Are you an '​'aerial'​'​ or a '​'terrestrial'​'​ pitcher ?

10/15/2022
As a reminder: motor preferences are a scientific approach to movement based on the body's intelligence to evolve in an environment with effectiveness, efficiency and energy saving. Scientific concepts  aredemonstrated by Cyrille Gyndre and the Volodalen movement laboratory team.

In the context of the study of movement, Terrestrial and aerial profiles were the first markers to be identified.

An aerial is defined by a center of mass that is more on the front of the feet, the preference of a rebound mode in the production of movement with the use of the posterior muscle chain. The shoulders generate power and start quick moves.

An Terrestrial has a center of mass more on the back of his feet, with a capacity his lower limbs like a pulley system. He uses more of the large muscles in his legs and the anterior muscle chain. The hips or pelvis are power generators.

This difference in motor skills has a direct impact on how a pitcher will perform his motion.

An aerial pitcher will seek above all to generate rebound in his energy loading phase (knee rise and step). This is done by a rapid knee rise, without any stop in the movement and with a feeling of working the legs in a springy mode. The back leg will only bend a little. The player will prefer to manage a kind of ''balance loss'' towards the front. According to a front or back motor leg, this management will be done with more or less flexion, which will lead to a more or less preserved center of mass on the back leg.

Aerial on the left, Terrestrial on the right

An Terrestrial pitcher will seek to generate flexion to generate power. To do so, his knee rise will be slower and less high than for the aerial. His back leg will bend very quickly to lower his center of gravity. A Terrestrial can pause at any time in his energy loading phase because he does not need to bounce to be effective. His center of mass will be mostly on the back leg to make a very quick transfer of mass forward when the front foot is paused. The landing will be mostly on the back foot (heel) with a more or less pronounced angle. The back foot will initiate the movement of the hips with a more or less pronounced anteriority in relation to the associated or dissociated motor preference.

Depending on the motor preference of an associate or dissociated player, the angle of the hips closing at the end of the knee rise will be more or less important.

An associate player has a very low trunk rotation point. This prevents him from having a large shoulder-hip separation. To compensate for this, he will have a tendency to close his hips much more in his loading phase. On the other hand, a dissociated player will close his hips less, because with a high point of rotation of the trunk, he will be able to use a greater shoulder-hip separation.

You can see on this picture, the difference of knee kick, back leg flexion, stride management of an aerial pitcher (top) and a terrestrial pitcher (bottom). You can also see that the aerial picher is associated (or unit) with a small torso rotation. The terrestrial pitcher is dissociated (or spiral) with a bigger hip-shoulder lines separation.

In addition, there are preferences related to the motor shoulder, the synchronization of movements, a preference for supination or pronation, axial or wide preference, vertical or horizontal preference..

Now, with all these details, you should be able to understand better if you are a terrestrial or an aerial pitcher. Always remember that your profile is unique and it is located on a range between very terrestrial and very aerial. You can be in the midle of this range and be adaptable (coaches love adaptable players).