Creating a Rapid Delivery… Time Is of the Essence

By Nunzio Signore (B.A., CPT, NASM, PES, FMS)

Arm Action Blog - First ImageWe have athletes (and parents) walk into our facility all the time looking to become a “more athletic version of their current self”. For a pitcher, this equates into increased velocity and staying injury free. While strength and conditioning can certainly help achieve this by making pitchers stronger and more mobile, learning to be more “movement efficient” will help alleviate energy leaks (wasted, unwanted movement in the delivery). The biggest culprit leading to energy leaks is taking “too much time”.

My father used to tell me “if a kid has too much time on his hands he’ll find a way to get into trouble”. Well, so will your body in regards to throwing a baseball, swinging a bat, or any other movement in sports for that matter.

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In regards to pitching, things like pausing at the top of delivery, forearm to humerus angle greater than 90 degrees at foot strike (otherwise known as “forearm fly-out”), or not engaging the lower half to give a stronger and more rapid descent towards the plate all provide the arm with too much time to hang out. This can cause a longer, looser arm, which is a leading cause of anterior shoulder and medial elbow pain as opposed to a shorter, more compact arm position.

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(Forearm Fly-out)

While much of this should be handled by a qualified pitching coach, there are things we can do from a training standpoint that can help address some of these issues in our training programs. Here are two med ball drills we use to get athletes used to achieving explosive power in as little time as needed to achieve the intended movement, in other words “creating movement efficiency”.

The first drill focuses on the upper half, leaving no time for exaggerated movement.

The second drill is used to teach the lower half gluteal engagement which will increase momentum going down the mound.  This in turn leaves less time for the upper half to “hang out” and create unwanted movement or “energy leaks”.

Once again, the key is working in sync with a pitching and strength and conditioning coach… together. Having one without the other is like having only one tool in your tool box, and we all know you can’t build a house with just a hammer. As I have mentioned before, if you watch a major leaguer throw a 95 mph fast ball you see an effortless and smooth delivery. It’s all about creating maximum movement efficiency and mechanical fluency.

Our Pitchers Program (click here for more on this topic) starting in November is currently sold out (the next one will begin in early January). Please feel free to visit our website and check out our webpage on Elite Baseball (click here for more on this topic).