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i was told that i have not been leading with my elbow and i should lead with my elbow when i throw. I have been leading with my elbow more but when I do some tendon or something near my elbow area moves the area feels fine im not sore or hurting or anything but an wondering if i am doing this right? am i leading with the elbow to much? maybe thinking about it to much? i think i should just let my arm fly do my footwork and not be so tense and just throw and lead the elbow but not try to lead it so much or something. any thoughts, ideas??? thanks.
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I just bought a DVD called, "Ultimate Infield." The instructor in the video is Perry Hill who is the infield coach for the FLorida Marlins. His techniques are simple and make so much sense. I have seen my son's mechanics and footwork improve 100%. They no longer have a website, but a company called "Baseball Pros" carries the DVD. I hope this helps.

baseball pros website
Last edited by bballdad17
TR is right.

The best way to get the best instruction is ONE ON ONE with a trusted instructor that has been there and done that.

Stay away from any websites saying they have all the answers to throwing mechanics and throwing hard. There is no way you will ever get anywhere near the best trainer over a keyboard and monitor!

Matter of fact, it's a prescrition to a waste time and money when you could of spent it on a reputable pitching instructor who also was a baseball pitcher himself, not some electrical engineer nut job like one site out there that profeses to have all the answers yet has no track record of helping and of it's customers to any level of major leaque success!!
Last edited by Rufus
Baseball is a high elbow sport.
One of the best books I have read is "Everything You Need to Know About Pitching" by Louisville Slugger. My sons Chiropractor has a small part of a chapter in "The Pitchers Edge" by Tom House & Nolan Ryan. He advocates keeping the elbows high but there is more to it than that. My son was getting some shoulder tension because he was dropping his front elbow during long toss.
One thing you can do is pwt a broom stick across the top of your shoulders and alighn both elbows with the broom stick with your hands straight up in the air like goal posts. Keep them up and go through your pitching motion. This will be awkward but it will give you an idea of how you should keep the elbows up.
Look, throwing is like hitting in many aspects. There are certain things that are definites ie Keep your eyes on the ball or get in the power posistion when throwing. But some kids have a natural arm slot that may be different than what is the general idea of how a kid should throw. If you change your arm slot and you feel pain (stop). Everyone is not meant to throw with the same mechanics. Some kids are comfortable throwing straight over the top. Some are comfortable throwing 3/4 etc. Some can throw from multiple arm slots. If you work on a different arm slot and it just feels uncomfortable thats one thing. But if you are feeling pain (stop). Forget that arm slot it is not meant for your body.

Ulnar nerve pain is most certainly NOT normal.

It means that you have a mechanical problem that is placing extra strain on your elbow.

One thing to check is the angle of your pitching arm side elbow, and the position of your pitching arm side forearm, at the moment that your shoulders start to turn. I'd be willing to bet that you are turning your shoulders before your pitching arm side forearm is vertical. Your elbow might also be bent more than 90 degrees at the moment that your shoulders start to turn (so that the ball passes closer to your head). Mark Prior does this and it is one of the causes of his elbow problems.

One thing that you might want to work on is pronating your wrist as you release the ball (turning your wrist counter-clockwise so that your palm faces the ground). This will take some of the load off of your elbow.
wow thank you chris. i havent checked the board in days. funny thing is i think im doing something right but i get a different opinion from some one else....

heres what iv e made out of it, yes ulnar pain is not normal. and that i THOUGHT i was throwing right but im having a hard time breaking old habits. when im in power position and load back i move my head to much when i begin my throw and i pull to far down with my left arm (im a righty) thus causing my arm to go up and basically create a windmill throw..... so i have some drills on keeping my head much more still and throwing while leading the elbow and not pulling to hard down on my left arm

and your right my shoulder was opening up too.
You say you get to the power position. Do you follow the common advice to show the ball to Center Field? If so, that may be the cause of your problem. You might want to try just showing the ball to 3B (palm facing away from your body).

At the power position, you might also want to have your elbow bent just 45 degrees (leaning back toward CF) rather than 90 degrees (vertical).

There's nothing necessarily wrong with a windmill throw (aka throwing over the top) as long as your arm goes up because your shoulders are tilted. In fact, that's how you throw a 12-6 curveball. However, if your elbow goes above the level of your shoulders, then that's a bad thing.
Originally posted by TRhit:
Linear--- get real pal--there others out there who may know something and have something to offer--- at least they come without attitude--

I don't care that you don't like me TR. But quit giving bad advice.

If you don't think the elbows go behind the back then your confirming how much of an idiot you are.
While I agree that you don't want your elbows to go too far behind your shoulders (basically your back) or above your shoulders, I don't think that's the problem here.

If he was doing this to too large of a degree, it would manifest itself as shoulder pain, not Ulnar nerve pain.

