Mythology & Baseball

If nothing else, baseball is a game filled with myths and legends, which is great. But when it comes to conditioning and training, only the latest scientific findings should be instituted. Unfortunately, too often that is not the case. Here are some examples.

We Teach The Major League Baseball Pitching Form
Our Pitchers Learn To:

                             Prevent Arm Injury
                                     Increase Velocity
                                            Throw Consistent Strikes
                                                   Change Speeds
                                                          Handle Mental Aspects



The other day a young Little League pitcher stepped onto the rubber to throw his first pitch of the third inning. He was poised and ready with a surprise or two for the team he was facing. He’d thrown fastball after fastball in the first two innings to this notoriously fastball hitting team, giving up a couple hard smashes into the outfield.

The number three hitter was leading off. The last time up he’d pulled a hard line drive to the fence in left center. Now, with a two ball, two strike count, the hitter was looking for what he’d seen the entire game, another straight fastball. He’d fouled the last pitch straight back. He’d had the pitch timed but had just missed it. This time he thought to himself, I’ll start my bat early and crank it.

As the ball left the pitcher’s hand, the hitter brought forward his speeded up bat, but as the ball made its way toward the hitting area, it seemed to take its time getting there. Realizing the ball was not going to get to him when he thought it would, the hitter frantically tried adjusting his bat speed, pulling it back. And just as the ball arrived and as the hitter started his adjusted swing to the ball, the ball took a turn and a dive, completely befuddling the hitter who missed the pitch by a foot.

Strike three. The pitcher turned his back on the hitter and made his way back up the side of the mound and onto the rubber. The next hitter got the same treatment. Only this time the curveball came on the very first pitch. 

Suddenly those oh so confident hitters on the other side of the field were feeling a little antsy. Meanwhile, in their dugout and in the opposing team's stands, coaches, parents and onlookers were suddenly chattering and acting like nervous deer, stamping their feet, ringing their hands.

All this noise and doubt caused by a rookie pitcher throwing his first game in the majors. And a ten year old rookie at that.

From that point forward in the game, with well located fastballs, and the occasional curveball, the pitcher notched his first Little League win. Actually, the game had been decided once that first curveball had been introduced.

At the conclusion of the game, as the teams were packing their equipment before leaving the field, one of the opposing parents adamantly protested the curve ball being thrown by such a young pitcher. “He’s too young.” He insisted. “The curveball causes injury.” That kind of belief is the exact reason for this article. I am waiting for someone, anyone, anywhere, anytime, to show me research that says the curveball causes injuries. This I know: I will be waiting forever to see anything to back such a claim, because SUCH RESEARCH DOES NOT EXIST. Well, it exists as a myth. What is worse, no one even knows where the myth began, yet people like this vehemently spout off in protest as if they know what they are talking about. 

They do not.

I will grant you, a pitcher, any pitcher should not throw the curveball until he has the healthy form in his delivery to support it. In fact, no pitcher should throw any pitch until he has the healthy form in his delivery to support it. 

Curve-ball or no, there have been far too many injuries to young pitchers because of poor form and bad mechanics. Not because of some pitch. In fact, there are many injuries to pitchers who have never thrown a curveball in their lives.

One night I was watching a tournament game and this big, strong right handed power pitcher walked out to the mound. He was imposing. This guy was throwing so hard he had no need of anything off-speed. I am sure he had a stellar Little League career where every game he threw teammates, parents, coaches, everyone was championing all those strikeouts, wins and successes. And here he was topping off those Little League successes in this tournament. But as soon as he started throwing his warmups it was evident he had massive problems in his delivery. And don't you know, unfortunately for him, before the first inning was out he experienced a sharp pain in his shoulder and had to leave the game. That is a case in point of a winning pitcher who was hurting himself with every pitch he was throwing and no one could see it. I do not know what happened with that pitcher, but when there is a problem in the shoulder, that is often the end of a baseball pitcher's career. 

When you are talking about the most explosive movement in sports, which the pitching delivery is, unless each part of the body unravels at the right time and in the proper sequence, the body has to over-compensate, and when that over-compensation takes place enough times, the over-compensating part of the body will pay for those bad mechanics. And with the rate of youth surgery increasing, according to the research, it follows that it does not take that many bad pitches to harm a young pitcher.

A hitter can have bad mechanics and no injury will occur. A fielder can have bad mechanics and no injury will occur, but if a pitcher has bad mechanics, and he continually throws with those bad mechanics, it can, and often does, have dire consequences. The main problem is that ninety-nine percent of youth league coaches have no idea what they are looking at. They simple do not know what they are seeing.

