they had nothing to do with it, that it wasn’t what they taught?  Are they that ignorant?

“Yeah, I felt that connection.”


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     Thank you for sending me a copy of the article.  It will give all my readers a chance to read what a reporter wrote after watching my baseball pitchers perform.

     I love reporters.  They come prepared.  They ask the tough questions.  They listen and watch carefully.  They write both sides of the argument.  I wish that we could have a series of debates where, like we were candidates for the Democratic or Republican nomination for President, reporters would question those of us who feel qualified to teach baseball pitching.  Then, the parents of youth baseball pitchers could decide who knows what he is talking about.

     I agree with you that, without ever talking with me, professional baseball people comment on my 'stubbornness.  However, even with the epidemic of pitching injuries, they are the ones unwilling to even investigate the problem.

     How, when they refuse to try to understand what I teach, can they comment on the value of what I teach?

     Even though they believed that Jeff Sparks had the talent to have a long and successful major league career, because he knew that if he returned to using the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion, then he would again injure himself and told them that, they released him.  It was their way or the highway.  That is the definition of stubbornness.

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321.  I've just finished a fascinating article about you and your pitching methods in the Kansas City Star, and look forward to reviewing more carefully all the materials on your web site.

A startling thought came to mind as I read of your "non-traditional" method of releasing the ball.  Over the past decade, I have training in the martial arts.  In the Muay Thai components of the system, elbow strikes were taught in what many thought a very peculiar manner.  Immediately when contact is made, your wrist rotates and the thumb is now the closest part of the hand to the ground.  To describe it like this probably does not convey a good picture, but when I first tried this, it was the most natural thing in the world.  Moreover, the speed one generates like this was many times faster than a traditional elbow strike.

Of course, I don't understand the physiology of the event, only that it is very, very effective.  As I read the article and viewed the videos on your webpage, I think the wrist motion is exactly the same!

  Though my kids are 10 (girl) and 8 (boy), I would like to make it to Florida for your two-day certification clinic, probably next year.  In the meantime, I shall be purchasing your video.  Do you think this appropriate for this age child?


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     Martial arts training utilizes Sir Isaac Newton's three laws of motion.  For example:

01.  martial arts apply force in straight lines, that is, the law of inertia;
02.  martial arts focus their force at the moment of impact, that is the law of acceleration and
03.  martial arts use oppositely-directed force to increase the action force, that is the law of reaction.

     My baseball pitching motion does the same.  In fact, I would say that my baseball pitching motion is the martial art for maximum velocity overhand throwing.

     You are correct.  Without pronating their pitching forearm, my baseball pitchers could not use their Triceps Brachii muscle to extend their pitching elbow.  Therefore, the elbow strike technique in martial arts is exactly how I teach my baseball pitchers to use their pitching upper arm as a fulcrum for the extension of their pitching forearm.

     I look forward to meeting you on Saturday, May 12th at my Marshall Baseball Pitching Coaches Certification Clinic.

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322.  I listened to your interview on the WEEI radio in Boston.  I think you were great! I am soooooo sorry that my server went down after that.  It was very important for those listeners to see your video.

At least it is working now and maybe they will try back and get to view it and learn about your arm saving motion.


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     I believe that those listeners who seriously want to understand how to eliminate pitching injuries will try to access the sections of my Baseball Pitching Instructional Video again.  And, with your kindness and effort, they will be able to do so.

     On their behalf, thank you.

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323.  From seemingly the beginning of time, every baseball coach I know is convinced that when an outfielder is trying to make a strong throw from the outfield in order to nail a runner at the plate, he should throw the ball low enough to “skip” it once on the ground.  They have the belief the ball’s speed will actually increase and it will get to the catcher quicker than if it stayed in the air.

When I think about my physics class in high school we learned very early that friction resists movement and slows down objects.  Couple that with the fact that the ball is normally spinning with a “backwards” rotation, that should produce an opposite force to its forward movement when it strikes the ground, it only seems logical that the ball must slow down, not speed up.

I understand if an outfielder is far enough from his target, or his arm hasn’t enough throwing strength such that he has to throw the ball at an angle of say, 45 degrees, then the ball would waste too much time making a high arc in the air.  In this situation, it would be much better to drop the angle of release, hit the cutoff man and he relays the throw in.

But, even if the outfielder is close enough, or has a strong enough arm to release the ball at even a 15 or 20 degree angle and hit the catcher on the fly, many coaches still want them to “skip” the ball because of this illusion of increased speed.

What, in your educated judgment is the highest angle of release an outfielder should throw the ball for maximum time flight efficiency before he should engage the cutoff fielder?


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     For outfielders to throw out base runners, they have to get the baseball to the position player where the base runner is going as quickly as possible and as accurately as possible.  We can measure the distance of the required throws, how quickly outfielders get the baseball to the position player and the distance from the perfect location for the baseballs to arrive.

     When I coached college baseball, I made these measurements with each of my outfielders for every situation where they had opportunities to throw base runners out.

     We also have to decide whether the throw is strategically appropriate.  For example, do we want to try to throw base runners out at home plate only to potentially allow batters to advance an extra base?

     However, I believe that your specific question is: when outfielders try to throw base runners out at home plate, should they bounce the baseball or throw it all the way in the air and at what angle should they throw it.

     In Chapter Twenty; Gravity of my Coaching Baseball Pitchers book, I provide trajectory formulas that scientifically answer this question.  The variables of concern are the velocity at which the outfielders release their throws, the height at which they release their throws and the take-off angles of their throws.

     Neglecting the deceleration due to air molecules, what is the Total Horizontal Distance that outfielders with 132 feet per second release velocity can throw baseballs when they release their throws from height of 7 feet at a take-off angle of 30 degrees? My Ballistic Projectile Total Horizontal Distance formula provides the answer.  (The sine of 30 degrees is .5000.  The cosine of 30 degrees is .8660.)

     How long does the baseball take to arrive?  My Ballistic Formula Time to Fall formula provides the answer.

     From his starting location at the moment the outfielder receives the baseball, how long does it take the base runner to get to the base?  A stopwatch provides that answer.

     I will leave it to my mathematically inclined readers to determine the answer.  However, based on my calculations, I told my outfielders that, if the run ended the baseball game, then, without bouncing the baseball, they could throw the baseball to home plate.  Otherwise, they should throw the baseball to the appropriate cut-off man and let him throw the baseball to the position player at the base.

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324.  My son did indeed undergo ulnar nerve repositioning surgery back in November.  He has been throwing since the 1st part of February and has just now gotten to the point where he is able to "let it go."  It seems to me he is pendulum swinging, locking and pronating very well, though he is still coming behind his acromial line slightly (hard habit to break).

My concern/question is this:  He is experiencing a slight burning sensation the last couple of throwing sessions about an inch up from his elbow directly on his ulna bone.  Any ideas what might cause this?  Is it something we should be alarmed with?  It usually arises after throwing but feels fine the next day.


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     The best way to teach my baseball pitchers to stop actively reverse rotating their shoulders at the end of their pendulum swing is to get them to focus on applying their force as far forward as possible.

     You wrote that your son has Ulnar Nerve repositioning surgery in November 2006 and he now experiences a slight burning sensation about an inch up from his pitching elbow on his Ulna bone.  That sounds like phantom pain.  That is, before the surgery, his Ulnar Nerve passes behind the medial epicondyle of the Humerus bone then down the little finger side of his forearm, right past where he experiences this slight burning sensation.  However, with the repositioning, the Ulnar Nerve no longer lies in that same location one inch from his elbow.

     I think that, making sure that he powerfully pronates the releases of his pitches, your only course of action is for your son to continue training as he is.

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325.  I have interest in coming down to attend your Certification Clinic, but I have not had the chance to become well-versed in you philosophy.  What little of it I have studied I agree with.  Would it be worth it for me to come down?

I work 15-17 hour days at the moment and have little time to study.  I wish to become certified, so that I may help young aspiring pitchers gain the most out of a dream I once had.  I'd also like to further my working knowledge of in this area of study and know that I absorb material better when seeing it hands on.


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     That is a decision that you have to make.  Without regard for the level of understanding of my baseball pitching motion when you arrive, I will do everything that I can to enable you to teach my baseball pitching motion.  Also, I cannot promise that I will offer another Certification Clinic.

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326.  One of your ace certified pitching instructors sent me the link to your recent radio interview in Boston.  Based on the letters last week on your website, you got a pretty good response from the interview.

Here is the link to that radio show:

http://www.weei.com/pages/268228.php

As a Bostonian and a Dr. Mike Marshall Certified Pitching Instructor, let me urge the parents and coaches up in the Boston area to embrace your program.  They should do what my brother did and make the trek to Zephyrhills from Boston to your next Certification seminar in May.

I guarantee they will be happy they did.  You may recall that I told you a few years ago that your pitching motion will be embraced first in the Northeast.  I hope there were enough iconoclasts listening to help prove me correct.

