Every baseball pitcher that comes in for a lesson, no matter what age, throws mainly with their arm. I ask each one what they are trying to do when they pitch. Most are trying to get their arm coming forward faster to throw the ball harder. This is great except they are using mainly their arm and not using the body like they should to actually get the arm being pulled forward faster.
They have been taught and told many things about pitching that will not help them, it will only make them throw mainly with their arm even more. Almost 99% of what is taught by instructors, coaches, at pitching camps and by other parents makes them develop bad pitching mechanics.
These are a few bad pitching cues you need to beware of are:
When your front leg goes up, balance on back leg (this stops forward momentum when pitching, terrible cue)
At foot plant ball looking at 2nd base (you have to rotate your hand as you pull it forward, again arm and body disconnected)
Keep elbow above shoulder (this will cause you to use mostly arm because the body and arm are not connected)
Chest to glove (glove is tucked in close to chest, chest in going no where)
Snap wrist at release (sure sign of future arm problems)
These are three very bad pitching drills:
One knee throwing drill (this will teach you to throw with your arm only)
Holding elbow and throw with forearm ( used be most high schools, terrible drill again teaches to throw with arm only)
Towel drill to help throw your arm forward and down faster (this will teach you to throw down with your arm only)
Any of these bad pitching cues or drills will cause major problems in a pitchers mechanics, it will decrease their speed and will cause arm problems because they take the body out and makes you throw only with your arm. You should never perform a pitching drill standing still or on your knee. Your body needs to be going forward when performing any drill.
Don't listen to anyone, no matter how good a pitcher they say they were, unless they have video of great pitchers that had no arm problems to back up what they are teaching you. You should never learn any of the bad pitching cues or drills listed above. Only learn how to use your body when pitching.
Pitching can be very simple and safe if you use your body. If you do with the right mechanics it will look and feel smooth and free flowing because everything is working in the proper sequence. When you pitch without the proper mechanics it looks jerky because you are not working in a correct sequence. Pitchers that mainly use their arm will throw slower than they should and put way too much stress on their shoulders and elbow. Pitchers try to make up for this lack of speed by trying to make their arm go faster and snapping their wrist at release. Pitchers as they get older and throw harder put more stress on their arm causing soreness and eventually arm problems, maybe even Tommy John surgery. I have had 2 pitchers come in wanting to learn how to throw with the body that had this surgery at 12 and 13 years old because they were taught many of the bad cues from above. They came in just wanting to learn how to pitch without pain.
Don't let this happen to you, call Mike Sedberry at 304-722-6393 and get more information how you can learn to throw harder, have more control and take the stress off of your arm.