Strengthen Your Army by Understanding How it Operates
Functionality: A muscle doing what it's supposed to do, when it's supposed to do it.
This is a HUGE piece when it comes to efficiently handling the demands of throwing a baseball. To make matters simple, we'll say there are a few processes (even though there are way more) that have to take place at the most microscopic level for this to occur. Although this is more clearly outlined in the diagram below and the associated verbiage, here is a brief summary: A muscle has to send feedback to the central nervous system (CNS) based on what's going on, the CNS then orchestrates a motor solution, and that solution is then executed based on the structural and metabolic capabilities of the muscle fiber(s). The more fine-tuned this process is, the higher level of functionality. Higher Functionality within each muscle leads to higher overall efficiency, which in turn provides a greater opportunity for health and performance.
The illustration above, and the corresponding information below is meant give you a simplistic understanding of the complexities of the human neuromuscular system and how this whole thing works. Therefore, educating yourself with these concepts will dictate how you prepare and recover your body for throwing, which has a massive impact on how well your body handles the stress of throwing a baseball.
Think of Your "ARM"Y as your neuromuscular system, which is how your body executes specific solutions based on what you're asking it to do. In the case of throwing a baseball, and based on the high demands and stress associated with it, it's extremely important that your neuromuscular system is functioning at a high level and coming up with sound and efficient solutions in order to properly support it. If Your "ARM"Y is doing this well, then the associated joints and surrounding soft tissues will undergo less wear and tear.
The "ARM"Y: The Army encompasses the Recon Team, The General, and the Enforcer team. It functions to carry out any task to the best of its ability that the President (i.e. Brain) asks of it.
"Recon Team": The Recon Team is responsible for gathering information and communicating back to The General so that the Enforcer Team can be given their task.
"The General": The General is responsible for processing the information received from the Recon Team (in addition to multiple other sources), and then giving specific commands to the Enforcer Team in order to complete the mission.
"Enforcer Team": After receiving information from The General regarding the task at hand, the Enforcer Team is responsible for carrying out that task based on how conditioned and well-trained they are (relative to the task).
The 3 pieces work together without you even realizing it, every second, of every day. Together, they form your Neuromuscular System. Every time you ask your body to perform a specific task, like throwing a baseball, efficiency of that task is dictated by how well each of these components are functioning, and how well-equipped they are to perform. Excess stress, trauma, and overuse can negatively affect these systems, and ultimately cause inefficiency and sub-optimal performance in completion of the task at hand. For example, if the Recon Team is tired, sluggish, or inactive due to overuse or injury, The General won't be able to relay the correct information to members of the Enforcer Team that are best equipped for the specific mission. Instead, it will have to call upon other members of the team to fill in. Vice Versa, if members of the Enforcer Team are overused, injured, or out-of-shape, The General will have to pick and choose other members of the team that are ready and better equipped to perform the mission. Either way, the mission isn't completed efficiently and The Country (i.e. the Musculoskeletal System: Shoulder, Elbow, etc.) is left open to damage.