As an overview, I teach Internal Rotation, and hips at a 45 degree angle (or close to it- this can vary by pitcher). I do not teach Hello Elbow or “slamming the door shut”. There are many pieces and parts to the pitching motion, however it seems that the biggest differences between instructors lie in the mechanics of the hip angle/ drag and the release. In lessons, I will discuss these in depth (especially in the first lesson) and let you and your daughter decide for yourselves if these are the mechanics for you.
What Is “Hello Elbow” ?
Hello Elbow refers to getting behind the ball, pushing it down the backside of the arm circle, and then finishing high with the elbow towards the target. While some college pitchers or experienced pitching coaches may think this is the proper way to release and follow through, when analyzing pitchers in slow motion, very few do what is in the graphic below:
“Hello Elbow” can lead to a slower whip of the arm, and potential arm injuries. After being taught this method, studying high level pitchers (and even teaching it myself in my earlier years), I have found that Internal Rotation is highly superior. While many aspects of the pitching motion are individual to the pitcher, Internal Rotation is a non-negotiable in my opinion.
Internal rotation is the anatomically correct term for the arm rotating on itself towards the center point of the body. This movement is the fastest movement the human body can make. It has applications in pitching, throwing, and hitting. It is also not only the arm that internally rotates in pitching, but the leg as well. However for simplicity sake, I will mainly be referring to the throwing arm when discussing Internal Rotation or I/R. This is also sometimes referred to as “Forearm Fire” which is just a branded term for the anatomically correct term.
Internal rotation (medial rotation or intorsion) is rotation towards the axis of the body. External rotation (lateral rotation or extorsion) is rotation away from the center of the body.
Internal rotation typically results in pitchers finishing towards their target, with fingers down. Is the exact follow through position important? Yes and no. As long as the arm internally rotates, I allow pitchers to finish wherever feels comfortable. However, pulling the elbow up after the pitch is long gone is unnecessary and can sometimes stunt internal rotation.
High Level Pitchers Using I/R
Taryne Mowatt University of Arizona 2007 (WCWS Champion) 70 mph
Kelly Barnhill, Florida, 70 mph
Yukiko Ueno, Team Japan, 75 mph