A good pitcher is one who lets his arm do the talking. That is what all the successful baseball pitchers did. The speed, the style and the precision with which the pitcher throws the ball determines his rate of success. Do you dream of making it big as a pitcher in the major leagues? Do you want to be the worst nightmare of every hitter that enters the field?
Then this book can help you.
However, let’s face the facts – making it as a pitcher in the major leagues is not easy. It is not impossible either, given the many great pitchers we have in the sport today. Reaching the pro level and surpassing the records of the biggies in the game takes effort, practice and discipline. If you want to be a pitcher, your aim is straightforward – to be more effective with every pitch and reach a pitching speed that makes your opponent fear you on the field.
Baseball is 75 to 90 Percent Pitching
Experts in the field agree that pitching makes up for 75 percent of the game. The pitcher is the most important position in the sport – he or she begins the game, and also has the skills to control the pace of the game. Pitching is the key and plays a very important role in the team’s overall success. The pitchers have a very big responsibility out in the field – they need to focus on preventing good hits with their throws.
Is it that simple? Is pitching just about throwing the ball?
Not entirely. Pitching a ball in baseball is a skill that one can develop only after thoroughly understanding the mechanics involved. The motion, the angle in which the body needs to be tilted, the movement of the arm and the precise moment at which the ball must be released – all this and more should be learned and understood by a good pitcher.
Importance of Pitching Right
While it is true that it is the arm that releases the ball, it is not the only part of the body you use when you pitch. It is the misconception that a lot of young players aiming to become pitchers think – they believe that pitching in baseball is about how they use the arm. In the attempt to make their pitching better, they try to throw and faster and in the end, hurt their arms and shoulders.
Successful pitchers know that pitching requires a full body effort, not just the strength in the arm. Improper techniques and motions in pitching not only makes it harder to strike the hitter out, but also results in injury that can affect the player significantly.
The good news is that pitching injuries can be prevented when players understand the pitching motion – the complete baseball pitching cycle.
Understanding the Pitching Cycle
No matter how many coaches you go to, how hard you practice and how many hours you spend at pitching practice, you stand the risk of pitching injuries if you do not understand the pitching cycle and what it entails. The pitching cycle consists of five movements.
- Wind Up
- Early Cocking
- Late Cocking
- Acceleration and
- Follow Through
These are the basic phases that each player goes through during every pitch. However, that does not mean every pitch is the exact same, or should be exactly alike. One pitcher’s throw may differ significantly from another pitcher’s throw and still be a perfect one. A perfect pitch throw is one that enables the player to get the best of his skills without getting injured. It is all about working a repeatable cycle that enables you to throw without injuries.
Risk of Injury
Pitching injuries in baseball have become commonplace for the sole reason that the pitching cycle is not properly understood by the players. Also, a majority of pitchers tend to use only their arm instead of the entire body when they pitch, thereby applying pressure on the delicate areas of the body and injuring them in the process. The only way to prevent pitching injuries is to find a balance in pitching speed, angle and motion so that the action can be repeated more than once without any risk.
Pitchers usually face the risk of injury during the arm cocking phase, the maximum external rotation phase, which is between late cocking and acceleration, and the ball release phase.
- Front Foot Contact
During the pitching cycle, the front foot of the player comes into contact with the ground during the initial arm cocking. During this movement, the pitcher’s entire body weight is supported only by the standing leg. In simple terms, the pitcher applies equal opposite force on the ground, and even the slightest variation in terms of foot placement can lead to injury.
So precision in every movement that the pitcher makes when throwing a ball is important to ensure that the ball does not get hit and the pitcher completes the cycle safely, without getting injured.
- Maximum External Rotation
The late arm cocking phase or the end of the arm cocking phase which applies force to the ball is yet another phase where the pitcher risks injury. The instant of maximum external rotation is the phase where the player’s shoulders and elbow movements are at the maximum speed and strength just before the acceleration of the arm that pitches the ball. The rotation is what enables the transfer of the kinetic energy from the shoulder and elbow to the pitching arm that releases the ball.
Ideally, the pitching arm should be above a 90 degree angel to reduce the chances of injury. The instant of maximum external rotation can determine the chances and extent of stress that is laid on the shoulder and the throwing arm. The wrong angle and motion of the arm can lay unwanted stress on the shoulder and arm, which can result in pitching injuries that can cut your career earlier than you want. Sometimes, the factors that produce stress during maximum external rotation could be lateral compression and medial tension.
- Ball Release
The pitcher also risks injuring himself at the instant of ball release, which is also the phase when he or she can affect the pitched ball directly. The ground reaction forces tend to peak at this instant also, as the pitchers weight is transferred completely onto the leading leg, especially on the knee as the trail leg or rear leg is in a swinging motion before it comes to a halt.
It is at this phase that the player’s elbow is stretched and extended to the maximum and a lot of stress is applied on it, resulting in large amount of stress on the shoulder and elbow. It increases the chances of major injury.
This book focuses on using the elastic energy of the body to deliver the arm safely even at high speeds. You will learn all about hip flexibility, how to use spinal strength and the techniques that you need to pitch at high velocities – speeds that even the greatest pitchers haven’t been able to achieve.
A Wise Investment
The cost of education for your kid today is gigantic when compared to the money you spend on this book. If you want to support your son’s future and his dreams of becoming a pro baseball player, then don’t hesitate to invest in this eBook. The cost of this book, which is under $100, is nothing when you compare it to the cost of the college tuition fee that you are willing to pay for your son’s future.
If your son has the skill and you want to do all that you can to support him in his endeavors in the sport, then a small investment in the book can push him ahead of competition. The book has been written by pitching coach, who knows all that there is about the pitching cycle and the kinematics and mechanics involved in it.
Investing in this book is the greatest gift you will give your son, if you are coaching him to be a star pitcher. Prepare him not just to throw the ball with all his might. Prepare him to throw the ball in perfect harmony of his body and mind, such that he can prevent a hit without injuring himself.
Lay the Foundation
The book aims at laying the basic foundation that allows a pitcher to set his style and speed of pitching while staying safe on the field. It is more about understanding your body and its movements, than it is about practicing blindly to achieve velocity or precision. Give your son, student or self the solid foundation that is needed for pitching perfectly in baseball and to reduce the chances of injury.
Why dream of throwing at velocities as high as 100 mph, when you can actually achieve it with this book?