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.
What is the Pitching Force Vector?
The Force Vector is the angle of the line from the ankle to knee. It is called the Force Vector because in any athletic event, yes pitching is an athletic event, the athlete must use ground reaction forces to produce force which will initiate body movement. Therefore the drive of the leg from the ground is what I like to call Force Production. The more force you can apply into the ground, the faster and harder we move as athletes, but this force must be guided in the direction that the athlete intends to move. This direction of movement is based on the angle of the Force Vector. If your Force Vector is vertical, you move vertically like a basketball player, if your Force Vector is horizontal, you move along the surface of the ground like a pitcher in his stride phase.
Force production in pitching will occur in both legs during the delivery, which if performed correctly, will rotate the hips. If we compared these pitching mechanics to an engine, the legs would be the pistons and rods and the hips would be the drive shaft. We apply force to the piston and rods and it then rotates the drive shaft.
Improving Pitching Mechanics and Velocity
In 3X Pitching, triple extension is the movement to create force production in the drive leg and triple flexion is the movement to create force production in the landing leg. The 3X Pitching eBook which is a part of the 3X program defines this into more detail. What is important to understand is that triple extension followed by triple flexion, where the force vectors are both in line towards the hips, like in all the pictures here, is what produces a high velocity pitcher. This is why I put together these animated clips of some of the games hardest throwers and labeled their force vectors so you can see how similar they all are.
If I was to label the force vector of a low velocity pitcher, the force vectors would not be in line with the hips at any point in the delivery. They would be more vertical. These high velocity pitchers are able to keep their force vectors in line with their hips because of both leg power and they have developed the motor coordination to use this leg power effectively. Why this converts to pitching velocity is because these pitching mechanics create more explosive trunk rotation than any other mechanical movement in the human body. All they have to do after the stride phase is to make sure that the shoulders have separated from the hips before this explosive trunk rotation and the rest will come very easy. Most velocity loss and inconsistency is due to the loss of leg power and the breakdown of the Pitching Force Vectors during force production.
I highly recommend that you either film yourself pitching to analyze your force vectors or educate someone who can be that third eye for you, especially your coach. You can also post your videos in the forums for a video analysis but don't forget that this has as much to do with strength than with motor coordination. You need a strength and conditioning program like the Fusion System in the 3X Pitching Velocity program to make it possible for you to implement these mechanics on a consistent basis.
* The first person to post who these pitchers are here I will send you a 50% off coupon to the 3X Pitching Velocity program.