Ulnar nerve pain means you are putting too much load on the elbow.

read what I said-- I am telling you there are others out there who know things-- just because your have a guru to follow does not make you correct all the time--is it bad advice because it doesnt agree with your "dogma"?

Like you or not like you has nothing to do with anything--If I get upset about cyperspace people then I am worse than you-- you area cyberspace sham and I will repeat--join the real world pal--you are missing a lot--- nobody has an inkling as to what or what you do not know about anything.

Bottom line for me --I will stay with the real world people who can teach and people see the results on a field
You say the opposite of me no matter what I say.

I could care less. Your an old, over the hill, know nothing groupie.

Everyone knows it........except you.

I'm asking for you to shut up and quit giving bad advice to people.

99% of all mlb pitchers will have their elbows go behind their back. And, not just behind their back, but almost as far behind their back as they will go.

It's a fact.

Then again, facts have never stood in the way of an old, over the hill, know nothing opinion.
Last edited by Linear
Originally posted by Rufus:
Hi Linear,

Are you one of those followers that believes that this scapula loading action is the way to throw a baseball?

If so, then I can tell you that you are following the road to a dangerous injury to your throwing elbow!

And so are 99% of all mlb players......not just the pitchers.

If you don't want to take the risk, don't. Be an accountant or something.

If you want to have a chance at being the best you can be, then you better learn what the good ones do.

99% of all of them scap load and the elbow goes behind the back.


No Clue....Ah? You better know what your talking about!

The only way to achieve this Pinching action of which has been termed by a so called pitching Guru wannabe as Scapular Loading, is for pitchers to reverse rotate from an imaginary line that we can draw through the tips of both shoulders beyond second base thus keeping the palm of their pitching hand facing downward, and their pitching forearm below their pitching upper arm, allowing their pitching elbow to move behind their acromial line, such that their pitching arm points toward the opposite mid-infielder.

While this reverse horizontal centripetal force keeps their pitching upper arm in this position, pitchers then would have to powerfully pull their glove side upper arm backward until their glove elbow also moves behind their acromial line to nearly touch their pitching elbow...Yikes!

Now because their pitching upper arm is behind their acromial line,....that is, the imaginary line that we can draw through the tips of both shoulders, this position places considerable stress on the attachment of the Subscapularis muscle and the posterior shoulder capsule.

Because their pitching upper arm is at shoulder height and their pitching forearm is below shoulder height, with the pitching palm facing downward, pitchers then would have to outwardly rotate the Humerus bone of the upper arm to raise their pitching forearm above shoulder height.

Now because their pitching upper arm is behind their acromial line, the outward rotation of the Humerus bone of the pitching upper arm pinches the posterior capsule and Labrum. This action,...termed "Scapular Loading" will destroy the posterior shoulder and eventualy rupture the Ulnar Collateral Ligament over time!

AND,....because pitchers have to outwardly rotate the Humerus bone of the upper arm to raise their pitching forearm above shoulder height, the outward rotation of their pitching upper arm generates backward centripetal force with their pitching forearm, which they have to decelerate to a stop,.. BEFORE, they can start their pitching forearm forward.....Yikes again!!!!

This Reverse Pitching Forearm Bounce, unnecessarily stresses the front of their pitching shoulder and the inside of their pitching elbow!!!

Because during this Reverse Pitching Forearm Bounce, pitchers start to move their body forward, they then use their pitching upper arm to pull their pitching forearm in the same direction. Now with their pitching elbow moving forward while their pitching forearm, hand and baseball moves backward, they greatly increase the injurious strength of the Reverse Pitching forearm Rebounce.

This is how pitchers snap their Ulnar Collateral Ligament and, even, break the Humerus bone of their pitching upper arm.!

Any pitcher that forces this ""Scapular loading"" action is on a dangerous road to ruin of an Ulnar Collateral Ligament rupture, medial epicondyle avulsion, fracture and displacement of the Ulnar Nerve Groove Fascial tear, Humerus bone fracture and the pain that they will cause.

Scapular loading is dangerous. Pitchers at the highest level of baseball pitching DO NOT force the loading or pinching of the shoulder blades. For there is no conscious effort to do so.

"Scapular Loading" is a bad idea from those who do not know what they are doing....As in clueless! Give them the respect that they deserve, none.

Scapular Loading is nothing more then a pop term to establish a no name by a marketing ploy!
Last edited by Rufus
Without "linear: and his abuse I could not sleep at night--I am glad that I give him an outlet that his "shrink'says he needs

It is truly a shame that he doesnt know as much as he thinks he does--

But I do feel very good in knowing that I am not the only one on here that does not know as miuch as he does--none of us does except perhaps Bluedog but then they both have the same "guru".


