Thursday, July 2, 2009

Pushing off the rubber?

Sports Health July/August '09: Baseball Pitching Biomechanics in Relation to Injury Risk & Performace- Fleisig et al.

Unless I am reading the article wrong, the authors are advocating propelling yourself off the rubber during the stride phase. Those of you who heard me speak in the past know I oppose this for a whole slew of reasons. It sets up a cascade of poor mechanics.

However, these authors are no slouches. And, the pitcher in this pic is literally bounding off the rubber. Remember, the mound's decline would magnify this even further. But, unless I'm reading it incorrectly, not pushing off the rubber is in the "pathomechanics" category.


JH said...

In the chart it says that decreased "push off" was directly corelated with decreased ball velocity. Again I didn't read the whole thing.

Just playing devil's advocate here but functionally, doesn't the force come from the ground up? And if so then why wouldn't an increased push off make sense?

Joe Przytula said...

The good pitchers, who don't get hurt, who have pitched into their 40's, don't seem to do that. Look at Clemens' arm angle & foot placement. He arm is already into the acceleration phase, and the foot is still clearly on the rubber. Nolan Ryan, Randy Johnson, the same mechanics- and not many threw f-ing harder than those guys. Flesig said he will call me next week regarding the matter.

bk said...

What about deceleration? After releasing the ball, wouldn't be easier to decelerate the arm if the feet still had contact with the ground?

JH said...

So you would encourage a young athlete to push through the release which would require the foot to stay in contact with the rubber. This would ensure continued acceleration through the hips, trunk (serape), and into the shoulders/arms/hands.

Whereas if a pitcher were to "bound" off the rubber, before the arm can begin to accelerate the body will begin to decelerate or at least not continue to accelerate.

Am I close?