Man-Made Pitching Mechanics (Disasters)

Do you want to know the #1 cause for most pitching mechanics flaws?  

They're Man-Made!

Yeah that's right.  Most mechanical flaws are Man-Made pitching disasters.  The flaws that you see would never occurred had the pitcher not been introduced.  

You see... 

The body wants to match, it craves equal and opposite.  It craves balance.  (Why do you see the body moving equal and opposite when attempting to regain balance?  

Why?  

Because the #1 goal for the body is self preservation

  • It's attempting to protect itself. 
  • Why do you think your arms sway back and forth to regain balance if you're pushed backwards into a pool unsuspectingly?  

But, most of the pitching guru's never discuss this do they?   

So, go ahead and take a seat, slide on a thick skin and if you're a pitching coach...  

Just don't take what I'm about to share with you personal.

This past week I had several of my professional clients enter the doors for yet another year of off-season training.  And just like it is every single year, I assess and evaluate all the issues they're facing and you want to know what?  

Most of the issues are Man-Made.  

Sure, you'd think these are pro guys, getting paid millions of dollars... "How do you suffer from the same issues as the 12-18 yr old amateurs?"  

Easy... They have pitching coaches.  

Let's break this down before we go any further, deal?  

I've written several times on my set of Universal Laws of Mechanics and if you missed them, here they are again.. 

  1. Inputs become Outputs
  2. Intentions beget Actions
  3. Form follows Function

Let's start with Law #1 and #2:  Inputs become Outputs- Intentions beget Actions.

Obviously this a broad category but the Inputs and Intentions I want to discuss today are 

  • Instructions
  • Drills

Intentions Beget Actions - Your body will organize itself according to it's intent, right?  

So, what if your intent is to... 

  • Tall and Fall -  Body will organize a very passive lower-half with the primary stress on utilizing the upper body.  If your goal is to stay tall, there's really no way to utilize ground forces. So if you're not "investing into the ground you can't expect the return of energy at the end of the delivery, right?" 
  • Reach out -  This is a great way to disconnect the arms from the hips.   If you're hips are attempting to rotate but your brain is instructing the arm to move forward in a straight line linear path.. What do you think is going to happen?  Dis-connection.  
  • Decelerate or pronate - Without question, over half the kids that attend my sold-out events have been taught to decelerate and/or pronate.  Why's that a problem?  

Hmmm... let's dig a little deeper into the last one.. deceleration and pronation. 

Obviously, those teaching pronation and deceleration have never really thought about this. 

Why else would they teach something that's so detrimental without any factual evidence supporting their claims?

And while we are here let's discuss how the body works as a system. 

Let's start here:    

  1. The arm is at the mercy of the hips: 
  • Based on the range of motion and action of the hips, lays the foundation or total range of motion arc for the arm. 
  • (The greater freedom you have in the hips, the more freedom allowed for shoulder rotation.) . 

     2. If I'm telling my arm to never cross the mid-line of the body, or else I could add additional stress... What do you think will happen?  

  • The first thing is rotation will be devastated. 
  • How can you expect to rotate around the fixed point (front hip) if you're "Intention is to manually stopped the arm at an arbitrary imaginary point in time for fear of getting hurt?" 
  • If you're focused on (inputs/intentions) slowing down the arm consciously, how do you think the body will organize itself? 

Remember, Inputs Become Outputs!  

And here's some of the outputs (symptoms) you will see show up inside your delivery:  

  1. No hip rotation which leads to disconnection of energy and higher levels of stress on the arm. 
  2. Excessive trunk flexion or head bobbing.   Many of these pitchers give the impression they're bobbing for apples at a frat party.  
  3. Disconnection. If the body doesn't connect rotation energy to the arm, disconnection is paramount.  

You see... Baseball is a rotational sport.

  • The hips are built to rotate. 
  • And the body is hard-wired to match via equal but opposite segmented movements.  
  • The definition of connection is not the static point inside the delivery many of the self proclaimed gurus (especially in Texas) make it out to be.  

