legs Pitching Articles
Here are some pitching articles on this important pitching velocity topic. This topic is currently open for discussion. You can either comment on the articles below or start a thread in the pitching forums.
by Brent Pourciau · January 23, 2012
In the case of all power pitchers or athletes, to prevent wasting precious time when learning a power movement like pitching at high velocities, it is important to understand that strength or power development must come before the power motor skills of the power pitching mechanics. Attempting to train the power motor skills before the pitcher has the strength or power to move through them efficiently and effectively, is not just a total waste of time but it also can end ones pitching career. Read more
by Brent Pourciau · July 9, 2011
Is your pitching coach teaching the force vector?
More than likely your Pitching Coach has no idea what Force Vector Pitching is and why it is so critical for velocity. I would love to see the look on his face when you ask him what force vector pitching is and why is it so important.
I have talked about the Pitching Force Vector many times on this site and in my analysis. It is also in the 3X Pitching Velocity program and the fact is, I really can’t talk about this critical component enough. Read more
by Brent Pourciau · June 20, 2011
I heard a story about Roger Clemens once about pitching with your legs. It went something like this.
Roger was in high school and Nolan Ryan was his favorite pitcher. He always wanted to see his rocket arm up close and personally, so one day he got a ticket to watch him pitch in Houston for the Astros. He showed up early to the game so he could watch him throw his bull pen. Roger went over to the pen and waited for Nolan to show up. He was expecting to see this long explosive arm rocketing the ball to the catcher. What he noticed immediately when Nolan started to throw was the size and power of his legs. He could not believe that he had not notice the essences of Nolan Ryan’s power, which was his legs. This convinced Roger that if he was going to have a rocket arm like Nolan, then he too would have to develop big and powerful legs. Read more
by Brent Pourciau · March 25, 2011
Basic physics teaches us that to throw a ball at your top velocity you must use more than just your arm. You must use the entire kinetic chain, along with every muscle group that will help you reach your top velocity. There are countless articles on this site on how to use more of your body to increase pitching velocity and there is also the revolutionary pitching velocity program called 3X Pitching to coach and train you how to pitch with your total body and increase pitching velocity from 5-10 mph. Outside of this information let’s go into more detail on arm strength and pitching velocity.
Arm Strength and Pitching Velocity
To answer the question, YES, more arm strength will increase pitching velocity but it could prevent you from reaching your potential top velocity. The arm muscles that are responsible for generating arm speed is the Pectoralis major, Subscapularis, Supraspinatus, Infraspinatus, Teres minor and Latissimus dorsi. Technically these are not arm muscles because they are more apart of the shoulder, but these muscles are responsible for moving the arm. This is one of the problems with using the phrase “arm strength” when talking about throwing velocity. Read more
by Brent Pourciau · January 9, 2010
We have all heard about the importance of momentum in pitching but do we really know what it means and how it works? Pitching velocity is a product of momentum and rotational torque. I believe that top velocity is achieved when both momentum and rotational torque meet. The problem is we all understand rotational forces when throwing but momentum seems to be a lot harder to truly understand and implement into our deliveries. To truly understand momentum, I have coined a new term, along with its description. Read more
by Brent Pourciau · August 25, 2009
The purpose of this drill is to enforce the “Load” position. To perform this drill you need a step or box about a foot high or higher based on your leg strength. The higher the lift, the stronger your legs must be to “Hold the Load.” To learn more about the importance of the “Load” position read this article “Lift for Show, Load for Doe.” Read more
by Brent Pourciau · June 14, 2009
The online world of pitching experts have been throwing around the buzz word “Momentum pitching” recently. This isn’t anything new unless you are up to date on the breakthroughs of pitching science. Pitchers have been trying to find better ways to generate more momentum in their deliveries for years but what is changing is the science behind this matter.
