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Researchers learn more about pitching by studying the total-body movements of pitchers. The conclusion? Strengthening the lower extremities may enhance power and avoid injury.
Baseball fans have long noticed that strong pitchers appear to rely as much on leg power as they do on arm power to create the velocity they use to throw a baseball. To test the validity of this observation -- and to learn more about human movement -- a research team from Johns Hopkins created an artificial pitching mound that recorded the forces exerted throughout a pitch. One plate under the pitching rubber recorded push-off forces, and another plate under the spot where the forward foot lands recorded landing forces.
"We also studied the motions of pitchers by putting markers on their bodies," says Edmund Y.S. Chao, Ph.D., one of the study's authors. Sensors were placed on the pitchers' major body joints. Special video cameras captured the motion. The markers were used to quantify the motion.
"We can see the transfer of momentum from the standing foot to the landing foot to the upper trunk and eventually to the pitching arm," Dr. Chao says. This transfer of energy is called the "kinetic chain." A smooth transfer of energy through the chain results in a pitch that is both powerful and safe for the pitcher.
"Transferring energy through the body seems to minimize the degree of force on any single area," Dr. Chao says. When no individual link in the kinetic chain is overtaxed, all the links remain strong. Another benefit of this process may be that it spreads energy needs out over a greater area of the body. That means greater endurance for pitchers.
Ed McFarland, M.D., another of the study's authors, says this research confirms that leg drive plays an important role in pitching. "In practical terms, it means that exercising the lower extremity is just about as important as working the upper body when it comes to pitching," he says. "Increasing arm strength is obviously important, but not to the exclusion of working the rest of the body."

   Keeping Little League Pitchers In The Game
   Mechanics of Pitching
   Sports Medicine Zone
   Mallet Finger (Baseball Finger)
   Arm Injuries
   Herniated Disk
   Leg Injuries
   Shoulder Injuries
   Wrist & Hand Injuries
   Common Treatments for Sports Injuries
   Fitness Quiz

If you do not have QuickTime installed, view the animated GIF versions of the videos which work with all browsers!

  The trailing leg (the one that pushes off the pitching rubber) starts the ball rolling, so to speak. The arrow that shoots up from below shows the movement of the leg force as it first rises with the trailing leg, then moves forward as the body changes position.

   This forward motion continues until the landing leg (the one that lurches out in front of the body during the pitch and pulls the body forward with it) acts as a brake. Suddenly, the momentum of the forward motion shoots up toward the pelvis.

   This upward-moving force from the lower extremities joins other forces created by the pitcher's body as it twists from a sideways position to a frontal one. The momentum for the pitch continues to build.

   In the final step, the combined force from the lower extremities and the twisting of the pitcher's body meets up with the momentum of the pitcher's arm as it whips from behind the body to its final position extended fully in front. Some baseball theorists have dubbed this energy-creating phenomenon a controlled fall.

