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Thread: Head, Neck, Shoulder, Trunk in pitching

  1. #1
    I can talk softball all day bobbyb's Avatar
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    Default Head, Neck, Shoulder, Trunk in pitching



    Ok...i am curious…as I am out of throwing for a week or so. Pulled my neck/shoulder trying to throw like Escobedo…to feel what she feels. I hope she doesn't feel what i feel! I know…. stupid…and yes…age appropriate throwing should be a requirement for daddies of ...uh..my age! I actually feel it in my low back today too. It reminds me that during the college world series…they would show her in the dugout and someone would be massaging her traps.

    One thing about the "model thread" is there are a lot of models! And a lot of different things going on. While body type plays a role …so does athletic ability…they aren't the sole criteria…to just say this is good/useful/significant or this is bad/not useful/insignificant…because so & so does or doesn't do it. We hear about arm whip, striding, winging the glove arm ect…but little about the spine/trunk, neck, head as it relates to the shoulder.

    I have been here before mentally ....and have been re-thinking the shoulder complex in an attempt to find a more IDEAL.... "free flowing shoulder" and "strong finish" and what all could affect it. When i first posted my dd…i think it was sluggers or BoardMember….who mentioned "contracting" and i have looked at it from a slightly different perspective than i do now. Recently lhowser commented about Easing the shoulder….Abbygale made a good point in another post that if the weight is on back leg, the shoulder has more restriction…which i could feel. Anyway...all this has led me to re-consider the whole shoulder restriction/strength/tension/relaxed thing.

    Would like some input on your thoughts… on the trunk/neck/head/shoulders aspects of pitching that leds to a IDEAL armwhip and finishing the pitch...in your opinion.

    Seems to me there are 3 Types of Contraction after leaping …. to finish.

    1. One is an EXTENSION CONTRACTION of the TRUNK: ie…Canion (violent neck extension) & Finch: Spine is in extension, Shoulders stay level to throwing side to slightly lower, shoulders are retracted at least till release, Neck is in extension, Head tilt up…they seem to be extending and depressing shoulders into release.


    2. Second is a more FLEXED CONTRACTION of trunk (or maybe a better description is…resistance to extension): ie…Ueno, Pauly, Cat, Scarborough: Spine is more upright to flexed, Shoulders also level to slightly lower….Shoulders more protracted at release…Neck has some flexion but is not exaggerated…head is more level through out the move and finish. They seem to be more flexed and depressing shoulders into finish.



    Its interesting that Cat seems to make a conscious effort to flex the head/neck during the leap…and the others in this group...are so "level headed" that it seems they purposefully do this. However i do wonder if Cat does that to keep her from leaping higher or if it was to counter extension.

    BTW...i think Hillhouse is more towards #2 than #1 from what I can tell. He doesn't tilt head back as far but does some....and doesn't extend neck as much as Finch ect. Maybe the ideal situation if somewhere in between #1 and #2? Yes? No? Maybe so?

    3. Third one more LATERAL FLEXION CONTRACTION is involved: ie…Escobedo…Tincher: Don't even want to talk about this one…its simply bad…at least for an ol man…..but Spine goes into more left lateral flexion, Shoulders tilted towards stride side, Neck/Head extends.


    I would say all of them go into shoulder depression into release on both sides of the body. And I will say all of them when leaping and are NOT weight bearing...have the lower back extensors firing with some anterior tilt of the pelvis...so the tendency would be to extend the spine imo.

    What are your thoughts…. to head/neck/trunk positions and the resulting flexibiliy/strength or functionality of the shoulders?
    … in finishing a pitch with a good armwhip or setting up the body for the best foundation of a good armwhip.

    Which does your dd do? Which do you do/teach?
    Which would you model or recommend... and why?

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    Softball Junkie crystlemc's Avatar
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    I think these pitchers just do what comes naturally, in regards to this. Seems to be a "no teach" kind of thing. DD goes to Hillhouse for lessons, and he has never said anything about her head/neck. The only thing he says about her shoulders is that he shouldn't see them both at one time while she is "in the air".

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    I can talk softball all day bobbyb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by crystlemc View Post
    I think these pitchers just do what comes naturally, in regards to this. Seems to be a "no teach" kind of thing. .
    Thanks cryslemc...that was one question in my mind...if people thought it may be a style or no teach thing. How old is your dd?

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    Softball Junkie crystlemc's Avatar
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    She's only 12, so it's not like she has years and years of experience. Just offering up my opinion.

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    I can talk softball all day bobbyb's Avatar
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    i appreciate your opinion...you got an "insider view" to pitching with your instructor!

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    I eat, sleep and breathe softball starsnuffer's Avatar
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    It's a non-teach.

    The important thing to remember is that the radius of the circle has a direct impact on speed at release. A high shoulder means a shorter arm, higher (from the ground) release, and less speed. A "relaxed" or low shoulder is a longer arm, lower release, and faster pitch GIVEN THE SAME SPEED at release.

    Pitchers that learn to use their shoulder joint to extend their arm (especially back towards second base on downswing as the elbow leads and then lower towards the ground at release) will have a bigger circle and more potential speed.

    Since everyone is built differently, things may work differently. Think of it as giving a kid a longer bat to hit a ball with. If she's strong enough to swing it, the ball will go further, but if her bat speed slows down too much, the ball will not go further. Same concept, really.

    -W

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    I can talk softball all day bobbyb's Avatar
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    Thanks starsnuffer. I understand what your talking about with the extended arm. It also relates to potential elastic energy. I am surprised that it is a no teach though...as they are two different feelings during the finish. TY

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    I eat, sleep and breathe softball starsnuffer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bobbyb View Post
    Thanks starsnuffer. I understand what your talking about with the extended arm. It also relates to potential elastic energy. I am surprised that it is a no teach though...as they are two different feelings during the finish. TY
    I think what I mean by "non-teach" is that we generally don't complicate it. We use cues like "extend back towards center field as you open" and "release low at the knee" to get them to extend their shoulder in this way. Often I will also tell kids to make sure their throwing shoulder is below their glove shoulder (drop ball MAY be an exception here, depending on how anxious the kid/parent is in getting the pitch to work and how many shortcuts need to be taken).

    -W

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