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Discussion Starter #1
I wrote this two years ago:

Dr. Mike Marshall used to pitch for the Los Angeles Dodgers baseball team. He won the cy young award in 1974.

He was a very durable pitcher, and he has spent his life after retiring from baseball studying the intricacies of why pitchers come down with arm and shoulder problems. It is incredibly complicated.

He can tell by watching pitchers which ones are headed for injuries. He warned the Chicago Cubs about Mark Prior and Kerry Wood. He has been successful in helping players make changes to avoid the injuries.

A great St. Louis pitcher, Chris Carpenter, is on the disabled list (2007) this year, and I was struck by the similarities between what he was saying about his difficulties when he was still pitching last year and this year, and what Maria has been saying about her shoulder.

I am a fan of Maria, and very concerned about how serious and long-term her problems might be. I wrote an e-mail to Mike Marshall.



As I said back then,I began to become concerned about long term problems Maria might be headed for with her shoulder. Just out of curiosity, I wrote to Dr. Mike Marshall, who responded within a few hours:


Quote:
To: [email protected]
Subject: Maria Sharapova

I have heard amazingly similar things being said by Maria Sharapova
this
year and Chris Carpenter in the last year or so regarding their
shoulders and the pain they experience a day later.

Are there similarities between tennis players' and pitchers' mechanical
dangers and difficulties?



Quote:
Dear Sir,

With the exception that tennis servers cannot release their
racquet,
tennis serving and maximum velocity overhand throwing have identical
force application techniques. Tennis servers can have 'Reverse Serving
Forearm Bounce,' 'Looping,' 'Serving Forearm Flyout,'
Supination Release,' and all the other injurious flaws as in the
'traditional' baseball pitching motion.

Sincerely,

Dr. Mike Marshall


Reading about Azarenka dropping out of the Family Circle tournament made me wonder---what is Dr. Marshall up to, these days---I ran across this video from a few days ago. I mention it, because I believe Maria really will be back soon, (my guess is Rome), but I hope she can avoid having to choose between being less powerful, or doing the same things she used to and reinjuring herself.

I know there are a lot of well-informed people on this site regarding this subject--I would love hear any comments, bad or good. There are many players who will have to deal with these issues.

http://www.drivelinemechanics.com/2009/3/27/813257/dr-mike-marshall-on-mlb-ne
 

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Excellent post. As a big fan of both sports, I have long thought there are remarkable similarities between pitching and serving. Of course, because baseball is bigger business, there has been remarkably more work done on the subject of keeping pitchers healthy than there has been in tennis.

Dr. Marshall is a fascinating guy in that he walked his talk (very durable pitcher as Nelson suggests, with a workload that dwarfs any relief pitcher today) and advocates pitching mechanics very different than the norm. Of course, no MLB team will touch the guy. It's like Rick Barry who hit something like 90% of his free throws in his career, shooting from between his legs. Yet no one (literally) in the NBA will give the guy the time of day, even the really bad free throw shooters.
 

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Great post! Most people believe that the Sharapova forehand has been the attributing factor behind her shoulders degradation, however, I've always thought it was her strange and somewhat exaggerated service motion.
 

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Not directly applicable to every tennis stroke, but the similarities between a baseball swing and a two-handed backhand are undeniable.

http://www.drmikemarshall.com/DrMikeMarshallsBaseballBattingMechanics.html

The other side of the coin though, is the health-maintenance vs athletic success equation. Following the 'Mike Marshall approach' results in greater health, but has not yet been proven to maximize performance. Are you better off with 100mph serve, a Hall of Fame career, and virtually guaranteed future shoulder problems, or a 80mph serve, a career of no note, and a 100% healthy shoulder.

For most people, the answer is the latter, not the former. Why should a rec player lose the fun of tennis at age 30, when they could be playing at age 75? But if you're Maria Sharapova, the cost-benefit is harder to resolve. Venus Williams has far from a picture perfect service motion. But it generates a LOT of power, and so far, her shoulder has held up. Should she exchange that for the pinpoint accuracy, and low velocity, of the Hingis serve?

Sharapova may find herself facing that question. And with Hingis' serve, is Sharapova suddenly Daniela Hantuchova?

As somebody who's torn up both my shoulders, these questions are near-and-dear to me. I haven't picked up a racket since last summer. (I see my surgeon tomoorow about my progess from last fall's shoulder surgery.) I'm sure I'll be able to play tennis. I'm not at all sure what, if any, changes in my game will be needed.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
i've never heard of him til now so i dont blame 'em if they havent
I would bet there are some medical people who work with tennis players who are aware of who he is.

I can guarantee you that the Ebersol family knows who he is, but I do not know whether their view of him is positive or not.
 

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slightly off-topic, but have you heard of dr. james andrews? he's supposed to be some kind of miracle worker that saved the careeres of a lot fo athletes. 60 minutes did a story on him recently.
 
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