pitching

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Rehab And Pitchers: What We “Know”

In a rehab program for baseball pitchers following shoulder or elbow injuries, there is typically a progression that involves flat ground throwing over increasing distances followed by mound throwing at different levels of effort. The idea is that the flat ground throwing is not as stressful to the elbow and shoulder. This is also the approach taken to get the arms of pitchers into shape after an off-season. In the May issue of the American Journal of Sports Medicine, Slenker...

Tommy John Surgery and Performance

As of the writing of this post, 15 Major League Baseball pitchers have already undergone Tommy John surgery (also known as UCL reconstruction) or will undergo it this season.  There are a lot of theories about why this is the case.  Year-round pitching starting at the age of eight, velocities, and pressure to just get the surgery and be done with it.  The question with UCL reconstruction is whether or not pitchers are able to return to the performances they...

Baseball Speed and Agility, Part 1

first base baseball player

Speed and agility are very important qualities for baseball players.  In terms of offense, speed and agility get an athlete to first base or beyond.  These qualities allow the athlete to advance to successive bases and eventually score.  Defensively, these qualities are important for getting to the ball and being able to make the play.  To an extent, these qualities also help to determine who is going to be successful at the various positions.  This is going to be the...

Improving Postural Strength

  What I think of as postural strength is critical to the performance of many sports.  This may be a poor technical name, but to me it involves an ability to maintain posture while transferring force.  For example, when an athlete is sprinting we coach them to maintain their posture while driving the foot into the ground.  In track and field, jumpers lever off one leg which they attempt to accelerate their body through to perform horizontal and vertical jumps. ...

Training Young Baseball Pitchers

With young baseball pitchers, there has been concern for a while about overdoing pitching and leading to elbow and shoulder issues.  One of the thoughts is that maybe younger baseball players should practice pitching with lighter baseballs.  In addition to providing less stress to the joints, it might enable to player to achieve a greater arm-swing velocity which might carry over to the regulation size ball.   Yang et al, in the December issue of the Journal of Strength and...