The ROPE Trainer™ reinforces the pitcher’s proper pitching techniques at any stage in their development. Proper throwing mechanics are critical to improving performance and reducing the risk of injury. Many experts will agree that using proper pitching technique does affect “joint loading”. Overloading the joints involved in the various parts of the throwing motion has been associated with throwing-related injuries in the arm, elbows, and shoulders. The ROPE Trainer™ teaches players how to pull their body all the way through the throwing motion.
Any baseball fan can see the rate of injuries to pitchers, either on their favorite home teams or across the league. College, High School, Travel Ball, and Youth League coaches can also see the increasing number of pitchers suffering from arm injuries. A 2013 study for Bleacher Report by Will Carroll, a sportswriter who specializes in medical issues, found that one-third of pitchers on Major League rosters for the 2013 Season Opening Day had Tommy John surgery sometime during their career. Carroll estimated that between 2002-2012, Major League teams spent just under $2 billion on pitchers on the disabled list.
Arm injuries for baseball players can occur more often during the pre-season. In many cases, players have not consistently prepared for the season. It is not uncommon for pitchers to throw too many repetitions, throw too hard, too early in the season. After an off-season of rest and minimal throwing activities, pitchers are typically not in their normal rhythm. In addition, many pitchers are trying out new pitches or new techniques from coaches.
For most players, including youth, high school and college players, as well as professional players, the most common causes of pitching injuries are:
- Throwing too many pitches- Coaches, players, and parents should be aware of recommended pitch counts and each player’s ability and endurance.
- Pitching too often, without the proper rest in between pitching appearances- Coaches, players, and parents should work together to develop and implement a quality arm maintenance program, which may consist of cardiovascular conditioning, strength training, stretching programs, and specific throwing activities.
- Incorrect throwing mechanics- Coaches, players, and parents should ensure a knowledge of and use of sound mechanics throughout the entire delivery sequence (including the legs, body, and arm). The ROPE Trainer ™ allows players to complete many repetitions to develop and reinforce proper throwing mechanics.