Struggling with IR - Return to HE?

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May 15, 2008
1,422
113
Cape Cod Mass.
If IR was natural rec leagues would be full of IR pitchers and they're not, they're full of bowlers. And if IR was natural all the rec league Dads would be pitching BP using IR and they don't, they bowl.

For me, working with a young pitcher on their finish is often necessary. I have had pitchers who lead the downswing with a bent/flexed elbow then get their hand behind the ball too early and push into release with a palm up finish. I think it's possible that the palm up finish causes them to work backwards affecting their release. These pitchers often look good to the eye in terms of IR but have no velocity. When I take video of their motion and exam it closely I see that for about a foot after release the palm is going forward/up and not rolling over, this tells me that they are not fully utilizing. This issue can be very persistent and difficult to fix.
 
May 16, 2016
825
63
If IR was natural rec leagues would be full of IR pitchers and they're not, they're full of bowlers. And if IR was natural all the rec league Dads would be pitching BP using IR and they don't, they bowl.

For me, working with a young pitcher on their finish is often necessary. I have had pitchers who lead the downswing with a bent/flexed elbow then get their hand behind the ball too early and push into release with a palm up finish. I think it's possible that the palm up finish causes them to work backwards affecting their release. These pitchers often look good to the eye in terms of IR but have no velocity. When I take video of their motion and exam it closely I see that for about a foot after release the palm is going forward/up and not rolling over, this tells me that they are not fully utilizing. This issue can be very persistent and difficult to fix.
If you instruct a 10 year old rec pitcher to have the palm up at 9 o'clock, they will naturally throw with IR. Honestly, people trying to "teach" this natural motion, are likely causing more damage than good... IMHO
 

sluggers

Super Moderator
Staff member
May 26, 2008
6,943
113
Dallas, Texas
Or perhaps "IR" is a natural motion, and doesn't really require "Teaching"?

HE is a finish, and while it is kind of pointless... it doesn't really cause harm either.... I think teaching a palm down finish is equally pointless... Why waste time teaching what your arm should do after releasing the ball?

You don't understand athletic motion or teaching athletic motion.

1) This whole "it is natural" is BS. There is nothing natural about accelerating your hand to 65 MPH and in order to throw a ball at a distance of 40 feet and hit a target that is smaller than a 4 inch square.

2) PCs are teaching the pitching motion to children who are 12YOA to 16YOA. These kids have trouble "naturally" walking across a floor.

3) "Follow through" is important for two reasons. (a) As anyone knows, where you end up is indicative of where you have been. A poor follow through indicates that there were problems in the kinematic chain prior to the follow through. (b) Follow-through is the body slowing down from a point of maximum exertion. The slow down is important for the safety of the athlete. E.g., sprinters don't stop exactly at 100 meters because, if they did, they would hurt themselves.

4) You don't understand IR in pitching IR of the forearm consists of rapidly rotating the palm of the hand from palm up at 9 to palm facing the catcher at release. If the pitcher does not have palm down after release, then either (1) the ball is not up at 9 or (2) the pitcher is slowing down the rotation after release.

The timing of IR in pitching is critical to get maximum benefit.

5. If you have a kid who has never been taught HE, it is really easy to teach IR. If a kid has been taught HE, then there is a real struggle.
 
May 16, 2016
825
63
This whole "it is natural" is BS. There is nothing natural about accelerating your hand to 65 MPH and in order to throw a ball at a distance of 40 feet and hit a target that is smaller than a 4 inch square.
I never said Pitching was natural, but IR is not pitching. I can teach anyone 8YOA and up to IR in 2 minutes.... Palm up at 9 o'clock. If they can even remotely throw it in the intended general direction from that position, they will have IR in the process. Is there more to pitching? Absolutely.

Palm down is a natural deceleration tendency of IR in the pitching motion, it does not have to be taught, and should not be taught IMO. If you tell a young pitcher she needs to finish palm down, you will end up with a finish as artificial, and pointless, as HE. Let them finish naturally. Many will finish palm down, but if they feel more comfortable otherwise, it's ok. Jenny Finch had a very successful career with a HE finish.
 
Jan 22, 2011
1,250
83
I've seen several young pitchers that naturally have IR or something pretty close to it. I've gotten young pitchers to decide "pulling the ball" around the circle feels more natural than "pushing the ball" around the circle by having them try both in a quick 5-to-10-minute talk about pitching.

Still a lot of people who nothing about pitching or were baseball players that try to teach "bowling", not "pitching".

My favorite about 8 years ago was a male coach who when he was younger was a fastpitch pitcher (and could still throw strikes from 2nd base) who thought that beginners should be taught "push the ball around the circle and touch your shoulder" and "pull the ball" was for advanced pitchers demonstrate a pitch. He accidently threw a pitch with I/R when trying to demonstrate HE and went "oops".

Sort of like in the 2000's lots of softball coaches taught "feed the elephant" to get the players to reach an "L" position with the ball facing 2nd base when teaching overhand throwing.
 
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sluggers

Super Moderator
Staff member
May 26, 2008
6,943
113
Dallas, Texas
Jenny Finch had a very successful career with a HE finish.
My friend, I have been down this road before. You are completely wrong

When she pitched in a game, she was classic IR.

finch-follow-through.jpg


I have watched more Jenny Finch videos that you can imagine. When @BoardMember descended from Mount Sinai with the tablets describing IR, I argued exactly what you did about Finch. I had to eat crow.

Her instructional videos teach HE...but she never pitched that way.
 
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May 16, 2016
825
63
My friend, I have been down this road before. You are completely wrong

When she pitched in a game, she was classic IR.

View attachment 26196


I have watched more Jenny Finch videos that you can imagine. When @BoardMember descended from Mount Sinai with the tablets describing IR, I argued exactly what you did about Finch. I had to eat crow.

Her instructional videos teach HE...but she never pitched that way.
I don't think her motion is "finished" in any of your pictures (see below of her in a game). She was taught HE... but she still pitched with IR, because it is a natural motion, and doesn't really need to be taught. As soon as someone taught her to be palm up at 9 o'clock, she had IR. Perhaps if she had been allowed to finish naturally, she would have finished palm down...

The OP is trying to choose between HE and IR, like they are mutually exclusive... But HE is a finish, and IR happens before release.

1660101019183.png
 
May 16, 2016
825
63
Why would you need to teach anyone 8YOA and up to IR if it's natural? Shouldn't they be doing it on their own without any assistance?
I am not really teaching them IR, I am teaching them to be palm up at 9 o'clock. The IR will happen naturally. I suppose I could amend my statement to be, "I can have anyone 8 YOA and up throwing with IR in 2 minutes..."
 
Feb 25, 2020
891
93
I am not really teaching them IR, I am teaching them to be palm up at 9 o'clock. The IR will happen naturally. I suppose I could amend my statement to be, "I can have anyone 8 YOA and up throwing with IR in 2 minutes..."

So you are teaching them IR...
 

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