COMING DOWN: THROWING MECHANICS OF BASEBALL CATCHERS

  • D. Fortenbaugh
  • G. Fleisig
  • B. Bolt
Keywords: compensation, efficiency, footwork

Abstract

Catchers are asked to make quick, highly accurate throws from a deep squat starting position. The purpose of this study was to define the throwing mechanics of catchers. Comparisons of their throwing biomechanics were made with pitching and long toss. Motion data were collected on collegiate catchers (n=8) and pitchers (n=22) making such throws in game-like situations. Catchers exhibited a significantly different stride pattern, greater elbow flexion through arm cocking, and less forward trunk tilt at ball release. The stresses on the shoulder and elbow during catchers’ throws were similar to pitching and long toss, but produced significantly less ball velocity, suggesting a less efficient motion. This inefficiency is most likely compensation in order to complete the throw in less time. Coaches should be aware of this tendency when teaching catchers throwing mechanics.
Section
Coaching and Sports Activities