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Locked Elbow

Jun 9, 2008
What type of drills can be done to "loosen" the pitching arm so that the elbow is not locked on the down swing?
May 5, 2008
The K is a good start. That way their arm starts with the down swing and they can focus on leading with the elbow (just like you do when you throw overhand - lead with the elbow as you come forward).


May 7, 2008
What type of drills can be done to "loosen" the pitching arm so that the elbow is not locked on the down swing?
I can only imagine that she has done hundreds of 'Drills' that have enforced this bad habit. Drills are very bad if you do not have good mechanics, they only re-enforce those same bad mechanics.

Keeping the elbow slightly bent during the windmill circle is something she must 'THINK' about, it is a mental thing. She must think about her elbow and keep it slightly bent during the entire windmill circle. It is nothing any drill will fix.

One thing you must understand; to keep the arm bent and muscles real tight will slow you down, keeping the arm loose can injure you. The muscles must have a slight tension to prevent the weight of the arm from pulling on the elbow and shoulder joints. That little bit of tension protects the elbow and shoulder from getting strained or torn.

Instead of just going through the motions, she has to THINK about what her elbow does.

Winning Fast Pitch Softball
May 26, 2008
Vancouver, WA
The locked elbow comes from an aggressive young athlete trying to do their best. Sometimes the best and most aggressive athletes are the hardest to teach because they are like their parents. They are go getters and want to go as hard as they can.

What works the best for me, and I implement this drill into every beginning clinic is to first of all start with no ball. Put a ball in their hand and they are going to try hard.

1. Next have stand and stay sideways to the target.
2. Have them go around up to 5 times in the circle focusing on the loose and flexible motion. If you have a mirror have them look at themselves in the mirror. Demonstrate (if you can) your loose and flexible arm circle including the last circle.
3. Next have them imaging they are releasing the imaginary ball on the 4th circle as they go around again loosely for the 5th revolution.

Do not let them graduate to any of the next steps until they do a preceding step correctly.

4. Next give them a ball and Have them do step #2.
5. Have them continue, slowly decreesing the number of revolutions before the release.
6. Eventually have them discontinue the 5th revolution if they have a comfortable and unforced follow through.

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