The very first thing I want to say before we get into the article, is throw out anything you currently know about throwing the baseball. The only true way to learn the Core Savvy mechanics is to have an open mind. Players who do not buy in and take these mechanics to heart will not see results. I want to give our readers a little intro as to what the Core Savvy Principles of Pitching and Throwing really consist of. These mechanics have been developed by the Core Savvy team over the course of a decade.
The Core Savvy pitching philosophy revolves around being in rhythm. Rhythm is the key to creating a repeatable delivery no matter what the pitcher's mechanics may look like. Yes, the mechanics are what create an efficient and powerful delivery, but above all a pitcher must be able to repeat his delivery over and over again. Once this is accomplished we can then look at each part of the delivery and how each step flows into the next. At Core Savvy, a repeatable delivery is step one.
There are four absolutes in a delivery that I consider pitching imperatives. These four steps occur in every successful pitcher's delivery.
These Core Savvy Pitching absolutes will be throughly examined in later posts due to their complex meanings, but are important to be aware of for now. In our later articles we will break each of the four down to a science. I wanted to introduce the terms to you now, so you can begin to put them in your memory bank.
Before we get to these steps I'd first like to talk about the act of throwing as a whole. There are a few key concepts that any pitcher or position player can use when throwing.
The first key concept we teach at Core Savvy is knowing the difference between when the arm is light and when it is heavy. The technical terms for light and heavy are arm speed and arm strength.
A good comparison of this process is comparing the arm to a whip. When a whip is initiated the flow of energy starts in the handle and flows through the entire whip (arm speed) and then snaps with great force (arm strength). When throwing a baseball, one's core is the metaphorical handle of the whip, while the arm is the whip itself.
The most important thing to keep in mind is that during arm speed, the arm remains light. This means that there is no force or strain being put on the arm to generate power. All the power is being kinetically transferred as soon as the front foot lands on the ground. A list of movements is then followed by this, but what is important for you to understand now is to let your arm circle occur with no stress. Arm speed will end as soon as the wrist is naturally snapped and the ball is released. Up until this point the wrist should be relaxed and cocked back to create the whip like action. In this photo you see Nolan Ryan keeping his wrist loose while about to begin arm speed.
Arm strength occurs during the very last moments before a pitcher releases the ball. It is the last bit of force that will be applied to the ball before it leaves the hand. Since the wrist and fingers will be the last kinetic link, the wrist should be laid back and ready to lock up on the glove. This is what creates the whip like action, which puts great force on the ball that most hitters call "jump". No matter how hard you throw, this way of throwing creates great carry for those in the outfield and good jump for pitchers. You see in the picture above how Ryan's arm strength is occurring in the last moments of releasing the ball. This is when the arm feels the most strain or heaviness during the motion.
It is very important to learn the Core Savvy Baseball throwing process at a young age to allow a healthy career to unfold. Many of the things that prevent a healthy career come from uneducated coaches and parents. Many think that the velocity of a pitcher comes form the elbow alone, because they see the whip like action it creates. How many times have your heard "velocity just comes from genetics"? Also, how many times have you heard from coaches that all the power comes from the legs? It doesn't. At Core Savvy we will unlock your bodies most powerful asset, the core. The core is where the most energy is created.
I have found that the quickest way to end a young player's career is injuries to the elbow. When I (Julian Merryweather),was younger, I believed that my elbow to created all my velocity like most kids. For the short term it seemed to work. Yet, after every bullpen or game, I would have to ice my arm and take anti-inflamatories.
As I got stronger and began to naturally throw harder, this just amplified the stress on the elbow. I would estimate I was about a few months away from needing Tommy John surgery, until I changed my delivery and thoughts about throwing. I found that using the core and shoulder were much more durable muscle groups that could produce even more power. Currently, I can throw 150+ pitches with no need for ice or anti-inflamatories after a game. Using the Core Savvy techniques literally saved my career.
My goal through the Core Savvy Baseball Pitching Philosophy is to reach the younger generations who will most likely fall prey to poor coaching. These mechanics that we will continue to break down in future Core Savvy posts are guaranteed to save your career.
Keep up with our blog to get the latest Core Savvy Pitching articles. We will break down every step of the delivery and clear up any myths in the next article, "The Core Savvy Absolutes of a Pitching Delivery™".