The art of pitching has been researched and scrutinized for decades with differing theories about what makes a pitcher successful. There are several possible factors, including a pitcher’s strength, size, flexibility and mental toughness that could contribute to their success. However, which of these attributes are of most importance to a pitcher? While this question is debatable, there is one facet of pitching that is of utmost importance. MECHANICS. Proper pitching mechanics will enhance a pitcher’s velocity and control while preventing injury and prolonging the longevity of their arm.
Other than innate natural ability, pitching velocity is most impacted by high trunk rotation speed. This occurs when a pitcher shifts his weight so they can gain the benefit of a long stride while putting their torso into the correct position to deliver their arm (pitching.com). This practice is most successfully done by having the proper mechanics before arriving at the trunk rotation step. Once the body is in the correct position, then a pitcher can utilize his maximum rotation speed.
Since the act of throwing a baseball is completely unnatural to the human body, preventing injury has become a benchmark in teaching pitching. Undoubtedly, the best way to prevent arm injury is to practice good mechanics. Throwing properly will take massive amount of stress off the shoulder and elbow. Instead, it will place emphasis on using the lower body and torso to produce explosive rotation and power from the strongest parts of the body.
If mechanics are so important in all areas of pitching, why do so many players, young and old, still have poor mechanics? The answer comes from practicing bad mechanics at an early age. A player develops his throwing technique from the first time that he picks up a baseball. He can be directly affected by a coach or by attempting to emulate someone that he has seen throw. Once a player forms bad habits, they can be very hard to break. This is why it’s paramount to teach proper mechanics at an early age. No matter what level or age the player is at, throwing a baseball properly is extremely important to their success and safety.
(2005, January 10). Why pitching mechanics is far more important than pitching velocity. Retrieved from http://www.pitching.com/blog/why-pitching-mechanics-is-far-more-important-than-pitching-velocity/
By Billy Felo