Welcome to Discuss Fastpitch

Your FREE Account is waiting to the Best Softball Community on the Web.

Register Log in

Brush Inteference

sluggers

Super Moderator
Staff member
May 26, 2008
5,785
48
Dallas, Texas
***NOTE: This thread will be heavily moderated until we get the beginning content right. Please contribute your own suggestions to this initial post as well as videos, GIFs, and other comments.***

CONTRIBUTORS TO THIS THREAD:

1) WHAT IS BRUSH INTERFERENCE?

Brush interference is contact of the throwing arm with the hip prior to release.

2) DOESN'T CONTACT WITH THE BODY SLOW THE ARM DOWN?

Yes, it does.

3) IF A PITCHER SLOWS DOWN THE ARM, THEN DOESN'T THAT SLOW DOWN HER PITCH?

No, it does not. Pitching can be though of in many ways, but usually the best way to think of pitching is momentum transfer.

If the upper arm is slowed down, the momentum from the upper arm will be transferred to the forearm, resulting in increased speed of the ball at release.

4) DOESN'T HITTING THE BODY REDUCE ACCURACY?

No. It increases accuracy. This is also counter-intuitive.

In order to throw the ball accurately, the release point of the ball has to be precisely controlled. When the arm contacts the hip prior to release, it provides tactile feedback as to the location of the arm. Based on the feedback, the pitcher can precisely control the location and time she releases the ball, leading to increased accuracy.

Or, to put it another way, a pitcher using brush resistance develops a reflex to the arm touching the body. In response to the brush, the pitcher releases the ball a few milliseconds later. This allows a pitcher to become incredibly accurate.

5) HOW DO YOU TEACH BRUSH INTERFERENCE?

First, a teacher needs to be aware that brush interference (BI) is good. If a pitcher is brushing her hip, then don't stop her.

Second, brush interference is a matter of posture. A pitcher should stand up straight.

6) HOW DO YOU KNOW IF THE PITCHER IS USING BRUSH INTERFERENCE?

Slow motion video helps. But, if you stand close to the pitcher, you can hear the arm make contact with the hips.

7) HOW DO YOU KNOW IF THE PITCHER IS NOT USING BRUSH INTERFERENCE?

The most common sign is the "butt out" posture of a pitcher. The pitcher will move her buttocks out of the way. She will then lean her upper body over to throw the ball.

8) DO ALL ELITE PITCHERS DO THIS?

The "best of the best" use brush interference.

There are some D1 pitchers who do not. The easiest way to find non-BI pitchers is to simply look at their walk totals. A BI pitcher averages around 1 walk per game. A non-BI pitcher will average around 3 walks per game.

9) WHO INVENTED BRUSH INTERFERENCE?

It was not invented.

Rick Pauly, from careful study of the best pitchers, found that they used BI. He then coined the phrase.
 
Last edited:
Feb 7, 2013
3,166
38
There are different degrees of brush. Ally Carda has more bicep brush, than forearm, and depending on her pitch she will brush more (RB) than on other pitches.
 

sluggers

Super Moderator
Staff member
May 26, 2008
5,785
48
Dallas, Texas
FFS: I accidentally deleted a sentence. You are correct, no one invented BI. And, it is always great to see someone try rename something. You know, I think the Brooklyn Bridge should be renamed, "Brooklyn to Manhattan Connecting Structure".

JJS: Alli Carda 2015 stats: 240 IP, 123 walks.

Doug: I hear you. I'm not sure Rick has the time. If he does, I'll be happy to put his post first. I would like to see some suggestions on how to teach BI.
 
I want to thank Sluggers for making Brush Interference a sticky. IMO, it is one of the most important criteria for becoming an elite level pitcher.

For the record, I am relatively certain I did not invent the term Brush Interference but I doubt that anyone embraces it more than I do.

Why do I embrace it? In my study of the art of pitching I am fortunate enough to personally see and video some of the very best pitchers in the world. BI is one of the traits that 99% of these pitchers possess. There is just too much correlation to refute its importance. After years of instruction I have witnessed both sides of this equation.....girls displaying BI tend to advance to higher levels of performance and a girls performance that doesn't get BI tends to peak at a modest level. As pitchers get older, more mature, and better so do the hitters they are facing. So success depends on elevating ones performance....all the way up through pitchers in Olympic team levels and National Pro Fastpitch.

So many areas of performance are enhanced by BI....1. Location 2. Spin and 3. Speed. Many poster have shown us the pictures of the world’s best displaying BI...these ladies have the best combination of the above mentioned performance criteria. (i.e. Osterman, Abbott, Ueno, Lawrie, Pauly, Rickettes, Gascoigne, etc.). Additionally, FFS just posted some great GIFs of male pitchers displaying BI.

One of the "old school" training methods that I hope we can displace with this sticky is the instruction that goes something like this: “clear your hips out of the way so your arm can get through". OMG......this instruction is way up there with "HE" or "Slam the Door". As you can see in the video below of Sarah there is no clearing the hips out of the way.....same with all the other great BI video already posted on this site.

So what is Brush Interference? Simply speaking it is the arm....first upper arm stabilizing against the rib cage....then the forearm stabilizing against the throwing leg hip/thigh. It is not a collision, it is a brushing action followed by a rolling though of the arm. The degree of brush may vary from pitcher to pitcher but IMO the brush/contact should extend all the way down to within an inch or two of the wrist joint. This provides more stabilization and thus more consistent control and better overall transfer of energy.

Does Brush Interference hurt my arm? It should not cause any undo pain.....if you are having pain look elsewhere in your mechanics. There have been several studies that indicate Brush Interference is a positive relative to reducing the distraction forces placed on the shoulder. This Brush Interference is probably the greatest departure from baseball pitchers and arm injuries.....baseball pitchers get zero BI and have significant shoulder distraction forces during their follow through. Studies have show increased shoulder distraction forces in fastpitch pitchers that get minimal BI.

So for now I'll just let the below video do the talking. Hope others will post their BI video clips to add to this sticky.......this is an important topic!

 

Latest threads

Forum statistics

Threads
33,340
Messages
482,029
Members
15,095
Latest member
weoweo
Top