WassermanStrength.com NO Wrist Flick ebook. Why Your Softball Players Have Elbow Pain Wrist Flick Edition

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1 Why Your Softball Players Have Elbow Pain Wrist Flick Edition 1

2 Why Perform Wrist Flicks? The theory behind the Wrist Flick drill is that it will a) strengthen the wrist and b) create proper Backspin on the ball. Is this correct? Let s dig deeper... Strengthening the wrist will come from exercises in the weight room OR from other specific modalities. This ridiculous drill does not strengthen the wrist. The word Backspin should not be associated with Wrist Flicks because it forces athletes into a pure wrist flexion AND elbow extension movement. Backspin can be created by pronating your forearm through ball release. This is what protects your elbow joint after ball release. Pure wrist flexion DOES NOT even occur in a throw! This drill also does not help athletes achieve external rotation! Softball players need to achieve external rotation in order for bony adaptations of the upper arm (humerus) to occur. Athlete s with minimal external rotation lack velocity and end up pushing the ball. Think About That... 2

3 So What s The Point? The point is that proper throwing patterns need to be established early AND implemented to young softball players in order to maximize their throwing potential and minimize the risk of injury! There needs to be a focus on the following: 1. Movements Through Positions 2. Specific Throwing Drills Enhancing External Rotation 3. Pronation Through Ball Release Focus Since youth softball players are given drills that DO NOT create the above elements, it becomes difficult for them to progress in any throwing program as they grow and mature as athletes! This is because There s no focus on proper arm patterns (not allowing for external rotation to occur)! 2. There s no focus on pronation through ball release (use of wrist flicks instead)! 3. There s no focus on sequencing drills (limiting an athlete s overall throwing potential)! 3

4 The Wrist Flick The Wrist Flick drill will cause the athlete to push the ball, resulting in minimal velocity and an increased chance of elbow pain/discomfort. You will see this and it will look like they re throwing a dart. The Pushing Motion The pushing motion will cause the elbow to drift forward, in front of the body, placing more stress on the elbow joint. This throwing motion will have negative effects on velocity and cause direct irritation to the elbow because the arm is supplying the force of the throw and not the legs, hips or trunk. There is no separation or resistance created within the body! Drills That Reinforce High Level Throwing Patterns These drills are great for reinforcing proper shoulder external rotation, pronation & sequencing! The elevated arm position in these drills help athletes achieve external rotation before moving forward to ball 4

5 release AND teaches proper pronation of the forearm to protect the elbow joint! The staggered stance drill will help athletes feel separation and resistance between the hips and trunk (torso). This is a great sequence drill! Seated Arm Behind - Pronation & External Rotation 1. Sit down on a Bucket or Stability Ball. 2. Arm Elevated w/ Elbow Above Shoulder (variations will occur) 3. Starting Elbow Angle (angle between humerus and forearm) between 45-70º 4. Rotate to the throwing side, while keeping the hips forward. Then throw! 5

6 WassermanStrength.com NO Wrist Flick ebook Standing Arm Behind - Pronation & External Rotation 1. Feet Even & Hip Width Apart 2. Arm Elevated w/ Elbow Above Shoulder (variations will occur) 3. Starting Elbow Angle (angle between humerus and forearm) between 45-70º 4. Rotate to the throwing side, while keeping the hips forward. Then throw! No Stride! 6

7 WassermanStrength.com NO Wrist Flick ebook Staggered Stance Arm Behind - Pronation, External Rotation & Separation Focus 1. Throwing Side Foot Forward 2. Arm Elevated w/ Elbow Above Shoulder (variations will occur) 3. Starting Elbow Angle (angle between humerus and forearm) between 45-70º 4. Rotate to the throwing side, while keeping the hips forward. Then throw! No Stride! 7

8 Final Thoughts There are much better ways to train throwing mechanics and help prevent injuries to the very vulnerable elbow joint than using the Wrist Flick Drill. The ability for athletes to increase External Rotation, Pronation & Sequencing through efficient throwing drills, will allow an athlete to maximize their throwing potential while minimizing the risk of injury! Remember, throwing is a movement pattern, a series of movements throughout an entire movement sequence! Need more? Check out my ebook on High Level Throwing Patterns! 8

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