The True Science Behind Pitching

Our bodies are biomechanical machines. The muscles are the engines that control the skeleton.

We created the OAI to raise the level of understanding for players and coaches, as well as instructors, with regards to the musculoskeletal and physiological principals that rule and govern the throwing motion. Understanding how the body works and how to maximize force production are the mainstays of our program. We have included the physics behind our philosophy so that you can understand and appreciate what we are doing and why we are confident that anyone involved in overhead athletics should use us as a resource. We have many teams and coaches that have already use the OAI because of the uniqueness of what we have to offer.

Velocity is a product of linear acceleration, eccentric and concentric muscle contraction, economical utilization of safe anatomical lever arms, angular momentum, and torque. As a member of the OAI, you need to know why what we are doing works.

Maximizing velocity can only be accomplished by maximizing angular velocity, linear acceleration and force. All of the websites we have investigated make no reference to any of the biomechanical principles that need to be understood to create velocity. In most instances, they include a series of drills that are loosely correlated to the throwing motion and proclaim that by doing them over and over you will miraculously throw like a major leaguer. This is simply not true. Everything related to force production and acceleration must be taken into account. We are the only ones that are doing this, which is why we have had such an overwhelming response from the people that have been exposed to our program.

Kinematic Sequence

There is a sequential reason why hard throwers have very similar aspects to their throwing motion. Not all throwing motions are the same, but close analysis reveals similarities within the individualized throwing motions that illuminate why hard throwers create effortless velocity. Generating speed and transferring speed throughout the body requires a perfectly timed kinematic sequence. All hard throwers begin by generating speed from the ground up. Energy is transferred through the lower extremities, pelvis and thorax and culminates with the shoulder and arm. Each segment of the body builds off the previous segment increasing speed up the kinetic chain. Each segment of that chain slows down as the next segment continues to accelerate. You can compare the throwing motion to the acceleration needed to crack a whip. The first thing is to accelerate the handle of the whip to generate speed. Then rapidly decelerate that handle to transfer speed to the next part of the whip. The same thing happens with perfectly sequenced high velocity throwers. The lower body represents the handle and the shoulder and arm represent the whip. It is easy to see with high-speed 3-D motion analysis. Many pitchers can have different and somewhat unorthodox throwing styles, but have the ability to generate a good kinematic sequence. Recognition of how the body works and what positions the body needs to be in to maximize the kinematic sequence is what we will demonstrate and teach you. More importantly, the initial positions of each throwing phase will dictate how well you can create a high speed perfectly times kinematic sequence and remain safe. Understanding the medical ramifications of poor positioning and how this can lead to injury can only be found here.

  • Poor Mechanics-Video Analysis can only isolate mechanical breakdowns.
  • Poor Conditioning-Our FMS/SFMA screen will isolate any kinetic chain limitations.
  • Poor Segmental Stabilization-Eliminates any chance of creating power efficiently.

Analyzing video and maximizing the opportunity an overhead thrower has to create greater velocity requires more than just superimposing your mechanics on a professional pitcher and saying copy this and you can throw harder. Professionals with sound mechanics have perfected their motions through thousands of hours of skill acquisition and training to eliminate imbalances that allow them to utilize their musculoskeletal system efficiently and powerfully. Each athlete is different and it is virtually impossible without some form of corrective exercise regimen to instruct athletes solely from watching their throwing motion on video.

A baseball specific structural analysis in combination with video analysis is the only true pathway to achieving velocity and safety. The OAI is the sole provider of both and backed with clinical expertise and years of professional pitching experience.

Don’t be fooled and mislead that purchasing a throwing program online or becoming a member of a website that’s entire premise is based on continual up-selling will help you achieve your goals. It is your choice and we are certain that what we do every day in physical therapy and medical performance training has never been done like what we do here at the OAI or been offered to the public in any way. There is an obvious difference between medically qualified experts in the field of biomechanics and the former coaches or former scouts that are pushing their products on the web right now. We have more athletes that end up in physical therapy as a result of being injured by these programs than we would like to remember. This program has taken years to develop and is the only one of its kind.

OAI’S Baseball Specific Functional Movement Assessment (BSFMA)
  • Pelvic Tilt (Standing/Supine)
  • Pelvic Rotation
  • Torso Rotation
  • Seated Trunk Rotation
  • Split Stance Rotation Test
  • Overhead Deep Squat
  • Inline Lunge
  • Hurdle Step
  • Rotary Stability
  • Single Leg Balance/Hamstring Extensibility
  • Active Straight Leg Raise
  • Single Leg Balance w/Rotation (Bi-Lateral and Lower Quarter Rotation)
  • 90/90 Shoulder Test-(ER/IR Impingement)
  • Shoulder Flexion Test-(Against wall and on Knees)
  • Stability Pushup/Pressup
  • Bridge w/Leg Extension
  • Toe Touch (Multisegmental flexion test)
  • Lean Backs (Multisegmental extension test)

Each one of these functional movements correlates to an overhead throwers ability to obtain and maintain proper positioning for maximal force production during the throwing motion. We believe it is paramount that an athletically certified functional movement specialist needs to observe and document each athlete during this evaluation. The subtleties and nuances of the assessment are difficult to recognize and if missed can lead to inappropriate staging of an athlete in our phase specific program. Training athletes at a higher level than they are capable of will lead to structural breakdowns, early fatigue, and compensation that contribute to the development of poor mechanics and inadequate force production.

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