The Uplift Pitching Report analyzes an athlete's pitching captures for a given day, and provides a set of key measures and insights. This report not only includes many important kinematic metrics like X-Factor and Kinematic Sequence, it also highlights common movement patterns (and common mistakes) in the pitching motion, which can provide the intelligence to inform coaching cues and corrective programming in each phase of the pitching motion.
What's included in the report
The report is a summary of pitches captured for a given athlete on a given day. That means that the report you get back will include a representation of processed pitches, including the average and standard deviations for all of our computed metrics.
Note: if you notice that not all of an athlete's captures are included in a report, this report includes a summary representative analysis of pitches that our system determined met certain quality standards. For more information and troubleshooting, read this.
Kinematic Sequence and X-Factor
The Kinematic Sequence and X-Factor sections at the top of the report highlight 2 of the most important indicators of an efficient pitching motion.
The “kinematic sequence” refers to how a pitcher is coordinating their pelvis, trunk, and arm during a throw. Ideally, to maximize energy transfer from the ground up to the arm, a pitcher will transfer energy in a “proximal-to-distal” sequence. This means that the first segment to reach its peak velocity should be the athlete’s pelvis. Next, their trunk should reach its peak velocity, and finally their arm should reach its peak angular velocity. Deviations away from this pelvis-trunk-arm sequencing means a less efficient pitch and perhaps increased risk of injury.
This section also highlights the peak velocities of each of these segments compared against pro ranges, the speed gained as energy transferred from the pelvis to the torso, and a time series graph of the velocities of each segment over time.
X-Factor comes from the world of golf and refers to the separation between the hips and shoulders during a pitch. Increasing X-factor (i.e., increased hip-trunk separation, or “stretch”) allows the athlete to leverage the spring-like properties of their muscles and fascia to store and release more energy during a pitch.
Some of the factors that can influence a pitcher’s X-Factor include:
Their kinematic sequencing. If the athlete does not rotate their hips before their shoulders, they will likely have less separation between these two segments relative to if they rotated their hips first.
Their relaxation during a pitch. If a pitcher is very “tense”, they are likely excessively co-contracting their trunk musculature. This co-contraction will make it difficult for the pitcher to create a larger X-Factor, and will negatively impact their throwing velocity.
Their strength and mobility. Some pitchers may need to address their strength or mobility in the gym in order to increase their X-Factor.
Because our reports aggregate multiple pitches from a single day, we detect when the lead foot makes contact in each pitch, and align all pitches to that event. The Foot Contact event is annotated with a red dotted line on the graph.
The solid line(s) on each graph represents the value of that metric (e.g. Elbow Flexion) across all pitches in the report. The shaded band on each side of that line represents the standard deviation, which is a good indicator of variability between each pitch. Click here to read more about movement variability in general, with more detailed examples.
Indicators in each pitching phase
The following sections break the pitch down into 3 phases, and highlight specific positions or patterns that could reduce the efficiency and power in a pitch:
Wind-up and Loading
Movement through Foot Contact
Acceleration through Ball Release
In each phase there are a number of "inefficiencies" that can be identified and reported on. While these are not necessarily always "bad" in isolation, they're highlighted for coaches to work with their pitchers on eliminating or improving specific patterns or movements that will improve their overall pitching efficiency, longevity, and velocity.
Each of the indicators includes a description of the movement pattern we're looking for, a percentage of the pitches in the report for which the inefficiency was detected, and a heat map showing when in the capture session these indicators occurred. The heat map can be useful to see if these inefficiencies occurred more in the beginning or end of a training session, which could be an indicator of warm-up or fatigue.
In addition to these indicators, we also report on average Stride Length over the pitching session. This is represented as a percentage of the athlete's height.
This pitching report should provide a good summary of an athlete's pitching movement and give coaches and training staff some insight into which areas may be worth focusing on. Because this report is a snapshot of a day in time, you can compare a current report to a report in the past to track how specific training interventions have changed or improved the efficiency of the pitching motion.