They asked you a question during the interview about the Red Sox pitcher, Jonathon Papelbon.  To me, Mr Papelbon could be very helpful to this issue of too much youth pitching being the reason for later pitching problems.  Few people know this, but:

1.  Jonathon never pitched until he got to Mississippi State.
2.  The three pitchers from his State championship High School baseball team cannot lift their arms above their shoulders today.
3.  After they examined him when he was first drafted, the Red Sox doctors did not believe that Jonathon was a pitcher because there was no damage to his pitching arm.

Yet, the last time I saw Mr. Papelbon, he was walking off the mound at Fenway holding his shoulder.

Most traditionalists say pitchers get hurt because of overuse.  Mr Papelbon has not been overused and still hurt his arm.  He is another victim of the traditional pitching motion.


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     To paraphrase, 'From your email to their eyes.'  I would love to have a couple of dozen northeasterners with me in Zephyrhills, FL the second weekend in May 2007.

    You are absolutely correct; it is not overuse that destroys baseball pitchers, it is the misuse of the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion.

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327.  If I could make one recommendation about your pitching video, it's this:  I would like to see you add a step-by-step breakdown of the pitching motion that you are teaching.

I still have to infer several things, because when your pitchers are shown throwing, usually it's after their motion has already started.  It seems as though we (the viewers) have to backtrack to understand the pitching process that you are teaching, because a lot of the pitching illustrated is used to identify flaws.

I would just like to see the motion from start to finish explained in a linear fashion.  I would have a better understanding of it.  At the expert level of any teaching praxis is when we are able to identify anomalies.  I am not there yet, so it's hard to spot the problems when I'm not yet familiar with the process, and its necessary components.

I am currently trying to see how I can start making gradual changes in my pitchers' motions in order to eventually get them to approach your way of throwing.  For me, it has to be gradual, given the limits we have on practice time and fields.

By the way, how would you prioritize the components of your pitching system?  What is the most important thing to start with or identify?


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     I could not agree with you more.  That is why when I made a DVD of Jeff Sparks throwing my six basic pitches, to show the entirety of my baseball pitching motion, I included rear and front view video.  If you send me your address, then I will send you a copy.

     The first skill that all baseball pitchers need to master is how to pronate the releases of their pitches.  To teach these skills, I use my Wrong Foot body action; Slingshot glove and pitching arm actions drill.  Notice that, instead of using my Pickoff with Step body action, I now recommend that we use my Wrong Foot body action.  Nevertheless, the Slingshot glove and pitching arm actions is the first critical skill set.

     The second skill that all baseball pitchers need to master is how to 'lock' their pitching upper arm with their shoulders such that they can maximally lengthen their driveline.  To teach this skill, I use my Wrong Foot body action; Loaded Slingshot glove and pitching arms actions drill.

     When teaching this skill, make sure that your baseball pitchers drive their pitching hand straight toward home plate from as far as they can reach toward second base to as far as they can reach toward home plate.

     The third skill that all baseball pitchers need to master is how to pendulum swing their pitching arm straight back toward second base and up to the 'Loaded Slingshot' position at the start of the driveline, such that the baseball continuously and smoothly moves out of their glove to driveline height and into the 'locked' pitching arm position.  To teach this skill, I use my Wrong Foot body action; Pendulum Swing glove and pitching arm actions drill.

     The fourth skill that all baseball pitchers need to master is to delay the forward step of their glove foot until they pendulum swing their pitching arm to forty-five degrees behind their body, such that, before their glove foot lands, they have their pitching upper arm 'locked' with their shoulders.  To teach this skill, I use my Pseudo-Traditional Step Back Wind-Up body action; Pendulum Swing glove and pitching arm actions drill and my Wind-Up body action; Drop Out Pendulum Swing glove and pitching arm actions drill.

     The fifth skill that all baseball pitchers need to master is how to use my 'Heel and Toe Drop Step' to help them forwardly rotate the pitching arm side of their body, such that, when they throw my Maxline pitches, they wait until they point their acromial line at home plate before drive the baseball to the pitching arm side of their body.  To teach this skill, I use my Pseudo-Traditional Step Back Wind-Up body action; Pendulum Swing glove and pitching arm actions drill and my Wind-Up body action; Drop Out Pendulum Swing glove and pitching arm actions drill.

     The sixth skill that all baseball pitchers need to master is how to use my 'Heel and Toes Cross Step' to help them turn their shoulders to face the glove arm side of home plate, such that when they throw my Torque pitches, they drive the baseball toward the glove arm side of home plate while they forwardly rotate their acromial line.  To teach this skill, I use my Pseudo-Traditional Step Back Wind-Up body action; Pendulum Swing glove and pitching arm actions drill and my Wind-Up body action; Drop Out Pendulum Swing glove and pitching arm actions drill.

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328.  I am diligently studying your materials and video.  I think I’m getting pretty close to understanding it.  I would like to know if there are still openings for your May clinic.  I would like to come down.

  Also, my 12 year old son, who I have been very careful with in terms of pitching (warm-ups, pitch limits, off-season, and icing), is having a second problem with the growth plate on his elbow.  It started in the fall when he pitched only 14 innings (2 per week) and he didn’t throw at all for 4 months.  He has only pitching about 30 innings in his whole life and he doesn’t play baseball year round.  He throws pretty hard (55-57 mph).

He’s already 5’ 5-1/2”, 120 lbs and his birthday was 3/28/07.  I’m assuming his rapid growth is contributing to the susceptibility of his growth plate.  Would switching to your motion at this point be worthwhile or should he just not pitch at all?   He’s having an MRI tomorrow to determine the extent of the injury.

I also see that you have someone here in CT that can teach your motion.  I am also very interested in teaching it, not to make money, just to help kids.


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     You sound like my kind of guy.  At this moment, I have only one person who has mailed me the one hundred dollar ($100.00) deposit that reserves his space in my May 12 and 13, 2007 Marshall Baseball Pitching Coaches Certification Clinic.  Therefore, I have of room for more attendees.

     You are correct.  When adolescent males start their rapid growth spurt, their growth plates become more susceptible to injury.

     Because five critical baseball pitching muscles attach to the medial epicondyle of the Humerus bone of the pitching upper arm, when youth baseball pitchers use the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion, the stress of the 'Reverse Pitching Forearm Bounce' injurious flaw that is inherent in that motion destroys that growth plate.

     As the American Sports Medicine Institute correctly says, with every competitive pitch that they throw, 'traditional' baseball pitchers redline their pitching elbows.  However, without decreasing release velocity, my baseball pitching motion reduces that stress by one-half.

     Therefore, I recommend that you immediately stop your son from using the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion and start using the drills that I developed that teach the skills of my baseball pitching motion.  To learn how to pronate the releases of his pitches, he needs to start doing my First 60-Day Youth Baseball Pitchers Motor Skill Acquisition Program.

     If you attend my Certification Clinic, then you should bring him along.

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329.  I heard you on WEEI the other day and am coach for a Freshman team.  Your information sounds great.

     I had a question if I heard something right?  Were you saying while bringing the arm back, do not stay on top of the ball?  Are you saying another motion to throw?


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     When baseball pitchers have their pitching hand on top of the baseball while they are moving the baseball backward and upward to driveline height, the head of the Humerus bone in their pitching upper arm prevents them from smoothly and continuously moving the baseball.

     Instead, their pitching hand comes to a stop, such that they then have to raise their pitching hand straight upward.  I call this, 'Late Pitching Forearm Turnover.'

     Then, because 'traditional' baseball pitchers start the center of mass of their body forward at the same time that they start their pitching arm backward, their glove foot lands before they have finished moving their pitching hand into the proper position from which to drive the baseball toward home plate.

     Therefore, 'traditional' baseball pitchers start the rapid forward rotation of their hips, shoulders and pitching upper arm while they are still raising their pitching hand upward by outwardly rotating their pitching shoulder.

     As a result, with their pitching upper arm moving forward and their pitching hand moving upward and backward, there comes a moment when the pitching hand stops moving backward and starts moving forward.  I call this, 'Reverse Pitching Forearm Bounce.'

     It is the 'Reverse Pitching Forearm Bounce' injurious flaw that is inherent in the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion that ruptures the Ulnar Collateral Ligament.

     I teach my baseball pitchers to pendulum swing their pitching hand downward, backward and upward straight toward second base with their pitching hand under, then behind, then under the baseball again until it reaches driveline height facing laterally away from their body.

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330.  My son is 20 years old.  He went to a small college to play baseball as a shortstop, but came home after one semester.  He enjoyed the brief baseball experience, the coaches and his teammates, but the school was not a good fit.

He is a volunteer assistant coach at the high school he attended and wants to coach or teach baseball as a career.  I am still trying to convince him to go back to college to get his education (not to play baseball).

He doesn't really want to be a school teacher so that he can coach a high school team.  He would prefer to teach players on an individual basis.  He does not have the knowledge or credibility to do that at this time.

We discussed your Pitchers Training Program.  Would you be willing to accept a student that does not have any pitching experience and no aspirations of pitching in college or professional baseball (he could only throw 80 mph when he was in high school)?  He just wants to learn the art of pitching so that he can teach others.

He loves baseball and he is really enjoying working with the high school kids (middle infield and hitting).  I have my doubts that there is much of a future in what he wants to do, but I have always supported him and I don't want to discourage him from chasing a dream.