Connection is the transfer of energy and it's not measured or evaluated based on still pics. 

If so, there's even more reason to believe why so many pitching mechanics flaws are man-made.  

Momentum is instantaneous meaning once the chain of energy breaks, it will be forced to start back 0 Mph wherever the break-down occurred. 

So, what ends up happening is this: 

  • The pitcher places focus the arm stopping and forcefully pronating.  Not good for energy transfer. 
  • The brain's primary goal is to stop the arm, therefore the actions are forced and the body will naturally move slower to accommodate the goal.   
  • Because the arm is attempting to stop at the mid-line of the body, the hips organize themselves NOT to rotate.  

Here's some common symptoms you may experience if you've been trained to decelerate or pronate: 

  1. The front knee slides forward. 
  2. The front foot shifts the weight to the ball of the foot 
  3. The front leg and hip never fully brace and serve as fixed point for rotation (ironically adding increased stress to the arm/shoulder/elbow) 
  4. You struggle to find the strike zone because you've been trained to OVER-think mechanics.  

And we both know what OVER-thinking leads to, don't we?  

It's an entirely set of new Inputs that become their own Outputs.  

But why... 

Do you see these issues with the mechanics?  Why do so many of these symptoms appear?  

Because of Law #3 - Form follows Function!

Because the body is attempting to function based on the instructions/intentions that were INPUT into the body.

As I said, the body is a system

In the end, here's what you need to know... Your results on the mound are a direct reflection of what you're doing off the mound.  

Everything affects everything.  

  • Training 
  • Instruction
  • Intentions

Here's what you need to consider:  

  1. Know the kinetic chain isn't just physical. 
  2. It's emotional too and any movement begins with instructions from the brain. 
  3. The body works as a system where every move affects every move.  

So, in closing... 

Inputs become Outputs: What you put into your body (instructions, drills, etc) will greatly influence the quality of the movement pattern or motor skill.  

Intentions beget Actions:  You can't make a single move without it first originating from the brain.  

And last but not least... 

Please whatever you do, stay away from the pronation/deceleration teachings. 

 It's a perfect example of Man-Made mechanics that do more harm than good. 

In other words, mechanics are housed in the brain.  

My advice to you...

Start with The Brain and you'll find the Why behind most Man-Made mechanical issues.  

If you're a pitcher that's been victimized by Man-Made Mechanics check out my December camp, I can help you!  

Trust what you FEEL!

Comments

Brian Walters (not verified)

This is the best post I have seen in a long time. I love the way you keep it simple, highlighting how we are designed to move dictated by basic biomechanics. I agree 100%, keep up the amazing work. We have stopped talking about mechanics & promote MOVEMENT instead. We will be attending camp this summer, & greatly look forward to it. We hope you post the summer schedule soon. Thanks!

Lantz Wheeler | Founder

Thanks as always Brian. Look forward to meeting you guys this summer man!

Lantz

Ted Lawrence (not verified)

Awesome post Lantz! We spent time in Texas and have wished 100x we'd never gone... My son actually lost velocity and is nowhere close to the zone. The reason is simple.. He spends way too much time thinking about his mechanics.

Where can I find your dates for camps this summer?

Thanks

Ted

Lantz Wheeler | Founder

Thanks Ted... appreciate you taking time to reach out.

Lantz

Mike G (not verified)

Great post! Very simple and concise! Keep up the good work.

Lantz Wheeler | Founder

Thanks Mike... appreciate it buddy!

Lantz

Ryan R (not verified)

Never thought about how the body attempts to balance itself. Very interesting. Been reading over your site recently and i've got to say.. Very impressive. Love how you break it down for simple minds like myself to understand.

Thanks for all your doing for this game.

Lantz Wheeler | Founder

Welcome to the site Ryan. Appreciate it buddy.

Lantz

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