The Time of the Year - Pitching

This is the time of the year when you hear a lot about pitchers getting their arms ready for spring training. I always have to chuckle when I hear this. Is it really their arms they need to get ready? I am amazed at the amount of attention given the arm and shoulder. Certainly science and practice has shown that you do not throw with your arm. (I defy Roger Clemens to throw a 95 mile an hour fastball from a kneeling position) The key to a good arm is strong legs and hips, great hip mobility (like a hurdler) and a strong back. The arm and shoulder follow, they are among the last links in the kinetic chain to be engaged. It is ironic that those pitchers who are getting their arms ready are now out jogging 30, 40 or 50 minutes to build up their endurance. Pitching is a power activity. It is a burst of explosiveness. This demands explosive training, not endurance work which detracts from explosiveness. Pitching coaching has as many gurus as strength and conditioning. They all have different opinions. Some wrap themselves in pseudoscience, but the bottom line is that there is good science to direct us how to prepare a pitcher to pitch. Pitching is a kinetic chain activity, it is part of the throw push continuum. That speaks volumes. It is not a mystery, but if you want to be a guru you must make it mysterious.


At 1/31/06, 10:36 AM, Blogger sportsmedguy23 said...

Funny this topic should come up today...I was just reading on SI.com about Clemens throwing BP to some Astro's Minor Leaguers and he made the comment that he feels great and his arm feels good, its his legs he needs to work on...Sounds like he might be one of those guys that gets it. Can't agree with you enough about the need to develop power for pitchers.


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