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     The very best way to learn how to teach my baseball pitching motion is to complete my 280-Day Adult Baseball Pitchers Interval-Training Program with me.  That way, he will have experienced the difficulties in performing the drills that I use to teach the skills of my baseball pitching motion. He will also learn whether the discomforts that he experiences during the training are good or indicate potential serious injuries.

     I would gladly accept young men who want to learn how to teach others to use my baseball pitching motion.  I will teach them the art and science of baseball pitching.

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331.  The Kansas City Star article said, “It’s a little bit too extreme for my tastes,” says J.J. Picollo, the Royals’ director of player development. “It’s hard enough getting guys to agree on the four-seam fastball or two-seam fastball, let alone something that extreme.”

But, Rudy Seanez said that he didn’t convert completely, but took parts of your workouts and mechanics and added nearly 10 mph to his fastball in one off-season.

If your motion is so complicated, how did Rudy Seanez add ten mph in one off-season?


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     I have never met Mr. Picollo.  I have no idea what he means when he says that what I teach is too extreme.

     I have said elsewhere in my Question/Answer files that if I were to train the baseball pitchers for a major league team, then the first thing I would do is take high-speed film of each baseball pitcher and show them whether they had any injurious flaws in their pitching motion.

     If they needed, I would insist on three changes in their baseball pitching motion.

01.  To prevent baseball pitchers from rupturing their Ulnar Collateral Ligament, they have to learn how to pendulum swing their pitching arm smoothly and continuously to driveline height without any 'Reverse Pitching Forearm Flyout.'  For 'traditional' baseball pitchers to learn this skill should not require more than a couple of weeks.

02.  To prevent baseball pitchers from losing the extension and flexion ranges of motion and the accompanying bone chips, they have to learn how to pronate their releases.  For 'traditional' baseball pitchers to learn this skill should not require more than a couple of months.

     A side benefit from learning how to pronate their releases is that 'traditional' baseball pitchers will concurrently learn how to use their Teres Major and Latissimus Dorsi muscles to inwardly rotate their pitching upper arm.  As a result, they will also prevent injuries to the inward rotation muscles of the rotator cuff.  This means that they will increase their release velocity.

     In addition to inwardly rotating their pitching upper arm to increase their release velocity, when 'traditional' baseball pitchers use their Teres Major and Latissimus Dorsi muscles, they will prevent injuries to the outward rotation muscles of the rotator cuff.  This means that they will never injure the back of their pitching shoulder.

03.  To prevent baseball pitchers from injuring the attachment of their Subscapularis muscle on the front of their shoulder, they have to learn how to pendulum swing their pitching arm to driveline height before their glove foot lands.  For 'traditional' baseball pitchers to learn this skill should not take more than a couple of weeks.

     To eliminate injuries to their pitching arm, 'traditional' baseball pitchers must learn these three skills.  To not master these skills means that they will injure their pitching arms.  If they refused to learn these skills, then they would have to sign a release absolving me of any liability for their injuries.

     This is the decision that the Tampa Bay Devil Rays gave Jeff Sparks.  They wanted him to return to doing the injurious flaws that injured his pitching arm as a high school and college baseball pitcher.  When he explained why he would not do as they asked, they released him.  Jeff knew that if he did what they asked, then he would have not only injured his pitching arm, but he would have also not been able to throw the pitches that enabled him to strike out 41 batters in 30 and one-third innings.

     After I made sure that the baseball pitchers would never injure themselves, I would explain to them the mechanical flaws in their pitching motion that prevented them from throwing the variety of pitches that they need to get the four types of baseball batters out.  Whether they wanted to learn how to correct those mechanical flaws would be up to them.

     This is the same decision that I gave the baseball pitchers on the college teams that I coached.  At first, those baseball pitchers, who started for the team the year before, did not want to make other changes to their pitching motion.  However, those baseball pitchers, who did not start or pitch much for the team the year before, did want to make other changes to their pitching motion.

     After a couple of months, those baseball pitchers, who wanted to also make the mechanical changes to their pitching motion that I recommended, started throwing higher quality pitches that those baseball pitchers who did not want to change.  It did not take long before every baseball pitcher started to make the mechanical changes that they needed to make to throw the full variety of baseball pitches that I teach.

     I do not think that this approach is extreme.

     Rudy Seanez made a decision to not learn all the baseball pitches that I teach and not to do all the wrist weight and iron ball training that I recommend.

     Basically, Rudy only learned how to throw my Maxline Fastball and Maxline Fastball Sinker.

     Because he had previously injured his pitching arm throwing the 'traditional' slider, he did not want to learn how to pronate the release of my Torque Fastball Slider.

     Because in 1989, I did not know how to use my lid and football throws to teach baseball pitchers how to throw my Maxline Pronation Curve, Rudy also did not want to learn how to pronate the release of his curve.  In addition, eighteen years ago, I had not invented the pronation release for my Torque Fastball.

     Lastly, Rudy felt that my Maxline Fastball Sinker was sufficiently effective that he did not need to learn how to throw my Maxline True Screwball.

     I believe that, if Rudy had continued to train with me, then he would have mastered all these pitches and would have become one of the great closers in the game.  Therefore, I estimate that, by not learning how to throw all my pitches, Rudy cost himself about one hundred million dollars.

     Also, Rudy never used more that fifteen pound wrist weights and a six pound iron ball.  I believe that, if Rudy had completed my 280-Day Adult Baseball Pitchers Interval-Training Program and my eight 72-Day Adult Baseball Pitchers Recoil Interval-Training Programs, then he, like me, could have pitched two innings per appearance for over a decade and averaged more than ninety appearances per year.

     I would never require the baseball pitchers that I train to do everything that I did to become the best baseball pitcher that I knew how to be back in my day.  However, I would show them how to do everything.  I know that, if I knew then, what I know now, I would learn everything that I teach and I would become a far better baseball pitcher than I was.

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332.  Why do you think that Larry Rothchild would not comment on what he did to Jeff Sparks when he managed the Tampa Bay Devil Rays?

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     About a week before the Tampa Bay Devil Rays learned that I trained Jeff Sparks, Larry Rothchild said that Jeff Sparks had made the team, that he was a valuable pitcher out of the bullpen.  Therefore, neither Jeff or I believe that he wanted to release Jeff.  We believe that Chuck LaMar made that decision.

     Three years earlier, I asked Chuck LaMar, the General Manage of the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, to come to Zephyrhills, FL and watch how I train baseball pitchers.  I promised him that I knew how to eliminate pitching injuries.  To my surprise and his credit, he came.

     He watched my wrist weight exercises and asked the baseball pitcher whether they hurt.  He watched my iron ball exercises and asked the baseball pitcher whether they made him muscle bound.  He watched my variety of baseball pitches and asked the baseball pitcher how long it took him to learn all those pitches.

     Then, when the baseball pitcher finished his workout, he told the baseball pitcher that, if he continued to use my program, then he would never become a major league baseball pitcher and, without saying one word to me then or since, got in his car and drove away.

     When, three years later, after Jeff Sparks had a 1.54 earned run average for his first twelve appearances, he learned that Jeff was the baseball pitcher that he watched train that day and he released him.

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333.  After a winter of working on your 60 day programs, my soon to be 12 year old son has stepped up his throwing/pitching since the season starts in a few weeks.  He is working really hard to try and incorporate everything from his wrist weight, iron ball and football exercises.  He has his maxline fastball breaking with pretty good consistency.

At times his maxline screwball has an unbelievable hook, but he can't throw it for a strike yet.  In due time.  He feels he doesn't get his normal velocity when he pronates, but he likes the fact that the pitches break, so he's still working hard.

My question:

He told me yesterday that he has discomfort just above the elbow on the inside (the meaty area) when he bends his elbow with his wrist touching his shoulder.  It doesn't hurt when he throws.  He has been practicing alot.  Should we be concerned?


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     First, I want to comment on the Maxline True Screwball that your son is throwing.  You say that he gets great movement, but he cannot get the pitching in the seventeen vertical inches of the strike zone.  He is probably either throwing the baseball high to the pitching arm side of home plate or low to the glove arm side of home plate or both.

     He has to stop throwing the baseball low to the glove side of home plate.  That means that he is pulling his pitching elbow across the front of his body.  If he continues to do that, then he will never learn how to control this pitch.

     To learn how to bring the Maxline pitches that he throws high to the pitching arm side of home plate, I teach my baseball pitchers to step forward with their glove foot about thirty degrees to the glove side of the line between their glove foot and home plate.  I call this step, my 'Drop Step.'

     My baseball pitchers should pretend that home plate is at a thirty degree angle to the glove side from the pitching rubber.  They should step forward, such that they land with the heel of their glove foot, roll across the entire length of their glove foot and wait until they raise up on the toes of their glove foot to forwardly rotate their hips, shoulders and pitching upper arm to point at home plate.

     Lastly, instead of pulling their pitching forearm across the front of their body, they should roll their pitching shoulder inward, such that when they drive their pitching hand toward home plate, they point their index and middle fingers at the glove arm side of the strike zone.

