I got into the pitching mechanics business for a pretty common reason.

I didn't want what happened to me to happen to my sons.

I screwed up my shoulder in grade school and never even had a chance of pitching in high school, much less beyond. As a result in 2004, when my older son started showing a serious interest in pitching and a nasty sinker, I started reading everything I could about the subject.

The intensity of my efforts quickly ramped up when one of my pitchers, who hadn't been taught anything and just did what came naturally, developed an elbow problem after throwing just one inning -- ONE INNING -- of what most likely were accidental sliders.

Contradictions, Left and Right

The first thing I did was start going to the bookstore on my lunch break and reading literally every book about pitching and pitching mechanics that I could.

I quickly faced a sea of contradictions; pretty much every book contradicted every other book, and the things that everybody seemed to agree on didn't make logical sense or hold up to even casual scrutiny and comparison to pictures that could be found on the Internet.

Stinkin' Thinkin'

I then decided to shift my focus from reading books about pitching to reading the studies and science upon which those books were based. That went as expected until July 2005 when I came across a study and paragraph that again threw everything into question.

The Problem

If something reduces the risk of elbow and shoulder problems, and has no negative impact on velocity -- nothing was mentioned in the study -- then how is it a flaw?

That study convinced me that the state of the art of pitching mechanics instruction and research is broken; so accepting of the conventional wisdom about pitching mechanics, so focused on velocity, and/or so fatalistic about injuries that they blithely label as flaws movements that reduce the risk of elbow and shoulder problems.

Even when there is no indication that these "flaws" have a negative impact on velocity.

As I explain at length in Proper Pitching Mechanics and The Science Behind The Epidemic, there is no true mystery to the pitcher injury and Tommy John surgery epidemic. The pitching instruction industry's unquestioned assumptions, preconceived notions, and theories about proper pitching mechanics -- theories that are too often sold as fact -- are keeping them from seeing and solving the problem.

Dominant & Durable

Having lost faith in both the professionals and the scientists, I decided to begin my own study and compare the pitching mechanics of pitchers who were both dominant and durable to what frequently-injured pitchers did.