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About Kyle Boddy

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So far Kyle Boddy has created 304 blog entries.

Is Forearm Pronation the Key to Avoiding Tommy John Surgery?

If you spend enough time in the world of baseball pitching, you will probably hear from someone that actively pronating the forearm is imperative to protecting the pitching elbow. A reason often given is that pronating the forearm engages the pronator teres muscle.

The powerful pronator teres is a forearm muscle that attaches on the inside of the elbow (the medial side) near the ulnar collateral ligament (UCL). Its primary job is to pronate the forearm. When it is active, it generates a force that likely protects the UCL and therefore likely reduces the risk of Tommy John surgery.

Thus, some believe that if a pitcher actively pronates the forearm at just the right time, he or she will optimally engage pronator teres to protect the UCL. This is misleading.

The idea that one must pronate the forearm to utilize pronator teres is not actually true.

Yes, in general, it is true that one […]

By |June 18th, 2015|Injuries, Research|1 Comment

Why You Weren’t Drafted or Recruited

On Twitter yesterday, I said:

With the 2015 MLB Rule 4 draft over and in the books, I’ve heard from a variety of people saying they are better than people that were drafted and how it’s not fair, how hard it is to get quality exposure, etc. First of all, I’d like to dispel the last one really quickly – and there’s a feature article coming eventually, but not now – an athlete at our facility named Christian Meister was drafted in the 29th round by the Cleveland Indians and was offered a contract + bonus. MLB.com reporter August Fagerstrom wrote about it if you are so inclined to check it out, but like I said, the full story will be coming down the pipe eventually.

The takeaway from Christian’s story is that he didn’t even play baseball in 2015. That’s right, he just trained at Driveline Baseball, and when he was hitting 92-95 off an indoor […]

By |June 12th, 2015|Notes|0 Comments

Can Imaginary Exercise Make a Pitcher Better?

I won’t bury the lead. The answer is yes, it is highly likely that imaginary exercise can make a pitcher better.

In the early 90s, several researchers set out to test the efficacy of pure imaginary exercise on the strength of a finger . (The finger was chosen because it has small muscles that are easy to test and isolate.)  The researchers had three groups of subjects: group 1 performed actual finger exercises, group 2 performed no finger exercises, and group 3 simply imagined the finger exercises performed by group 1.

After 4 weeks, the results were pretty incredible.

As expected, the subjects in the first group (the subjects that completed the actual exercises) increased the strength of the exercised finger by 30% on average. Also as expected, the subjects in the second group did not substantially increase the strength of the finger.

Now here’s the incredible part… the subjects in the third group, […]

By |June 4th, 2015|Research, Training|0 Comments

Explaining the Elbow Spiral in the Pitching Delivery

Hayden Grove conducted a great interview with Trevor Bauer of the Cleveland Indians discussing pitching mechanics at a very in-depth level. I have to give Hayden some props; most beat writers wouldn’t dare to try to get into this kind of depth with a pitcher, and indeed most just shrug Trevor off. Hayden followed up the next day and tried to get into deeper detail, and as a result, ended up with a great interview that, while he may not fully understand, was definitely a net benefit for pitchers everywhere.

Trevor and I started working together in 2013 after his not-so-great year in AAA for Columbus, and that’s when we primarily discussed the concepts of Linear Distraction and Torso Stacking, the latter of which is also a Texas Baseball Ranch cue. Linear Distraction is simply a better and more complete understanding of how the torso stacks behind the midline at stride foot contact; by throwing the hips […]

By |May 27th, 2015|Mechanics, Training, Uncategorized|2 Comments

Why Sir Isaac Newton is Still the Foremost Expert in Pitching Biomechanics

This post was written by Dr. James Buffi.

Most people have heard of Sir Isaac Newton and his famous laws of motion. Most have not heard that he was an expert in modern pitching biomechanics.

So let’s talk about how Newton’s most famous law relates to pitching.

Newton’s most famous law of motion is probably F = ma. Force equals mass times acceleration.

This law dictates that the acceleration of an object, like a baseball, is dependent on both its mass and the outside forces acting on it. F = ma is the foundation of all mechanical analyses and therefore it’s important for pitchers (and really all athletes) to understand what it means.

In F = ma, the “m” stands for mass. Mass is a measure of how much matter, or “stuff,” an object contains. An object can be really large in volume but have very little mass, and vice versa.

A blimp is huge, but […]

By |April 29th, 2015|Injuries, Mechanics|2 Comments

Why Overuse May Not Be Baseball’s Problem

This post was written by Dr. James Buffi.

