A former collegiate and professional baseball player, Ryan Crotin was all too familiar with seeing and experiencing throwing injuries.
“I was intrigued as to why some baseball pitchers were more susceptible to elbow and shoulder injuries than others despite having the same game and practice throwing workloads,” he said.
Interested in learning more about the topic, and specifically, how to help avoid the injuries, he decided to study baseball pitching biomechanics. He chose to attend the University at Buffalo for his PhD in exercise science for the “tremendous opportunities and experiences that could not be offered elsewhere.”
Crotin took a turn at the head of the class as a teaching assistant for laboratory sections and gained valuable, practical knowledge as a volunteer baseball coach with UB’s varsity team. “Both experiences led to my dissertation topic, ‘A Kinematic and Kinetic Comparison of Baseball Pitching Mechanics Influenced by Stride Length,’ and familiarization with various instruments used to analyze human performance,” he said. “The department’s 3D motion capture laboratory is of the highest quality and, unique to my research, the motion system contained embedded force plates to unite ground reaction forces with 3D movement.”
Grateful for all of his experiences within the Department of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences, Crotin said he most enjoyed being able to explore his personal passions and having faculty support. “I had fantastic professors in my academic committee and my advisor, Dr. Dan K. Ramsey, provided tremendous enthusiasm and guidance toward my dissertation project,” he said. “It made the doctoral experience fun and exciting.”
While he worked on his dissertation, Crotin was also busy as a member of the St. Louis Cardinals’ Player Developer Department and the Batavia Muckdogs coaching staff. He also began working for the Baltimore Orioles.
A 2013 graduate, Crotin spent time with the Baltimore Orioles as the team’s athletic performance analyst and is now the strength and conditioning player performance coordinator with the Los Angeles Angels.