Why I Don’t Work On Pitching Mechanics
I am not a pitching coach, I am a physical therapist. One of my favorite sayings is, I know just enough about throwing a baseball to be dangerous. I know the research on what positions, angles, patterns might lead to a higher risk of injury. However, I know very little about how to properly design a program to correct these things.
However, I do know if you can’t internally rotate your hip, control the separation of your hips and shoulders, or control your arm at lay back, the best pitching lessons in the world will not help you.
This is why I firmly believe in a team approach. You want me evaluating you (or your child), designing and implementing a thorough program to address his deficits and re-assessing progress. You want me screening his pitching mechanics or swing. But trust me, if I see significant flaws or red flags that may be contributing to his pain or injury, you want me to refer you to a qualified pitching or hitting coach to help with his mechanics. You want me to focus on my area of expertise.
By the same token, if you have a pitching coach who is also trying to teach you (or your child) a mobility program, an arm care program and a strength program, it is also a disservice.
Being the experts with throwing athletes in the area, we get a lot of second opinions on athletes that have failed rehab somewhere else. I often hear one of two stories. Either, “all I did in physical therapy was work on my throwing motion.” No work on overhead arm motion, no measurement of total arc of rotation, or assessment of rotator cuff strength, etc. Or, “I went to my pitching coach who also has an exercise physiology or kinesiology degree and does some rehab.”
I focus on being an expert in my field on the specific injuries, patients, and conditions that I see. While it is impossible to know everything, I put a lot of time and effort into being the most prepared to see the athletes that we treat in our clinic. I also put a lot of time and effort into meeting and building relationships with qualified individuals who are experts at the things we are not.
When we work together, it provides the best possible outcome. I will improve your thoracic mobility, your rotator cuff strength and the control you have through your hips and core. Your pitching coach will work on your external rotation at foot strike and your strength and conditioning specialist will help you improve your power and full body strength. As a team we will accomplish more than any one of us could as an individual.