New York Yankees pitcher Joba Chamberlain is neither a Hindu monk nor a Buddhist priest, but when it comes to improving his skills, he's all about karma. The husky right-hander trains to master the art of balance and achieve complete control of his movements on the mound.
"If you don't have balance, you can't pitch," Chamberlain says. "It's something that saves me and saves my arm from getting hurt."
Being in control of his body is a priority for Chamberlain. To synchronize his arm with his lower body, and to stay on target with each pitch, he works on keeping a rhythm in his pitching motions. "If my hands aren't out, and I am already going [toward the plate]," Chamberlain says, "my arm is catching up and I can't throw [accurately]." In addition, when a pitcher's motion loses its rhythm, he's at greater risk of straining his arm.
A quick fix is a balanced pause at the top of his throwing motion, which allows his arms to catch up with his legs.
Rhythm is different for each pitcher. For Chamberlain, it's the difference between hitting the strike zone and hitting the batter—and the latter is bad karma.
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