     Now, I will answer your question.

     The forearm muscle that is just below the elbow joint on the inside of the forearm is the Flexor Carpi Ulnaris muscle.  Because it ulnar flexes the pitching wrist when my baseball pitchers throw my Maxline Pronation Curve, I call the Flexor Carpi Ulnaris muscle, the curve ball muscle.

     Therefore, the discomfort indicates that he is powerfully ulnar flexing his pitching wrist.  That is good.  The fact that it does not bother him when he throws indicates that the muscle is properly responding to the level of stress that he is placing on it.  That means that your son is training at the proper intensity for the fitness level of this muscle.

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334.  I heard you on WEEI in Boston last week and was very interested.  I would like to know the proper way to pitch a baseball?

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     With my Free Coaching Baseball Pitchers book, my Free Baseball Pitching Instructional Video, my Free Baseball Pitcher Training Programs and my Free answers to your baseball pitching questions, I have worked as hard as I could for over forty years to provide you with everything that you need to learn how I recommend that baseball pitchers apply force to their pitches.  Now, it is your turn.

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335.  Could you tell me where I can find your 'Overload for the Quick Bat' article on the internet?  I have spent over an hour this evening trying to find it.

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     I have no idea.  However, I have copies that I will mail to interested parties.

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336.  Could you help me understand what the people at the American Sports Medicine Institute saying?

--------------------------------------------------

Phases of Throwing

1.  WINDUP PHASE:  From first movement until the hands separate.  As the lead leg lifts up, causing the hip and knee to flex, all the weight is placed on the stance leg.  A balance position just prior to hand separation.
2.  STRIDE PHRASE:  From hand separation until the lead foot contacts the ground.  If the lead foot lands to the right of the stance foot (left for a left-handed pitcher), a closed stance results.  Conversely, if the lead foot lands to the left of the stance foot (right for a left-handed pitcher), an opened stance results.
3.  ARM COCKING PHASE:  From foot contact until maximum shoulder external rotation.
4.  ARM ACCELERATION PHASE:  From maximum shoulder external rotation until ball release.
5.  ARM DECELERATION PHASE:  From ball releases until maximum shoulder internal rotation.
6.  FOLLOW-THROUGH:  From maximum shoulder internal rotation until a balanced position is achieved.

The American Sports Medicine Institute (AMSI) placed electrodes on every muscle during all phases of throwing.  The electrodes then registered each muscle's amount of activity during each phase of throwing.  Therefore, the people at the ASMI laerned which muscles were most and least active during the biomechanical motion.

The following table provides the Electro-Myo-Graphic (EMG) activity.

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| # |        MUSCLES          | WIND-UP | STRIDE  | COCKING |ACCELERAT|DECELERAT|FOLLOW-TH|
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                                     Shoulder Girdle Muscles
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|01.|Upper Trapezius          |   18    |   64    |   37    |   69    |   53    |   14    |
|02.|Middle Trapezius         |   07    |   43    |   51    |   71    |   35    |   15    |
|03.|Lower Trapezius          |   13    |   39    |   38    |   76    |   78    |   25    |
|04.|Serratus Anterior:6th rib|   14    |   44    |   69    |   60    |   51    |   32    |
|05.|Serratus Anterior:4th rib|   20    |   40    |  106    |   50    |   34    |   41    |
|06.|Rhomboids                |   07    |   35    |   41    |   71    |   45    |   14    |
|07.|Levator Scapulae         |   06    |   35    |   72    |   77    |   33    |   14    |
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                                      Shoulder Joint Muscles
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|08.|Anterior Deltoid         |   15    |   40    |   28    |   27    |   47    |   21    |
|09.|Middle Deltoid           |   09    |   44    |   12    |   36    |   59    |   16    |
|10.|Posterior Deltoid        |   06    |   42    |   28    |   68    |   60    |   13    |
|11.|Supraspinatus            |   13    |   60    |   49    |   51    |   39    |   10    |
|12.|Infraspinatus            |   11    |   30    |   74    |   31    |   37    |   20    |
|13.|Teres Minor              |   05    |   23    |   71    |   54    |   84    |   25    |
|14.|Subscapularis(lower 3rd) |   07    |   26    |   62    |   56    |   41    |   25    |
|15.|Subscapularis(upper 3rd) |   07    |   37    |   99    |  115    |   60    |   16    |
|16.|Pectoralis Major         |   06    |   11    |   56    |   54    |   29    |   31    |
|17.|Latissimus Dorsi         |   12    |   33    |   50    |   88    |   59    |   24    |
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                                      Elbow Joint Muscles
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|18.|Triceps Brachii          |   04    |   17    |   37    |   89    |   54    |   22    |
|19.|Biceps Brachii           |   08    |   22    |   26    |   20    |   44    |   16    |
|20.|Brachialis               |   08    |   17    |   18    |   20    |   49    |   13    |
|21.|Brachioradialis          |   05    |   35    |   31    |   16    |   46    |   22    |
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                                     Forearm Joint Muscles
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|22.|Pronator Teres           |   14    |   18    |   39    |   85    |   51    |   21    |
|23.|Supinator                |   09    |   38    |   54    |   55    |   59    |   22    |
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                                      Wrist Joint Muscles
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|24.|Ext. Carpi Radialis Long |   11    |   53    |   72    |   30    |   43    |   22    |
|25.|Ext. Carpi Radialis Brev |   17    |   47    |   75    |   55    |   43    |   24    |
|26.|Flexor Carpi Radialis    |   13    |   24    |   47    |  120    |   79    |   35    |
|27.|Flexor Carpi Ulnaris     |   08    |   27    |   41    |  112    |   77    |   24    |
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                                         Finger Muscles
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|28.|Flexor Digitorum Superfi |   16    |   20    |   47    |   80    |   71    |   21    |
|29.|Extensor Digitorum       |   21    |   37    |   59    |   35    |   47    |   24    |
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
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     They placed surface electrodes on the motor points of the muscles of a 'traditional' baseball pitcher that they believed contributed to baseball pitching.  Then, while they recorded the electric signals from the twenty-nine surface electrodes and videotaped the image, they had this 'traditional' baseball pitcher throw his fastball.

     Because whoever made up this table placed muscles in incorrect categories, I have changed some muscle locations.  Also, because some muscles operate across more than one joint, I have changed some muscle locations to indicate the joint where muscles most influence baseball pitching.  Lastly, because whoever made up this table does not understand that the forearm operates independently off the elbow joint, I added forearm muscles to the list.

     Because they are the phases of explosive muscle contractions, therefore, the only phase during which pitching injuries occur, the only phases of the baseball pitching motion of interest is the acceleration phase and the deceleration phase.  Therefore, we can eliminate the other phases from this table.

     Because I want to discuss each joint separately, I will separate the table into six separate sections.

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| # |               MUSCLES                 |  ACCELERATION PHASE  |  DECELERATION PHASE  |
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                     Shoulder Girdle Muscles
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|01.|Upper Trapezius                        |          69          |          53          |
|02.|Middle Trapezius                       |          71          |          35          |
|03.|Lower Trapezius                        |          76          |          78          |
|04.|Serratus Anterior:6th rib              |          60          |          51          |
|05.|Serratus Anterior:4th rib              |          50          |          34          |
|06.|Rhomboids                              |          71          |          45          |
|07.|Levator Scapulae                       |          77          |          33          |
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     The muscles of the Shoulder Girdle move the Scapula bone in different directions.  Kinesiologist have names for these different directions.  If a muscle moves the Scapula bone closer to the vertebral column, they say that muscle adducts the Scapula bone.  Therefore, this table should explain what each muscle does.  I will add that information to this table.

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| # |               MUSCLES                 |  ACCELERATION PHASE  |  DECELERATION PHASE  |
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                     Shoulder Girdle Muscles
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|01.|Upper Trapezius (upward rotates)       |          69          |          53          |
|02.|Middle Trapezius (adducts)             |          71          |          35          |
|03.|Lower Trapezius (depresses)            |          76          |          78          |
|04.|Serratus Anterior:6th rib (abducts)    |          60          |          51          |
|05.|Serratus Anterior:4th rib (abducts)    |          50          |          34          |
|06.|Rhomboids (adducts)                    |          71          |          45          |
|07.|Levator Scapulae (elevates)            |          77          |          33          |
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     This table does not contain all the Shoulder Girdle muscles.  It leaves off the Pectoralis Minor muscle, which forwardly tilts the Scapula bone and, what I call, the Latissimus Dorsi I muscle, which, because it attaches to the inferior angle of the Scapula bone, depresses the Scapula bone.

     All muscles have opposite muscles.  Kinesiologist call two muscle that do opposite actions, antagonist muscles.  This means that, to make the bones to which these muscles attach move, when one of these paired muscles contract, the opposite muscles relax.  Kinesiologist call this principle, 'Reciprocal Inhibition.'

     'Reciprocal Inhibition' means that when the Motor Cortex sends a signal to a muscle to powerfully contract, its antagonist muscle receives a signal to relax.  When antagonist muscles do not relax, the powerful contaction of the agonist muscle with tear the muscle fibers in its antagonist muscle.

