A A A
July 6, 2011
In reading and watching some of your analyses, I noticed you like pitchers to rotate their hips and shoulders during leg lift, ala Lincecum. You talk about pitchers doing this to "stay closed", but isn't this move actually somewhat counterproductive because it causes a rotational component to the part of the delivery that should just be linear? Isn't this where pitchers will swing their legs into landing rather than going straight to the target? Shouldn't pitchers just focus on staying sideways until just before landing? I was under the impression that this over-rotation may cause some difficulties with control, if not velocity as well. Your thoughts?
April 27, 2008
This is a good point but you need to understand that when triple extension occurs in the drive leg it is pushing the back hip forward which can easily cause early hip rotation. We do not want the hips to open until just before front foot strike so the rotation of the hips is more explosive and the pitcher can continue to build power through the stride. The only way to prevent the hips from opening early while the pitcher is trying to build power through the drive leg is to close the hips completely to the target or over-rotate them in the start position to prevent them from opening early during triple extension. Your point that this will cause a reaction to open early is valid but it can be remedied through holding the position and focusing on the force vector. This means when you lift your leg and pull your knee back towards your drive leg, you want to hold this position while you lead with your front hip and build momentum into the "Load" position which means you are lining up your force vector. This action will prevent the hips from flying open in reaction to the over-rotation at leg lift.
Does this make any sense?
July 6, 2011
I think I follow what you are saying – that it is the establishing and maintaining of the proper force vector until just before landing that prevents the hips from opening early, correct? But what about the actual twisting motion, or rotation, of the entire body during leg lift? Is this a necessary component of explosive pitching mechanics? In other words, is it important to turn our backs to the plate – to "show the numbers" or can we just stay sideways (perpendicular to the rubber – torso/belt buckle facing 3rd base for a RHP) from leg lift until just before landing?
April 27, 2008
I think I follow what you are saying – that it is the establishing and maintaining of the proper force vector until just before landing that prevents the hips from opening early, correct? Yes!
If I am talking about twisting the body it is only slightly. I am mainly talking about the lift leg. The lift leg can close off without having to twist the body or over rotate. This must occur if the pitcher is going to build power through triple extension and then convert that into hip to shoulder separation.
July 28, 2011
Brent: I have a related question. When I compared Evan's video to Lincecum and the other MLB players that Brent uses (and also random MLB pitchers I see on TV), I noticed that whereas Evan lowered his lift leg and then moved it straight toward home, the MLB guys extend the leg toward third while lowering it and then seem to "swing" it toward home. They land in-line the way Evan does, but the MLB guys take a different path with their leg. I'm wondering whether this motion of extending the leg helps them to keep the hips closed longer? Based on simple physics, its going to be much harder (take more effort) to open the lead hip if the attached lead leg is extended, and more of the mass if farther away from the axis of rotation (lead hip)…..
April 27, 2008
The lift leg path should not be the focus during the stride. It should be put into position at leg lift but once the stride begins it must follow the lead of the front hip. This means if the pitcher does not build momentum effectively during the stride phase and the path of the lift leg is the main focus then the lift leg will look more like Evans. If the pitcher is able to build speed early with the front hip leading and the drive leg closed off and then continue into triple extension, the lift leg will look more like Lincecum and the other hard throwers.
The problem here is that pitching is an explosive movement. This means we can not take away from the ballistics of the movement by making the lift leg the main focus of the stride. When the lift leg becomes the main focus we see young pitchers stop accelerating their momentum through the stride because they are focused on the lift leg path. This will have a major impact on velocity because it kills the entire ballistics of an explosive delivery.
July 14, 2011
I use a version of the Hershiser Drill to teach pitchers how to load and lead with their hip without over-rating. In the Tom House version, the pitcher stands next to a wall in the stretch position and plants his butt in the wall as soon as he picks his foot up. It simulates how a pitcher should go down the hill with his hip leading the rest of his body. I do the drill by getting in front of the pitcher on the mound on one knee and holding a base in front of his lead hip for him to plant his butt into. I emphasize hitting the bag with his butt as soon as he picks his foot up and try to hold that position as far down the hill as he can. Guys who lift straight up without moving forward – a vertical Force Vector in Porciauese – don't hit the bag until after max leg lift. It's also easy to spot over-rotation in this drill. I find, as Brent says – that if the pitcher leads all the way down the hill with his hip, the leg will trail behind naturally and he doesn't have to focus on what it does.
April 27, 2008
Coach, I have a great drill for this coming out in my beginners guide. I use a harness and a sled to train the "Load" position and the force vector. I feel that a drive or pull of the sled instead of a push of the hips creates a movement more specific to the actually pitching delivery. I have found that it trains the force vector more naturally this way.
Most Users Ever Online: 86
Currently Browsing this Page:
SCOTT D: 288
Coach Robo: 250
Guest Posters: 3
Newest Members: Shiggy, jdl1234, jld1234, mfmcmah, CCLafontan, dpitfield31
Administrators: Brent Pourciau USAW Certified (2526)
Topvelocity.net is a Baseball Pitching and velocity improvement training program. Our main offerings include: a Pitching Velocity Program along with tips and articles to increase a pitchers velocity and online Pitching Video Analysis for players.