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Dr. Mike Marshall:
What He Got Right


One frustrating thing about developing an insight or a full analytical framework is seeing people using it without attributing where they got it from. On multiple occasions I have had people use my analytical framework, and in some cases even my words, without attribution or even a hat tip...

When you use someone's framework to do an analysis and make a prediction, the right thing to do is to let people know the source of that framework.

It would be hypocritical in the extreme for me complain about people using my analytical framework without attribution and then not tell who my influences were, so let me take a moment to discuss the influence that the work of Dr. Mike Marshall has had on my work.

First, I no longer closely follow the work of Dr. Marshall. As I explain in my piece Dr. Mike Marshall: My Current View, I believe that, at a minimum, many of his claims don't hold up to close scrutiny.1 What's more, many of his solutions don't actually work and a number of his ideas are simply indefensible.

They may also actually increase the risk of injury.

Having said that, there are a number of things that Dr. Marshall was the first person to talk widely about and that he got right, well before anybody else.

Late Pitching Forearm Turnover

When Dr. Marshall talks about late pitching forearm turnover, when pitching coaches talk about rushing, and when I talk about timing, we are all talking about the same thing.

If a pitcher's arm isn't up and in a good position at the moment their front foot lands and their shoulders start rotating, they will significantly increase the load on their elbow and their shoulder. That may help them throw the ball harder, but it will also significantly increase their risk of injury.

What I have contributed to the discussion is an explanation of how Dr. Marshall's ideas match up with the intuition of other pitching coaches and the flaw that is commonly referred to as rushing. I have also pointed out that being early is just as much of a problem as being late, which is something that I don't think Dr. Marshall understands.

Palm on Top of the Ball

Another problematic movement pattern that Dr. Marshall identified was the cue to keep the palm on top of the ball. He correctly understood that the cue would tend to create a problem with late pitching forearm turnover and a timing problem.

I have extended this idea and have identified a number of other cues and movement patterns that create the same problem.


To my knowledge, Dr. Marshal was the first person to propose that the activation of the muscles of the pitching forearm can be used to help protect the UCL. While he may have gotten the exact muscle group wrong, research suggests that he got the general concept right.


1. It's not possible to throw the ball hard without experiencing Reverse Pitching Forearm Bounce and Pitching Forearm Flyout. They are simply a consequence of throwing hard. All you can do is manage them, not eliminate them. When Dr. Marshall says his pitchers' arm do not bounce and do not fly out, he is mistaken. His own high speed video shows that they do.

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