During the prime of the likes of Nolan Ryan, the popular way of generating more momentum back then was the “Stand Tall and Fall” style developed by Nolan Ryan and his pitching coach Tom House, who may have coined the term. This proceeded the popular style of “Drop and Drive” used by the great Tom Seaver. These two styles of pitching are still used today. What is changing is pitching mechanics are evolving from an art form into the world of science. Read more
by Brent Pourciau · June 6, 2009
For all of those pitchers who are trying to develop more separation in back hip to back shoulder, you will only achieve this with explosive triple extension of the drive leg. “Triple Extension” is the extension of the ankle joint, knee joint and the hip flexor. You must perform this in your drive leg so your back hip can open completely to the target. If you keep your shoulders and weight back while aligning your Force Vector and once your Force Vector is linear you perform”Triple Extension,” optimal “Separation” will occur. Read more
by Brent Pourciau · May 5, 2009
There are two forces that add velocity to a pitch:
- Rotational Torque
For momentum to effectively transfer to the ball, the pitcher must use all rotational pivots in order from the bottom up. The hips must rotate before the shoulders and the shoulders before the arm internally rotates. For this to happen effectively these pivots must be free to rotate completely. Notice the picture of Tim Lincecum at the bottom of the page (Tim Lincecum is a phenom because of his size and ability to reach his top velocity continuously.) Notice in the picture his weight is slightly leaning to his left. This would be like tilting an open door backwards so the open door slams closed due to gravitational forces. This gravitational pull is helping to create full range of motion in Tim Lincecum’s hips and shoulders at front foot strike. If he or the door was tilted the opposite way then these gravitational forces would work against his momentum by decreasing full range of motion in his rotational pivots. Using the force of gravity to increase the range of motion in your hips and shoulders will have a significant effect on your velocity. This is a big reason why Tim Lincecum can throw so hard for his size. He is working with the forces of nature to generate his power. Read more
by Brent Pourciau · April 16, 2009
This question can stir up a big argument but there is only one answer. The arm does not generate the velocity. It only guides the pitch. Therefore the arm must follow the body and does not come into play until the body has done its job. This was the conclusion of a study performed by the famous Dr. Jobe back in the 1980′s. Here is the actual result from the case study:
by Brent Pourciau · March 8, 2009
I get this question a lot, “the windup vs the stretch, what is better?” The problem is the windup is almost sacred to the game of baseball but it really has no purpose besides a kind of confidence builder on the mental state of the pitcher. The windup represents the old style of pitching from back in the day when the pitchers would use the windup to get their arms moving faster like in the video clip here of Dizzy Dean. Now that we have learned that doing this is destructive to pitching velocity, the windup has become just an extra step to throwing in the stretch. Read more
by Brent Pourciau · February 17, 2009
Separation is a major component to developing top velocity and longevity. Separation means having separation from your back hip to back shoulder at front foot strike. Notice the picture here of Felix Hernandez. His back hip is pointing towards home plate and his back shoulder is pointing towards second base. This creates torque in the core. You can see the stretching in his jersey around the stomach area. Having more torque in the core instead of the shoulder of the arm will lead to more velocity and a healthier arm. Read more
by Brent Pourciau · February 12, 2009
The biggest problem I find in young pitchers is that they have poor separation in their hips to shoulders. There are many articles on this site covering the pitching component “Separation.” It is so important because having separation from your back hip to back shoulder before the shoulders rotate to the plate, is critical for velocity and the health of your arm. What “Separation” does is it builds core torque. It puts more torque in the big muscle groups of the core, instead of mainly in the small muscle groups of the shoulder. Read more
by Brent Pourciau · February 10, 2009
Above average coordination is a sign of fast twitch muscle strength. Fast twitch motor neurons recruit more muscle fibers. This means more control of the body and also more explosive power. The biggest problem for a pitching coach, when working with a pitcher who does not have good hip rotation or who does not load and build a full body stride, is that this is the result of poor core and leg strength and no mechanical drill will fix this problem.
