If You Or Your Child Look Like This…Stop Listening To Who You Are Listening To : Greg Wickham

There has been this long standing myth in baseball by coaches Pitcher-EDH-1to teach players to get their throwing elbow above the shoulder so they can "get on top of the ball" to throw it on a downward plane.

The problem with teaching this to a player is it destabilises the shoulder and puts a tonne of stress in the area which leads to players having serious shoulder pain.


We call this disconnection "Elevated Distal Humerus".


Rotator-Cuff-MusclesYour Rotator Cuff, which stabilises your shoulder is made up of 4 muscles -

  • Supraspinatus
  • Infraspinatus
  • Teres Minor
  • Subscapularis

and it's job is to suck the head of the humerus into the socket so that the other muscles can move, so once we begin to throw it remains stable and doesn't approach the Labrum.

Pitcher-EDH-2When you raise your elbow above your shoulder you shorten the Rotator Cuff muscle making it too short to be efficient which therefore can't stabilise the shoulder.

¹The Rotator Cuff muscles are each used in a variety of upper extremity movements including flexion, abduction, internal rotation and external rotation. They are essential players in almost every type of shoulder movement.



Take a look at 4 different Hall of Fame pitchers -

Greg Maddux, Nolan Ryan, Randy Johnson & Tom Seaver


Not one of them have their elbow above the shoulder.

Now look at four top Major League pitchers of today -

Aroldis Chapman, Justin Verlander, Max Scherzer & Clayton Kershaw


See the similarities?

Not one of them have their elbow above the shoulder.

So why are coaches teaching players to get their elbow above their shoulder?

Simple. That's what they were taught when they were young and they are either too ignorant, too ashamed, too set in their ways or too embarrassed to tell people they were wrong. Back in the 80's and 90's every coach on the block was teaching elbow above the shoulder. This is when the One-Size-Fits-All training started to take shape. "Every pitcher needs to pitch one way", they said. Unfortunately, still to this day we see and hear coaches telling their players to do this.


Maybe they see this and see the elbow above the shoulder -

Sandy KoufaxKershaw-Release

Maddux-Late Launch

But is it????

Don't get fooled!

Take a closer look and you will see that the elbow IS NOT above the shoulder but 90° aligned to the shoulder. It is the posture tilt that disguises the elbow being above the shoulder. This is where our eyes lie to us. They have been lying to us for years.


The elbow never gets above the shoulder...period!

You can walk around every ball park on a Friday night or a Saturday morning and you will see and hear players telling their parents and coaches "MY ARM IS SORE". On the contrary to many coaches out there - PAIN IS NOT PART OF BASEBALL. If your coach tells you pain is a part of baseball, don't walk away...RUN. They haven't a clue about how to eliminate that pain so they tell you it's part of the game. These are the coaches you should be very wary of.

To place your throwing arm in a stable position the elbow must be 70°-90° out from the shoulder and this is the position at which co-contraction around the shoulder automatically occurs. We call this position a "Packed Humerus".


So parents and players, STOP listening to your coach when they say "Get your elbow above your shoulder".

It's not how high calibre athletes throw.


Keep getting after it!

Greg Wickham
Founder / Owner
DPA Baseball
Junior Baseball Coaching

If you have "Elevated Distal Humerus" or are in pain email or call us to book in a Video Analysis Assessment and we will diagnose your throwing patterns and advise you on a Personalised Program to eliminate the disconnection and pain.
info@dpabaseball.com         Video Analysis Assessment       Connecting Your Disconnection

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