     In the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion, during the acceleration phase, the Serratus Anterior muscle abducts the Scapula bone.  In the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion, during the deleration phase, the Rhomboid Major and Minor muscles adduct the Scapula bone.  Let us see what this table says about when 'traditional' baseball pitchers use their Serratus Anterior and Rhomboid Major and Minor muscles.

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| # |               MUSCLES                 |  ACCELERATION PHASE  |  DECELERATION PHASE  |
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                                     Shoulder Girdle Muscles
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|04.|Serratus Anterior:6th rib (abducts)    |          60          |          51          |
|05.|Serratus Anterior:4th rib (abducts)    |          50          |          34          |
|06.|Rhomboids (adducts)                    |          71          |          45          |
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     According to the researchers at the American Sports Medicine Institute, the Serratus Anterior and Rhomboid Major and Minor muscles contract during both the acceleration and deceleration phases of the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion.

     First, one muscle cannot contribute to the accceleration phase and to the deceleration phase.  Second, antagonistic muscles cannot simultaneously contract.

     What does it mean that the table in which the researchers at the American Sports Medicine Institute shows that the Serratus Anterior and Rhomboid Major and Minor muscles contract during both the acceleration and decelerations phases mean?

     It means that they have no idea what they are doing.  Either they have significant electric artifacts or they do not know when the acceleration and deceleration phases start and stop.  Whatever the cause, the research on the muscles of the Shoulder Girdle is worthless.

     Let us examine what the table says about the muscles of the Shoulder Joint.  That is, the muscles the move the bone in the pitching upper arm, the Humerus bone.

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| # |               MUSCLES                 |  ACCELERATION PHASE  |  DECELERATION PHASE  |
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                                      Shoulder Joint Muscles
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|08.|Anterior Deltoid (abducts)             |          27          |          47          |
|09.|Middle Deltoid (abducts)               |          36          |          59          |
|10.|Posterior Deltoid (abducts)            |          68          |          60          |
|11.|Supraspinatus (abducts)                |          51          |          39          |
|12.|Infraspinatus (extends)                |          31          |          37          |
|13.|Teres Minor (outward rotates)          |          54          |          84          |
|14.|Subscapularis:lower 3rd(inward rotates)|          56          |          41          |
|15.|Subscapularis:upper 3rd(inward rotates)|         115          |          60          |
|16.|Pectoralis Major (horizontal flexes)   |          54          |          29          |
|17.|Latissimus Dorsi (inward rotates)      |          88          |          59          |
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     This table does not contain all the Shoulder Joint muscles.  It leaves off the Teres Major muscle, which inward rotates the Humerus bone and the Coracobrachialis muscle, which flexes the Humerus bone.

     In the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion, during the acceleration phase, the Pectoralis Major muscle horizontally flexes the Humerus bone.  In the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion, during the deleration phase, the Teres Minor muscle horizontally extends the Humerus bone.  Let us see what this table says about when 'traditional' baseball pitchers use their Pectoralis Major and Teres Minor muscles.

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| # |               MUSCLES                 |  ACCELERATION PHASE  |  DECELERATION PHASE  |
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                                      Shoulder Joint Muscles
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|13.|Teres Minor (outward rotates)          |          54          |          84          |
|16.|Pectoralis Major (horizontal flexes)   |          54          |          29          |
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     According to the researchers at the American Sports Medicine Institute, the Pectoralis Major and Teres Minor muscles contract during both the acceleration and deceleration phases of the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion.

     What does it mean that the table in which the researchers at the American Sports Medicine Institute shows that the Pectoralis Major and Teres Minor muscles contract during both the acceleration and decelerations phases mean?

     It means that they have no idea what they are doing.  Either they have significant electric artifacts or they do not know when the acceleration and deceleration phases start and stop.  Whatever the cause, the research on the muscles of the Shoulder Joint is also worthless.

     Let us examine what the table says about the muscles of the Elbow Joint.  That is, the muscles the move the flexion and extension bone in the pitching forearm, the Ulna bone.

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| # |               MUSCLES                 |  ACCELERATION PHASE  |  DECELERATION PHASE  |
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                      Elbow Joint Muscles
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|18.|Triceps Brachii                        |          89          |          54          |
|19.|Biceps Brachii                         |          20          |          44          |
|20.|Brachialis                             |          20          |          49          |
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     This table does not contain all the Elbow Joint muscles.  It leaves off the Anconeus muscle, which extends the Ulna bone.

     In the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion, during the acceleration phase, to stop the 'Pitching Forearm Flyout,' the Brachialis muscle flexes the Ulna bone.  Therefore, in the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion, during the acceleration phase, the Triceps Brachii cannot contract.

     What does it mean that the table in which the researchers at the American Sports Medicine Institute shows that the Brachialis and Triceps Brachii muscles both contract during the acceleration phase mean?

     It means that they have no idea what they are doing.  Either they have significant electric artifacts or they do not know when the acceleration and deceleration phases start and stop.  Whatever the cause, the research on the muscles of the Elbow Joint is also worthless.

     Let us examine what the table says about the muscles of the Forearm Joint.  That is, the muscles the move the Radius bone closer to the Ulna bone (pronate) adn move the Radius bone away from the Ulna bone (supinate).

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| # |               MUSCLES                 |  ACCELERATION PHASE  |  DECELERATION PHASE  |
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                                     Forearm Joint Muscles
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|21.|Brachioradialis (supinates)            |          16          |          46          |
|22.|Pronator Teres (pronates)              |          85          |          51          |
|23.|Supinator (supinates)                  |          55          |          59          |
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     This table does not contain all the Forearm Joint muscles.  It leaves off the Pronator Quadratus muscle, which pronates the Radius bone.

     In the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion, during the acceleration phase, to prevent the olecranon process of the Ulna bone from slamming into the olecranon fossa of the Humerus bone, baseball pitchers need to pronate their pitching forearm.  Because, when it pronates the pitching forearm, the Pronator Teres also flexes the elbow joint, baseball pitchers must pronate their pitching forearm on the releases of all pitches.

     Therefore, baseball pitchers cannot simultaneously pronate and supinate their pitching forearm.

     What does it mean that the table in which the researchers at the American Sports Medicine Institute shows that the Pronator Teres and Supinator muscles both contract during the acceleration phase mean?

     It means that they have no idea what they are doing.  Either they have significant electric artifacts or they do not know when the acceleration and deceleration phases start and stop.  Whatever the cause, the research on the muscles of the Forearm Joint is also worthless.

     Let us examine what the table says about the muscles of the Wrist Joint.  That is, the muscles the flex and extend the Metacarpal bones of the pitching hand.

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| # |               MUSCLES                 |  ACCELERATION PHASE  |  DECELERATION PHASE  |
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                                      Wrist Joint Muscles
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|24.|Extensor Carpi Radialis Longus         |          30          |          43          |
|25.|Extensor Carpi Radialis Brevis         |          55          |          43          |
|26.|Flexor Carpi Radialis                  |         120          |          79          |
|27.|Flexor Carpi Ulnaris                   |         112          |          77          |
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     What does it mean that the table in which the researchers at the American Sports Medicine Institute shows that the Flexor Carpi Radialis and Flexor Carpi Ulnaris muscles contract during the acceleration and decelerations phases mean?

     It means that they have no idea what they are doing.  Either they have significant electric artifacts or they do not know when the acceleration and deceleration phases start and stop.  Whatever the cause, the research on the muscles of the Wrist Joint is also worthless.

     Let us examine what the table says about the muscles of the Finger Joint.  That is, the muscles the flex and extend the Metacarpal bones of the pitching hand.

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| # |               MUSCLES                 |  ACCELERATION PHASE  |  DECELERATION PHASE  |
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                                         Finger Muscles
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|28.|Flexor Digitorum Superficialis         |          80          |          71          |
|29.|Extensor Digitorum                     |          35          |          47          |
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     This table does not contain all the Finger Joint muscles.  It leaves off the Flexor Digitorum Profundus muscle, which flexes the distal phalanges of the fingers.

     What does it mean that the table in which the researchers at the American Sports Medicine Institute shows that the Flexor Digitorum Superficialis muscle contracts during the acceleration and deceleration phases mean?

     It means that they have no idea what they are doing.  Either they have significant electric artifacts or they do not know when the acceleration and deceleration phases start and stop.  Whatever the cause, the research on the muscles of the Finger Joint is also worthless.

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337.  Do you have an opinion on a pitcher taking Motrin before he pitches?  I assume they do it to lessen swelling. Would taking Motrin reduce the trauma caused by the traditional pitching motion.  If a relief pitcher were given 4 Motrin before both games of a doubleheader for a total of eight, do you think this would be an excessive amount of medication?

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     The only way to reduce the trauma that the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion causes is to start using my baseball pitching motion.

     That 'traditional' baseball pitchers feel the need to medicate themselves before they pitch shows that the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion hurts.

     At some level of consumption, all medications are poisonous.  I have no idea how many Motrin it takes to destroy the liver and/or kidneys.

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338.  How would you answer this statement?  The weight shift is the foundation of the pitching motion and the batting swing.  If the weight shift is off or not timed properly, then all else is irrelevant.