I am with you--
Last edited by TRhit
Folks, you'll have to excuse Linear his self-employed health insurance plan apparently just jacked up the price of his perscriptions, because he has quit taking them cold turkey.

Either that or Mrs. Linear has him sleeping on the couch.......if you follow me! Eek

Geez Richard, what's gotten into you, has business been that slow?
"...Organizations should be like tall trees that supply support and foundation on one side, while the kids are the fruit and leaves that benefit from that support and make the continued success of the tree posible...."

Thanks - this quote just helped me break a writer's block on the screenplay I'm fiddling with this afternoon.

Just a quick question for you.

Could you post a video clip of pitcher who demonstrates the technique you support who throws harder than 85 MPH??

Could you please provide the name of a MLB pitcher who you would have 12U pitcher emulate or whose mechanics come closest to your pitching scientist's ideas.

It is amazing that you espouse Mike Marshall, a man who said MLB has no clue(meaning his own credentials as a player mean nothing), and credits his knowledge of pitching to his education not his Major League experience and you discard another man whose knowledge and understanding of the throw/swing are also from intense study of science and high-speed video. It is one man's science vs. another.

Rufus, I suggest that you study up on both sides of the debate.


It is very interesting that you bring up credentials.

I would not try to compare an electrical engineer with only a bachelor's degree and no background what so ever in baseball as either a player or a coach on any level to which one would want to compare credibility to that of a Cy-Young award winning pitcher with a doctors degree in Physiology.

That's like comparing a plumber with a rocket scientist!
Last edited by Rufus

So, you're a Marshall guy. The ultimate quack.

I have a library of clips of mlb players. I don't have one clip of a pitcher whose elbows don't go behind his back.

I would post some examples but it would be every clip I have.....probably 100+.

How about you posting 1.....just one...clip of a mlb pitcher whose elbows don't go behind his back.

As far as avoiding injury is concerned I've got the ultimate, safest, completely fool proof way to avoid injury....................don't play.

If your goal is to avoid injury, just don't play. You'll reach your goal.

But, if your goal is to play at the highest level, you better scap load.

I agree with Jdel. When you can post 1 clip of a guy doing what Marshall suggests, that throws over 85mph, I'll listen.

Until then........

I am a big fan of Dr. Marshall's ideas. However, in this case I tend to agree with you.

Every major leaguer that I have looked at does move their elbows behind the Acromial Plane to one degree or another and not every one injures themselves.

That's a fact.

The thing that seems to make the difference is whether you move the elbows both behind the Acromial Plane and above the shoulders.

Guys who "Scap Load" with their elbows low seem to have few shoulder problems (e.g Ryan, Seaver, and Clemens). Guys who "Scap Load" with their elbows high (e.g. at or above their shoulders) seem to have relatively more shoulder problems (e.g. Drysdale, Madritsch, and others).

Coach Chris
Linear, Its crystal clear, rufus is a dufus! Hes another blowhard who simply doesnt know what he is talking about. His discription of scap loading is wrong as is Chris's, at least his opinion of the level of the shoulders as it relates to possible injury, I guess it could have a little merit but the point is moot because the description is wrong. If the correct procedure/timing is not known how can it be taught or understood? Thus making his point moot or nonplausible Fact is proper scap loading technique/time wise is a must to protect the entire shoulder. So many of these so called gurus are just plain lost. There opinion of scap loading is jamming the elbows behind the acromial line or a "hyperflexion" action which is not good. They dont know how/when its supposed to be done therefore they automatically think its wrong. Scapular dynamics just may be the main indicator for potential injuries to the shoulder. Scapular dynamics are always affected when a player has an injury. The real question is what caused the injury in the first place. In many cases it is a disfunction or non fucntion of proper scapular dynamics. Which only makes sense due to the fact that all cuff tendons originate from the fossa of the scapula. The scapula is the foundation for providing a stable base for the upper to work off of.

Chris a person does not load the scap with his elbows down, this would produce way to much friction upon elevation. Proper scap loading has nothing to do with rotation of the humerus either. A person can put his arms up elbows shoulder level with his palms facing any direction he wants. As well as rotating the humerus wherever/howecver he can and load the scapula. The elevation of the arm should be an assistant to proper scap loading.Everything that preceeds the actual loading of the scapula is totally independent of the scapula loading in itself, to as point. Proper scapula dynamics serve to provide a stable base as well as funnel the energy to the throwing arm instead of wasting it elsewhere. Pitching is a series of loadings/unloadings one loading facilitates another and so on throughout the chain. For you Marshallites to get it even halfway right you would have to think load the scap extemely late in regards to where the delivery is in a certain time and space. Most successful pitchers do not get the arm up nearly as quick as Marshall likes to see his pitchers. Which is one reason why they will never amount to much in my opinion.
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