controversy

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Aug 21, 2008
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The following is from Jason Iuli-Kinsey of Powerhouse Mechanics, posted on his Facebook page:

Hear me out. I am not saying these things do not exist. What I am saying is, these things are naturally occurring movements within the pitching motion. Teaching pitchers to intentionally create these movements are arbitrary and very confusing. ⠀

Why should we stop teaching I.R? ⠀
First of all, the term in itself is confusing. I don't know why we make it so complicated. I.R, is simply how the joint rotates open and closed, but I digress..IR is one of the most natural things the arm will create. When the arm transfers from back to down, the shoulder joint will naturally open itself. Watching all of these videos of kids trying to "create" IR is causing them to over rotate. Not only are they not able to get back behind the ball on the closure of the joint, its almost impossible to create cuts.⠀

Why should we stop teaching "brush contact"?⠀
Brush contact is a reaction that is a result of how we pull from an open shoulder joint. When the shoulder joint is open, it will pull the shoulders back, placing the elbow behind the ribs. When pulling down the arm, the elbow is already in position to make contact with the hip. When the elbow makes contact with the hip, it will naturally trigger the shoulder joint too close. Too many kids are forcefully driving their elbows into the sides of their body and injuring themselves.⠀

Why should we stop teaching "Forearm Fire"? ⠀
The forearm is activated because the fingers are pulling into the wrist. By not putting attention into the fingers, and putting focus on the contraction of the forearm, creates peeling or rolling the ball off their fingers. Why would we teach kids to let the ball roll off of the fingers? Use the fingers to drive energy through the ball. ⠀

Why should we stop teaching follow throughs? ⠀
This is how "Hello Elbow" started. Pitchers were taught to "intentionally" create a follow through, but follow throughs are not intentional. Follow throughs, are a direct result of how we use the forearm. By teaching kids to intentionally follow through, it also teaches them to bypass the forearm and substitute a bicep pull or even worse, to just push the ball. ⠀

STAY FOCUSED ON MOTIONS THAT ARE INTENTIONAL
 
Apr 12, 2015
728
63
I don't think its a controversial position. I think its a correct position.

I'd add "Stop teaching getting open" to the list.

I think this goes well with your style of teaching @Hillhouse as you often say you didn't invent anything and there is only one natural way to throw a ball underhand.

I do think it is important for coaches to understand the biomechanics of pitching. I think it is much less important that knowledge is passed directly on to students.
 
Sep 29, 2014
2,421
113
In the big scheme of things these thing are all just descriptions of what should be happening naturally. Some are also just cues we use to help pitchers understand what's happening mechanically. You can say all this is natural and doesn't need to be taught but then what are you going to teach. You can't just hand the ball to a girl and say throw this ball under hand over the plate. Whatever you teach her you are going to use words to describe it and then you are going to tell people to stop teaching that thing you choose to call it. In the end we know what correct mechanics look like and are just trying to get girls to execute and most importantly be able to self identify and self correct it doesn't really matter what you call it.
 
Jan 22, 2011
1,244
83
Interesting @Hillhouse . A friends daughter goes to Jason and I recommended someone who was going to be in Socal for 10 days who wanted a pitching coach for some tune-ups to contact Jason.

I had a slightly tense conversation with a friend claiming IR causes injuries last weekend. I argued it was being taught incorrectly, but as you saw on my facebook that discussion led me to use your cue of something like "brush the ear, brush the belly button", and adjusting her foot landing to actually lightly brush the hip without forcing it. Is it on Powerhouse Mechanics or his personal facebook page?

I also emphasized with my student letting me and her Dad know if she felt any discomfort pitching the way I was telling her to.

Do you have a link to the facebook post? My DD is catching a pitching lesson for Rich Balswick tomorrow and he has graciously agreed to spend some time talking with me about being a pitching coach while I'm there.

I delayed taking on a student until I had better awareness of how the body works one month into a three month class on strength and arm care I'm taking from Austin Wasserman. After I finish his class, I intend to take a couple classes from https://www.nasm.org/ to better understand the body and how it moves.
 
Last edited:
Jun 6, 2016
2,091
113
Chicago
The overwhelming majority of young pitchers I've seen, probably 95% if not more, are not going to pitch properly if they're not taught properly. Most will just "bowl" the ball, even though that goes against what the body wants to do naturally. I have no idea why this is. Most of the young players I deal with also don't naturally backhand a ball that is thrown to they're throwing hand side, either. Maybe I just deal with kids who overwhelmingly have the worst possible body awareness (I'm not just talking nine year olds, either).