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     How athletes control the center of mass of their body is critical for their athletic success.  For example, for defensive basketball, to quickly respond to the movements of offensive players, defensive basketball players must keep the center of mass of their body as low as they can and still use their legs.

    In their stance, baseball batters need to stand with the center of mass of their body at the same height as when they forwardly rotate their hips and shoulders.  If they have the center of mass of their body higher in their stance than when they forwardly rotate their hips and shoulders, then they have lowered their eyes, which make it more difficult to determine where pitched baseball will cross the contact line.

     With regard to proper timing of their swing to the arrival of pitched baseballs crossing the contact line, baseball batters only need to make sure that they have their front foot firmly on the ground in time for them to forwardly rotate their hips and shoulder and to drive their rear hand and the center of mass of the baseball bat to the proper location on the contact line at the same time the pitched baseballs cross the contact line.

     I teach my baseball pitchers to walk forward off the pitching rubber, such that they land on the heel of their glove foot, roll the center of mass of their body forward over the entire length of their glove foot, and when they raise up on the toes of their glove foot to powerfully forwardly rotate their hips, shoulders and pitching upper arm to point at home plate.  This means that I want my baseball pitchers to continually forwardly move the center of mass of their body forward until their pitching foot land on the same line toward home plate as their glove foot landed.

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339.  I tried to view your wrist weight training portion of your online video and only got the part where you show how to tape your wrist weights.  Since I have your video, I knew there was more to it but perhaps others that have not seen your entire video have the same problem.  Here's what I did to fix the problem.

I noticed that I was watching the video in something called WINAMP.  I assumed this was not Window Media Player.  So, I found Windows media player by going to Start (lower left hand corner of computer) and then hit All Programs and found Windows Media Player.  I then clicked on Widows Media Player to open it.  Then I:

1.  right clicked up top by the tool bars,
2.  Hit Tools,
3.  Hit Options,
4.  Hit File Types,
5.  Hit Select All (down toward the bottom right) and
6.  Hit Apply.

This tells your computer to open Windows Media Player for all media.  After I did this your sections played in their entirety.  This may help your viewers.


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     Thank you for the information.  I will pass it along.

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340.  I have some questions, that aren't directly related to pitching, but thought the answers might be interesting for your readers.

1)  The famous story behind your World Series pick-off of Herb Washington is that you told him in spring training you'd pick him off if given the opportunity.  Was this just friendly banter?  Did it surprise you to make good on your promise in such important circumstances?

2)  I heard that before you picked Washington off, he was a student in one of your kinesiology courses.  Is this true and did that relationship lead to you telling him you'd pick him off?

3)  In this interview: http://www.mlbcenter.com/marshallinterview.php, you were asked "For you, was playing in the major leagues a daily grind or an awesome experience?"

To which you replied:  "I loved every minute that I was on the pitchers mound and hated every other minute until the off-season when I could return to my studies and daughters."

What did you hate about the time you weren't on the mound?


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01.  Herb Washington was a student in my laboratory section of the Motor Skill Acquisition course at Michigan State University.  On one Saturday morning, he told me of the opportunity that he received to become a designated base runner and asked me whether I thought that he should do it.

     I told him that the most difficult aspect of base running is learning the moment when baseball pitchers commit to throw the baseball to home plate.  I told him that I felt that learning this takes years of observation and practice.  Therefore, he and the Oakland Athletics manager should expect that he would make some mistakes.

    It was then and there that I told Herb that if he was ever on first base when I was pitching and he wanted to steal second base, then I would pick him off.

     Because I had picked off several Oakland Athletic base runners in the past, it did not surprise me that I picked Herb off base.  As one example, in 1969, I picked Rick Monday and Bert Campaneris off second base in the same inning.  And, I continued to pick Oakland Athletic base runners off base after the 1974 World Series.

     However, while I picked base runners off second base who were not trying to steal third base, it is next to impossible to pick base runners off first base who are not trying to steal second base.  In the 1970s, for some reasons, the Oakland Athletics always wanted to steal second base off me.

02.  I answered above.

03.  I hate to waste a moment of my life.  Therefore, I hate sitting on airplanes and buses, in hotel rooms, in locker rooms and anywhere else where I cannot be with my daughters or advancing my life in some productive way.

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341.  Do you offer on-location training?  I have 2 college RH pitchers from New York who throw 83-86 and top out 87.  Both are 19 and getting stronger.  One has difficulty at the higher speeds as the ball flatens out and reluctant to use 2 seams which is difficult for him to control.  Very effective at lower range including change up.

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     Next year, at my Pitching Research/Training Center in beautiful Zephyrhills, FL, I will offer two 120-Day Adult Baseball Pitchers Interval-Training Programs that start on the third Friday in August and first Friday in February and one 280-Day Adult Baseball Pitchers Interval-Training Program that starts on the third Friday in August.

     Because, with 280-Day students receiving preference, I only accept twelve new students per year, interested parties should reserve their place in my groups as soon as possible.

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342.  I am interested in reviewing your book and offering feedback.  As a board-certified chiropractic orthopedist (non-surgical), die-heart Cardinal fan, and professor of orthopedics and neurology, I feel that I might offer some reasonable comments.

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     I appreciate your interest in my work.

     My Coaching Baseball Pitchers book is on my website free for all to read.  If you click on FREE Coaching Baseball Pitchers book, then you will go into a file that contains each chapter separately.

     My Baseball Pitching Instructional Video is also on my website free for all to watch.  If you click on FREE Baseball Pitching Instructional Video, then you will go into a file that contains each section of my video separately.  Because, to put my video online, we had to compress the picture, such that they are not as clear as on my DVD copies, I just mailed a copy of my video to you.

     Please let me know when it arrives.  I look forward to your comments.

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343.  I had a number of questions for you.

1.  As I have said before, I have started working as a regional pitching cross-checker for a Major League team.  In that role, I'm trying to make the team I'm working with more receptive to your ideas (e.g., I steer them toward pitchers who exemplify aspects of your mechanics).

One thing that I've come across is a bias against what some people call "long-armers".  I can't get a good definition of exactly what people mean when they say that, but I don't think there's any basis to this prejudice since a variety of good pitchers (e.g., they consider Roy Oswalt and Juan Marichal long-armers).

I was wondering if you had any idea what the precise nature of the concern is?  Is it that they just plain don't understand what a pitcher's arm does?

Also, I wonder if this prejudice has something to do with how your ideas and your pitchers are received, since they could be characterized as long-armers.

2.  I have been invited to give a 3-hour presentation to the entire scouting department of the team I am working with (in January of 2008).  I was wondering what you think I should discuss?

My thought is to spend a lot of time breaking down high-speed film and explaining exactly what the traditional pitching motion looks like and how it causes problems for pitchers.  I doubt if many of the guys in the room will have looked at much if any video, much less gone frame by frame through high speed film.

Also, would I be able to get my hands on the original files of yourself pitching back in the 60s or 70s?

3.  I have been talking to the father of a college pitcher whose son has been having some arm problems.  Generally, his problem is Biceps Tendinitis, the root cause of which is probably his tendency to rush to the plate (and for his arm to be late as a result) and breaking his hands with his elbows.

He is also having some inflammation at the A/C joint, which I am less certain about in terms of the root cause of the problem.  Do you have a sense of why he would be having A/C joint problems in addition to Biceps tendinitis?

I know that he used to play linebacker in college.  The father is receptive to your ideas and believes me when I tell him that the only way to fix his son's problem is to fix his mechanics.


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01.  I would guess that what baseball people mean when they label baseball pitchers as 'long-armers' is that these baseball pitchers do not tightly bend their pitching elbow, such that their pitching hand is close to their head just before they start the acceleration phase of their 'traditional' baseball pitching motion.

     For some reason, even though they are more likely to injure themselves, especially their pitching elbow, baseball people like baseball pitchers who tightly bend their pitching elbow immediately before they start their acceleration phase.

     'Long-armers' pendulum swing their straight pitching arm downward, backward and up to driveline height without 'Late Pitching Forearm Turnover,' such that they do not have any 'Reverse Pitching Forearm Bounce.'  And, when they start the acceleration phase of their 'traditional' baseball pitching motion, they have the angle of their pitching elbow greater than ninety degrees.

     If the preceding is correct, then these 'long-armers' do not rupture their Ulnar Collateral Ligaments.

     However:

01.  they can still take their pitching elbow behind their acromial line, such that they injure the front of their pitching shoulder.

02.  they can still reverse rotate their hips, shoulders and pitching arm too far beyond second base, such that they have 'Pitching Forearm Flyout,' which forces their Brachialis muscle to contract, such that it lengthens, which decreases the flexion range of motion of their pitching elbow and the continuation of the 'Pitching Forearm Flyout' after they release their pitches can force the tiny Teres Minor muscle to decelerate their entire pitching arm, which can injure the back of their pitching shoulder.

03.  they can still supinate their releases, such that they can slam the olecranon process of their Ulna bone into its fossa, thereby breaking pieces of hyaline cartilage off these bones (bone chips), which can cause bone spurs and decrease the extension range of motion of their pitching elbow.

