“Do Pitchers Repeat their Mechanics?” is a question you often hear with strong opinions on both sides. Luckily, we have a motion capture system here at RPP which allows us to measure movement with a high degree of accuracy. And, we have an answer to the question!
Today, we’re lifting the hood a tiny bit…. Much is written about the value of data and its potential application to training pitchers. But a full-blown motion capture system takes this type of discussion to a whole new level. A typical mocap session involves attaching over forty markers to a pitcher’s body. After a pitch is thrown off the mound, the system combines the views of a dozen or more cameras to create a 3D avatar of the athlete, which then allows for preparing angular measurements of various body parts, up and down the kinetic chain. What happens to all that data from the avatar is what we are going to review here…
Horizontal shoulder abduction, scap load, elbow angle are terms originally coined by Paul Nyman and which refer to the retraction of the shoulder blade (scap) prior to the arm cocking phase. Call it whatever you like, but the degree to which your scap “loads” matters. Horizontal abduction helps with layback and setting up the rest of the arm action once the lead leg blocks, decelerates and sends energy up the chain. Continue reading “How Much Scap Load… What is Efficient?”
Most of you already know that while we are big believers in using data/tech, the human element should never be replaced, just simply “enhanced”. So let me start with this great quote by PT (and super smart guy) Bill Hartman:
Technology provides answers that are stored or calculated. It serves me. It is not creative or curious nor has the capacity to ask the important questions. Those qualities are purely human.
However, as I have said before there is great value to data, especially in areas where you can’t necessarily observe what’s happening during the delivery, but it can be measured. Today, we’re going to look at an example of the merging of the eyes and data. I decided to write this article after reading a recent thread posted by RPP Pitching Coordinator Justin Friedman. Continue reading “Where Mocap Can Help Fill the Gaps!”
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Baseball, like every other industry, is under siege from new technology and it’s making sure the game evolves in many ways. Some love it, some hate it, and everything in between. Whether you’re a fan of technology or not, it’s difficult to ignore. It’s here in full force and it’s changing baseball with it. Those that are too close-minded to take the time to expand their knowledge of the new performance metrics run the risk of being left behind, both in terms of overall knowledge about the game and improving an athlete’s efficiency in performance. Continue reading “Assessing Pitchers in the Age of New Tech (Inside Pitch Magazine)”
Sometimes when analyzing video, things are not as they seem visually and can send both athletes and coaches looking down the wrong rabbit hole for solutions. Continue reading “Reading Data… The Importance of an Accurate Frame of Reference”
Hip shoulder separation in pitching is a major contributor to efficient pitching and hitting mechanics, and a big piece of the puzzle to all things velocity. In this article, we are going to review the relevance of several metrics on hip shoulder separation using pitching biomechanics data charts as follows:
Whether we’re talking about throwing velocity on the mound or exit velocity at the plate, improving and better utilizing ground reaction forces with a lead leg block is paramount. Training the lead leg to both produce and accept force will help to create a stable base and facilitate hip and torso rotation up the chain. Continue reading “How to Create a Better Lead Leg Block”
A pitcher’s foot position at foot strike can provide a solid foundation to facilitate both knee extension and efficient transfer of energy. Foot strike is the moment a pitcher’s front foot makes contact with the ground and is the starting point of energy transfer up the kinetic chain. This energy is ultimately transferred to the ball at release, with efficient energy transfer being aided by the pitcher releasing over a firm front side. A firm front side provides lower body stability for proper upper body positioning through release. This stability is achieved by extending the front knee from foot strike to release and is why knee extension angular velocity at release is correlated with pitching velocity and an important metric to examine in pitchers.
In conducting a pitching biomechanics evaluation and assessing a motion capture session, one of the most important things to examine is the kinematic sequence. This consists of the angular velocities and corresponding timing of the pelvis, torso, shoulder, and hand. These angular velocities can reach speeds upwards of 5000 º/s, and as such cannot be measured through standard 2-D video analysis thus requiring a 3-D motion capture system. This simple graph below off our Qualisys Motion Capture system is key to determining how efficiently an athlete is transferring energy from the ground up, through their body, and into the ball.