Today on The Inside Pitch, Caliendo has Mark Sheehan on the show. Sheehan starts off talking about their trip to the Dominican Republic and the children there. He says, “There is such a passion [for] the game there. Even though they don’t have much equipment, all they want to do is play ball.”
Sheehan then talks about an interesting fact. “There has been research done recently about arm injuries and a report that listed all the Japanese players from 1983-2015 that had Tommy John [procedure] done on their arms. They fit on to one page.” In the U.S, the reporters did the same thing for only one year alone – 2015 – the list of names filled more than one page.
He explains, “There is a fight between scientific-based coaching and opinion-based coaching. Most people in the U.S believe that the arm needs four weeks to three months off from throwing, but science does not support this at all. The arm needs six weeks off from the mound, but a player should always be throwing – everyday if possible.”
Sheehan talks about velocity and how high velocity is what all pitchers want. As the title says, “velocity sells.” It is what attracts coaches, players, and fans. The “formula,” as Sheehan calls it, “is ground force, then torque, then strength.”
He claims that “A player shouldn’t throw harder off the windup or the stretch. They should be the same speed. Speed will come from how quick the pitcher moves towards the plate. You also should never change an arm path. Arm paths are genetic and can hurt the pitcher if you change it.”
“I really emphasize that health must always come first. Velocity should come only as a byproduct of correct mechanics. First off, though, you have to be able to locate your ball. You can throw as hard as you want, but if you can’t throw a strike it doesn’t matter.”
Sheehan also goes on to talk about the question a lot of pitchers and coaches ask. Should a player ice after throwing? He believes that icing is only delaying the inevitable. It only slows down inflammation. The best thing for a pitcher to do after throwing a game is to get twenty minutes of aerobic activity within three hours after pitching. This will flush out all the bad stuff in the elbow and cut recovery down by a day.
He also answers another question. Should coaches train everyone the same? He says no. “You shouldn’t train a 6-year-old like a 20-year-old. Research shows that during years 6-12 a coach should work on repeating the pitching pattern. During years 12-16 they should focus on strength, and ages 16 and up should focus on command and movement.”
He claims that another misconception is that a curveball is hardest on your arm. This is also untrue. There is a sleeve that pitchers can wear to measure the amount of stress placed on the elbow. When taught right, it will only register at a 14, while a fastball normally registers In the mid 20s.
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