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Teaching Front Foot Strike
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dhs2111

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March 14, 2013 – 1:09 am
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Hey guys,

Not sure why this thread stopped. I stumbled upon it this evening and I just registered because I wanted to contribute. But before I begin, who am I? My name is Derek and I was a student of Skip’s while recovering from labral surgery in college back in 2009. I can personally attest to Skip’s teaching of the glove side activity and its relation to ball command. I had a series of outings in college practice where my teammates were giving me odd looks after I was pinpointing fastballs and blowing them past our entire lineup. But, as my goal was simply to contribute to my team’s success in my final year of college (mission complete) I began to pursure other avenues of careers. I am still deeply passionate about the art and science of pitching and I earned my CSCS certification after graduating college so that I can train athletes part time while I develop my career in finance.

I read practically all of Brent’s articles, I have one of the first Ace Pitcher’s handbooks and I have employed many of his 3x concepts into the teaching of pitcher’s and other overhead athletes (lax, tennis, etc).

Where I am seeing a disconnect in both Skip’s and Brent’s theories is that Skip is truly more concerned with ball command and Brent is more concerned with velocity. Therefore, Skip is going to certainly focus more on glove side actions while Brent focuses on triple extension.

Why not combine your efforts?

Triple extension (at the right time of course) WILL increase velocity while efficient glove side action (once again, at the right time) WILL produce greater command. Using Brent’s method of teaching triple extension right before foot strike and Skip’s teaching of proper glove action right before foot strike will do two things. First, it will enhance the power production of the individual. It HAS to be conscious and it HAS to be directional (towards the target). Second, it will enhance the control of the individual. Proper glove side action, from what Skip is saying will create and maintain perfect posture (athletic stacking).

From my own experience watching countless hours of videos of the power producing pitchers that have godly ball control (while I should have been tackling my thousands of pages of schoolwork) has lead me to one finding. Timing the triple extension with the utilization of the glove elbow leads the pitcher to that small window you discuss, Skip. It also leads the pitching to optimal power production, Brent. Together (although technically separate since you did not collaborate until this forum) the two of you have captured the vital ingredients that make pitcher’s successful, and make them last.

I’m amidst a personal transformation as a pitcher and I’ve boiled both of your ideas down to four steps to pitch a baseball that have allowed me to throw 100% pain-free (except from the soreness I get in the major muscle groups: glutes, core (anterior and posterior), hip abductors/adductors, lats, triceps, and forearms (the meat and nowhere near my UCL)).

1) At the height of your leg lift you have to have correct posture

2) Consciously load your back leg while maintaing correct posture

3) Consciously triple extend and begin glove elbow action SIMULTANEOUSLY (aka synchronized) to maintain correct posture during power production

4) Ferociously “punch” (aka “triple extend” your arm: scapular protraction, elbow extension, forearm flexion) your target

 

All the other components of the motion are a reaction in Skip’s sense because you have maintained posture and alignment, therefore eliminating any imbalances and inefficiencies. In my opinion, if those 4 things happen with no conscious and voluntary muscular involvement from any other part of the body then you will come closer to peak velocity and peak control.

Thought’s fellas? I’m open to my ideas being ripped apart and dissected.

Oh and duh, let’s not forget your eyes and head must demonstrate and unwavering focus and direction on your target! Move your head, move your direction.

 

-Derek

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Brent Pourciau USAW Certified
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March 14, 2013 – 11:00 am
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Derek,

I appreciate your insight and your intent to pull the best of both worlds here!

I am a pitching velocity coach but I also use the principles of the glove side to make sure this velocity is precise. The major difference between 3X Pitching and Skip’s approach is 3X believes precision comes initially from the linear move and the glove side must not redirect this movement when it is activated. So a firm glove side with no movement that is mainly supporting hip to shoulder separation is key to keeping the body, specifically the shoulders, moving towards the target in the initial linear direction. The only problem is if their isn’t a ramping of power in the stride in the linear direction of the target then the glove side will be forced to pull and help force shoulder rotation. This will cause it to move more on the x-axis which has been proven to reduce precision and is a key indication of poor pitching velocity. I just don’t see Skip’s approach working if the linear move is not strong enough.

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dhs2111

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March 14, 2013 – 5:12 pm
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Brent, I totally agree. You hit the nail on the head. There must be linear intent and force. The drive leg must drive force towards the target! Tpity glove side must be the guide to allow the force to stay on that linear path. If the glove moves laterally outside the framework of the body the. You lose that linear direction. Let me ask you this, after the linear leg drive is hip rotation a conscious effort or is it a product of the stride leg landing?

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Brent Pourciau USAW Certified
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March 14, 2013 – 6:29 pm
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It is both the product of 3X of the drive leg and 2X of the landing leg. I wrote an article on this here called:

The 3X To 2X Factor To Pitching Velocity

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Don

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December 9, 2013 – 3:42 pm
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Darrell Coulter said

Guys,

Had to jump in.  The problem with most young pitchers is that they are not robots.  Physically or mentally.  If pitching was purely about how to get to front foot strike the MIT engineers would be pitching in the big leagues.  Understanding isn’t the missing link.  Strength, Athleticism and Mental Conditioning is what separates Lincecum, Halladay and Beckett.  The fact that all 3 are of different, height, weight and athletic ability truly reflects their styles, not the fact that they understand what it takes to generate accurate throwing velocity and the ability to all have the same front foot strike reaction.  Understanding the physics of pitching plays a part in the overall mechanics, but strength and conditioning and athleticism is what sets them apart.  Brent’s program explains that better than any program that I have seen in 20 years and better than any pitching coach I ever had in the Minor Leagues.  Love the insight.  Thanks for the post.

Baseball will forever be played Between the Ears.

 

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