     By definition, all my baseball pitchers are 'long-armers.'  I want my baseball pitchers to pendulum swing their pitching arm to driveline height without 'Late Pitching Forearm Turnover.'  I want my baseball pitchers to leave their pitching hand the full length of their pitching forearm behind their pitching elbow.  These actions insure that my baseball pitchers will never rupture their Ulnar Collateral Ligament.

     However:

01.  I also want my baseball pitchers to powerfully pronate the releases of their pitches.  This action prevents bone chips, bone spurs and the loss of the extension and flexion ranges of motion of their pitching elbow.  It also changes what muscles they use to decelerate their pitching arm, such that they never injure the back of their pitching shoulder.

02.  I also want my baseball pitchers to passively reverse rotate their hips, shoulders and pitching upper arm only as far as pointing toward second base.  This action enables my baseball pitchers to apply force straight at home plate, such that they achieve higher release velocities and release consistencies.

     You are correct.  The reason why these baseball people do not like 'long-armers' is because they just plain don't understand what a pitcher's arm does.  I also think that they do not understand my ideas or what my baseball pitchers look like.  Instead, they simply do not want to have to learn anything new.

02.  With regard to the three hour presentation that your major league baseball team has invited you to give next January, you should attend and videotape my one hour presentation to the Society of American Baseball Research convention in St. Louis, MO at 3:00PM on Friday, July 27, 2007 and you should attend my two hour presentation in Houston, TX on Friday, December 07, 2007.  Or, I would gladly give, without charge, three hour presentations to all baseball teams who are interested in eliminating pitching injuries.

     However, because, typically, high school and college baseball pitching coaches teach the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion, the Scouting Department is not the proper recipient of this information.  Instead, because they are charged with teaching baseball pitchers what they have to do to make it to the major leagues, the Player Development Department should receive this information.

03.  'Traditional' baseball pitchers unnecessarily stress the muscles that flex their pitching elbow during the 'Pitching Forearm Flyout' injurious flaw that is inherent in the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion.  To eliminate this injury, this young man needs to stop reverse rotating his hips, shoulders and pitching arm too far beyond second base and he has to learn how to powerfully pronate the releases of his pitches.

     The ligament that attaches the acromion process of the Scapula bone to the Clavicle bone holds the Acromion-Clavicular joint together.  When football players use their shoulder to tackle, they put tremendous stress on this ligament.  Sometimes, they rupture this ligament.  Frequently, they lengthen this ligament, which makes the joint less stable.

     For baseball pitchers, the stability of the A/C joint is critical.  The Scapula and Clavicle bones are the solid base off which their pitching arms apply force.

     However, while they take far longer than muscles, ligaments do respond to properly designed and applied overload training.  Therefore, to eliminate his 'Pitching Forearm Flyout' and strengthen his A/C ligament, I recommend that this young man complete my 280-Day Adult Baseball Pitchers Interval-Training Program and my Wrist Weight and Iron Balls Recoil Interval-Training Programs.

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344.  I heard your ideas and thoughts on pitching safety during an interview you did on Sports radio 850 WEEI-Boston recently.  I coach 9-12 yr olds.  12yr olds cannot pitch in our minor league.  What are your most basic pitching steps from the starting position to the follow-through I can share with our kids.

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     I explain the most basic steps of my baseball pitching motion in my Coaching Baseball Pitchers book, which is free for you to read on my website, in my Baseball Pitching Instructional Video, which is free for you to watch on my website and in my Question/Answer files, which are free for you to read on my website.  And, you can email me with your questions, hopefully after you have familiarized yourself with the work that I have already done for you, and I will answer them for free.

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345.  I have a question regarding arm training.  I suffered an arm injury to my ulnar nerve in my elbow a while ago.  I got surgery and I'm now rehabbing, but I cant help but be worried about injuring my ulnar collateral ligament in the future.  I know there is a lot of debate about whether or not ligaments can be strengthened and I was wondering your opinion on this.  I'm 19, so would your 280 day throwing strengthen my ucl?

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     You injured your Ulnar Nerve because you bring your pitching hand close to your head immediately before you start the acceleration phase of your 'traditional' baseball pitching motion.  This causes your pitching hand to move backward and outward away from your body and unnecessarily stresses your Ulnar Nerve, which wraps around the back side of the inside of your pitching elbow.  While this 'looping' action injures your Ulnar Nerve, it does decrease the unnecessary stress on your Ulnar Collateral Ligament that is inherent in the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion.

     But, surgery to relocate your Ulnar Nerve does not correct the problem.  Instead, you need to change how you apply force to your baseball pitches.

     With the drills that you will do in my 280-Day Adult Baseball Pitchers Interval-Training Program, you will learn how to efficiently and effectively use your pitching arm.  You will also greatly strengthen your Ulnar Collateral Ligament.

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346.  I heard you recently on WEEI radio station in Boston and you brought a lot of good information to light.  I am looking for some training tools or exercises to help my daughter, who is 11, throw a softball.

She looks like she is throwing with her elbow instead of her arm.  She releases the ball by her ear rather than out in front of her.  We practice every night, but now she is getting frustrated.  I am wondering if I am telling her the correct way to throw.  I know you mainly deal with pitching, but is there anywhere I can find information so I can teach her the correct arm location and process.


-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

     Position players, whether they play baseball or softball, need to learn how to properly apply force with their throwing arm.  My Wrong Foot Slingshot, Wrong Foot Loaded Slingshot and Wrong Foot Pendulum Swing drills teach position players how to properly use their pitching arm.  Then, to play in competition, they need to learn the one step crow-hop throwing rhythm.

     With my First, Second and Third 60-Day Youth Baseball Pitchers Motor Skill Acquisition Programs, youngsters learn how to properly use their pitching arms.  Position players simply practice only my Maxline and Torque Fastball releases.  Then, they practice the one step crow-hop body action.

     To learn the one step crow-hop body action:

01.  Players stand with their feet side-by-side shoulder width apart and their arms hanging at their side.

02.  To initiate the one step crow-hop body action, players simultaneously step forward with their glove foot and swing both arms forward and upward, such that, when their glove foot lands, they have both hands at shoulder height.

03.  Next, players simultaneously hop forward off their glove foot and swing both arms downward and backward, such that, when their throwing foot lands, their arms are back beside their body.

04.  Next, while they continue to pendulum swing their throwing arm backward and upward and their glove arm forward and upward, they step forward with their glove foot, such that, when the heel of their glove foot lands, they are have their throwing arm at driveline height ready to throw and their glove arm pointing at the target.

05.  Lastly, after they roll forward across the entire length of their glove foot and start to raise up on their glove foot toes, they pull their glove hand straight backward and drive their throwing hand straight forward toward the target, such that they forwardly rotate their hips, shoulders and throwing upper arm from pointing straight behind them to pointing straight at the target.

     When players correctly perform the one step crow-hop, they continuously move the center of mass of their body and the ball forward straight toward the target.

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347.  I am very interested in your training programs and how they strenghten the Ulnar Collateral Ligament.  If you wouldn't mind could you explain the science behind the strengthening ligaments?

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     When Exercise Physiologists design interval-training programs that teach athletes how to effectively and efficiently apply force for specific skills in proper increments over appropriate time periods, the involved tissues will make the physiological adjustments required to meet the training overload.

     This means that the involved bones will increase their density, the involved ligaments will increase the size and number of their connective tissue fibers and the myofibrils that make up the involved muscle fibers will increase their size and numbers.

     My 280-Day Adult Baseball Pitchers Interval-Training Program and 72-Day Wrist Weight and Iron Ball Adult Baseball Pitchers Recoil Interval-Training Programs satisfy these requirements.  This means that, when adult baseball pitchers complete these interval-training programs, the tissues involved with baseball pitching will be as powerful as is necessary to pitch baseballs every day at maximum intensity until they metabolize all their muscle stored substrate without injury.

     How quickly and whether they master the skills to properly throw the variety of baseball pitches that they need to succeed at the highest levels of baseball competition depends on their motor learning ability and dedication.

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348.  Thank you so much for your help,.  I truly appreciate it!!

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     I hope that your professor understands enough about what I wrote on why the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion injures the rotator cuff muscles in the pitching shoulder to give my paper an A.

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349.  I received the Jeff Sparks DVD today.  For me, this is very helpful, seeing the motion repeated and repeated.  Thanks for the speedy reply.

I am trying my hardest to understand the basic mechanics to see if I can incorporate some of this right now (my season starts this Saturday).

I have always kept a pitch count for my players (something mandated by Little League this year), and have built my pitchers' arm strength for the end of the season by progressively adding more pitches, if they have consistent pitching-pattern frequency.  I have also made them very aware of their strike/ball ratio, and whether it's acceptable (2:1) or not, and made them notice when they have a short-pitch inning, so naturally most of them respond competitively.

By the way, we once had a three pitch inning, that was single-single-triple play.

The interesting thing is that I used the same approach when managing a Senior Men's team for eight years, and we generally avoided chronic sore arms.

