Baseball Pitchers Essay, Research Paper
Werner, Sherry L. (2001) Relationship between Throwing Mechanics and Shoulder Distraction in Professional Baseball Pitchers. American Journal of Sports Medicine.
It’s fair to say that a good baseball game can lie in the hands of the pitcher. According to this article by the American Journal of Sports Medicine, 50 percent of professional baseball pitchers experience elbow or shoulder pain due to the way they throw the ball. Because not much research has been done on professional baseball athletes, the purpose of this publication was to find at what point in the pitcher’s technique does most of the damage occur. The study began by taking 40 pro-baseball pitchers, all ranging from the age of 23-33 years old with relatively the same height and weight. Also, thirty-two of the 40 selected are right-hand dominant. Then they placed 3 cameras in different parts of the field. These cameras would take still frames of the pitchers and their technique when throwing the ball. They found that at the point where there is maximum rotation (aka the cocking phase) the distraction force was low. Also, it was stated that because of the elbow angle at foot stride and ball release that the shoulder joint was affected more so than at any other time. Finally, in order to understand why the injuries occur we should learn the joint ranges of motion so we can develop better preventive methods for injuries.
I don’t believe that this article is very reliable, because the way the chose their subject wasn’t very scientifical. First, The range of age is too broad, and it doesn’t mention how long the pitcher has been in the sport. For example, the could have chosen a 23 year old with a good arm, but bad technique compared to a 33 year old who has been pitching for years and has loosened the ligaments in his arm. Also, they selected 32 that were right-hand dominant. That became the majority. I believe that the data would be wrong if the numbers of right-handed to left-handed pitchers weren’t equal, because they are the control group in the experiment, which makes the variable the pitchers’ technique. Overall, this experiment shouldn’t be considered a reference for students or others to depend on.
When it comes to the relevancy of this article to the field of athletic training, I believe that it is somewhat helpful. In order to understand and prevent injuries, an athletic trainer must understand why and how the injuries happen. This article gave detailed information of the correct method of pitching. For example, it stated that the average elbow at pitchers’ stance was 96 degrees, but those with more flexed elbows had less shoulder distraction. So an athletic trainer can figure out if their athletes’ stance is off or help them loosen up the athletes’ shoulder so the can reach back farther. Also, the athletic trainer can help the athletic with their technique, such as their stride, or follow through based on the information attained from the experiment.
I chose this article because I’m a huge Cubs fan, and 2 years ago Keri Wood was having trouble with his shoulder and elbow, so I decided that maybe I can find out the history behind his problem. Well, honestly I didn’t. I found out ways that he could have prevented those problems, and how he can find whatever caused them. In my opinion this wasn’t a very good article when it comes to the way these people carried out the experiment, and at least I now know what to look for.