All that to say... we probably do need to teach I/R. Or at least explain that's what we want. I suppose it can be "over taught." I'm less convinced that we need to always teach brush contact. It's important, but I do think players can take this too far (though usually the pain comes from doing something else wrong).

I don't know too many good pitching coaches who teach a follow through. The follow through can (but not always) be an indicator of doing some things right or wrong, but the coaches I've been around don't spend any time on it.
 
Jan 22, 2011
1,244
83
My observations over the last 10 years is a fair number of young players have I/R, or can quickly adjust to it, if they have good instruction. What happens is coaches who want them to throw strikes put pressure on them to start aiming the ball instead of making the minor adjustments to their form.

For example, this afternoon I worked for 40 minutes with a new pitcher still in 8u this summer, will be 10u in the fall. I totally forgot about teaching her about what to do with her glove hand but got her to realize a lot of the cause when her pitches were off was caused by where her stride foot was landing.

I told her to just have fun pitching in 10u, and if she has fun, she'll be a pretty good pitcher 2nd year 10u.

I told my student it doesn't matter what her arm does after she let's go of the ball. Let it go wherever it wants. If she wants to do something with it on purpose, bring her hand to her nose and squeeze her nose.

Or, as Rich Balswick used as a cue about 9 years ago 'sip a coke'.
 

pattar

I wasted time and now doth time waste me
Jun 8, 2016
12,434
113
If these things occur naturally then there has to be an external constraint which causes kids to not do them (assuming the natural motion isn’t coached out of them from the beginning..) Perhaps a coach/parent screaming at them that they need to throw strikes?

Not sure what the solution to this is if this is true since pitching in a game does require you to throw strikes once in a while but perhaps more freedom to “fail” would be a start…
 
Mar 10, 2020
629
63
Hear me out. I am not saying these things do not exist. What I am saying is, these things are naturally occurring movements within the pitching motion. Teaching pitchers to intentionally create these movements are arbitrary and very confusing. ⠀

STAY FOCUSED ON MOTIONS THAT ARE INTENTIONAL
The arbitrary and confusing part are your comments.
 
May 16, 2019
331
63
The following is from Jason Iuli-Kinsey of Powerhouse Mechanics, posted on his Facebook page:

Hear me out. I am not saying these things do not exist. What I am saying is, these things are naturally occurring movements within the pitching motion. Teaching pitchers to intentionally create these movements are arbitrary and very confusing. ⠀

Why should we stop teaching I.R? ⠀
First of all, the term in itself is confusing. I don't know why we make it so complicated. I.R, is simply how the joint rotates open and closed, but I digress..IR is one of the most natural things the arm will create. When the arm transfers from back to down, the shoulder joint will naturally open itself. Watching all of these videos of kids trying to "create" IR is causing them to over rotate. Not only are they not able to get back behind the ball on the closure of the joint, its almost impossible to create cuts.⠀

Why should we stop teaching "brush contact"?⠀
Brush contact is a reaction that is a result of how we pull from an open shoulder joint. When the shoulder joint is open, it will pull the shoulders back, placing the elbow behind the ribs. When pulling down the arm, the elbow is already in position to make contact with the hip. When the elbow makes contact with the hip, it will naturally trigger the shoulder joint too close. Too many kids are forcefully driving their elbows into the sides of their body and injuring themselves.⠀

Why should we stop teaching "Forearm Fire"? ⠀
The forearm is activated because the fingers are pulling into the wrist. By not putting attention into the fingers, and putting focus on the contraction of the forearm, creates peeling or rolling the ball off their fingers. Why would we teach kids to let the ball roll off of the fingers? Use the fingers to drive energy through the ball. ⠀

Why should we stop teaching follow throughs? ⠀
This is how "Hello Elbow" started. Pitchers were taught to "intentionally" create a follow through, but follow throughs are not intentional. Follow throughs, are a direct result of how we use the forearm. By teaching kids to intentionally follow through, it also teaches them to bypass the forearm and substitute a bicep pull or even worse, to just push the ball. ⠀

STAY FOCUSED ON MOTIONS THAT ARE INTENTIONAL
In any form of teaching , if not careful things can be overcooked or misunderstood because language has slippage between message sent and message received. I have been guilty of good intentions but bad coaching or over coaching. The more I tried to change a player, the further she got from the desired movement in hitting and pitching. I'm also looking for movement patterns that support those things mentioned above. As an example, I have a new student do jumping jacks clapping over head and at her waist. Explaining that the shoulder naturally rotates the arm at the perfect spot if you let it. As soon as you try and aim, you will bypass the shoulders natural ability to help. Great post. I'm just trying to get better everyday.
 

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