I fully understand that this system will take time to comprehend and then pass along to willing (and in some cases, somewhat unwilling) students, so I am going to try to be realistic about what I can do this season.  I totally trust your approach, and want to try to use this.


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     For youngsters to master sport skills requires hundreds of hours of perfect practice.  Competition stops the development of motor skills.  That is why I recommend that, until they master these sport skills, youngsters in every sport should not compete.

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350.  Thanks for sending me the Overload for the Quick Bat article.  I found it interesting and answered some questions that I have had.  I have some additional questions.

1.  Do you still recommend only performing ten reps during a four hour period?

2.  If you only train the front arm, won't the other arm be smaller and look odd?

3.  Do you still recommend not going beyond 30 lbs of weight?

4.  I could not tell from the photos.  Do you keep the arm straight, or do you flex the elbow the same way you do when swinging a bat?

5.  Why did the writer lie when he stated that you "hit balls consistently over the fence and to all fields"?  Just kidding!

I had asked you once about swinging a ten pound bar to strengthen the hitting movement.  You stated that there would be too much effort in keeping the bat from dropping during the swing.  This makes much more sense.  Also, I have been questioning the correlation between strength and speed.

The article states that "the best swing is made with the least physical exertion."  This makes sense.  It seems that it would make swinging your regular bat feel like it does now swinging a lighter bat (easier and more control).

I still don't understand how strengthening your arm makes you throw with more velocity.  Since the baseball weighs so little, it doesn't seem like it would matter.  I certainly understand that strengthening the arm allows you to throw more often and eliminate injury.  I'm sure that eventually, I will understand the correlation between arm strength and velocity.  Sometimes, I'm a slow learner.


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01.  The training program in the 'Overload for the Quick Bat' article is mine.  Danny Litwhiler saw me doing it one day and wanted to know more about it.  I showed it to him and I explained what I did and why.  However, he wrote the article.  He recommended only performing ten repetitions during a four hour period.  I would have recommended a minimum of twenty-four repetitions and a maximum of forty-eight repetitions once every day.

02.  Because the rear arm supplies the straight line force to contact, in my baseball batting motion, though differently, the rear arm works harder than the front arm.  I doubt that their sizes will differ.

03.  With all sport specific training, there is a weight at which the benefits derived do not merit the effort required.  I call this, the law of diminishing returns.  While it is somewhat subjective, when the efforts athletes expend become far greater than the benefits they gain, they will stop training.

04.  Actually, in my baseball batting motion, I do not want batters to use their front arm at all until the final moment just before collision with the pitched baseball.  That is, I want the rear arm to apply all the force up to that moment.  Then, I want them to suddenly and powerfully to pull the handle of the baseball bat straight backward in precisely the opposite direction that they are driving the baseball bat forward with their rear arm.

     Therefore, I do not want baseball batters to keep the elbow joint of their front arm locked straight.  With the elbow joint of their front arm tightly bent, I want them to use the forward rotation of their shoulders to lift the weight off the floor.

     Then, when they have forwardly rotated their shoulders to face upward, with their elbow at shoulder height, I want them to raise the weight with the muscles on the back of their front shoulder.

     Then, when they have raised their front elbow as high vertically upward as they can, I want them to suddenly and powerfully outwardly rotate the upper arm of their front arm such that they snap their front elbow back to the side of their body and drive their front hand straight upward.

     Lastly, when their front arm reaches upward the full length of their front arm, I want them to suddenly and powerfully supinate their front forearm, such that they rotate their front hand one hundred and eighty degrees to where the palm of their front hand would face upward if they were standing.

     This final action is what we are training the front arm to do.  That is, at the same time that the rear arm is suddenly and powerfully fully extending its elbow joint and pronating its forearm joint, we want the front arm to suddenly and powerfully flex its elbow joint and supinate its forearm joint.

     In this way, the front arm of my baseball batting motion supplies the oppositely-directed force to the straight line force of the rear arm that satisfies the Force Coupling requirement that explosively accelerates the center of mass of the baseball bat to collision with the pitched baseball.

05.  While I preferred to hit pitches that hit the infield dirt between infielders depending on where they crossed home plate, on occasion, I elevated the take-off angle of my batted balls, such that they traveled farther distances, especially to the opposite field alley.

     Weighted bats or ten pound iron bars only train the muscles that hold the weight upward, not the muscles that drive the center of mass of baseball bats horizontally straight forward.

     I would agree that, if baseball batters swung weighted bats or ten pound iron bars, they would use fewer muscle fibers to hold their baseball bats upward.  However, they would not improve their ability to drive the center of mass of their baseball bats horizontally straight forward.  Nevertheless, if baseball batters find it stressful to hold their baseball bat upward, then they could use some training to strengthen these muscles.  But, I would not have them swing the weighted bats or ten pound iron bars.

     With my wrist weight and iron ball training, I have never claimed that this increases release velocity.  The only way to increase release velocity is to apply force in straight lines with the proper motor unit contraction and relaxation sequence of the involved musculature with the shortest time intervals as possible.  My wrist weight and iron ball training only increases the ability of the involved bones, ligaments, tendons and muscles to withstand the greater stress baseball pitchers are applying.

     This means that, in the final analysis, it is the force application technique that increases release velocity, not the weight training program.

     To enable my baseball pitchers to pitch every day for as long as they want, my wrist weight and iron ball training injury-proofs the involved bones, ligaments, tendons and muscles and increases the substrate storage capacity of the involved muscle fibers.

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351.  I e-mailed you about a month ago asking about pitch sequence theory.  You mentioned that your primary concerns were more slanted to preventing injuries and, after reading Baseball Prospectus' 2007 guide, I was wondering about something that I thought you might have some insight into.

What physical attributes and tools in a young pitcher (such as a prospect) might help project his future role in the major leagues?  Height?  Weight?  Wrist strength?  Hand-eye coordination (I seem to remember Roger Clemens doing exercises to improve this)?  Do pitchers with different body types (i.e., leg strength vs. arm strength) injure differently?


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     In the answer to your previous email, I directed you to Chapter Twenty-Three: Data Collection in my Coaching Baseball Pitching book where I explained my Pitch-By-Pitch Game and Individual Hitter Sheets that I used to collect my pitch data.  I told you that, as I know, nobody else has kept such detailed information that they personally verified as correct immediately after each game.

     Next, I explained that in Chapter Twenty-Four: Research Findings, I provide the analyses that I made of my 1971, 1972, 1973 and 1974 seasons and I told you that I credit these analyses for the success that I had.

     Next, I told you that in Chapter Twenty-Five: Pitch Sequence Study, I show how I used Cross-Tabulations of three pitch sequences with the four types of baseball batters to determine the successful pitch sequences that I Used and in Chapter Twenty-Six: Pitch Sequence Study, I explain why I believe that specific pitch sequences work best against the four types of baseball batters.

     Next, I told you that in Chapter Twenty-Seven: What Pitches Should Pitchers Master, I explain the pitches that I needed that I did not have that would increase my success.

     Lastly, I told you that in Chapter Twenty-Eight: Pitch Sequences for Youth, High School, College and Professional Pitchers, I provide the pitch sequences that I recommend that baseball pitcher of all ages need to succeed against the four types of baseball batters.

     I even directed you to the special report that I wrote where I determined whether walks, strikeouts, hits or extra base hits negatively influenced earned run average.

     Then, I said, "My goal is to eliminate pitching injuries.  However, I also want to show my injury-free baseball pitchers what baseball pitches that they need to master and why they need to master them."

     Therefore, I cannot understand why you think that my primary concerns are more slanted to preventing injuries.  I would agree that preventing pitching injuries is the first concern and that expanding pitch selections is the second concern and that pitch sequencing is the third concern, but, if baseball pitchers do not satisfy all three concerns, then they will not be successful.

     To become the best injury-free, highly-skilled baseball pitchers that they can be, baseball pitchers want to work hard every day and have the ability to learn motor skills.

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352.  I was wondering if a major league pitcher, say John Smoltz for example, were to complete your training program, would he reap the same benefits from your program if he were to use his mechanics instead of your prescribed mechanics?  Basically, would someone using different mechanics still increase their bone and ligament strength by using the same loads and principles of your program?

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     The benefits of training are specific to the training.  Exercise Physiologists call this principle, 'Specificity of Training.'

     That means that if, with the drills that I use to teach the skills of my baseball pitching motion, baseball pitchers do my 280-Day Adult Baseball Pitchers Interval-Training Program, then they will improve their ability to do my baseball pitching motion, such that, if they used their pitching arm differently, they would not gain the same benefit.

     Actually, to complete my 280-Day program, it is impossible for baseball pitchers to use the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion.  If they tried to move the wrist weights or throw the iron balls with the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion, then they would rip their shoulder and elbow joints apart.  That shows just how bad the force application technique of the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion is.

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353.  Is your 120-Day Pitcher Interval Training Program as posted on your Web site up to date and an accurate reflection of your coaching?  I ask because you have been using some new terms lately, such as Pseudo Wind Up and Drop Step Wind Up that many of us haven't heard before and which are not included on your 2006 Pitcher Training DVD or you Pitcher Interval Training Programs.

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