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Pitching Arm hitting and brusing side

May 13, 2008
4
0
How do you fix a 14 year old that pitches at the highest level ASA A to stop hitting her side with her arm? (Speed 51-54 and pitches all pitches) The bruse created after a game or 2 is about a 4x12 and blood red around her side. It looks as if she was hit by a bat. Her genetics line her elbow up directly with her hip and she's thin and boney. Any help would by greatly appreciated.
 
May 13, 2008
1
0
I have had pitchers with the same problem. Usually it is a timing issue. I try to get the pitcher to make sure her hips are getting sideways and coming behind the arm swing. I also try to get her to "speed up" the beginning of her pitching motion. This keeps her from hitting her hip and gets more power behind the pitch. Pitchers that have worked on this with me have increased their pitching speed significantly.
 

halskinner

Banned
May 7, 2008
2,689
0
How do you fix a 14 year old that pitches at the highest level ASA A to stop hitting her side with her arm? (Speed 51-54 and pitches all pitches) The bruse created after a game or 2 is about a 4x12 and blood red around her side. It looks as if she was hit by a bat. Her genetics line her elbow up directly with her hip and she's thin and boney. Any help would by greatly appreciated.
Her hips are not staying open long enough. Or, her arm circle is too close to the body, or she is leaning to the glove side at release. Imagine the circle the ball travels in as a hoola-hoop. Bring that hool-hoop out away from the body an inch or so.
 
May 13, 2008
11
0
If you can, try to watch her down motion to see if she has her elbow relaxed from overhead to the downswing. Just before she goes to the release her hand should actually be a bit higher than her elbow which is created by a relaxing of the elbow. Too many kids are stiff armed on the complete circle. Sometimes you may need to do this with a video camera and stop motion. If her elbow tucks against her hip bone to increase spin and she releases the ball under her belly button that should stop the arm slapping. One of the other posters observed, and is correct, that she needs to clear her hip (keep the hips open) and let the hand, wrist, and forearm past the hip before she closes.

Keep practicing.
 
May 5, 2008
358
0
Some pitchers who are so used to "closing" have a VERY hard time making the change to clearing the hip with their arm/elbow before bringing the hip through.

Using the perfect circle or some kind of flag sticking straight out from the front of their thigh and having them go through their motion in front of a mirror (not with a real ball of course - use a nerf or crumpled up newspaper ball or socks) can help. They should be hitting that flag...they won't hit it if they are closing that hip too early. Your pitcher will get more out of it if they can see what they're doing in the mirror vs just trying to use this tool on the field without being able to see what's going on.
 

sluggers

Super Moderator
Staff member
May 26, 2008
5,923
83
Dallas, Texas
It isn't genetics--unless you call basic female anatomy genetics. One defining characteristic of female anatomy is that the hips are wider than the shoulders. The hips spread when a girl "matures" (and I guess we can leave it to the reader to figure out what that means).

She is maturing, so her hips are spreading. In another year, her hips will be wider than her shoulders. When that happens, her speed will drop and she'll lose her control. So, she'll be finished as a pitcher if she doesn't change. (Which is why all those great 12 YOA pitchers suddenly disappear 2 years later.)

She has to learn to keep the hips open. The drill we used is called a "turn and throw". She gets in the pitching start position and does everything EXCEPT she leaves her foot on the rubber after she throws. It is going to take a lot of work, especially if she has had success.

She either changes or she will need to find a different position to play.

JRW
 

FastpitchFan

Softball fan
Feb 28, 2008
476
0
Montreal, Canada
A couple of years ago when i was coaching at Simon Fraser University, we had one pitcher who had such a problem with hip bruising. She was a tall, powerful, solidly built pitcher.

The athletic trainer developped a form of custom padding for her. She would tape it to her thigh under her sliding pants.

It was similar material that football players insert into their protective gear to prevent bruises and injuries.

Maybe something like this would help a bit.
 
Dec 30, 2009
49
0
Brushing the Hip

I would strongly suggest that our first efforts regarding fixing the bruising should not be to simply try to teach them not to brush their hip- but to teach them how to brush their hip properly which I believe can be done and should be done!! The brushing of the hip triggers the release in the vast majority of world-class pitchers. I don't have time to go into all the details of this but there is a way of contacting the hip with the meaty part of the upper inside of the forearm so that the elbow bone is not hitting bone on bone. I am often mocked for teaching this because " it slows your arm down" which it does- but only the upper part of the arm which then triggers and accelerates an explosive whip and snap with the lower part of the arm and hand which creates more efficient finger-tip speed, faster spin,( I've measured the spin speed differences when not brushing the hip) and a more consistent release point. I also realize there are some exceptions to this but I still believe the " hip brushing" is more of an "absolute" than "style". If most of the best do this as I said, it needs to be seriously considered!!
 

halskinner

Banned
May 7, 2008
2,689
0
I would strongly suggest that our first efforts regarding fixing the bruising should not be to simply try to teach them not to brush their hip- but to teach them how to brush their hip properly which I believe can be done and should be done!! The brushing of the hip triggers the release in the vast majority of world-class pitchers. I don't have time to go into all the details of this but there is a way of contacting the hip with the meaty part of the upper inside of the forearm so that the elbow bone is not hitting bone on bone. I am often mocked for teaching this because " it slows your arm down" which it does- but only the upper part of the arm which then triggers and accelerates an explosive whip and snap with the lower part of the arm and hand which creates more efficient finger-tip speed, faster spin,( I've measured the spin speed differences when not brushing the hip) and a more consistent release point. I also realize there are some exceptions to this but I still believe the " hip brushing" is more of an "absolute" than "style". If most of the best do this as I said, it needs to be seriously considered!!
I agree with old man river on this. I do have to add that 'Brushing the thigh' with the forearm is what I always did and always taught to CLOSED style pitchers. Depending on how the pitcher was built made a difference also.

I always had a bruise on my thigh for the first week or two of practice every year. The area midway on my forearm would be a little red and sore after those first few practices also.

I have always likened the brushing of the thigh to the timing mark on an engine. If the timing mark is right, the engine runs like a top and at full power. If the timing was off a little, doesnt run as well and less power. If that timing is way off, you blow the engine up trying to go fast.
 
Jan 27, 2010
516
16
If your DD is brushing the hip as described by Old Man River and Halskinner then it is not a problem. A lot of PCs teach the "hip-brush or hip-trigger". Cat Osterman is a hip-brusher. She wears a sleeve on her pitching arm and have been told that she has padding sewn into her sliding shorts at the hip. However, if she is striking her hip with her elbow then this needs to be fixed. If she is being taught to slam the door or drop off in a defensive position then she needs to work on her timing on closing the hips. Tell her to remember "ball then hip". Slugger, not all females' hips are wider than their shoulders, but I agree the majority are.
 

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