Pitching Mechanics

  • Rod Cross


Pitching mechanics can mean different things to different people. To coaches and players, pitching mechanics refers to biomechanics, to the actions of all the different body segments involved, the correct sequence of those actions, the alignment of the fingers along the ball, injury prevention, and so on. In this chapter, we examine the mechanics of pitching from a physics point of view. That is, we treat pitching as a mechanics problem. There are three main questions that we ask. The first question is: how does a pitchermanage to release the ball at just the right moment to project it at the angle he or she wants to pitch it? The second question is: why can a baseball be thrown faster than a brick? And the third question is: How can a pitcher transfer as much energy as possible from his or her arm to the ball? The second question might seem a little strange at first sight, but the answer is not as simple as youmight expect


Tennis Ball Double Pendulum Ball Speed Golf Club Pendulum Model 
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  1. 1.
    N. Zheng, G.S. Fleisig, S. Barrentine, J.R. Andrews, in Biomechanics of Pitching, ed. by G. Hung, J. Pallis. Biomedical Engineering Principles in Sports (Kluwer, Dordrecht, 2004), pp.209–256Google Scholar
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    G.S. Fleisig, R. Phillips, A. Shatley, J. Loftice, S. Dun, S. Drake, J.W. Farris, J.R. Andrews, Sports Eng. 9, 155–163 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    R. Cross, Am J. Phys. 72, 305–312 (2004)CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar

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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of PhysicsUniversity of SydneySydneyAustralia

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