Why are so many pitchers experiencing elbow injuries and Tommy John surgery?
Glad you asked, because I’m getting ready to share my opinion…
but I have to warn you, if your sensitive, you may want to leave now.
In the past few weeks, there have been multiple discussions pertaining to the elbow injuries and I’ve yet to hear a reason that jumped out at me.
It’s the same old stuff, time after time…
How ironic, the same issues that sucking out the athleticism out of pitchers…
is partly to blame for many youth arm injuries!
Today, I’m going to share why…
Are you ready?
Tom House made a great point when he said, “Pitchers spend too much time pitching and not enough time throwing,” Great point and I totally agree. In fact, one of the first articles posted on this site detailed this issue in great detail. Read it now, I’ll wait.
Awesome. Not that you’ve read that article, let’s keep moving.
Tom House has a valid point, but I also agree with House, M.D when he discussed video analysis in the first season of House, M.D.
Make no mistake, he was simply trying to be politically correct when he referred to bone scans… he was really talking about video analysis.I detailed the side effects of video analysis on several occasions and if you haven’t read that article, I highly recommend it!
Here’s why I say this…
5 reasons video analysis increases your risk for injury, if you’re not the one analyzing your own video:
Due to the efficiency of your mechanics being dependent upon your central nervous system…
You have a greater chance of winning the lottery 11x in a row on the same day!!!
Your pitching mechanics are millions of motor programs, responsible for every single movement, and each are required to fire in sequence, simultaneously.
Just the slightest misfiring, and the mechanics of the throw are entirely different! (Read “Everything Affects Everything“one of the most popular articles on the site!)
Listen to what my good friend Butch Thompson (Pitching coach at Mississippi State had to say at Pitch-a-Palooza back in December)
Dr. Glen Fleisig is the director of the American Sports Medicine Institute and leading authority (In many peoples opinion) as the go to guy when discussing arm injuries.
My question to you: If you can’t repeat your own delivery twice, what makes you think you could repeat someone else’s? So, why do you waste your valuable time comparing, frame by frame, yourself to elite MLB pitchers?
Want more irony?: Many of the pitching experts that are selling you video analysis, quote Dr. Fleisig’s research to sell you video analysis!
I often use video to show multiple examples (using different pitchers) for my visual learners. I use them to provide movement patterns, not positions, inside pitching mechanics!
Most often, its simply to get the player on the same page, to reduce the confusion of cues, in my attempt to eliminate as much perception as possible!
Come train with me and my entire staff for 3 days and I will reveal every training secret in our playbook, to protect and develop over $24,000,000 worth of MLB pitchers!
Tip: If you’re going to use video to develop or make changes to your mechanics, use multiple pitchers and understand that you’re style is your style and it can’t ever be the same as someone else’s. So quit wasting your time!
Bonus Tip: Because so many pitchers specialize in one sport at an early age, they lack efficient movement patterns and Instructors preach “POSITIONS”….Pitchers are being mis-diagnosed as having poor mechanics, when in reality, they cannot achieve what the instructor is asking because of these movement constraints!
2. Video analysis creates conscious movement, and attempting to emulate other pitchers has created a generation of cookie-cutting robots!
THINK: Video discredits the importance pitchers being able to Feel their pitching mechanics. It demotes the importance of rhythm and tempo. It creates an environment in which the pitcher relies on the instructor for feedback, when it should be the opposite!
Listen to what Michelle Wie has to say… (Thanks to Bryan Webb!)
Injuries also hurt Wie and many even criticized her for attending college full time instead of concentrating on her golf career. When she did graduate from Stanford and was playing full time she promptly went out and fell flat missing 10 cuts in 23 starts. That was then and this is now.
Now is a new and improved Michelle Wie. We see a Wie that has developed her own putting style, certainly unique among all tours. We see a Wie that has formed her own view on swing coaches and teaching styles, she refuses to look at her swing on video now relying on “how it feels.” That’s a true departure from the David Leadbetter (Michelle Wie’s swing coach) school of thought but a successful one.
It has worked as she leads the tour in Greens in Regulation at 81%.
THINK: I believe video is a useful tool, but video alone isn’t. 65% of the population are visual learners, yet we only retain 10% of what we see! That’s the general population, what about athletes. What about the kids that learn by doing, the kinesthetic learners ?Just because someone tells you that video is the way to go is not correct. How do they know what type of learner you are?
Strategical Tip: During the pre-season and competitive season, our MLB pitchers change the angle of the video camera because…. Mechanics don’t matter when it’s time to get a hitters out! Period!
3. Instructors lead you into believing ‘proper mechanics’ are the determining factor in arm injuries.
Maybe the reason you can’t achieve “proper mechanics’, or reach ‘pleasing positions when I pause the video”, is because you are suffering from movement constraints, a lack of mobility and stability, which are the primary factor in pitching mechanics!
Take Matt Harvey for example, had he not been injured, he was on track to become the next mechanical model!
THINK: This a major issue! Because pitching mechanics is a series of simultaneous, coordinated movement patterns. If you lack mobility in the hips or spine, your body is unable to work efficiently, which compounds the issue and increases your risk for injury.
Therefore, your “pitching mechanics” aren’t the problem…Because you’re body can’t move efficiently, you’re unable to produce ‘proper mechanics’ in the instructor’s eyes.
Danger: You spend time compounding and reinforcing faulty movement patterns over and over again, pitching, pitching, pitching, attempting to obtain proper mechanics, instead of addressing the real issue….
YOU’RE SUFFERING FROM LIMITED MOBILITY AND MOVEMENT CONSTRAINTS INSIDE THE CRITICAL AREAS WHICH ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR EFFICIENT MOVEMENT PATTERNS!(PROPER PITCHING MECHANICS!)
4. Pitching experts stress positions over movement!
Wanted: Video on analysis on YouTube that contains full speed video, that’s not in slow motion or worse, paused to highlight a static position to compare where you are in relation to the elite MLB pitcher on the other screen!
Teach movement! Not positions!
5. Last but not least is…. It doesn’t matter how much you know, if the pitcher doesn’t understand!
THINK: Do you remember the foreign professors you had back in college? I do and here’s what they made me feel like!
In one of my future posts I will discuss my thoughts on the internet generation and my thoughts concerning many of the so-called experts:
THINK: Here’s a stat I would like to see….Has the percentage of arm injuries increased since the internet age came into existence?
Again: I think video is a very useful tool when used properly, in fact I encourage it with certain instructors. (Paul Nyman would be my first choice). Paul was the biggest influence on my beliefs and he was the first to say….
Come train with me and my entire staff for 3 days and I will reveal every training secret in our playbook, to develop and protect over $24,000,000 worth of MLB pitchers! Lantz Wheeler’s MasterMind Pitching Programs
1. If you’re interested in learning the secrets that we use with our MLB pitchers, click here!
2. Leave a comment and tell the world your thoughts!