Here are a few factors to consider, and there is plenty of research to back this information. An injury can develop just by the way the pitcher takes the ball out of his glove. Improperly done this can cause the arm to swing back behind the pitcher. And you see a lot of that in Little League baseball. When that happens the shoulder joint is pulled out of position. The shoulder joint is hardly more than a golf ball sitting on top of a golf tee. Not much holding it together, is there? Not much more than a shallow cup. If the arm is pulled too far back, the shoulder joint is being pulled off that tee. How many times do you think that has to happen before an injury to the shoulder occurs?

If a pitcher’s landing foot lands too far over on the glove side of his body, instead of straight to home plate, that creates one set of problems. If a pitcher’s landing foot lands too far over on the ball side of his body, instead of straight to home plate, that creates another set of problems.

In starting his delivery to the plate, if the pitcher is leaning back on his skeletal system, rather than bowing forward into a proper athletic position this creates yet another set of problems. In starting in that weak pitching position, the pitcher can only throw from that weak position. Again, some part of the body has to make up for that poor pitching position. 

Just the other day I saw an article in a newspaper of a ten year old pitcher who had thrown a perfect game, striking out eleven of the twelve hitters he faced. Accompanying the article was a picture of the pitcher, showing this pitcher throwing the ball only and entirely with his shoulder. Given that information, by the time this kid’s Little League career is at an end, he will be lucky if he is able to brush his teeth without experiencing shoulder pain. 

Finally, there are many ways a pitcher can injure himself, none of which has anything to do with the curveball. I do not know why myths like this are allowed to perpetuate themselves.

At the same time simple and obvious poor pitching mechanics go unheeded,  

causing easily preventable injuries.


Here is Dick Mills, former MLB pitcher with the Boston Red Sox, having a chin wag about what is wrong with long toss and why it does not work for anything other than becoming really good at long toss. 

You can find Dick in Arizona at (He said he moved to Arizona from the northeast because it is a lot warmer in Arizona, and it is). He can also spend a lot more time outside all year around with his students at his pitching school.


It continually astounds me that the term “Arm Strength” is thrown around so often and taught at every and all levels of baseball.
It is said too often to be ignored, yet it should be ignored.

It is myth.

It means nothing.

If you want to test arm strength to see just what it means, try this:

Stand and face where you want to throw the ball. Your chest is facing the target. You are standing with your feet placed a bit more than shoulder width apart, again, facing the direction you will throw the ball. Now, when you throw the ball, do not let either your hips or your shoulders turn.

Now, see how far and fast you can throw the ball.

How's that for NO POWER? Is that what you want to take that into your next game? I am sure that is not what you want. Am I right?

If you expect to have maximum velocity in each pitch you throw, you must use your entire body including the hips and trunk, in a finely honed sequence of events. If this is done correctly, all the energy in your body will apply maximum force on the baseball.

That being the case, how can anyone talk about arm strength?

I will explore this subject and further explain how this works in a subsequent blog. 

Text heavily borrowed from Dick Mills at
Dick is one of few pitching coaches I can find that is seriously onto these erroneous mythologies.

As a pitcher you are your own coach when you are on the mound. There might be 50,000 people in the stands, or no one, with one bench yelling encouragement while the other, discouragement, or not. 

Whatever the case, you are alone, you are by yourself, with a job that must be done. It is up to you to get it done.

You must know what adjustments to make if you suddenly find yourself in a situation where the ball is not doing what you want it to do the way you want it to do it. This is an extremely important part of your job, of pitching. You must learn your game and know it well. At the same time, you must maintain a calm inner being. You must be relaxed.
Learning the art of pitching takes lots of time, study, and infinite patience to be an effective pitcher. If there is a perfect way to do something, it can be learned. Learn the perfect way to pitch, and then practice diligently. Learning how to maintain a calm inner being, being completely relaxed, is easier than you think.

Scroll down for more information on both these pitching aspects.

"If you want to be the best, you must do what the best do."
                                                                                                                     ---Skip Murray

"That which you do not know, the doing will quickly teach you."
                                                                               ---Lao Tzu

Baseball players, as is the case with all athletes, perform at their highest level when they are relaxed. When the mind is clear the body is body to move freely and easily. When the body is moving freely, the athlete is able to perform at the highest level.
The question is, how does the athlete get to the point where he or she is constantly and consistently competing at that highest level? In other words, how does the athlete get to the point where his or her mind and body are completely clear and performing at peak level? Keep on reading, here is your answer.

One highly effective method is to use subliminal messaging software. This conditions your subconscious mind to work with your body at its optimum level. The technique is simple, you simply watch the proper subliminal message program as recommended, and your subconscious mind automatically learns to do the right things at the right time. It is as easy as that.

Winning Athlete Subliminal Message Software

So now, mind and body are working together, and that, my friends, 
is a winning combination.

Delivery - The Baseball Pitcher E-book by Skip Murray

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