Yoon’s Review, Continued…

So, we come to about 4-5 months ago when I happen to come across the apiros.team blog page and I happen to see the blog post “Updated Biomechanics of an arm swing.” When I read it, I realized that Austin changed several of his initial thoughts from Part 1 and 2. But, as I read that, his other blog and Instagram posts, I realized this is the stuff I was missing in my training. Considering, I didn’t have a kinesiology background, I’ve had to watch/read things several times before I got a good understanding of what was the objective of the activity. One of the best things he did was release the video series of an arm swing Progression which showed a nice progression to develop an efficient arm swing. Austin’s arm swing progression was the first time I’ve seen something that breaks down an efficient arm swing/approach that mimics throwing a football spiral. 

Since the release of the arm swing Progression video series, I’ve applied this to all my lessons and camps with players between 4th grade thru players playing in college next season. The older they are they’ve been more apprehensive (and more difficult) to change, which should come to no surprise. But, what’s happened is when they actually start understanding, but more importantly, actually feel what it means to rotate and keep the arms more relaxed, the more NATURAL it felt. With our grade school camp, I’ve had the players spend about 20 minutes on the progression. Some of the successes I’ve experienced -

  • Several 4th-6th graders who were struggling getting the ball over the net, by the 7th session were getting the balls over the net about 20 feet deep, with topspin, no higher than the antennae. The ones who at the beginning could get the ball over the net, but inconsistently, were now consistently hitting the ball over near the endline with very little effort.

  • With lessons I’ve been doing, the athletes were surprised with the power they were able to generate with less strain on the shoulders. I’ve actually had athletes come work with me that while they were in the process of changing their arm swing, their shoulder would hurt until they made that change. Then, they felt no pain. So, they started using pain as a guide if they were hitting efficiently. Granted, not ideal, but it also got them motivated to continue with the process.

  • Players who hit with arm straight down motion, struggled hitting out of the back row. In addition, their hits had no top spin (or at best inconsistent). When they started to make changes, they had success hitting from back-row, even when they were hitting from their own backline. 

  • From the approach aspect, I’ve had to teach them how to jump so they can load their hips. Once, they started doing that, that allowed them to rotate. What surprised the athletes the most was how much easier it was on their knees, how balanced they were when they landed, and how many more balls they can get to compared to previously. 

The above are just few of the things I’ve been able to personally see using the Arm swing Progression. Along the way, after being able to see the Progression at work, I’ve developed some of my own cues to help the athletes out. Since I don’t have a background in Kinesiology or Biomechanics, most of what I’ve expressed is anecdotal. But, I know Austin has definitely hit on something when I have fathers of athletes that I’m working with, who either coach baseball and/or football and the key points they discuss when they coach pitchers and quarterbacks, are very similar to the key points I discuss with their daughters. These fathers/coaches have also expressed to me that they couldn’t understand why volleyball players all brought their arms straight down. The last point I would like to bring up, I know through the years, I’ve had players who because they’ve had someone in their family teach them how to throw a football, their arm swings just looked more fluid. Consequently, when colleges were recruiting them, the college coaches would inquire if they had a brother/father who played QB. It’s all due to their arm swing just looks different. In my opinion, that should be the norm not the exception, and unfortunately it’s the other way around. 

In summary, for those who are looking for a good (in my opinion the BEST I’ve seen through today), system to develop an efficient arm swing, Austin’s video the arm swing Progression is worth more than the $100 he’s charging.