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Stride Line and Center of Gravity
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MSTRRYAN2

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November 17, 2011 – 12:45 am
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Alright, here we go again.  I cannot and will not advocate throwing across the body. 

 

1.  Back leg drives the back hip out, forcing the front hip to lead at the same time that force causes the hip and shoulder to close (like jamming on the gas pedal will force your head back).

 

2.  Bower and Lincecum swing their leg out so that they get maximum hip distance away from the rubber, but I believe this throws off their internal balance and they compensate by leaning back over their butt.

 

3.  Because they swing their leg out and lean back, this causes the front foot to land across the line to home plate.

 

4.  The quickest distance between two points is in a straight line.  First move is back leg/back hip pushing front hip towards home plate, if that happens shouldn't the force vector push towards home plate on that same line? 

 

5.  Pitching is rocket science, it's about how the body moves and reacts to that movement.  Tell me why is it better to throw across your body as it pertains to the human body and not an airplane. 

 

Sorry, don't mean to PO anyone or be a nuisance.  I just don't get it.  It doesn't make sense.  Does anyone else on the field throw across their body?  Is there any other athlete in another sport that creates maximum force by throwing, pushing across their body.  Does a sprinters first step cross their body?

 

Sorry Brent and Coach Robo, I'm just not sold on this yet.

 

J

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singtall

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November 17, 2011 – 1:07 am
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i'm still not certain myself.  my son struggles with his landing at times, but he also swings his leg out like Lincecum.  i worked with him a few weeks ago when he played fall ball and had him trying to get the lead leg back into a straight line on target.  he worked on it for awhile and pitched a game with confidence and control, but went back to the old mechanics within a few days of not pitching.

my thoughts:

1) i think everything should move towards the target.  i don't really like to see the lead leg swing out, no matter what Lincecum is doing.

2) i think leaning back is a way of compensating for the leg swing out at times.  for some people though, the lean back does help to keep the shoulders closed.  Brent has taught my son the lean back for that reason only…to stay closed, not to compensate for the leg swing.

personally i like Roy Oswalt's mechanics better than Lincecum.  my reason is that i believe it's much easier to be accurate if you don't have to lean back, tilt your head and contort while throwing.

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MSTRRYAN2

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November 17, 2011 – 1:35 am
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*pitching ISNT rocket science*

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Brent Pourciau USAW Certified
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November 17, 2011 – 2:26 am
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What we are dealing with here is classic physics. I didn’t make this up. This works the same for anything in reality; from rockets to the human body. I feel like I am saying the world isn’t flat when the conventional wisdom states it is. I am just glad I do not get locked up for this.

I will try to explain how the center of gravity effects moving objects by using a sprinter this time. When a sprinter starts to run, his center of gravity is all over the place because the body is focusing on force production over controlling balance. Once the sprinter reaches his top speed force production becomes less important than maintaining balance. This is when the sprinters feet begin to stride more on line to control his center of gravity.

This being said a pitcher starts in a lateral position as he drives towards his full stride. A right handed pitcher triple extends with his right leg which is pushing his right hip around to the right side. Also after front foot strike his right shoulder and right arm follow the path of his right hip. He then lands slightly to the right of his straight traget line coming from his original drive leg foot position to establish his center of gravity . His center of gravity is based around his contorted body with a pulling force from the right side of his body. If this pitcher landed on line or more to his left side then this pulling force coming from his right hip and right arm would throw his body off to the right.

Pitchers that step even more across their bodies than Lincecum are more rotation pitchers than linear pitchers. 3X is a linear and then rotation approach so this is why it puts pitchers just inside the straight line towards the target.

The “Tilt” is used more for pitchers who are more over the top pitchers. Oswalt is more 3/4 over the top and Lincecum is more straight over the top. This is why Lincecum has more tilt. I encourage pitchers to tilt more to help with hip to shoulder separation. This is also why sidearm pitchers have lower velocities than over the top pitchers.

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Coach Robo
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November 17, 2011 – 2:26 am
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I like the questions.  We're still thinking this through.  Here are some more thoughts/info:

1.  I did my research again – a little slower and more carefully.  I have 30 videos of MLB pitchers from the catcher's view in my software library.  I used the drawing tools to determine where they landed in relation to where their back foot started on the rubber.

21/30 (70%) landed “closed” (arm side)

8/30 (27%) landed “on-line”

1/30 (3%) landed open (glove side)  (Curt Schilling)

21/30 (70%) had a “leg swing” (lead leg swings out ala Lincecum)

9/30 (30%) had no leg swing

17/21 (81%) of the closed guys had leg swings

6/9 (67%) of the on-line/open guys had no leg swing

 

Propositions to consider:

  • Most MLB pitchers land off-line to the arm side (70%)
  • Most MLB pitchers have a leg swing (70%)
  • Most leg swing guys land arm side
  • Most non-leg swing guys land on-line or glove side
  • Clearly there is a relationship between a leg swing and landing arm side

2.  I haven't concluded that pitchers should land closed/throw across their body – only considering that I shouldn't try to correct it if they do and their mechanics are otherwise sound.

3.  I've been working with pitchers for a long time and have had almost no success in getting a pitcher who landed off-line to land on-line.  Clearly there is something going on in the delivery that makes this difficult for a pitcher to change.

4. Position players don't use a leg swing and typically swingtheir leg even less than the guys I labelled as non-leg swing.

5.  Maybe position players do land closed more than I thought.  I didn't realize how many pitchers did until tonight. 

 

Those aren't definitive answers to where a pitcher should land – just some thoughts on where most of them do land.  I'm still thinking it through.   

Proud father of a U.S. Marine (HOME from Afghanistan)

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Zedoryu
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November 17, 2011 – 3:15 am
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Just thinking, I remember that your stride should be pointing to the target and that changes the pitch location. So to change pitch location, you stride to the left for a left side pitch and so on. So do you change it by the position you are on the rubber? Or what? Or is that revolutionary that you can land wherever and still throw wherever you want!?

       

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Brent Pourciau USAW Certified
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November 17, 2011 – 3:37 am
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You will stride towards your location. We are talking barely inches here.

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Kevin Votaw

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November 17, 2011 – 3:25 pm
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After seeing this post and following along, I would have to say most would agree that “Pitching isn't rocket science, but teaching pitching is.” To be able to understand everything that goes on in a motion and why as we have seen on this forum is quite a challenge and for Brent to be able to identify and break it down into such simple terms for us to understand has been key for everyone who has come to Top Velocity.

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