Baltimore Orioles Pitchers Use Hook and Loop

Professional baseball organizations like the Baltimore Orioles are taking advantage of technology typically encountered in film studios, and hook and loop technology plays an integral role in their success. In a relatively new training procedure, staff use these simple fasteners to affix scores of reflective balls to the body of a pitcher and observe his performance. With the aid of motion capture analysis, teams hope to reduce the incidence of injuries and develop superior training regimens for critical team members.

Keith Allison - Oriole Park at Camden Yards © From Flickr
Oriole Park at Camden Yards © Keith Allison - Flickr The use of hook and loop fasteners could potentially generate advanced knowledge about proper pitching motion and contribute to highly targeted training programs. Police and military personnel use a similar method to monitor arm motion and placement to ensure proper training. In much the same way, pitching staffs are using motion capture to perfect arm angles and catering training regimens to each individual. Because the balls aren't on a typical motion capture body suit, they can be repositioned, and the athlete remains freer to act naturally while executing a pitch. The Orioles and other teams have been using the data to help players gain insight into how they move and have been modifying their conditioning programs as necessary.

An Orioles spokesperson said that the organization had already realized significant successes with its structured program. The team maintains that the program is being kept simple to maximize benefits, and the use of adaptable technology like Velcro® brand hook and loop fasteners certainly aids in this regard. By eliminating the need for special suits and equipment, these affordable fasteners may even reduce the per-session costs associated with generating a player-specific data set, ensuring that the program can be continued as long as needed to achieve maximum efficacy.

And with the Orioles in the ALCS, it would appear this training program isn't going anywhere.