‘Overuse’ is being blamed for the eruption of Tommy John surgeries among baseball pitchers. Consequently, people in baseball have become hyper-focused on preventing overuse of the pitching arm. This has led to pitch counts, inning limits, and training guidelines that are more restrictive than ever before.

And yet ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) injuries continue to mount.

Usage restrictions are not helping because no one really knows where the line is between ‘acceptable use’ and ‘overuse.’ And the line will be very different for every pitcher. It will depend on many physiological factors, including physical fitness, that are constantly adapting and unique to each individual. A recent study attempted to find a general relationship between previous innings pitched and future injury in professional pitchers , but no significant correlations were found. Despite the lack of justification, organizations continue to excessively restrict throwing because they don’t know […]

By |April 20th, 2015|Injuries, Training|0 Comments

Rehabilitating Tommy John Surgeries – Non-Standard Cases

Most cases of ulnar collateral ligament replacement (UCLr, or “Tommy John” surgery) follow a fairly standard throwing program and rehabilitation program. A sample throwing program once cleared to throw looks something like this:

However, not all athletes respond to such a conservative program. It is also our opinion that touching a baseball should show up significantly later in the “throwing program” than what most PT and MDs recommend. For example, in weeks 1-3, many of our athletes will never touch a baseball and instead will do primarily negative/reverse throwing with Driveline PlyoCare Balls. Furthermore, they will generally NOT throw balls at the regulation weight – 5 oz. Their first throws will often be with an overload ball (8 oz) at very low intensities to “feel” the motor patterns they should be building. Touching a baseball and throwing it brings back hundreds of thousands of reps and feelings from throwing a baseball, which is hard to […]

By |March 31st, 2015|Injuries, Research, Training|0 Comments

How Muscles Work and Protect a Pitcher’s Elbow

Let’s talk about muscles. Muscles are the motors of the body. They are the components that generate movement. They can also absorb dangerous forces to protect more vulnerable tissues, like ligaments, and this is especially important for baseball pitchers.

Before I dive in, if you missed part one or two of the three part introduction to my views on the biomechanics of pitching, here’s a short summary.

I disagree with using the total elbow load as an approximation of the load on the ulnar collateral ligament (UCL). Therefore, I believe using the total load as an indicator of elbow injury risk is flawed.

One of the biggest drawbacks to using the total joint load is that it provides no information about the underlying muscles. This is why I account for the muscles, in addition to the ligaments and bones, when I analyze the biomechanics of a pitching motion using computational modeling techniques.

Now that […]

By |March 9th, 2015|Injuries, Mechanics, Motion Analysis|4 Comments

Driveline Seminar List for Early 2015

After the release of Hacking The Kinetic Chain and an awesome time at ABCA, Driveline Baseball is hitting the road in 2015. Kyle will be giving talks about what works and what doesn’t when it comes to pitching mechanics and pitching training and lots of hands-on training with high doses of highly effective drills.

If you are on the mailing list, you saw that we kicked off the North American tour in Apex, NC at The K-Zone on February 8th with a one-day seminar and training session, and it was a blast.

If you run a facility or select teams, want to implement the Driveline system and have not yet reached out, email Mike to get more information and schedule an event.
March 7th – Abbotsford Cardinals – Abbotsford, BC
We are going to be in BC on March 7th, hosted by the Abbotsford Cardinals. This is going to be a one-day event with two separate training sessions, two research presentations plus a coaches-only Q&A. […]

By |February 24th, 2015|Training|0 Comments

A More Forward Approach to Understanding Pitching Biomechanics

This is part two of three of the initial guest posts by Dr. James Buffi. Part one was titled Challenges with Typical Biomechanical Analyses of Pitching.

It is impossible to figure out if a specific player scored a run in a baseball game just by looking at the final box score. This is essentially what typical biomechanical analyses of pitching try to do. They attempt to infer the underlying outcome for the UCL from macroscopic surface-level observations of net elbow loading.

As stated in my previous post, the total elbow load is not nearly enough information to determine the underlying ligament load.

Most of these typical biomechanical analyses can be classified as inverse dynamic analyses. The word “inverse” refers to the order in which calculations are performed relative to the way the body actually creates motion. In an inverse dynamic analysis, the total joint loads are recorded and calculated first. The loads on individual […]

By |February 23rd, 2015|Mechanics, Motion Analysis, Research|2 Comments