Signed my son up last month as an Insider but have been following this site for years and purchased videos to support my son. But this is our first post and I’m hoping someone can offer an idea we have not tried.
My son is 16 and struggling to break out of 84-85 into 87-88. I’ve been trying to help him work on a flaw that he sees and agrees needs to be corrected, but he’s struggling to make the correction. Unlike past corrections, this one seems to be a mental block so we’re looking for suggestions that might help him think about the issue differently.
The main issue is that his front foot is not stable after landing. Though it was much worse 6 months ago, he still has some movement left that prevents him from having solid bracing after landing. Sometimes his front heel will raise slightly as he follows through while other times there is a slight lateral rocking of the front foot when his knee is not directly over his ankle.
After looking at videos of his bullpens, we think he either stops pushing too early so he lands on his heel which then leads him to rock forward through the throw while other times his front foot opens across his line so his front side (and leg) is too open causing the foot to wobble laterally as the knee tries to balance the load. Assuming we are diagnosing the issue correctly, any suggestions or tips on how to help him think about and practice (1) pushing longer and (2) not over rotating his front foot/leg?
I would suggest you post a video to verify what is causing the problem.????
Think we just found the problem, but it was on an x-ray instead of a video.?? Anyone have any experience dealing with a Pars Fracture in the lower back (L4 or L5)?
I would want to see how he finishes and whether he is letting his head go below his hips once trunk flexion is completed.?? That is stressful to the low back.
Again, post some video to reduce the chances of this happening again.??
Or was it from some conditioning exercises?
Make sure you find a very good sports medicine PT to treat him.
It should begin with a strength and flexibility assessment.?? More than likely your son has weaknesses and tightness areas that are preventing him from creating power, stabilizing and transferring power efficiently.
This could also show up just as easily as an elbow and shoulder problem.
Find a good guy fast and not just a chiropractor.?? He needs proper training and conditioning.
Several of my son’s friends have had a Pars fracture in the L4-L5 region of the back. It’s classified as an “overuse injury”. Dick’s right that he probably has flexibility (hamstring), strength and core problems that contribute to the problem, but if you go to a Dr. they will tell him to stop everything for 8-12 weeks while it heals and it heals slow. Otherwise, he risks repeated injury and it will never heal.
Thanks for the inputs so far. Unfortunately, I don’t have an account set up to post video (I’ll work on that later), but here is a link to the site where his summer team has videos posted. Not the best rear angle, but it does show how he was pitching a couple of months ago.
We’re definitely pursuing the best medical advice we can find. Two appointments tomorrow; one with the spine specialist at the diagnosing orthopedic practice (already met with sports specialist) and one with the acknowledged “top” ortho doctor in town for a 2nd opinion to confirm. The focus now is the best treatement approach.
Again, thanks for taking the time to offer advice and suggestions. If the video offers any insight or if anyone has suggestions, please feel free to let us know.
Something else for everyone to consider. Over-rotation of the hips and/or trunk initially prior to weight shift where the pitcher shows his uniform number or back pocket, which is taught by many instructors, can cause these types of injuries since the body was not designed to rotate over the back leg. Thus why we emphasize getting the front shoulder directed toward the target as soon as possible with no rotation or turning until landing.
Also, let me emphasize that y0u not miss getting a strength and flexibility assessment by a top sports medicine PT which neither doctor will do…and which may be the actual cause of his injury.
It’s just like with poor mechanics causing arm injuries. You can rest and rehab the pitcher for whatever time is necessary but the cause of the injury is still there waiting to raise its ugly head once the pitcher starts pitching again.
And do not be afraid to get a third opinion too.
Thanks Coach Mills.
We met with the doctors today. Though both were optimistic about a full recovery, the process will definitely be slow (just like Randy said). The “better” doc also recommended a PT evaluation and program (once healing is demonstrated) that focuses on improving core strength and flexibility. It was if he had read your previous post. Probably didn..t hurt our case that doc..s own son had this same injury when he was in HS (wrestler).
Did you (or anyone) notice any glaring mechanical issues from the link above that might be creating the stress on his lower back? Though that video is from back in early March, it is similar to where he was a week ago. The main difference is that he had reduced the back leg collapse and his arm swing is directed at 2nd base now instead of to the 2nd baseman. Anything you or others might see would be appreciated. Though throwing a baseball is at least 3 months away, it makes sense to ensure he doesn..t start off repeating a problem that lead to the current situation.
Thanks to all for the support and advice.
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