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How to change Bio-mechanics
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Hanan Burki
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October 7, 2011 – 6:12 am
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Hi Brent,

I thought this would make a good topic to have in your forums or where ever you see best.

Question (from my younger brother): “What is the best way to learn new biomechanics”.

First of all, we both agree that repetition is mother of learning – so lots of reps. BUT how? Should you make all the changes in one go and keep going through the whole motion and eventually it will all click at once or should you work on what ever first your doing wrong (i.e. it may be in the load position for baseball players) or the third theory is you work your way back i.e. From release etc…

Finally there is another option, work from bottom up i.e. feet positioning, hips, chest, shoudler, arm, release.

I hope this is a good question and others can learn from it. All well knowing what to do but how and most importantly the best way to learning it.

Thanks mate,

keep up the good work!

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Zedoryu
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October 7, 2011 – 8:20 am
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The best way I think to change mechanics is obviously to work at the start to end. It is the same like with cooking. You can’t do a the second step without doing the first. You should work on one component at a time. Why? Because it is hard to remember and do it all in a fast motion. It may also mean you don’t hit all the components. It is like saying to remember everything I say and say it all back to me. It is very hard. You tend to also forget a few things too. Work on one component and if you can do it consistently, then move on to the next component. You never want to neglect working on the one you can do consistently. If you can do both consistently, try putting them together, so that you don’t have to work those two one at a time. It is like when playing music. They ask you to work on one part that you’re struggling with until you perfect it and play it with the rest of the piece. I think this is the best way to learn, obviously you need to do lots of reps, but I think it will be worthwhile. Also, when pitching in a game, you obviously can’t do one component but all, so just try putting it all together even if you can’t still try, don’t go back to your old habits. It’s like saying to perform a piece when you haven’t perfected it. You try to not make any mistakes and if you do just play through it. Sorry for this long post and all the analogies, but I think it relates alot :D.

       

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Hanan Burki
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October 7, 2011 – 9:15 am
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Hi Zedoryu,

 

Thanks for your reply. Hey, the more you put in, the longer your post the more I benefit. Interesting that you agree a lot of reps is the way forward.

 

I will definitely continue my approach until someone says convincingly otherwise (Incidentally what I am doing is what you mentioned 🙂 

 

The only thing I'd like to say is that since your focusing on one bad/incorrect motion aren't you further enforcing the bad habits? at least until you start targeting that. 

 

Are there any rough/guidlines on how long it takes to remove bad habits as such or is it so variable amongst each person that the answer is well…as long as it needs too! 😀

 

Thanks again (I always have lots of questions on this)

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singtall

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October 7, 2011 – 10:38 am
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when we first started lessons with Brent, he said something that has stuck with me ever since; “it takes a thousand good throws to change your mechanics”.  dang! that many?

when i teach little league pitchers, one of the first things i tell them is Brent's statement.  from there i try to get them to understand that they should NEVER use poor mechanics, not even during warm up.  then i watch all of them warm up with crap mechanics like i told them not to do!  it makes me want to scream!

my method is based on the 3x pitching philosophy of backwards chaining along with some of my own observations.  my little league (beginners) warmup goes something like this:

position 1)  stand with your feet pointed at the target in a long stride position,  hips facing the target, chest at the target and arm in the high cocked position.  make your throw by launching forward with your back leg, then your chest goes out, your arm externally rotates and you finish with your chest down and glove tucked at your side,  ball hand out front as far as you can reach.  i use a radar to help them find their top consistent velocity from this position.  my 12year old son for example: he throws about 54mph from this warm up position.

position 2)  same as position 1 except now you start with your shoulders closed in a torqued position.  same mechanics and follow through as position 1.  you must push off and triple extend!  my son throws 61-63mph from this position.

position 3) the stretch.  as you lift your leg, get your leading hip as far towards the target as you can; basically like falling forward in balance.  then drop down with your legs and triple extend as hard and fast as you can.  this will be your complete pitching top out velocity.  my son throws around 69mph average and up to 73mph from this position.  the hardest part about this position is that you must open your hips fully and get the same feel from position two.

position 4)  the windup.  there is really no more velocity to be had from here (see Brent's article on this subject), but you can lose speed and accuracy.  in my opinion, the windup is good for two things:  to give the pitcher a comfortable feel, and to give the batter a different look and maybe throw his timing off.   i suggest most people throw from the stretch for awhile when first learning new mechanics.

repetition is king here.  don't allow yourself to even soft toss with old mechanics.  fully commit to the new mechanics.  watch some real MLB pitchers warming up and you will still see good mechanics, albeit a little slower motion.

***disclaimer***my warm up methods have not been reviewed and approved by Brent,  so don't take it as the gospel.  i think the radar gun will speak volumes about what you are doing mechanically though.  (see Brent's article about using a radar gun for practice.)

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Zedoryu
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October 7, 2011 – 6:28 pm
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Exactly Ross. You should never use poor mechanics, but there is always a chance in a game situation where you can’t help but letting the bad habit get to you. So in a sense, by enforcing your bad habits and trying to change them is better than just working on something that you may already be good at. Simply because the habit you have is to be lazy with the ankle kick, which forces out the hips. Like I do. I am working on this and only this because this is the one major thing that is killing my control as well. I still have to work on other things but I use my method focusing on my old habit, and later putting it together. It is hard to change mechanics, like Ross said, it may take 1000 good throws to change your mechanics. So don’t think it will come in a flash, so hardwork and determination to change your mechanics is also key to changing mechanics. Other than that, Ross I think that your warmup is great because it focuses on one part of the delivery then incorporating it into your delivery.

       

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Hanan Burki
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October 7, 2011 – 6:43 pm
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Hi Guys,

 

Thanks for the invaluable information you have posted. I'm not knew to hard work. In fact the harder the workload is the better – it separates the men from the boys. If it came easy then everyone will be doing it.

Currently I am hitting the gym 5 times a week – going all out every time (I eat approx 4-4.5 thousand calories a day). I have already noticed muscular & strength gains, combining this with daily stretches too.

 

I am not afraid of hard work but it was nice to know how to apply it where it counts. I mean I can get as strong/big as I like but without the mechanics it wont mean anything. If a thousand good throws is what it takes i'll throw two thousand (Gotta be sure Wink

@Singtall – You said you tell the kids to not even mess around in warm-ups. Are you saying that you should start slowly when changing mechanics or by warm up do you mean – just getting loose i.e. stretching and casual throws to a partner?

 

Thanks guys

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singtall

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October 7, 2011 – 7:45 pm
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i mean that even a casual throw should be mechanically sound.

for example: if you aren't a full time submarine side arm thrower, then you shouldn't play around tossing the ball that way.

even when casually tossing the ball; go through your mechanics, leg lift, stride, separation, everything in slow motion. 

think of warming up in terms of martial arts; you would use a kata (slow motion movements of precise attack/defense components) to learn your positions and maybe warm up.

i advocate a slowed down version of your pitch from the stretch to warm up.  of course i only recommend throwing to warm up after you have done some of the things recommended by Brent (leg/hip stretches,  light jog, butt kicks,  skipping, etc).  you should warm up your legs and hips before throwing the ball, then use your legs and hips to continue the arm warm up.

check out this video from about 2 years ago (my son's first lesson with Brent) and see how Brent warm's up.

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Brent Pourciau USAW Certified
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October 7, 2011 – 8:31 pm
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This video is my warm-up for pitchers 10 and under. I use the Dynamic Warm-up from the Ace Pitcher Handbook for an everyday warm-up with all my athletes 10 and up. You should start every game, practice, or training day with either of these Dynamic Warm-ups based on your age.

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