The preface is simply here to offer credit to the inspirations of this post- Steffan Jones, Brian Kaplan and Eric Cressey.
Steffan Jones is a former professional cricket bowler and current cricket coach. He operates a site named cricketstrength.com and on that site, he has written in length about how “Physiology dictates biomechanics” which can be found in this link. Essentially this means that each person’s body affects how they move and how well they move.
Brian Kaplan is the Vice President and Co-Founder of CSP- Florida in Jupiter, Florida and runs one of the top youth travel ball teams in the country – The FTB Rockets. Brian merges performance coaching and pitching coach backgrounds to offer arguably the best training environment the country has to offer at CSP- Florida. I attended a seminar where Brian said, “Don’t coach the different out of people”. This immediately resonated with me because I’ve always believed to never coach the unique out of pitchers (which we will get into later in the article).
Eric Cressey is arguably the worlds’ premier baseball performance coach. In fact, if you’re reading this and are unfamiliar with his philosophies, follow this link. EC posted the tweet below and it is one of the better tweets I’ve seen. Too often players arrive on campus or get into pro ball and mechanical overhauls immediately occur. The problems with mechanical overhauls are that they are physically difficult, often dangerous and have major psychological implications.
OSTEOKINEMATICS VS ARTHROKINEMATICS: HOW DO WE JUDGE MOVEMENT?
Understanding true mechanics is rooted in physics and biomechanics is the marriage of physics and kinesiology. Judging movement is a tricky and very subjective task. After all, who would actively teach a young kid to pitch like MadBum, Kenley Jansen, Jake Arrietta, Kershaw, or Sale and assume they would throw at elite level velocities with elite level stuff and with elite command?
When assessing mechanics on a field or with most technology, we can only see movement- what is happening and what the body looks like (Osteokinematics). Unfortunately, while there are benefits to that, there is a major drawback… We don’t know what is happening inside the joint (Arthrokinematics). There is an aesthetic quality to mechanics, but more often than not, that quality is athleticism and is an overarching characteristic of the athlete rather than finer points to be tinkered with.
When an athlete is pitching, and asks, “How does that look?”, sometimes it is appropriate to offer up the placebo effect to let them