Drills only help pitchers who are having a hard time changing flawed muscle memory. It doesn’t help pitchers who have good muscle memory but poor muscle strength. This is why we have weight rooms. This is why any coach who tells you that weight lifting will NOT help you as a pitcher is clueless and is wasting your time and maybe even your money. A good strength and conditioning program that incorporates Olympic lifts, plyometric training and an intense speed training program is essential to developing good pitching mechanics. Good athletes make good pitchers. Read more
by Brent Pourciau · January 30, 2009
Pitching is a very complex sequence of movements that involve building torque and force to generate velocity. So many things happening during a blink of the eye within the pitching delivery. What is even harder than pitching, is explaining this stuff. This is why every coach has his own interpretation. This is also why science wins over conventional wisdom. If you can prove it scientifically then conventional wisdom is forced to listen. If you eliminated ever coach in baseball who could not explain pitching scientifically, you would have about 2% of them left to coach the position. This is why so many misconceptions plague baseball today, especially pitching. Read more
by Brent Pourciau · January 18, 2009
Ultimately, your pitching Coach is your boss. If you piss him off, there is a good chance you may be out of a job. The problem is if he is a BAD pitching coach, he could jeopardize your career. It has happened many times before. The key is to keep the Coach happy, while you find the best support you can, to help influence your career.
What makes a BAD pitching Coach?
Someone who has no experience in playing the position at the top levels of the game, or someone who has no certified education of how to coach the position. Read more
by Brent Pourciau · January 14, 2009
Using the overload to underload approach to train a young pitcher’s arm and central nervous system to increase arm speed is the right concept but the wrong approach when using weighted baseballs on a young pitcher. The problem is with using weighted baseballs on a young pitcher, who more than likely does not have the motor coordination of high velocity mechanics, is that it sacrifices the arm to teach the body how to move weight more efficiently and quickly. To understand how backwards this weighted baseball approach is for the young pitcher we must first look at what role the arm plays in the entire pitching delivery. Read more
by Brent Pourciau · December 16, 2008
The most important component of the pitching delivery is what is called, “Separation.” This is the separation of the hips and shoulders at front foot strike. This is what builds torque mainly in the core instead of the arm. This component will not only increase velocity but save a pitchers shoulder. Most high school and college pitchers have poor “Separation.” I have written about this component in just about every article on pitching velocity. I will once again define this into more detail.
The picture here of Felix Hernandez pretty much says it all. You can see the “Separation” from his hips to shoulders. It is like he is a towel being rung out to dry. Tim Lincecum calls this tightening his “Rubber Band.” The “Rubber Band” being his core. To understand why this is so effective in increasing velocity and preventing injury, we must first look at the bio-mechanics of pitching. Read more
by Brent Pourciau · December 8, 2008
The main purpose of a Drill, is to practice a component of the delivery that will help to correct a mechanical flaw. I also believe it is important to add resistance to a drill to help imprint the new muscle memory.
The drill below should be performed 2 – 3 days a week, for at least 3 – 4 months. The drill should also be performed after completing the “Flexibility Training” portion of the Fusion System which can be found in the Ace Pitcher Handbook included in the 3X Pitching Velocity Program. You will also find a ton more drills in the 3X programs. Try to push each drill to muscle fatigue, if possible. Read more
by Brent Pourciau · December 7, 2008
I am sure you are asking, “What does a car crash teach us about pitching velocity?” It actually teaches us pitchers everything we need to know to truly understand how pitchers generate top velocity. The reason for the correlation of the pitching delivery to the car crash, is the car crash analogy really helps us visualize the complex dynamics of momentum transfer. The reason for the complexity is because of the speed of the event. The moment in the delivery when momentum transfers into the ball to start its propulsion to the target, is as short as a split second. The problem is analyzing this event for educational purposes takes a lot longer. So this is where the car crash analogy will help us. Read more