   To get an idea of how much power and energy this complex pitching move creates, imagine that the pitcher had to throw using only his arm--that his feet, hips and upper body remained stiff. The resulting pitch would be feeble by any standard.
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There are so many ways to bring genuine excitement and enthusiasm to our health and physical education programs . The most effective ways are to search for those answers and have a thirst for knowledge . The Internet is a vast highway but the roads traveled have a multitude of pathways . Each starting point leads to different final destinations and one of those ways is technology . After becoming familiar with search engines , listservs , discussion/chat groups , resources and homepages , we can grasp this information and make it readily available to colleagues , students and parents. By sharing new ideas and trends makes it a decisive way to use public relations to enhance our importance as another part of educating the whole child. Here are some ways to expand our horizons and entice other teachers , students and parents in closing the communication dilemma :
Instant messaging : download programs such as ICQ( and aol messenger for chat, shared files and sending URL links .
Voice contact : programs such as Netmeeting( amd Voxware( to establish actual audio messages. Other programs are Hear Me( and Messenger 3.0( will allow free phone calls in the U.S. A new site is that will allow free calls around the world. At , it can be used with voice messages and Netmeeting to communicate. For those with video cams , a site at will allow actual video contact. All of the above sites are ways to communicate on a more personal basis in lieu of parent conferences for families who are unable to attend due to work responsibilities. It must be noted , other than Voxware , all programs are FREE .
SEARCH ENGINES - over and above the usual engines such as Yahoo and Hotbot , etc. there are other faster and easier ways to accrue information:
At Copernic( , all search engines are utilized after typing in the word/phrase and then it is stored in the favorite menu for future use. Other devices are that can find info in milliseconds and are other choices.
HOMEPAGES:by surfing to individual and school websites at and will enrich our resources . Other entries are found at where favorite sites are placed into libraries and updated by e-mail each week. The personal homepages are usually highlighted in the available listservs at Naspe-L and Pe-Digest.
RESOURCES: These are stites that can be accessed through core subject areas at , a listserv for classroom teachers. This valuable entry has URL'S from the listserv to sites in the following examples: in which teachers may develop lesson plans and webquests. At is a links to learn project that includes FILAMENTALITY , which uses testing(multiple choice , essential questions , etc.) for ways to let the parents know what we teach. Another url that is a vast plethora of templates for certificates , rubrics generators, veenn diagrams , lesson plans , student contracts , concept webs , and worksheet generators can be found at .At ,teachers may download a short program to place favorite links into specified folders. It can accessed from any computer with a name and password.
SCHOOL PAGES /RESOURCES: these are examples of ways to distribute homework , lessons , calendars and school information to pump up our P.R. tools. These are some of the ways I have tried to develop a working and understanding device for my school:
SLIDE SHOWS - by downloading from , a slide show can be developed with text , scans , digital cameras/web cams with background music or voice(microphone.) Another site is that can be used with both a slide show or screensaver program. An example would be to take digital pictures of the students in action in loop sequence for parent teacher conferences or family nights.
We should not sell ourselves short as we can most definitely keep abreast of new trends in education . It takes patience , time and perseverance but this hard work will pay dividends in the long run . We will be viewed in a different aura - as a viable ingredient in the total education , not only in a lifetime of fitness but in a "SOUND MIND and BODY".
   To promote qualities of good sportsmanship
   To create a personal sportmanship award
   Buthcher paper and markers: appropriate certificate; adhesive dots or squares;4x6 index cards ; calendar of athletic events for current season.
Time required:
   one class period ; attendance at a school sponsored sporting event
1. Divide the class into groups of four students. Ask them to imagine they are walking into the gym of a school that has excellent sportsmanship. Have them list on the buthcher paper the positive characteristics they would observe. A straegy to ensure that each student participates is to give each student in the group a different colored marker and monitor that all students contribute. Allow 10 minutes.
2. Randomly select a marker color and assign holder to be the speaker. Have each group present to the class. Try value voting. Each student receives 3-5 stickers and may vote for their favorite poster. Survey the results and discuss the general opinions.
3. Reassemble in small gruoups. Each get an index card. Design a rating format that will be used to determine a "most valuable fan" at a school sporting event.Allow 10 minutes. Chose the best rating card.
4. Groups sign up to attend an event to observe the crowd to select a most valuable fan. The winner may be a student or adult from either the home or visiting team. The group presents the individual with the certificate. The groups will then report their experience with the class.
Host a discussion around the statement" Winning is for a day. Sportsmanship is for a lifetime."
Follow up activities:                                                          
   Create positive sportsmanship posters in appropraite locations
   Develop positive sportsmanship slogans and messages for p.a. announcements and the written bulletin.
Get connected - Create an atmosphere in school where each person feels he/she has something to contribute and is part of the community
Starter idea - Cut out large puzzle pieces for each person in the school . Write each name on one and put on walls in school. Promote the idea from the first day that everyone is an important piece of the puzzle at your school.
Make your mark- Promote the idea that each student is responsible for waht he /she does that can leave a legacy at the school.
Homecoming/Parent visitation week- teach goal setting over the p.a. announcements., then ask each student to write one goal on a cut out flying object(project soar). Display goals on the walls or hang from ceiling.
Create a wall to dsplay the successes of past students.


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