I have been working with High School baseball and fastpitch softball pitchers and I have seen they all throw mainly with their arms. The reason for this is that the warm ups they are taught make them throw mainly with their arm. There are many warm ups and drills that are hurting pitchers and position players much more than helping them. In basball these are the four most popular and worst arm drills or warm ups that a pitcher or position player can perform.
1- with your throwing arm in front of you shoulder high, put your glove hand under your elbow to hold it up. Snap the wrist with only your forearm moving to throw the ball. Your glove keeps the elbow from moving.
2- Get down on one knee (your throwing side knee), put your throwing arm back, ball looking at 2nd base, throw the ball and snap your wrist.
3- Standing and facing your target. Keeping your feet planted you bring your throwing arm back, ball looking at 2nd base, throw the ball and again snap the wrist.
4- Stand sideways with your throwing arm facing the target which is behind you. Keeping your feet planted, with your throwing arm up, you turn your shoulders to the right (if you are a right handed) face the target throw the ball and snap the wrist.
In fastpitch softball pitching these are the most popular and worst arm drills or warmups you can do:
1- With your throwing arm at your side while not moving your arm, flip your wrist to throw the ball.
2- Get down on one knee (your throwing side knee), with your arm only do your arm circle and flip your wrist to throw the ball.
3- Standing sideways to target do three fast arm circles then release ball and flip wrist.
None of the above drills will help a pitcher or any other player with throwing the ball. Whether you snap the wrist or not these are bad drills. They will only put players into very bad habits and teach them to throw mainly with their arms. Because of these teachings most pitchers will not come close to their true potential. Worse, these teachings will lead to hurt arms and many arm injuries. This doesn't need to happen. Pitching can be very easy, I see so many things people teach that make it much harder for players to be successful..
A dad called me today to thank me for saving his son's arm. Last year he was doing these drills with all the pitchers on the team. Dad said he couldn't pitch two innings before he had to stop because of arm soreness. I video taped him the first lesson and they could see how, because of these drills, he was throwing with only his arm. I showed them three pitchers that pitched for 20 years in MLB and they couldn't believe how they looked almost the opposite to him. We started working on using the body and right away it was feeling better on his arm. Today his dad said "he pitched 7 innings, gave up 6 hits and only 1 run against a very good travel team. What I am most excited about is his arm doesn't hurt at all. This is amazing!"
Baseball and fastpitch softball pitchers need to start learning how to use the body to create momentum towards the catcher. Not how their arm needs to go faster or snapping their wrist. That is why we are in an epidemic of sore arms.
Learn how to throw with your body instead of your arm. This is the best way to pitch or throw, in baseball and in softball. You will be surprised how easy it is to do, you will throw harder and be amazed how much better your control will become. For more information call Mike Sedberry at 304-722-6393.