There is a major body part that can cause a major headache with pitching velocity. Most pitchers are completely unaware of this body part because it is the body part where awareness comes from. If you haven’t discovered it yet then it is the head. The head weighs between 8-12 pounds depending on how big the pitcher is. This means throwing the head around during the pitching delivery can be detrimental to pitching velocity. To help understand the positioning of the head through the entire delivery I am going to define where the head must be through the entire 3X mechanics.
Head Position Through 3X Mechanics
This is the full list of the 3X Mechanics which is included in the 3X Pitching Programs. The 3X Pitching Programs include a full detailed description of every one of these components. These descriptions will only include the head positioning.
- Lift Leg Momentum – This component begins the delivery and the head position should be over the belt buckle. When what we call the “First Move” occurs, the head must stay tucked and behind the belt buckle.
- The “Load” Position – This is the component of the 3X Mechanics which is just before the launch phase of the delivery when power production occurs. The head again must be behind the belt buckle in this position. It also must be balanced over the shoulders. This means it is not hanging over the chest. Pitchers like Tim Lincecum like to even “Tilt” their heads back over their butt in this position.
- 3X and Separation – This is the foundation of 3X Pitching and it is the toughest component to implement effectively into your delivery. Every single power pitcher uses it and the 3X Pitching Velocity program will train you to master it. The head during this position must be tucked hard behind the belt buckle and balanced again over the shoulders. If the head flies out of this position during this launch phase then power production is limited. If the chin begins to push forward past the belt buckle during this component this is fine unless it reduces the implementation of the following component.
- Chest Thrust External Rotation – This is the first component in the 3X mechanics that is almost eliminated completely from the delivery when the head has been out of position most of the delivery. This means the easiest way to implement this 3X component more effectively is by working on the head position throughout the entire delivery. When I see my pitchers not implementing this component, I always start with the head position from the previous components. The head position for this component is tucked but this is the first time that the head can push out with the torso in front of the belt buckle. The key is to continue to tuck the chin like you are trying to keep it behind the belt buckle but the force of the upper kinetic chain is too great.
- Elbow Extension – This component emphasizes the importance of NOT pulling down your arm to release. The head position does not change from the previous component.
- Stabilization – This may be shocking to those who are not familiar with the revolutionary pitching mechanics called 3X Pitching but yes the head never moves out of the tucked position. As you continue to stabilize your front leg, you must continue to stabilize your head position and not let it relax until the ball is released.
The head position is so critical through all of the 3X mechanics because once the head throws itself forward, it will always bring the arm with it. I suggest you try this to fully understand the effect. Stand up with your feet shoulder-width apart. Tuck your glove arm and lift your throwing elbow above the shoulder. Now let your arm externally rotate behind your head while tucking your chin into your throat. From this position quickly and aggressively throw your head forward out over your toes and down. Notice how your arm follows your head.
The reason this head movement will kill pitching velocity is that velocity comes when the body has built power before the arm begins to throw the pitch. The earlier the arm throws the ball in the delivery the less power has been produced and converted into the velocity of the ball.
The 3X Pitching Mechanics are proven power pitching mechanics that will increase pitching velocity and prevent injury. To learn more, check out this revolutionary program here that has been sweeping the country.
I have a big problem with keeping my head in a good position. As I release the ball, I have to throw my head forward and take my eyes off the target. If I don't do this, then I lose 2-3 mph easy. I am one of the only pitchers I know of that do this. The problem is poor separation right? If so, then how come I never see other pitchers with poor separation throw their heads around? How much is throwing my head around costing me?
Just because a pitcher has poor separation doesn't mean he is going to have a lot of head movement. There are many factors to consider.
It sounds like you are using your head, glove side or whatever you can to increase your arm speed instead of your legs and core. This is a flawed approach because arm speed is best accelerated as a reaction to stride power. Have I done a video analysis of your pitching? If not then this is a good place to start. Please post your video here on the forums for a FREE analysis so we can determine why you are throwing your head around.
There are some people out there in the baseball coaching community who will tell disagree with you and also me, I have already been disagreed with on that subject and have been told that the arms and legs are the problem, not the head, what drew that dispute was when I mentioned that the head was the cause for the (weight) being prematurely shifted out over the front foot and that if one did not move the head forward the (weight) simply will not shift forward out over the front foot. get into your batting stance, have someone hold your head back then shift your (weight) out over your front foot. the front foot will move forward somewhat but not the (weight). as you say 10 to 12 pounds of moving head has a very negative impact on one's balance.
How are your camps going?
Great! I wish you could come down for one. You would love it! These guys get a head full of info and it is great to see the look on their faces when it is all over. I can't wait for the next one this December.